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Treating a cold sore with these time-proven methods will give you quick, lasting success. Read this informative article now. You will get some proven and excellent techniques for treating a cold sore.
Treating a cold sore is not a pleasant experience. They are painful, embarrassing, and generally quite a hassle. And they always seem to come at the worst possible time.
Unlike many diseases that do their damage internally, cold sores only occur on the surface. Because of this, they can be easily cured. If this same damage occurred internally, cold sores could be a threat to your life.
In treating a cold sore, it is important to know the various stages. Each stage or symptom requires a different care procedure.
These are the variations of cold sore treatment methods for each symptom.
1. The first cold sore symptom is the itching stage. This tingling sensation indicates the movement of the herpes virus to the surface to replicate. This virus enters thousands of nerve cells, each one becoming a virus factory.
A quick application of ice is most successful at this early stage. Put the ice in plastic zipper bags to avoid a mess. The herpes virus cannot replicate when the area is cold. Often, in fact, you will either delay or prevent further development of a cold sore.
2. Once the virus actually enters the cells, swelling begins to occur. Cold application is still the best treatment at this stage. Apply for 15 minutes at a time. This always helps swelling, and does give some comfort.
3. During the next stage, the open wound appears. This is because of the devastation of thousands of cells by the herpes virus. Ice no longer is the best treatment for your cold sore. Your wound is now in the healing stages.
Ice can continue to give you much comfort and swelling reduction. However, ice will also slow down healing because it drives blood away from the damaged area.
The most important part of treating a cold sore at this point is to keep the wound sterile. You should cleanse the wound with peroxide or alcohol. You can get throw-away alcohol swabs from the diabetes section of your drug store. These are very handy. They can be carried in purse or pocket.
Applying a drug store product with a numbing agent, like Campho-Phenique, can greatly improve comfort without using ice.
4. The healing period for your cold sore is now through the final red spot disappears. Treating a cold sore, during all the healing period, should include applying heat. This will bring additional blood to the area for very fast healing results.
Continue to keep the area sterile. Also, continue applying the comfort treatment (numbing agent) of your choice. Keep in mind that most all drug store cold sore treatments are for comfort and have not proven to speed healing.
APPLYING WARMTH. There are several ways to keep the cold sore warm. One way that works very well is using a damp, warm washcloth. This can be heated up in the microwave. Be cautious not to burn yourself.
A better method, in my opinion, is the use of a warm tea bag. This way of treating a cold sore not only speeds healing from the heat, but also bathes the area with anti-viral compounds found in tea. Lemon balm herb and mint seem to be especially useful in this regard.
CAUTION. Cold sores, and the herpes virus that actually causes them, are extremely contagious. This is true, not only for infecting your friends, but other spots on your body as well.
Cold sores can easily be spread to other areas of your body including your fingertips. Anywhere the herpes virus can get through the skin will be a new cold sore trouble area. Especially dangerous is getting the virus in your eyes. This actually happens, and it can cause damage to the cornea.
When you are treating a cold sore, protect your fingers from being contaminated. If you must itch or treat the sore, use a tissue or cotton ball. Wash your hands after treatment. The use of hand sanitizing lotion is an excellent way of preventing the spread of the disease.
Cold application is for slowing the growth at the beginning, and heat is for quick healing. Keep the cold sore clean and avoid contaminating your fingers while treating a cold sore.