While most everyone is searching for a quick fix when it comes to cold sore healing, ice could disappoint you. Although ice can definitely provide symptom relief, actual blister healing is unlikely.
Cold sores, caused by HSV-1, require a proven treatment. While ice can help with a plethora of medical issues, a virus is not one of them.
Although message board posts seem to reveal those who claim success after using ice, they are the exceptions. If frozen water were the ultimate remedy for cold sores, then many professionals would be out of work.
We will look at what ice can do to help with cold sores. Additionally, we will mention OTC cold sore treatments that work.
Table of Contents:
While ice should never be confused for a legitimate treatment, it can provide temporary relief. Ice can work to help reduce redness, blister swelling, and minor discomfort. In this regard, ice does work for cold sores. However, this is unfortunately where the road likely ends.
The truth is that ice is not able to stop a virus in its tracks. It is always important to remember that cold sores are born from HSV-1. While ice can handle bumps, bruises, and abrasions, cold sores are a different skin condition. To properly engage a virus, a treatment must be administered.
If your idea of “working” involves temporary relief, then ice could be a worthy option at times. On the other hand, if cold sore healing is your goal then you will need to take another route.
It is our recommendation that ice (and ice alone) should never be used as a cold sore prevention or treatment method.
If you feel inclined to use ice, notably at the first sign of trouble, there are a few steps to take. Many of these steps should be familiar. Especially if you have ever used ice to reduce swelling on various parts of the body.
Before we begin, it is important to note that ice can be replaced with a cold compress. While ice is certainly an option, cold compression (of virtually any variety) is the objective. This objective can be met in a variety of ways.
Whether you decide to use ice or a compress, it will need to be wrapped. This is especially true of ice. By wrapping your selection in a napkin, paper towel or even a washcloth, you can achieve better results.
While this practice will likely reduce your symptoms, you should not expect total healing. In fact, the odds of this practice truly preventing formation is minimal. However, ice will work to quell symptoms, and that is indeed very important.
While this information will disappoint those who are looking for a quick fix, ice is not the answer. Although ice can reduce pain and symptoms, it will not heal an open cold sore.
In truth, if ice were the great healer, the cold sore market would not be so extensive. If a simple ice cube provided perfect healing, then cold sore OTC medications would not exist.
Most of the time when something is too good to be true, it usually is. This is the case with ice being branded a cold sore healer. While we would be foolish to ignore a few exceptions to the rule, there is no proof that ice heals cold sores.
For this very reason, it is important to distinguish ice accordingly. Ice can be classified as a symptom reducer, but not a cold sore healer.
Ice, when placed on any portion of the skin, can potentially cause irritation. This is especially true if ice is kept in one location for an extended period of time.
Here are 2 ways that the skin can be damaged:
While the ice application noted above should not cause an issue, overexposure can create serious problems. This is why covering an ice cube is vital before application. Ice, in its natural form, can manipulate your cold sore and create more harm than good.
Like so many natural remedies and DIY solutions, ice is problematic in terms of healing a cold sore. However, hope is not lost thanks to the fact that OTC treatments are plentiful. In fact, the variety of ways, medically speaking, to treat your cold sore is virtually endless.
Courtesy of creams, ointments, chapsticks, patches, capsules, and even light technology, you have a plethora of options. And, in some cases, ice can be used as a complementary tool for healing.
Whether this is your first cold sore outbreak or blisters are a common occurrence, understand that medicine is your friend. While not every OTC is guaranteed to work, we advise you to try the known waters before taking a different course of action.
Noted below are just a few OTC selections that are worthy of your attention:
While ice can relieve cold sore symptoms and perhaps work in conjunction with an OTC, ice alone is not a cure. Frozen water cannot quell a virus. However, FDA approved OTC medications can. By taking this route, you will likely find fast healing and satisfying results.