Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus, or HSV-1. Once you’re infected with the virus, it will stay dormant within you for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, that can mean outbreaks of cold sores from time to time. They can come with blistering, oozing, and burning that is just downright painful. So, knowing these ten secrets to reducing a cold sore burning sensation can really help when it comes to alleviating pain.
While cold sore flare ups don’t have to happen often, when they do, the symptoms can be harsh. Not only are they unsightly, but can cause a lot of discomfort.
Thankfully, cold sores typically don’t last long. With or without treatment, they’ll go away on their own in 10 to 14 days. However, the side effects, just as blistering and scabbing, can create longer-lasting problems. Each time the cold sore opens, it can last longer, and create more of a painful burning sensation. These tips can help when it comes to soothing a cold sore, and make the entire experience more comfortable.
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10 Ways to Reduce a Cold Sore Burning Sensation
We’ll start with something simple. Ice is something everyone has on hand in their home. So, the next time you have a burning cold sore, wrap up a few pieces of ice into a small cloth, and press it gently against the inflamed area. Or, do the same with an actual ice pack. The ice will not only reduce the inflammation and any swelling, but the cold will help to soothe the burning sensation.
You probably already know that aloe vera is great for cuts, burns, etc. So, it only makes sense that it would relieve the ‘burn’ of a cold sore. Applying an aloe vera gel, or even a piece of the plant itself, can help to soothe a cold sore. It has also been known to actually help heal the affected area. Cold sores are typically referred to as lesions, and the healing properties of aloe vera can reduce the appearance and pain those lesions cause.
Burning cold sores on the lips can be helped with the soothing properties of zinc oxide. If you’ve never heard of it before, you can actually find zinc oxide creams at just about any pharmacy. When you need it in a pinch, however, reach for your favorite sunscreen. If you check out the ingredients, zinc oxide is likely high up on the list. The UV protection in sunscreen will also help to protect your lips, as a bonus. Apply it soon enough after your first cold sore symptoms appear, and it can even help to heal it faster.
Lemon balm is often associated with cold sore scab burning for a good reason – it works! Not only does it soothe the burn, since it’s a member of the mint family, but it can also reduce other symptoms, and even shorten the healing time of the blister itself. Plus, lemon balm is extremely easy to carry with you wherever you go. It will also help to keep your lips moist, which can prevent the blisters from cracking open and causing even more pain.
Petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, not only provides a soothing, moisturizing comfort to your cold sore, but it also works as a barrier. It can help to keep the sore from continually cracking open. On top of that, it can keep it from potentially becoming infected. Like lemon balm, petroleum jelly is easy to keep with you and carry wherever you go. Let it work as a moisture barrier, keep potential infections out, and fight back against the discomfort of cold sore burns and itches.
Without infection, cold sores will heal on their own with time. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that they can be painful, even as they heal. There are plenty of over-the-counter treatments that are designed to soothe cold sore burns, and speed up the healing time.
Most of these work in a similar fashion to petroleum jelly, providing a moisturizing barrier for the sore. However, most are also medicated, to help everything heal more effectively. Products like Orajel Cold Sore Treatment actually help to ‘numb’ the area, so you don’t have to deal with the burning, painful sensation. These medications and ointments are designed specifically for cold sores. So, they’re one of the most effective treatment options, and can make a world of difference in how you feel.
A Wet Towel
Placing a cool, wet towel on the affected area can help to relieve pain. What’s the best part? You can do it several times a day, as needed. The biggest issue with burning from cold sores is that the area can become red and inflamed. Something like a cold compress can help to reduce inflammation. In turn, the burning sensation will lessen, along with the redness. Not only does it become less painful, but less noticeable, as well.
While making big lifestyle changes may not seem probable in just a few days time, there are things you can do throughout your day to take away some of the pain from a bursting blister. First, be aware of the foods you’re eating. Acidic foods will only help to trigger more of a burning sensation, so make smart choices about what might be touching your lips.
It’s also a good idea to try reducing your stress levels as much as possible. Stress can actually trigger a cold sore to begin with. But, it can also increase the healing time, and even allow it to become more inflamed. The longer it takes to heal, the more that discomfort will stick around. Find something to relax yourself, and the pain that comes with the sore can easily take a back burner, instead of being the only thing on your mind.
Take an Aspirin
Aspirin or Ibuprofen can really help when cold sores become painful. Again, it’s an over-the-counter solution that can provide quick relief in a different way. Not only will aspirin help to heal the pain and burning, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties. If you’re suffering from redness or swelling, taking an aspirin should help to get rid of those side effects, as well. If you’re worried about any potential side effects of taking aspirin, talk with your doctor before you begin taking it regularly.
Drink Some Milk
Have you ever eaten something extremely spicy? If you have, you likely know that milk is the one thing that can seem to provide instant relief to your tastebuds, lips, etc. If you have a burning sensation from a cold sore, milk can help in the same way! It is the fat content and protein in milk that not only helps to soothe even the most extreme burns, but also promotes healing. You don’t even have to drink it for it to be useful on cold sore blisters. Simply soak a cotton ball in a bit of milk, and dab it on the affected area. You should notice a cooling relief almost immediately.
Feel better & Heal Faster
The best way to fight back against side effects that come along with cold sores is to try avoiding the flare up in the first place. It’s not always possible to do, and everyone has different ‘triggers.’ But, there are things to keep in mind to keep cold sores at bay.
Cold sores occur due to exposure, after the HSV-1 virus is in you. Touching someone’s mouth to yours, sharing their food or drink, etc., can put you at risk if they have a cold sore – even one that’s already healing. It’s also easier for cold sores to flare up when our immune system is compromised. After all, they’re called ‘cold sores’ for a reason. Many people notice a flare up when they’re sick. With that in mind, do what you can to keep your body healthy everyday. We can’t always avoid getting sick, but it’s important to take care of yourself as best you can.
These ten ideas for removing a cold sore burning sensation provide you with faster relief. A cold sore can be hard enough to deal with, due to its unsightliness. And, unfortunately it can sometimes take longer to heal than we might like. Don’t feel as though pain is a necessary part of the process. Use a quality remedy, such as Orajel Single Dose Cold Sore Treatment, and make the experience of having a cold sore far less of a concern.