Categorized | Acne

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Get Rid of Cold Sores in 5 Simple Steps

Quick Background Information About Cold Sore Infections.
A cold sore is the outward symptom of an outbreak of the herpes simplex virus (sometimes simply called "HSV"), probably the type-1 strain of the virus (HSV-1) – HSV-2 is the strain that's typically responsible for genital herpes. Although, both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can cause either oral or genital herpes, it just so happens that each one is more likely to cause a specific condition than the other.

Oral herpes (cold sores) is the most common form of herpes, the second most common is genital herpes, and there are many other types of disorders that can be caused by HSV such as ocular herpes (herpes keratitis – this is when it gets in your eye), herpetic whitlow, and herpes zoster (shingles).

You most likely contracted it from being kissed by a close relative as a child who was also infected with the virus and likely had an active outbreak at the time (gee, thanks grandma), regrettably there is no cure for herpes and once you've got it you're stuck with it for life, condemned to suffer from the occasional cold sore a few times a year (more often, possibly, if you've just recently been infected).

Although, there are several vaccines that are currently in Phase III trials with the NIH (National Institute of Health – Search for "herpevac" for more information). This vaccine is specifically for women and is only designed to prevent genital herpes, but the scientists who developed it believe it can easily be adapted to prevent cold sores.

A 5-Step Home Treatment Procedure to Get Rid of a Cold Sore

1. Sterilize a needle with alcohol, carefully puncture the cold sore, and drain all of the fluid out of it, using a kleenex to blot it up. Basically, do with it what you would've done with a zit when you were a teenager, if you get the idea.

2. Wash the cold sore once every 2 hours with a damp washcloth and soap, being sure to use a new washcloth each time to keep from spreading the virus elsewhere on your face.

3. Apply benzyl alcohol (aka "Zilactin") with a q-tip each time immediately after you wash it. If you can not find benzyl alcohol then isopropyl rubbing alcohol will do.

4. Apply some benzyl peroxide based acne cream (like Clearasil) to the cold sore with a new q-tip, this will keep it completely dry over the next 2 hours until you wash it again. You can also use nail polish remover, this is at least as effective (some say even more so).

5. Start taking l-lysine, it's an over-the-counter supplement and has been shown to significantly reduce the duration and severity of cold sore outbreaks by interfering with the replication of the virus. (Source: Department of Medicine, Indiana Univeristy: Http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3115841?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=1&log$=relatedarticles&logdbfrom=pubmed ). I'd personally recommend 1000mg of lysine 3 times a day while you have an active outbreak.

Also, taking Vitamin C to help boost your immune system will definitely help, and if you do not yet have a cold sore but you're just starting to get the tingle and you execute this same 5-step procedure (minus the first step ), it will often prevent the cold sore from ever emerging in the first place. Also, some people (see: Get Rid of Cold Sore in 24 Hours) have found that Witch Hazel is very effective in getting rid of their cold sore.

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