You cannot get rid of cold sores overnight. There is no cure for cold sores. However, to speed up the healing time of a cold sore, you can consult with your doctor and take prescription medications such as antiviral tablets and creams. A cold sore may go away without treatment within a week or two.
The following tips can help you get rid of cold sores faster:
- Pain and fever can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Avoid ibuprofen if you have asthma or stomach ulcers or you had them in the past. Aspirin should not be given to children under 16 years of age.
- Antiviral creams such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir, or penciclovir may help to speed up healing. You may get cold sore cream from pharmacies over-the-counter without a prescription. Do not share your cold sore cream. These creams are most effective in the initial stages of the cold sore when you begin to feel a tingling or itching sensation. Creams may not be beneficial when frank rashes appear. You may need to regularly apply the cream five times a day for five to six days.
- Antiviral tablets may be taken in severe cases if you have a doctor’s prescription.
- Cold sore patches contain a special gel hydrocolloid. They can be placed over the cold sore to cover the sore area while it heals.
- Avoid triggers such as stress, sunlight, wind, and exertion.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Antiseptic mouthwashes may help if brushing your teeth is painful.
- Avoid acidic or salty foods such as fried and grilled foods, soda, meat, and sugary foods and drinks.
- Eat cool and soft foods.
- Don’t rub the affected part while applying the cream. Instead, gently dab the cream onto cold sores.
- Wash your hands before and after applying the cream to the sores.
- Avoid touching the sores.
- Use sunscreen and sunblock lip balm.
- Do not kiss anybody while you have a cold sore. Kissing babies while you have a cold sore may cause cold sores in babies, which is a dangerous condition called neonatal herpes.
- Do not share your creams, towels, cutlery, or cosmetics when you have a cold sore.
You must consult your doctor right away if you have a cold sore and
What are cold sores?
Cold sores or fever blisters are small painful blisters that can appear around the mouth, face, or nose. They are commonly caused by viral infections such as herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV 1) and less commonly by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV 2).
Cold sores are quite common and they usually subside on their own within a week or two. They start as blisters on the lips and around the mouth. They may also occur inside the mouth. The blisters progress to form painful sores. The fluid-filled blisters slowly crust over and form a scab before they go away.
Cold sores may go away without treatment within a week or two. There is no cure for cold sores. However, to speed up the healing time of a cold sore, you can consult with your doctor and take prescription medications such as antiviral tablets and creams.
What are the symptoms of cold sores?
The symptoms are usually more severe during the first outbreak when someone develops a cold sore.
Symptoms of cold sores include:
- Tingling, itching, and/or burning sensations are felt on or around the lips.
- Slowly the blisters appear and make the affected part red, swollen, and painful.
- In the following two to three days, the blisters rupture. The ruptured blisters ooze fluid that may be clear or yellowish. This phase of oozing fluid is called the “weeping phase.”
- During the next four to five days after the cold sore develops, it crusts and scabs over. The skin may crack or bleed as it heals.
- Ultimately, the scab falls off. The skin underneath may be a little more pink or reddish than usual for a few days.
- There may be other symptoms such as fever, a sore throat, and bodyache.
Does toothpaste get rid of cold sores?
Surprisingly, toothpaste application over cold sores may help relieve the symptoms. Many toothpaste brands contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) which causes drying of blisters. Moreover, they may contain ingredients that may cause a cooling or numbing effect on the skin. This may help soothe inflammation and reduce symptoms such as pain, itching, burning, and swelling. Toothpaste, however, can neither prevent cold sores nor get rid of them overnight.
Wash your hands before and after applying toothpaste on cold sores to prevent the risk of infection. Never share this toothpaste with others. You must be cautious because the application of toothpaste to the skin, especially on the face, may cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. Avoid rubbing toothpaste because it may further cause skin irritation.
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