Causes Of Oral Herpes
Oral herpes is usually caused by the herpes simplex 1 virus, or HSV-1. Sometimes, however, herpes simplex virus type 2 the virus that usually causes genital herpes can transmit to the mouth during oral sex, also causing oral herpes. The opposite is also true, as you can get HSV-1 on your genitals.
Herpes simplex 1 usually spreads through intimate contact with an infected person. People with active outbreaks are the most contagious, but there is always a small chance that a person can be contagious even without an outbreak.
HSV-1 is often passed through kissing and oral sex, but sharing cups, eating utensils, and other items can also pass along the virus.
You can reduce your chances of getting oral herpes by not kissing or having oral sex with someone who is having an active outbreak. Once their skin has healed and looks normal, you can resume intimate activities.
Additionally, using a safer-sex barrier like a dental dam a thin piece of latex that protects against direct mouth-to-genital contact during oral sex can reduce the chances of getting oral herpes, regardless of whether a person has a current outbreak
Here Are 6 Effective Natural Remedies For Cold Sores On Lips
1. Aloe Vera:
The anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties of aloe vera make it an effective ointment for cold sores on lips. According to a study, aloe vera gel significantly represses the growth of the HSV virus and suggested it is a useful topical treatment for oral HSV-1 infections without any significant toxicity.
Apply Aloe Vera gel directly on cold sore several times a day.
2. Turmeric and honey:
It is well known now that turmeric possesses antifungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. Curcumin compound present in turmeric is an effective antiviral agent against the herpes simplex type 1 virus. There is one research that results, Curcumin diminishes HSV-1 infectivity and slows HSV-1 replication.
Both honey and turmeric have antibacterial and healing qualities, which makes it the best treatment for cold sores on lips. Honey provides a protective layer that stops bacteria to make it worse by drying and cracking. Make sure the honey you use is raw because only raw honey has anti-viral properties.
Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 teaspoon of honey to make a paste and apply it to the cold sore. Apply it more often to minimize the effect of the outbreak.
3. Black tea:
There is a compound named tannins in tea that has suppressed effects on the herpes virus. The concentration of tannins compound varies between different tea groups. Black teas are assumed to have the maximum concentration of tannins and green tea with the lowest concentration.
Dos And Donts For Faster Cold Sore Healing
Speeding up the cold sore healing process through medication like valacyclovir is only one side of the equation. The other, which is equally important, is making sure you dont slow accidentally down the healing process by making common cold sore mistakes:
Dont try to pop a cold sore as if it were a pimple. This just damages your skin and gives the virus fluid a chance to spread throughout your lips and mouth, increasing the risk of other cold sores developing.
The best approach is to leave your cold sore alone and let it heal, or use a cold sore patch from your local pharmacy to cover it up without breaking it open.
Dont touch a cold sore . The fluid from cold sores may spread to other parts of your body, making it possible to spread cold sores to your genitals or fingers through contact.
Dont have oral sex if you have a cold sore. Having oral sex with an open cold sore significantly increases your risk of transmitting genital herpes to your partner, making it best to avoid oral sex until the cold sore is healed.
Dont aggressively wash the cold sore with soap or facial wash. Oral herpes isnt caused by dirty skin or lips, meaning most soaps wont be effective.
Dont use more than the recommended dose of valacyclovir. A higher dose doesnt necessarily mean faster healing. Follow the dosage provided by your doctor for reliable, safe cold sore recovery.
Read Also: How Often Can You Get Herpes Outbreak
Recommended Reading: What Does Genital Herpes Feel Like
Why Cold Sores Come Back
Cold sores are caused by a virus called herpes simplex.
Once you have the virus, it stays in your skin for the rest of your life. Sometimes it causes a cold sore.
Most people are exposed to the virus when they’re young after close skin to skin contact, such as kissing, with someone who has a cold sore.
It does not usually cause any symptoms until you’re older. You will not know if it’s in your skin unless you get a cold sore.
Page last reviewed: 20 July 2020 Next review due: 20 July 2023
How To Get Rid Of Cold Sore Scars On Lips
July 24, 2015 by woundcaresociety
Cold sore is caused by a herpes virus. This is a skin disorder which typically occurs at or around your lips. Cold sore is accompanied by itching and burning sensation, and commonly occurs in the form of blisters. These blisters might occur on the corner of your lips, on your upper or lower lips, or near your nose. Cold sore may be a small health problem which does not necessarily require immediate medical assistance. Yet, some people experience healed cold scar, but persistent cold sore scars which are not easy to remove.
Recommended Reading: What Do I Do If I Think I Have Herpes
Read Also: Will Genital Herpes Outbreak Go Away On Its Own
Complications Of Cold Sores
For most people, cold sores get better in time with over-the-counter treatments and self-care. However, for people with weakened immune systems, cold sores can be more severe and spread more widely.
Uncommon complications of cold sores include:
- bacterial infections where the cold sore is crusty and has pus
- cold sores that spread to the eyes see your doctor immediately since this can lead to eye damage
How To Treat A Cold Sore With Home Remedies
While prescription and OTC cold sore medication can promote healing and relieve pain, home remedies may also improve your symptoms and possibly reduce the frequency of outbreaks.
These remedies wont fight the virus, but they can help you feel better until a cold sore heals.
To self-treat a cold sore:
- Opt for cool foods that you apply to your mouth area. For example, suck on ice chips or a popsicle to reduce pain in or around the lips.
- Apply a cold or warm compress to painful areas. This can help ease inflammation.
- Avoid trigger foods that may irritate a cold sore. These can include hot beverages, citrus fruits, spicy food, and salty foods.
- Turn to your medicine cabinet. Apply a skin protectant, such as petroleum jelly, to a cold sore and the skin around the sore.
- Wear lip balm with SPF 30 or higher. This protects your lips until a cold sore heals. Applying balm year-round can also help stop recurrent cold sores.
- Tend to your dental health. Use an antiseptic mouthwash when brushing your teeth to relieve pain.
- Drink water. Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
A few alternative therapies might also promote healing and relieve cold sore symptoms, although more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of these remedies.
For example, applying synthetic beeswax to a cold sore might shorten the duration of an outbreak and get rid of the blister sooner.
You May Like: Can You Spread Herpes To Different Parts Of Your Body
What Are The Strongest Prescription Options
Acyclovir is an antiviral prescription medication available in tablet, capsule, or liquid form. Its used to decrease the pain and increase the healing time of sores and blisters caused by chickenpox, shingles, genital herpes, and cold sores. This antiviral medication stops the spread of the herpes virus in the body, which in turn helps outbreaks heal.
Acyclovir should be taken two to five times a day for five to ten days, depending on the extent of your outbreak.
Home Remedies Against Herpes Can Help
Unfortunately, it is not possible for the human immune system to put an end to the viruses 100 percent. Rather, the immune system attacks the herpes viruses, but only puts them into a dormant mode within the nerve nodes. During this inactive phase, they cannot cause any damage.
Nevertheless, they practically wait until the immune system is weakened so that they are reactivated again. Therefore, it is not surprising that many pregnant women struggle with herpes on the lip or herpes in the mouth.
Don’t Miss: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Herpes
When To See A Heathcare Provider For Cold Sores
In otherwise healthy adults, cold sores usually clear up on their own within two weeks. Mind you, they can make you miserable during the healing process, physically and emotionally, and they pose the risk of infecting someone else.
But if you’re someone with a weakened immune system, or you struggle with frequent or severe outbreaks, you should see your healthcare provider about taking antiviral medicines such as acyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir.
People with atopic dermatitis are particularly at risk of bad cold sore outbreaks. “It can spread over the surface of your skin like wildfire because you don’t have the normal barrier function in your skin,” said Dr. Brodell.
Is It A Cold Sore Or A Canker Sore
Cold sores are a cluster of blisters that first appear clear then become cloudy. First infection may be inside the mouth, but cold sores generally appear outside the mouth on the lips.
Canker sores are gray or white sores surrounded by a red inflamed area. They occur only inside the mouth, on the tongue or the insides of the cheeks, lips or throat.
Recommended Reading: Does Herpes Blitz Protocol Work
Can I Put Antibiotic Ointment On Herpes
It is best to avoid any cream or ointment that doesnt contain a specific antiherpes medication. This includes any preparation containing cortisone or antibiotics. These creams or ointments will not help and in some cases may make things worse. Using rubbing alcohol will only sting and thats about all.
How Do You Get Rid Of Herpes Lesions Fast
How do you get rid of herpes lesions fast? Genital herpes cannot be cured. Antiviral medicine may relieve pain and discomfort and help the outbreak go away faster. It may also reduce the number of outbreaks.
What removes herpes sores? Take prescription medications.
There are antiviral drugs that can help cold sores heal faster, including acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir and penciclovir.
How do you get rid of herpes bumps naturally?
It may be used like an ointment to treat cold sores.
What triggers herpes outbreaks? Triggers for recurrence Illness, stress, sunlight, and fatigue can trigger recurrent herpes outbreaks. In women, menstrual periods may trigger an outbreak. When did I become infected? The first time a person has noticeable signs or symptoms of herpes may not be the initial episode.
Recommended Reading: How To Check For Genital Herpes
How To Treat Cold Sore Pain
DIY remedies arent likely to make a cold sore disappear anyfaster. But there are things you can do to ease the pain while youre waitingimpatiently for it to heal.
Meanwhile, you dont want to inflict these sores on others. Skip the make-out sessions until youve healed and wash your hands often.
While cold sores are annoying in adults, the virus can be life-threatening in a baby, so take care to steer clear, Dr. Beers advises: As much as you might want to see your niece or nephew or grandbaby, please dont shower them with kisses if you have an active cold sore.
Tips To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore Faster*
Patience may be a virtue but thats little comfort when you want to get rid of a cold sore overnight. Unfortunately, you cant get rid of a cold sore in 24 hours, but you can shorten cold sore healing time and cut down the duration of painful cold sore symptoms.
Just because there isnt a cure for cold sores, doesnt mean you have to suffer patiently until it clears up on its own. Here are 5 tips to get rid of a cold sore faster*.
Also Check: How To Know If You Have Genital Warts Or Herpes
Infected At An Early Age
Most people get their first exposure to Herpes Simplex 1 as children through contact with other children or an adult who passed it along. So realize that whether there is or not, there should be no stigma to having a cold sore.
Not unlike Herpes Zoster , the Herpes Simplex 1 virus also hides. But instead of hiding in the spine, it hides deep in the skin. It hides after an initial exposure to the virus from contact of some sort. When the immune system is under duress from allergy, flu, stress, etc., the virus comes out and targets the mouth area. I have read a description of its activity in the body as “hibernating” and then being “activated”. There are many stressors that can give the virus an opportunity to activate itself.
Each episode of cold sores tends to be less severe, until in some cases, the incidence of them may stop. There is no cure for Herpes Simplex 1, and a vaccine for cold sores is not available now.
How To Treat Cold Sores Fast
There are a wide variety of treatments to help manage cold sore symptoms and shorten the amount of time they’re visible. They range from home remedies to prescription medications. The right one for you will depend on the severity and frequency of your outbreaks.
Here are some of your best home treatment options, according to Purdy:
- Over-the-counter creams: The only FDA-approved non-prescription medicine to treat cold sores is Abreva, which contains the active ingredient docosanol to decrease symptoms and possibly speed up healing. Topical zinc oxide treatments may also be beneficial.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Try taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce inflammation, and thus ease the pain that comes with cold sores. Alternatively, you can apply an over-the-counter topical pain reliever with numbing agents like lidocaine or benzocaine, directly onto the cold sore.
- Cool compresses or ice: Applying a cold, damp washcloth to a cold sore intermittently throughout the day may help reduce swelling and pain. You may also use ice, but don’t apply it directly to the skin instead, wrap it in a paper towel or washcloth.
Cold sores should clear up within 10 days or so of when you start treating them. If symptoms don’t go away within two weeks, Purdy advises seeing your healthcare practitioner
Also Check: How To Kill Herpes Virus Naturally
Use Ibuprofen To Reduce Pain And Swelling
This is an easy remedy that you probably already have in the medicine cabinet. Most of the pain and discomfort caused by cold sores originations from underlying inflammation. NSAID medications like ibuprofen temporarily reduce inflammation so that you can feel better in less than 24 hours, even if that stubborn cold sore hasnt disappeared quite yet.
Can You Prevent Cold Sores
Basically, it is not possible to prevent an infection with the herpes virus. However, you can help to strengthen your immune system in such a way that it can at least reliably fight possible viral attacks.
- A healthy diet if possible even before pregnancy is a very good prerequisite.
- Furthermore, a relaxed lifestyle helps to counteract the risk of cold sores or herpes in the mouth.
- Avoid too frequent sunbathing and be careful not to expose yourself to excessive UV radiation. Depending on your physical constitution, this could weaken your immune system.
- As soon as you feel a slight tickling or itching, you should apply an anti-herpes cream. The same applies to the first sign of burning or tightening on the skin. Even then, an anti-viral cold sore cream can be very effective and prevent the outbreak.
You May Like: Can Genital Herpes Go Away On Its Own
What Are The Strongest Over The Counter Options For Cold Sores
There are many over-the-counter options available for cold sore relief. Abreva® and Orajel are the two strongest OTC options.
Orajel provides instant and targeted pain relief in and around the mouth. For herpes simplex cold sores, the Orajel Cold Sore formula includes six active ingredients shown to treat the pain, itching, and dryness caused by cold sores. It can be applied up to four times a day to help you stay comfortable through an outbreak.
Abreva® is also an over-the-counter cream used to treat cold sores and fever blisters, but it works differently. Abreva® contains the only non-prescription ingredient approved by the FDA to accelerate the cold sore healing process. This OTC treatment can be used up to five times a day, or as directed by your doctor.
Dont Miss: Do Herpes Outbreaks Occur In The Same Spot