Cold sores can be uncomfortable. As they start to scab over, they can also become unsightly. But, it’s during that time when people experience a lot of pain and discomfort. So, it’s no surprise that many people look for different ways to stop cold sores hurting.
There are good treatment options for cold sores. Some specifically heal the sore faster, while others are designed to help reduce the pain. Cold sores will go away on their own in about 10 to 14 days. But, during that time, the discomfort can become a problem if not properly treated.
If you’re seeking out relief, you’re in luck. From over-the-counter medications, to prescription medications, there are ways to stop the pain of a cold sore. With these pain relief remedies at your fingertips, the next time you get a cold sore won’t have to be such an uncomfortable experience.
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How to Stop Cold Sores Hurting
Cold sores go through several different stages once you experience an outbreak. Those stages consist of:
- Initial symptoms (tingling and itching around the mouth)
- Formation of fluid-filled blisters
- Rupturing of blisters
- Scabbing or crusting
It’s during the rupturing and scabbing phases that most people experience the most discomfort. When a cold sore ruptures, it can ‘ooze,’ but then become open and exposed. As it begins to scab over, the healing process begins.
However, if you’ve ever had a scab anywhere, you know how delicate they can be. They can also be extremely easy to pick off and start bleeding. Because cold sores are typically on the mouth, it doesn’t take much to irritate a scab, and open the cold sore once again.
Once a cold sore opens, and starts bleeding, it can become extremely painful. Not only that, but it can make the healing process twice as long. So, what are some effective ways to stop the pain, and speed up healing at the same time?
Many people choose traditional pain relievers to soothe cold sores.
Everything from Tylenol to aspirin can be used orally to help reduce pain and throbbing. To reduce pain directly from the cold sore, you can also use a cream or gel. Products like Lidocaine and Benzocaine are common over-the-counter solutions for cold sore irritation.
One of the biggest reasons cold sores crack open during scabbing is because the area around the mouth is too dry. Dryness makes it far too easy for a sore to crack open and become exposed to things like infection. In the meantime, it can also cause a lot of pain.
One of the best ways you can add moisture and protect your mouth is with petroleum jelly. It seals in moisture around your lips. It also helps to prevent infection, acting as a barrier from the elements. So, not only will it be harder for the cold sore to crack open, but the moisture itself will help in providing pain relief.
Apply Ice to the Area
Ice or a cold compress can help to reduce cold sore pain in different ways. First, the extreme cold will help reduce swelling and inflammation. If your cold sore is inflamed, that can be a huge part of the discomfort you may be feeling.
Secondly, ice can actually work as a numbing agent. This is just a temporary pain relief, of course. But, it can provide quick relief when you need it most. If you don’t want to apply a piece of ice directly to the sore, try sucking on a popsicle or ice chips for a similar benefit.
Avoid Hot Foods & Drinks
One of the best ways to prevent pain is to avoid the things that will cause it. Drinking hot coffee, tea, etc., can irritate an inflamed cold sore. Additionally, try staying away from spicy foods. Foods that contain capsaicin (the chemical found in hot peppers) can cause your cold sore to experience a severe burning sensation, which can be painful.
Instead, try drinking cool liquids and eating non-acidic foods. Dairy products are great for soothing an inflamed cold sore, so try having a glass of milk in place of something more acidic, like orange juice.
Salty foods can also cause problems if your blister has ruptured. The old saying, ‘salt in the wound’ definitely means something here. Salty foods can cause the open sore to burn and feel itchy. Be mindful of what you’re eating and drinking when you have a cold sore.
Soothing a Painful Cold Sore
Treating a cold sore isn’t necessarily the same as alleviating the pain. However, there are treatments to consider, such as HERP-B-GONE cream. Many contain numbing or moisturizing agents. So, they work just as well as some of the suggestions listed here.
A cold sore will go away on its own, but only if it doesn’t crack open again and again. Keeping away the pain that comes in the blistering and scabbing stage usually means ensuring the scab doesn’t crack. If it does, use one of the pain relief solutions above to find relief.
One of the best ways to keep the pain from bringing you down is to try preventing cold sores in the first place. While cold sores are never 100% preventable (if you have the HSV-1 virus), try to take precautionary measures where you can.
When you want to stop cold sores from hurting, try applying a solution directly. Whether you choose ice, an over-the-counter treatment, or preventative measures to soothe the pain, you can take comfort in the fact that it won’t last forever. Use a combination of these solutions.