The medical community is currently frustrated by the lack of progress in providing a highly effective medicinal cold sore treatment, and as drug based solutions remain relatively expensive and with some risk of side effects, many sufferers turn towards natural remedies for a solution.
As there is no complete cure for the condition at present, any current cold sore treatment focuses on prevention, easing the symptoms, or healing. Because the virus awakes from its dormant state in the nerve cells only when the immune system becomes compromised in some way, it is important to ensure that the immune system is functioning at full strength, which can be achieved through regular exercise, diet and relaxation to minimize stress. However once an outbreak occurs we need to switch focus; we can help ease the symptoms of pain or itchiness and treat dry skin and cracks; and help reduce the impact of the virus to reduce the overall healing time and to ensure that the skin heals without scarring.
Cold sores usually take in the region of 7-10 days to complete the full cycle from tingling phase to healing and because the virus is contagious throughout these stages, remember to observe high standards of hygiene to ensure it is not spread, either to other parts of the body or to other people; always wash your hands after applying any topical remedy and avoid touching the lesion whenever possible.
Many sufferers find that taking regular L-lysine supplements both reduces the frequency and severity of outbreaks. Other simple remedies include the application of sunscreen, which is often recommended for cold sore sufferers due to the fact that prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can serve as a trigger for the outbreak.
Compounds such as phenol, zinc, tannic acid and lysine have antiviral properties, which inhibit the ability of the herpes virus to form lesions and help form an environment that speeds up the healing process. Besides these compounds, lip balms are used to soften and moisturize the scabs that form, reducing bleeding and cracking. A number of herbal medications are also useful in cold sore treatment, with herbal antiseptics such as tea tree oil and sage, and herbal sedatives such as violet, having been found to offer relief.
Many people have found that simply applying ice to the affected area can prove beneficial; when applied during the tingle stage it lowers the temperature and the metabolic rate of the area, thus slowing the development of cold sore; it also lessens itching and pain by acting as a numbing agent. Applying tea bags to the lesions is also often beneficial as tea contains tannic acid, which has been shown to minimize development of the sores, while applying a coating of moisturizing agents like petroleum jelly can help to prevent bleeding and cracking.
From this you can see that while medical advances in this field are moving slower than many would wish, there are some simple cold sore treatments available based on natural ingredients and everyday items found in the home. By taking some simple steps you can help minimize the impact of cold sore outbreaks on your life.
If you found this article useful you can find more information about cold sore treatment at http://www.ColdSoreTreatmentGuide.com