Cold sores are a manifestation of the herpes simplex virus. Once you have primary herpes (a cold sore) then the virus will stay in your body for the rest of your life. This virus lives in the ganglion of the nerve that is similar to the trunk of a tree. If the conditions are right, then the virus will travel down the nerve to the cold sore site. There are over 100 types of herpes viruses that cause cold sores to appear on the lips and other parts of the face, but Dr. Marla Wilson and our team can help fight them with cold sore treatment in Indianapolis, Indiana.
What causes cold sores to appear?
Studies show that cold sores usually appear between 24 and 48 hours of a stressful event or a stomach upsets in a person’s life. The stress event could have lasted for as little as ten seconds or as long as several hours or days. This stress can be physical (not getting enough sleep, chronic pain, having a poor diet) as well as mental (a death in the family, having a major work project due).
The first symptom of a cold sore is an aura, which is a tingling or itching sensation at the site. This feeling can last 30 minutes or three hours before the cold sore appears. The area will then get red, swollen, blistered, painful, and unsightly. If the cold sore is left alone, it will usually remain for ten days to two weeks.
How can you shorten this healing time?
Over-the-counter ointments can lubricate the cold sore site, preventing it from cracking open. However, they do little to stop or heal the sore. There are many home remedies which can stop and heal a cold sore, such as taking vitamin C with bioflavonoids. When you first feel the tingle of a cold sore, take 1,000 mg of vitamin C with bioflavonoids three times a day for three days. As a note, vitamin C alone cannot help, it must also include the bioflavonoids which are part of the vitamin C complex and are found in the peels of citrus fruits.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is a major anti-oxidant that has been found to remedy 70% of cold sore cases. If you decide to use the cold sore home remedy of vitamin C with bioflavonoids, then you should know that is it water soluble and your body will throw off any it doesn’t need. If you reach an overload of vitamin C, then your urine may turn very yellow and you may experience diarrhea. If this happens, then cut back your dosage.
Another home remedy for cold sores is taking the L-Lysine amino acids, which are the naturally occurring building blocks of all proteins. When you first feel the tingling sensation of a cold sore, then take one L-Lysine capsule twice a day for five days. If this remedy works well for you, then you may need to regularly take L-Lysine as a daily supplement, usually just one capsule a day unless you continue to get herpes outbreaks (then two capsules would be recommended).
A cold sore treatment we perform at Premier Dental Care involves the use of an advanced laser. Our holistic dentist uses the WaterLase® tool because it can significantly shorten the duration of a lesion and help keep the cold sore from reoccurring in the same location. If you would like to learn more about treating a cold sore, then call our office today.