Monday, July 6, 2009

Cold Sores and what to do about them

Where do I begin to describe how livid I feel when cold sores emerge on my face. They are evil, painful and sometimes quite embarrassing. However for some people, such as myself, they crop up unexpectedly and are something we have to live with for the rest of our lives. Fortunately there are certain remedies that can be administered to either slow down their emergence or speed up healing time. Having tested out dozens of different options I would like to list the most effective ones. But first a little about the herpes virus. Although most people get infected when exposed to the virus, only 10 percent will actually develop sores.The sores from the primary infection heal completely and rarely leave a scar. However, the virus that caused the infection remains in the body. It moves to nerve cells where it remains in a resting state. When exposed to stress, extreme cold, certain foods and large amounts of sunlight the usually dormant virus responds by developing a blister near the mucus membranes of your face. Note herpes simplex type 1 is different from genital herpes, which is herpes simplex type 2.


Zovirax (cream)- an antibiotic cream which contain 5 % Acylcovir. Zovirax is effective initially, however , my body quickly got used to it and stopped responding to it as well as it used to. Zovirax requires a prescription from the doctor and has potential side effects such as itching and burning of the skin.

Zovirax (oral tablets) unlike the cream which worked slowly, oral Zovirax worked rapidly and my cold sore stopped from forming and disappeared completely. Unfortunately I really don’t like long term usage of antibiotics because your body will get immune, besides the fact that antibiotics attack not only the virus but everything around it. Oral Zovirax may also have side effects including : headache ,nausea, vomiting and skin rash.

Abreva - basically the most effective treatment for cold sores without a prescription. Contains 10% Docosanol, which stops the blister from spreading to neighboring healthy cells. Abreva is something I would recommend, since it really does work. Abreva does not work as fast as Zovirax but its safer to use in the long run, plus its very soothing on the skin.

Natural Remedies

Lysine - Lysine is an amino acid which is crucial in producing infection-fighting antibodies, enzymes, hormones, and body tissues. Lysine inhibits the spread of the herpes simplex virus 1. We get lysine through food sources such as red meat, milk, eggs, cheese, wheat germ, brewers yeast, and fish. Lysine however competes with another amino acid, arginine, for absorption, therefore the less arginine you ingest the more lysine you will have in your body. Foods that are rich in arginine include chocolate, peanuts, and almonds. This explains why a a lot of people suffered from cold sores after consuming large amounts of chocolate.

Lysine supplements (e.g. 1,000 mg taken three times a day) may help to shorten the duration of cold sores.

Lysine ointment - is also very effective if you cant get your hands on the supplement. In addition it has no side effects so you are free to use as much and as often as you like.

Eating garlic is also very important when you have a herpes outbreak. Garlic is nature’s antibacterial agent and it is very powerful. Either eating garlic or rubbing it on the cold sore will either delay its formation or speed up healing time. “In 1858, Loius Pasteur observed garlic's antibacterial activity, and it was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II. More recently, it has been found from a clinical trial that a mouthwash containing 2.5% fresh garlic shows good antimicrobial activity”

Propolis - a brownish, resinous substance collected by bees from poplar and conifer buds in order to keep their hives germ-free. It is sold in most health food stores. Propolis is effective in stopping the herpes virus from entering near by body cells and replicating. Sounds similar to abreva no?

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