Treating a cold sore quickly and correctly can save you a lot of discomfort. In this article you will learn the three main stages of a cold sore and the key to treating a cold sore at each stage. Cold sores are very painful and interrupt your life in a big way. Often they can last for three to four weeks. That is a long time to be laid up. Treating a cold sore properly can reduce the duration of your cold sores. It can free you in less than half the normal healing time.
There are three basic stages of cold sores – each one requires a different treatment for best success. Below are these stages and the most proven way to deal with them.
INITIAL WARNING STAGE.
The herpes simplex virus lives and hides in your nerves. Normally this virus is dormant deep in your nerve roots. When activated it will travel along the nerve to the surface. You will actually feel this travel as an itching, tingling or burning sensation at the surface target area. This is your warning stage. It may last a couple hours or a couple days.
At the very minute you become aware of this pending cold sore apply ice or any cold item to that area. This is like giving the virus a cold shower. It often slows down – or stops – its ability to replicate. Also, you may have heard about the benefit of taking lysine supplements. Right now is the time to start taking them. Continue until the sore is healed.
The herpes replication process causes destruction of the surface nerve cells. The visible results are cold sores. This begins to take place when the virus reaches the surface and enters the nerve cells there. When this happens, painful red pimple-type bumps pop out and swelling becomes apparent.
Treating a cold sore with ice is still a good choice at this stage. Not only does it continue to discourage the virus, but it helps reduce pain and swelling. Using frozen wet tea bags at this time gives even better results than plain ice. Also, you should apply garlic oil at this time. Garlic has the unusual ability to penetrate the skin and get right to the problem virus. Your best choice is to cut fresh garlic and rub it on the area. You can also get garlic oil at the vitamin store. It is more convenient and will help, but it is not as active as the fresh stuff.
HEALING STAGE – A LONG JOURNEY
The sore now bursts into an open sore. The virus is still active, but the main damage is finished. Now your sore is in the healing stage. This may last up to a couple weeks if left to itself. Keep putting on the garlic oil. Keep taking large doses of lysine. Discontinue using ice – it will reduce the circulation of healing blood to the area. Start treating a cold sore with heat as often as possible. The best method of doing this is for you to use warm tea bags. Tea also contains special healing properties that you will benefit from at the same time. Both black and herbal teas work great. But do not put the tea bag in the microwave. This will destroy much of the beneficial nutrients. Heat the water first or on top of the stove. Drinking tea at this time will also help greatly.
It is especially important at this stage to continually cleanse the sore area. Always use tissue, paper towels or cotton balls. Soak these in alcohol, peroxide. Some folks like using brandy or wine for their healing properties. Cleanse the area, apply garlic oil and then a hot tea bag for about 15 minute sessions. When done with the heat, apply fresh Aloe Vera liquid to the sore. Aloe Vera greatly speeds formation of new cells and skin. Use only fresh sap from a live plant.