How to Quickly Treat Cold Sores

[caption id="attachment_992" align="alignleft" width="620"] How to Quickly Treat Cold Sores[/caption]

How To Quickly Treat Cold Sores

Got a Cold Sore? Here’s How to Treat It Quickly.

Ugh. A cold sore appears a couple days before a party where you’ll be photographed as much as the Royal Couple. That smile that we’ve been working on together just went from hero to zero, right?

Not necessarily. Finding which cold sore treatment works best for you can help speed along its healing. And that’s why we’re here.

Maybe It Isn’t a Cold Sore, Right?
Let’s clear the air about what a cold sore is and isn’t.

Cold sores are contagious blisters that usually appear on your lips or around your mouth. Caused by a virus, cold sores usually start with a tingling sensation, evolve into numerous tiny, painful blisters, and later crust over.

Canker sores, on the other hand, aren’t contagious, but they still sting. Unlike cold sores, they usually appear as white oval lesions inside your mouth, especially near or on your gums.

Remedies for Cold Sores

The key to treating a cold sore is acting fast. As soon as the first symptom appears, consider these steps to move the healing process along quickly:

• Apply Ice to the Cold Sore

At the first sign, grab an ice cube, wrap it in a paper towel, place it where you feel the cold sore coming on, and let it melt. Back-to-back applications can reduce the pain.

• Switch to a Cold-Sore-Fighting Diet

You can boost your immune system’s fight against this viral nuisance with the right foods. Fill your plate with cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, and avoid foods with arginine, a cold-sore-triggering amino acid found in nuts, chocolate, and oats.

• Dial Down the Stress

One of the most common causes of cold sores is, surprise, surprise, stress. Minimizing stress these days can get so complicated that it causes more stress, right? But try giving yourself some time for the restorative, restful activities that drop your heart rate and raise your smile.

• Reach for Aloe Vera or Even an Over-The-Counter Cream

Both natural and medicinal creams have shown promise as cold sore remedies. Some studies suggest that aloe vera can help the fever blister heal, and over-the-counter creams, like docosanol, also tout their ability to knock the sore out of cold sores. Prefer the medicinal route? Check with your  pharmacist before using it.

• Use Sunscreen

If you are planning to go outdoors, use a lip balm that is SPF 30 or greater to over the affected lip areas.

• Relieve Pain with Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen

Some cold sores can get really painful. For those intense ones, acetaminophen or iburprofen may provide well-needed relief. Just be sure that your pharmacist recommends that type of over-the-counter medication.

• Laser Therapy

In a rush and don't have a week for the cold sore to heal?  Why not ask Dr. Job if laser treatment is a good option for you. Dr. Job utilizes laser therapy to jump start the healing process for cold sores.  The treatment is completed in a short appointment.

There you have it. You’re on the fast track to treating that cold sore quickly and living your best life at the party. Don’t forget to smile!

Note, cold sores left untreated may affect other parts of the body and create serious illness.

All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD). He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.

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