Cold sores are painful blisters and scabs caused by the HSV-1 virus. As well as being embarrassing and hard to hide, they can be incredibly painful. In the early stages they can burn and tingle, and once the scabs appear, they can crack and bleed. Having a cold sore is not a nice experience.
Many people who suffer from cold sores find it hard to eat and drink. It’s natural in this situation to search for remedies and treatments that will speed up the healing process, and most importantly, relieve the pain.
Cold sores cannot be removed instantly – nor can the virus be cured. Once HSV-1 is in your body, it will remain there for life. You may not experience symptoms regularly, but you will carry the virus forever. Around 40% of those carrying the virus will see symptoms in the form of cold sores.
They may be incurable, but there are a variety of treatments out there which can provide instant pain relief. They can also promote healing and make life much easier. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to get fast pain relief from a cold sore on the lip.
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They are the result of a recurrent infection of the HSV-1 virus. The very first sign (called a ‘prodrome’) is usually a tingling or burning sensation around the edge of the lip. If this is the first time you’ve experienced a cold sore, it can feel like there’s something actually on your lip. It may feel like there should be a pimple, but when you touch the area, there’s nothing there.
A few hours or days after the tingling starts, you should start to see blisters. These are filled with pus and can be very unsightly. These blisters will get worse, and can sometimes group together to cause larger blisters. This is when the virus is at its peak. At this point, the cold sores are very contagious – you should be careful about what you put near your mouth and who you come into contact with.
The blisters can also ooze and can cause a burning sensation. It’s at this point that many people look for cold sore pain relief.
Eventually, the blisters will start to scab. This is a sign of healing, though the ugly scabs can be humiliating, and very hard to conceal. The scabs are often dry, and this can cause cracking and bleeding, which is painful. If you knock the scab off, it can also set the healing process back. It’s vital to keep the area moisturized and ensure the scab stays in place until the area underneath is healed.
As with many illnesses and ailments, the faster you catch the cold sore, the more effective your treatment will be. If you’re able to apply a treatment as soon as you feel the tell-tale tingle, your cold sore probably won’t progress fully. Try to look out for the warning signs, and keep some proven cold sore treatments on hand at all times.
Abreva is one of the best ways you can stop a cold sore in its tracks. Once the tingling starts, you can apply Abreva straight away, and it will be effective in stopping the cold sore fast. The FDA-approved cream is widely available and has dozens of positive reviews from those who have used the product to treat their own early cold sores.
If you delay action and wait until it reaches the blister stage, there’s not much you can do to slow it down. At this point, your best options will be to address the pain and other symptoms, while trying to speed up the healing process. Here are some of the best options to provide quick pain relief.
If you’re suffering from a particularly painful cold sore, never fear. There are treatment options out there which can help give you the pain relief you need, fast. Let’s take a look at some of the best pain relief options for cold sores, as well as some product that will help speed up your healing process.
Campho-Phenique is an over-the-counter cold sore cream which can help alleviate much of the pain that accompanies an outbreak. The active ingredient is Camphorated Phenol – the Phenol in this compound helps to freeze the nerve endings temporarily. This means it’s a potent painkiller and a great way to enjoy some respite from cold sore pain for a few hours.
The cream is also packed with ingredients that boast antiseptic properties. These ingredients help inhibit the growth of bacteria in the area, which can stop the blisters from spreading. If the blister can’t spread, it’s likely to heal much faster.
The cream is great for drying up the cold sore without causing painful cracking. It’s important to prevent cracking as much as possible during the scabbing stage – knocking off a scab can mean your healing is delayed.
Campho-Phenique is best used before the blisters reach the scabbing stage. The sooner you use it, the more effective it will be. Unfortunately, it won’t do much good if you start to use the cream once you already have scabs, as you’re already over the worst of the pain. This high-quality product has been lauded online, with lots of happy reviewers posting positive feedback.
Zinc is a vital mineral that supports the immune system. A deficiency in zinc can make it much harder for you to fight off cold sores quickly. A study in the Journal of Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine from August 2005 found that low levels of zinc can lead to cold sores ‘within a few days.’ This is because the lack of zinc causes a decline in the function of the T-cells that HSV-1.
There are lots of different ways you can use zinc to fight cold sores – including one way which is fast-acting. You can take a zinc sulfate supplement, available from most pharmacists or online. You can also seek a topical zinc sulfate preparation, which needs to be prescribed by a doctor.
Zinc can be found in foods such as nuts, seafood, lamb, beef, plant seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, and flax especially), as well as dairy foods and dark chocolate. Stock up on these foods as soon as you feel a cold sore coming on. You should also make sure you’re getting enough zinc daily to reduce your risk of developing cold sores in the future.
One way to get zinc into your system fast is to let a zinc lozenge rest on your lip, rather than melting it in your mouth. This can help to provide instant pain relief, as well as giving your body’s zinc levels a much-needed boost. You may notice the severity of the blister decreases, and healing times are much faster.
Orajel is probably one of the most recognizable cold sore treatments on the market – and for a good reason. It’s a very effective over-the-counter treatment. The single dose also makes it very convenient for those who can’t necessarily rub cream into their lips multiple times per day.
Orajel can be used at any stage of a cold sore, from the initial tingling stage, through the blisters, and into the scabbing phase. It can help ease those first symptoms of tingling and irritation, as well as numbing the area for instant pain relief. In just one dosage, you should expect immediate freedom from pain, swelling and irritation.
Using Orajel’s Treatment is easy. First, you clean the area with warm water or rubbing alcohol. This will prevent any bacteria from getting into the blister as you apply the treatment. Next, break open the single-dose vial and squeeze the vial. Once you hear a snapping noise, hold the tip down and let the medication begin to soak through.
Place the applicator right in the center of the cold sore, rubbing it in around the area. You should feel a numbing sensation within just thirty seconds – that means it’s working. When the area is completely numb, you can also be a little more vigorous with your application, to ensure every molecule of the sore is covered.
When finished, just throw away the applicator. There’s no need to reapply, though you can continue to use natural remedies and treatments to help speed up the healing process and provide cold sore relief if you need it.
If messy creams, zinc lozenges, and single-dose treatments are not suitable for you, try a cold sore patch. One of the most popular options is the Quantum Health Lip Clear Invisible Cold Sore Bandage.
These medicated bandages or patches are placed directly over the sore itself. They sit there discreetly, feeding medication into the sore over a period of hours, as well as alleviating pain and preventing itching. Placing a patch over a cold sore can also prevent spreading and provide extra protection from outside irritants like dirt, debris, and makeup.
There are cold sore patches available in a multitude of skin tones, which means you can still go about your daily business while wearing one. They stay in place for many hours and give the medication plenty of time to penetrate for the best results.
The Quantum Health Lip Clear Invisible Cold Sore Bandage has rave reviews online from people who have tried it for themselves. This is an ideal option for those seeking fast relief, and it’s one of the simplest treatments available for cold sores.
As well as applying a proven treatment, there are lots of additional things you can do to speed up healing and enjoy pain relief:
Anyone who has experienced a cold sore knows how painful they can be – especially if left untreated. From the burning and itching of the blister stage to the cracking and dryness of the scabbing stage, having a cold sore hurt. New lip piercings can make cold sores worse, or cause them to spread to other areas of the face.
The good news is that there are plenty of treatments and remedies out there which can help relieve that initial pain. From Orajel’s numbing Single Dose Treatment, which reduces pain in as little as thirty seconds, to zinc lozenges which sit on the lip and provide fast pain relief as well as enhanced healing, there are lots of options on the market which can prove useful for cold sore sufferers.
The most important thing to remember when treating a cold sore is to act fast. If you can take action during the first tingling stages, you’re likely to escape the full pain that a cold sore can cause. If you wait a little longer or can’t access treatment immediately, you might end up with a full-blown cold sore that causes you pain and takes up to two weeks to disappear.
If you’re experiencing severe pain, a cortisone injection for cold sores can help. It will help to reduce the inflammation and pain, but the injection would need to be administered by a doctor.