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Mouth Cold Sores – What Are They, Treatment (and Why You Might Not Have a Cold Sore at All)

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A Quick Primer On Cold Sores and Herpes Simplex–Also, You May Not Have A Cold Sore After All!

A mouth cold sore, otherwise known as oral herpes, is the most common manifestation of the herpes simplex virus, the second most common is genital herpes. If you’re getting a cold sore in your mouth, on the other hand, that’s almost definitely not a cold sore because it’s extremely rare that cold sores will occur inside someone’s mouth–it’s most likely a canker sore, which is completely different from a cold sore. A canker sore, otherwise known as an aphthous ulcer, is a bacterial infection and has nothing to do with the herpes virus and requires a completely different treatment.

Cold sores can also occur on the nose, probably the second most common place that they pop up on the face, but are almost always on, or right around the edge of, the lip. This is the specific problem that we will be addressing today.

Cold sores cycle between active and dormant periods–active periods typically last 2-21 days where there are blisters on the skin containing infectious virus particles, followed by a remission period–this is the state the virus is in the great majority of the time. During the remission period, the virus resides entirely in the sensory nerve cells, not doing anything whatsoever, where it will remain for the rest of the infected person’s life. Over time the frequency and duration of active outbreaks lessen.

The Home Treatment for Mouth Cold Sores That I’ve Found To Be The Most Effective

1. Keep the cold sore clean and dry by washing it every few hours with a damp wash cloth and soap. Use some good quality facial soap if you can to keep from drying out your skin too much.

2. Apply an ice cube for a few minutes to the cold sore right after you wash it. Not only will this will cause the itching and pain to dissipate, but it will also lessen the severity of the outbreak by slowing down the virus’ metabolism and decreasing its replication rate.

3. Apply some witch hazel with a q-tip after you’ve iced it, this is by far one of the most effective treatments I’ve found to date–I heard about it on an internet alternative health forum and tried it out myself, witch hazel is just amazing stuff. I can’t tell you how it works, but I know from my own personal experience treating several cold sores with it over the last few year that it works.

4. Take some nail polish remover on a q-tip (a new one), and finally apply it to the cold sore–this stuff is awesome at soaking up any last little bit of nasty yellow virus fluid that your cold sore is inevitably leaking out. I’ve heard you can use Clearasil, too, but that it doesn’t work as well as the nail polish remover.

Bonus Tip

Studies have shown that taking lysine every day at a dosage of 1000mg 3 times a day not only reduces the number of the outbreaks you get over the course of a year but also greatly reduces the length and severity of an outbreak when you do get one.

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