How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores
- Medical Author: Mohamad El Mortada, MD
- Medical Author: MaryAnn Tran, MD
- Medical Author: Corrine Young, PharmD
Cold sores are small, painful, fluid-filled blisters or sores that appear on the lips, mouth, or nose that are caused by a virus. The sores can be painful and usually last a few days. Unlike most viral infections, the cold sore virus is not completely eliminated by the body defenses. For this reason, cold sores often recur.
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How To Prevent Cold Sores
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Prevention of cold sores largely depends on how an individual cares for themselves by observing and also keeping measures to the required levels. These include self-care and cautionary steps such as
- Avoiding kissing with individuals diagnosed with herpes simplex on lips
- Keeping the sores clean with plain cool water
- If it is discovered that sunlight triggers recurrence you better stay away from sun when outdoors
- Avoid making skin contacts especially with one who has had HSV reactivated
- It will also be of help if you stopped sharing towels, lipstick and other lip cosmetic products
Sometimes antiviral medicines , when taken as per your doctors descriptions, will help avoid the recurrence of a cold sore on the lip in the future.
Are There Treatments And Medications For Oral Herpes
Treatment includes medication for fever and taking plenty of fluids.
- A topical anesthetic such as viscous lidocaine may be prescribed to relieve pain associated with oral blisters and lesions.
- Oral or IV medication does exist for HSV but is not recommended for people with a normal immune system. It is used only for people with weakened immune systems, infants younger than 6 weeks of age, or people with severe disease.
- Some people may require hospital admission.
- Those with severe local infection
- People whose infection has spread to other organ systems
- People with weakened immune systems
- Dehydrated individuals who need IV hydration
- Infants younger than 6 weeks of age
Mild uncomplicated eruptions of herpes simplex require no treatment. Severe infection may require treatment with an antiviral agent. Oral antiviral drugs include
To reduce the chance of acquiring HSV-1, avoid touching saliva, skin, or mucous membranes of people who have HSV-1 lesions. Prevention of genital HSV may be accomplished by latex condoms, but protection is never 100%. Spermicides do not protect against HSV. Some clinicians recommend using dental dams during oral sex, but like condoms, they are not 100% protective.
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What Happens If I Dont Get Treated
Genital herpes can cause painful genital sores and can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems.
If you touch your sores or the fluids from the sores, you may transfer herpes to another part of your body, such as your eyes. Do not touch the sores or fluids to avoid spreading herpes to another part of your body. If you do touch the sores or fluids, immediately wash your hands thoroughly to help avoid spreading your infection.
If you are pregnant, there can be problems for you and your developing fetus, or newborn baby. See Im pregnant. How could genital herpes affect my baby? above for information about this.
When Should You Consult A Doctor How Long It Takes To Get Rid Of Herpes On Lip
If you find yourself having very large breakouts, talk to your doctor about how to make the outbreak smaller. Sometimes just waiting for the big one to happen is how long it takes to get rid of herpes on the lip.
It would help if you also considered how long you would be shaving. A single shave will not get rid of the virus entirely. The virus will enter into the skin through your open pores.
This means that you may be shaving every day for a while in order to remove all traces of the rash. Although you may seem like your going to have a lot of time, how long does it take to get rid of herpes on the lip is based on how much active virus is on your skin.
If you want to find out how long it takes to get rid of herpes on lip, talking to a doctor about available medications is a good idea. The doctor can help you find a solution that is best suited to your particular case and can give you advice on how to prevent anything from coming back again.
However, no matter how long it takes to get rid of herpes on lip, talking to a doctor right away can help save you from any other complications.
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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.
How Do I Know If I Have Genital Herpes
Most people who have genital herpes have no symptoms, or have very mild symptoms. You may not notice mild symptoms or you may mistake them for another skin condition, such as a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people who have herpes do not know it.
Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. These symptoms are sometimes called having an outbreak. The first time someone has an outbreak they may also have flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, or swollen glands.
People who experience an initial outbreak of herpes can have repeated outbreaks, especially if they are infected with HSV-2. Repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. Although the infection stays in the body for the rest of your life, the number of outbreaks may decrease over time.
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD. STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly genital discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Cold Sores
A pharmacist can recommend:
- creams to ease pain and irritation
- antiviral creams to speed up healing time
- cold sore patches to protect the skin while it heals
You can buy electronic devices from pharmacies that treat cold sores with light or lasers.
Some people find these helpful, but there have not been many studies to confirm if they work.
If you regularly get cold sores, use antiviral creams as soon as you recognise the early tingling feeling. They do not always work after blisters appear.
Can Herpes Simplex Be Prevented
Antiviral drugs will stop HSV multiplying once it reaches the skin or mucous membranes but cannot eradicate the virus from its resting stage within the nerve cells. They can, therefore, shorten and prevent attacks but a single course cannot prevent future attacks. Repeated courses may be prescribed, or the medication may be taken continuously to prevent frequent attacks.
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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.
Herpes Simplex Virus How Long It Takes To Get Rid Of Herpes On Lip
If you are wondering how long it takes to get rid of herpes on lip, several things can affect how long it takes for you to clear up this infection. The first thing to understand is that these outbreaks tend to be more severe in persons who are infected with the Herpes Simplex Virus.
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This means that people who have had them before are often more contagious than those who have never had them. The second is the location of the outbreaks. People who have had them in localized areas such as the mouth and lip are far more likely to be contagious when compared to those who have not.
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What Prescription Drugs Treat Cold Sores
Prescription-strength topical medications: Treatment with topical acyclovir or penciclovir will reduce healing time by approximately half a day and decrease pain associated with the lesion. Topical treatment is limited in its effectiveness because it has poor penetration to the site of replication of the virus and therefore is restricted in its healing ability. Acyclovir cream should be applied five times per day for 4 days, and penciclovir cream should be applied every two hours while awake for 4 days. A cream containing 5% acyclovir and a topical steroid called Xerese is also available.
Treatment for the first outbreak of oral herpes in an otherwise healthy person may include:
- Acyclovir, 400 mg orally three times a day for 10 days or until the lesions have crusted
- Valacyclovir, 2,000 mg orally every 12 hours for 1 day
- Famciclovir, 250 mg orally three times a day for 7-10 days
- Treatment doses for recurrent oral herpes are as follows:
- Acyclovir, 400 mg orally three times a day for 5 days: It may also be given as 800 mg orally twice a day for 5 days or 800 mg three times a day for 2 days.
- Valacyclovir, 2,000 mg orally every 12 hours for 1 day
- Famciclovir, 1,500 mg orally once
- Suppressive treatment for those with frequent outbreaks may be given for 12 months, but it may be extended if needed:
- Acyclovir, 400 mg orally twice a day
- Valacyclovir, 500 mg orally once a day
- Famciclovir, 250 mg orally twice a day
Is There A Cure Or Treatment For Herpes
There is no cure for herpes. Antiviral medications can, however, prevent or shorten outbreaks during the period of time the person takes the medication. In addition, daily suppressive therapy for herpes can reduce the likelihood of transmission to partners.
Several clinical trials have tested vaccines against genital herpes infection, but there is currently no commercially available vaccine that is protective against genital herpes infection. One vaccine trial showed efficacy among women whose partners were HSV-2 infected, but only among women who were not infected with HSV-1. No efficacy was observed among men whose partners were HSV-2 infected. A subsequent trial testing the same vaccine showed some protection from genital HSV-1 infection, but no protection from HSV-2 infection.
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How Can I Prevent Herpes Outbreaks
If you have lots of herpes outbreaks, your doctor may tell you to take medicine every day this is called suppressive therapy. It can help prevent future herpes outbreaks, and lower your chances of giving herpes to your partners.
Whether or not you take medicine to treat herpes, taking care of yourself by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress might help keep future outbreaks from popping up.
No one knows for sure what triggers genital herpes outbreaks. Other infections, surgery, sex, your period, skin irritations, and stress may cause outbreaks. Sunburns, injuries to your lips, or other infections can cause oral herpes flare-ups. Try to avoid getting sunburned if you have oral herpes.
Genital herpes outbreaks usually happen less often and become shorter and weaker after a few years whether or not you get treated.
How Do You Get Rid Of A Cold Sore Fast
Much as sufferers would love one, there is no miracle cure for cold sores. Without treatment, a cold sore will disappear in roughly 7-10 days, says Dr Mahto. However, there are a few things you can try to help speed along this process. You can use an over-the-counter antiviral cream. If youre getting cold sores frequently, visit your GP to see if you can get antiviral prescription tablets, she advises. Alternatively, look into laser treatment or supplements both of which boast some success for people with recurrent cold sores.
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What Is The Treatment For Herpes Simplex
Mild, uncomplicated eruptions of herpes simplex require no treatment. Blisters may be covered if desired, for example with a hydrocolloid patch. Severe infection may require treatment with an antiviral agent.
Antiviral drugs used for herpes simplex and their usual doses are:
- Aciclovir 200 mg 5 times daily for five days
- Valaciclovir 1 g 3 times daily for seven days
- Famciclovir as a single dose of 3 x 500 mg
In New Zealand, famciclovir is not currently funded by PHARMAC .
Higher doses of antiviral drugs are used for eczema herpeticum or for disseminated herpes simplex.
Topical aciclovir or penciclovir may shorten attacks of recurrent herpes simplex, provided the cream is started early enough.
The Best Home Remedies For Herpes
Cut a fresh clove of garlic and dab the herpes blisters with it several times a day. Toothpaste is rich in natural herbal essences that have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and disinfecting effects.
This makes the cosmetic product a very promising home remedy for herpes. These properties are also very promising with regard to home remedies for herpes. Apply a tiny dab of toothpaste to the affected areas several times a day.
Honey is an excellent home remedy for herpes. It is more pleasant to apply than toothpaste. Nevertheless, the golden natural juice scores points for its anti-inflammatory and disinfecting effects.
Apply a drop of it to the painful areas at regular intervals and enjoy the pleasant feeling on your skin when the pain subsides.
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Awareness Information Is No Substitute For A Doctor’s Care
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, present an annoying problem from the standpoint of their unpredictable breakout pattern and the eyesore they create.
There are two herpes virus’s that cause herpes type sore outbreaks. Herpes Simplex is responsible for outbreaks of lesions mainly on the lips , while Herpes Simplex2 is responsible for genital herpes.
Treatments for both conditions do not cure the problem. Rather, they help make the duration time of the sores be shorter and the severity less. In both instances medicine must be applied at the first sign of an eruption . This article will focus on Herpes Simplex1 and cold sores of the mouth.
The literature on the subject frequently describes the beginning of a cold sore as eliciting a “tingling sensation” near the mouth. It is at this time that anti-viral medicine for cold sores should be taken. This is important as a fever blister is something one is usually very self-conscious about. Facial outbreaks are hard to hide. It is a difficult problem to handle in the work a day world. Most cold sores last anywhere from 10 to 14 days. Complete healing is required to prevent the spread of the virus through contact.
The following are medicines commonly prescribed by physicians for cold sores: acyclovir 5% cream , penciclovir 1% cream , famciclovir , valacyclovir , and oral acyclovir. These medicines actually work against the Herpes Simplex1 virus.
Facts And Statistics About Herpes
- According to the World Health Organization, an estimated two-thirds of the global population under 50 years old are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 .
- Estimates for HSV-1 prevalence in the U.S. among people aged 049 years are 178 million women and 142 million men .
- In total, about 75 percent or more of the American adult population has the HSV-1 virus that usually causes oral herpes , and about 20 percent to 30 percent have HSV-2 that usually causes genital herpes.
- Men and women are affected by HSV-1 about equally. Roughly 6 million women in the U.S. become infected with HSV-1 each year, along with 5 million men.
- Slightly more women than men are affected by genital herpes, whether from HSV-1 or HSV-2. Middle-aged women are most likely to acquire genital herpes.
- Transmission of HSV most often occurs without symptoms, so its estimated that 85 percent of people with genital herpes dont know it. Many dont have any symptoms at all after the initial infection, and only about 15 percent ever receive a HSV-2 infection diagnosis in their lifetimes.
- Most primary oral/facial HSV infections are caused by HSV-1 however, facial infection by HSV-2 is increasingly becoming common.
- Less children are becoming infected with HSV-1 than in the past in high-income countries, mostly due to better hygiene and living conditions.
- After someone comes into contact with an active herpes outbreak on another person, the incubation period takes about one week.
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