Cold Sores are painful and irritating blisters that occur on your mouth, lips, or nose areas. Usually, Cold sores are the result of a viral attack. Although not a deadly infection but discomforts the person bearing it.
A person getting cold sores have to bear these fluid-filled blisters for like 3 weeks. Initially, you may not identify the symptoms and the cold sore breakouts some days after the infection has affected your lips, mouth or the areas around your mouth.
What causes a cold sore breakout?
A virus which causes cold sores called Herpes Simplex Virus. There are basically two types of this virus HSV1 and HSV2.
HSV Type 1 Virus is responsible for the occurrence of cold sores around the areas of your mouth, lips, or nose. HSV-2 is normally liable for herpes which affects the genital area.
Most probable reasons for the recurrence of this infection are mentioned below:
- Extreme exposure to Ultra violet rays
- Hormonal changes
The herpes simplex virus in nature is very contagious. Just by touching, the virus can spread to another person. They usually affect inside the mouth and lips. The outbreaks usually happen when you’re exposed to the sun or going through stress. Sometimes, they appear for no apparent cause at all.
So, when are cold sores most contagious?
It is when the blisters rupture. You’ll see the sticky fluid oozing from the lesions. Avoid touching the fluid with your fingers because it contains high population of herpes simplex virus. This is the time you need to keep yourself away from anyone.
Herpes simplex virus 1 is contagious from the first symptoms such as tingling sensation and itching stage until they turn into crusts. Don’t assume that it is safe even if you don’t feel any symptoms or the sore doesn’t appears. The herpes simplex virus can still infect innocent victims in the absence of symptoms. This is known as herpes viral shedding.
How long are cold sores contagious?
Counting from the prodromal stage till the complete healing stage, I would say it will last up to three weeks.
Once the blisters are completely healed and no longer visible, they are no longer contagious. When I say completely healed, I mean that the sores have become scabs.
Once you are able to get rid of this problem, there are high chances that the virus may attack you once again. Therefore, for permanent solution you may consider this program, especially created for Cold Sores Breakouts.
11 Best Natural Remedies for Cold Sore Breakouts
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a fluid-filled plant that has any medical benefits. It is one of the oldest treatments to many of the minor to major problems.
Do you know Aloe Vera leaves contain more than 200 constituents and its juice is 99% water and 1% constituents? So, it is better to take it in its natural form only. Make sure, you apply the fluid from the leaves of Aloe Vera directly, However if you don’t get it around you may use Aloe Vera gel as well.
Ingredients Needed: Aloe Vera Gel (We use this brand)
Method: Aloe Vera plant has leaves. Pull a small portion of the Aloe leaves and peel it to extract its fluid. Now apply this gel over the affected area, leave it for overnight then wash it off. Repeat this process several times in a week until the time you get the relief.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is one of the effective remedies to get rid of cold sore. This oil basically comes from different species of leaves of a tree derived from the family of eucalyptus. Most of the species are found in Australia.
Ingredients Needed: Tea Tree Oil (Suggested Brand) , Cotton balls
Method: Take a cotton swab or a cotton ball and dip it in the Tea Tree Oil. Now gently apply the oil-filled swab or a ball on the affected area to get relief from the cold sores.
Do not forget cold sores breakouts take 7-10 days’ of time; tea tree oil would lessen the pain and prevent the situation from being worse.
3. Sea Salt
The last but not the least solution to getting rid of cold sores is Sea Salt. It contains minerals that have medicinal properties to heal the affected area faster.
Ingredients Needed: Sea Salt and Lukewarm Water
Method: If cold sores are outside your mouth area, apply the sea salt directly on the affected portion.
If cold sores are inside your mouth area, prepare a water-sea salt solution adding half-a-tablespoon of sea salt to the glass-full of water. Now gargle using sea salt water to get relief. The best time for gargling is the morning time. You can repeat this process 3-4 times in a day as well.
4. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint Oil contains anti-viral properties that helps you to fight with the cold sores without any hassle.
According to the studies done by medical professionals shows that Peppermint oil performs certain veridical activities that reduce the impact of HSV-1 virus on the body of the affected person.
It is one of the effective solutions that have given proven results. Best advised to be used in the initial stages of the irritation and inflammation.
Ingredients Needed: Peppermint Oil (We recommend this brand) and Cotton balls
Method: Apply this oil on the affected area by using Cotton swab/balls. Leave it for 3-4 hours. Let the veridical activities take its form. After 3-4 hours of application, the oil starts showing its results. Repeat this process for 2-3 days.
Toothpaste pains when applied on the affected area but this 5 minutes of pain gives you relief from the 7-10 days of pain that otherwise blisters or cold sore will give you.
Normally cold sore remedies take 7-10 days to heal but this method can help you to get rid of the problem within 2-3 days only. It is advised to apply toothpaste on the initial stages to prevent further occurrence of cold sores. You can try it at your home because it really works.
Ingredients Needed: Toothpaste
Method: Apply a very thin layer of toothpaste over the affected area and leave it for at least 5-10 minutes. This will dry out the surface and give you quick results.
Milk is rich in anti-bodies that prepares your body against the virus and strengthens its immune system as well. There are amino acids like Lysine present inside the Milk that gives you additional powers to stop the multiplication of the virus causing cold sores.
Ingredients Needed: Milk, and Cotton ball
Method: All you need to do is to take a cotton swab or a cotton ball and dip it in the milk. It can be raw or organic milk, both works equally well.
Now apply this Milk-dipped swab over the cold sores and press it for free seconds so that Milk can penetrate inside the cold sores. Milk has high levels of L-lysine and immunoglobulins that have potential to fight with the herpes simplex virus and soothe painful blisters.
7. Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm is one of the easiest yet effective remedies to get rid of cold sores. It contains anti-viral properties that reduce the occurrence of cold sores.
Lemon balm is radially available in the market either in the form of concentrated ointments or in the form of creams. You can easily get it from medical or cosmetic stores too.
Ingredients Needed: Lemon Balm (Use this brand)
Method: Buy ointment or cream and apply it with the help of cotton balls directly on the cold sore outbreaks. Leave it for free minutes. It will reduce itching and also help you to get relief from the inflammatory symptoms and shorten the healing time.
Garlic is a well known remedy to cure cold sores because of its antiviral characteristics. It’s an organic anti-viral medication, that deals with all type of infections, and helps to boost your immunity level.
Ingredients Needed: Garlic and Band-aid
Method: Cut up clove fresh garlic (if possible) right into very small portions. Right away mix the portions with the use of a cup of water and consume. You recovery process starts off internally. Moreover, you may also apply some thin garlic slice straight upon the infected area with the help of band-aid.
9. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil comes loaded with lots of benefits and treating cold sores is one of its specialties. When used in cooking, it can be treated as a health tonic with the potential of curing some serious fever blister outbreaks. In case, you are not in a habit of consuming coconut oil then use it orally.
Ingredients Needed: Coconut oil, and cotton swab
Method: Take a cotton swab or a ball and dip it in the coconut oil. Apply gently this swab over the cold sores to get instant relief from the irritation and pain that the cold sores are causing you. Repeat this process for a week and see the positive results.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the painless ways of treating cold sores. This is a safe all-purpose must have item in any household. It is an antibacterial, anti-fungal health, beauty and natural cleaning agent. This wonder ingredient can whiten teeth and ward off infection such as cold sores, acne and blackheads.
Needed Ingredients: Hydrogen Peroxide (Suggested Brand) and Cotton balls
Method: Take a cotton swab or a cotton ball and dip it in the Hydrogen Peroxide solution. Now gently apply the Hydrogen peroxide-dipped swab or a ball on the affected area. Usually breakouts take 7-10 days of time, this method would give you relief from the pain in less time. Repeat this process once in a day to get quick results.
Lysine is an Amino acid that reduces the growth of virus that spreads the infection. As we have read in the above mentioned paragraphs, Virus multiples itself and generates cold sores.
Lysine stops the growth and further multiplication of the virus. It will not purely cure herpes but do reduce the severity of outbreaks, so take em’ as an alternative option (Here I’m referring to prescribed drugs, such as Lysine Creams).
Ingredients Needed: Lysine Ointment (Use this brand)
Method: You can either consume Lysine Amino acids directly or apply it on the affected area. There are some oral prescription drugs available for cold sores as well named acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir. This would stop the growth of virus and will also increase the chances of recovery.
Some common examples of Lysine are fish, chicken, legumes, turkey, vegetables, etc. Consume these different forms of amino acids to prevent the occurrence of the irritating cold sores.
How To Prevent Cold Sores From Spreading
- Maintain Distance – During the outbreak, you have to keep your distance. This is critical if you know friends or family members who have a weak immune system as their chances of being infected with oral herpes are higher. If you come into contact with someone who has a strong immune system, maybe they won’t be infected.
- Avoid Direct Contact – Since you need to avoid close contact with your partner, oral sex and kissing should be stopped entirely.
- Don’t Share Your Stuffs – If you’re thinking of home remedies, make sure you don’t share your towel, toothbrush, lip balm, lipstick or any personal items with anyone. Have separate utensils too. The cold sore virus can easily transmit to someone who uses your items.
- Be Hygienic Always - Sometimes, you can accidentally pass on the herpes virus to other locations on your body like your eyes, nose, or face. I feel it's important to practice good self-hygiene. A simple habit like washing your hands with soap and water regularly can save you a lot of headache. And don't be tempted to touch the blisters. This step alone can stop the contagious cold sores from spreading further.
- Avoid Foods Rich in Amino Acids- Make sure your diet is not too acidic. High acidic environment can activate the dormant herpes simplex virus. So, increase alkaline rich foods. Don’t eat any acidic proteins before going to bed. Otherwise, you’ll be looking for another outbreak the next morning.
- Watch for Allergic Reactions – If you’ve any allergy like sinus, then address it quickly by taking allergy medications. Allergies can overwork your immune system, causing the herpes virus to attack again.
- Hormonal Imbalance – Based on some studies, there is a correlation between hormones like estrogen and progesterone and herpes in women. You may want to try contraceptives to deal with constant herpes attack.
So, are cold sores contagious? Again, yes. This also applies to genital herpes. The virus can easily transmit from one person to another simply through skin contact. If you want to prevent the virus from spreading to innocent victims, follow the measures mentioned above.
Having cold sores can be a dread. If you've not found the right cold sore treatment to relieve the symptoms, then you need a more effective way to speed up the healing. This way, you don't have to worry about infecting someone else.
Going from doctor to doctor can be stressful and frustrating when the prescription doesn't help to prevent you from breaking out constantly.
Furthermore, it's not practical to take Valtrex several times a day, hoping to maintain a high level of anti-viral in your body that will stop the viral attack from recurring. Too much Valtrex can damage your kidney.
After all, you've just learned that cold sores are not contagious when they've completely dried up. One topical solution that can turn the blisters into crusts quickly is Cold Sore Free Forever eBook. You don't have to wait until three weeks for the active cold sores to heal. In fact, it takes a much shorter time.