Ask a doc: ‘How can I get rid of a cold sore as quickly as possible?’


You woke up with an unsightly cold sore — but hiding out at home isn’t an option.What can you do?First, you’re not alone. Up to 80% of American adults have the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), which can cause cold sores (also known as fever blisters), according to Johns Hopkins.The viral infection can cause small, fluid-filled lesions, or blisters, to form on and around the lips or inside the mouth. AS NEW JERSEY INVESTIGATES MUMPS OUTBREAK, EXPERTS SHARE WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT SYMPTOMS, PROTECTIONThey can sometimes show up around the nose or cheeks.”While there is no cure, cold sores typically resolve on their own within one to two weeks,” said Dr. Robert Biernbaum, chief medical officer at WellNow Urgent Care in Chicago. Up to 80% of American adults have the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), which can cause cold sores (also known as fever blisters). (iStock)Fox News Digital consulted with experts to determine the best course of action for dealing with an unsightly flare-up.Here are five smart tips. 1. Treat it right awayTaking quick action is important when dealing with a cold sore, they agreed.”This will help it go away the fastest and heal quicker,” said Dr. Laura Purdy, a board-certified family medicine physician in Brentwood, Tennessee.BIRD FLU PANDEMIC IN FUTURE? EU WARNS OF POTENTIAL SPREAD TO HUMANS DUE TO ‘LACK OF IMMUNE DEFENSE’Purdy suggested purchasing an over-the-counter antiviral ointment or cream, such as Abreva.Biernbaum also suggested trying OTC pain reliever creams like lidocaine and benzocaine to help numb the burning sensation that can come with cold sores.2. Consider home remediesApple cider vinegar may be effective for some, Purdy suggested, as long as the skin doesn’t get too irritated. “This is a great option because it’s known to combat germs, viruses and other bacteria,” she told Fox News Digital.Aloe vera can also have antiviral effects, she added. Doctors suggest purchasing an over-the-counter antiviral ointment or cream to treat a cold sore right away. (iStock)”Honey is another great option that may work for you, since it is known to help with skin wounds and injuries,” Purdy said.”Of course, this is all personal preference and takes a little trial and error.” MEASLES VACCINATIONS GIVEN IN ’70S AND ’80S MAY HAVE WORN OFF BY NOW, DOCTOR WARNSWhen trying a new home remedy for a cold sore, Purdy said to start out with a small amount to make sure you don’t have any adverse skin reactions. Using cool compresses — such as ice or cold, wet rags — can help reduce pain and redness, Biernbaum added.3. Build up your immune systemThe key to clearing a cold sore is building the immune system back up, according to Dr. Heather Hinshelwood, chief medical officer at The Fraum Center for Restorative Health on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.”That’s why they show up — your immune system loses control of a dormant virus,” she told Fox News Digital. The key to clearing a cold sore is building the immune system back up, a doctor told Fox News Digital. (iStock)To clear up cold sores, Hinshelwood recommended a multi-pronged attack: vitamin C, L-Lysine and Abreva, which are all available over the counter.”Use these as quickly as possible, even before the actual abruption,” she suggested. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR HEALTH NEWSLETTER”If you can get a prescription for Valacyclovir (a prescription antiviral medication), that can help as well. Bottom line — building your immune system back up is key to clearing a cold sore.”4. See a doctorFor persistent or painful cold sores, you may want to see a doctor to get a prescription antiviral medication. For persistent or painful cold sores, you may want to see a doctor to get a prescription antiviral medication, experts suggested. (iStock)”If you are experiencing swelling or discomfort, visit your local urgent care or primary care provider,” Biernbaum recommended. “A provider can provide prescription topical creams and, if appropriate, antiviral medications at the onset of an outbreak to help speed the healing process.”5. Follow best practicesWhile waiting for a blister to clear up, the experts recommend resisting the urge to touch or pick at an open cold sore, as this can cause infection or prolong the healing process.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPBiernbaum also suggests keeping your lips moisturized.”Also avoid acidic foods and sun exposure, as these can be triggers,” he added.For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews.com/health. Melissa Rudy is health editor and a member of the lifestyle team at Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to melissa.rudy@fox.com.

spot_img

Explore more

Stop Letting Others Control Your Life

Stop Letting Others Control Your Life

SUMMARY: In this episode, Brendon teaches… How to focus more on positive life outcomes like life satisfaction, fitness, happiness, and confidence is essential. Why better embracing significant...

You Asked: In a Woman with ADHD, Should You Continue Treatment...

Question: I have a 32-year-old patient with ADHD who stopped her stimulant medication (Concerta 54 mg) during pregnancy. She is now at 34 weeks of...

The Future of Period Pain Relief

Hey there, womanhood warriors! We get you, and we especially get you on those days of the month. Period cramps are a real problem...
Preventive Care: How It Can Save Your Business Money On Health Insurance

Preventive Care: How It Can Save Your Business Money On Health...

As a small business owner in California or Arizona, you already understand the importance of keeping your employees healthy and productive. But you also...

Biosensor technology company Allez Health secures $60M

California-based Allez Health, formerly Zense-Life, announced it secured $60 million in Series A+ financing.  The round was led by strategic investor Osang Healthcare, with participation...
Omega-3 index test

Omega-3 index test and benefits for overall health and well-being

The Omega-3 Index test...
Thousands of NÜTRL tumblers recalled after dozens report illness - National

Thousands of NÜTRL tumblers recalled after dozens report illness – National

A promotional NÜTRL branded tumbler that was recalled in Canada earlier this month caused multiple reports of adverse health effects, an updated notice said...
Dentistry procurement platforms and trends 2024

E-Procurement Platforms, AI, and More Trends from DentalForum 2024

This article was written by the Planet DDS staff and originally published on DrBicuspid.com.At this year’s DentalForum, leaders from more than two dozen dental...