What is the cold sore virus
- herpes simplex?

Your-Health-Online Back-to-Directory A health article about cold sore virus - herpes simplex from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies

Cold sores are highly contagious, painful, fluid-filled blisters that are usually found in the mouth area – the gums, lips and roof of the mouth.

They begin with a slight tingling sensation and quickly turn into small sores that can be very distracting, both because of the pain and irritation they cause, and because on the lips, they look unattractive.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which is not curable. Even though the sores usually clear up in a week to ten days, cold sore sufferers are always looking for effective cold sore remedies that work well.

Signs & Symptoms of cold sore virus

cold-sore.jpgIf you've ever suffered from cold sores, you know just how awful they can be. They're horrible little fluid-filled blisters that settle on your lips, gums and even the roof of your mouth.

They hurt, and make eating an awful experience. Smiling even hurts, and kissing is out of the question (partly because cold sores are painful and partly because the cold sore virus is extremely contagious). This can lead you on a desperate hunt for the best cold sore medication.

And cold sores look bad, too. You know the feeling – someone is looking at your mouth, not your eyes when you're having a conversation. They're looking at you like you've got something dreadfully wrong with you.

These often ugly sores can take your life over for the seven to ten days that you have to put up with them before they disappear. And then you have to wonder when the next attack will occur.

What Causes cold sore virus?

For a person who has the herpes simplex virus in his system, the visable sores can be triggered by a number of things – having a cold or the flu, being really stressed out, exposure to the sun, hormonal fluctuations or changes in the immune system.

Sometimes cold sores appear on your lips and inside your mouth for no identifiable reason at all!

Risk Factors:

Once you have the cold sore virus (herpes simplex), you can't get rid of it. It will be with you forever. So you need a plan to get rid of cold sores when they pop up, or to just prevent them from happening.

Cold sores are miserable. They show up at inopportune times, like before a big presentation or date, and then they hang around being ugly and painful for up to ten days.

That's ten days of your life that you have to deal with an ugly, painful sore on you lip or in your mouth so it's important to know what kinds of strategies you can use to effectively get rid of the sores.

Prevention:

You can’t get rid of the cold sore virus, but there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent cold sore outbreaks, or to prevent them from getting really bad.

The first thing you need to do to prevent cold sores is to make sure you're keeping yourself as healthy as possible and that your immune system is strong.

This involves eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, limiting sugar, caffeine and alcohol and getting enough exercise and sleep every day.

Additionally, you should take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains vitamins A, C and E, and all the B vitamins, along with zinc.

When to seek Medical Advice:

When you start to feel that tingling sensation that signals the beginning of a cold sore outbreak, start on your program of natural cold sore remedies as soon as possible. This will help you to head-off outbreaks in the best case, and reduce the duration and severity of an outbreak in the worst case.

One caution: If you’re being treated by a doctor for any chronic or serious illness, please consult with him or her before using any cold sore remedies, herbal or otherwise, to be sure they won't conflict with existing treatments.

Treatment/Therapy:

The best way of treating cold sores is to start early. The moment you feel a cold sore coming on, you need to take action so that you can keep the sore from fully developing and also to reduce its duration.

Normally, a cold sore lasts for between seven and ten days. Even if you can reduce the duration to a few days, that's a huge improvement. And if you can prevent the outbreak, that's even better! So start early.

Another important way of treating cold sores is to just do what you can to prevent them. This will involve keeping your immune system as strong as possible by taking vitamin supplements that boost immunity, such as vitamin A, C and E, along with a B vitamin complex and the mineral zinc.

These will help to keep the herpes simplex virus in check within your system.

If you do experience a cold sore attack, your best bet is to use the medication or natural remedy of choice. This could mean the prescribed medication specifically for cold sores in either pill or cream form, or an over-the-counter medication that is formulated to stop the virus from growing.

Natural remedies such as lysine, lemon balm, bee propolis, self-heal and resveratrol can all be effective ways of treating the sores.

When you do have a cold sore, remember that a cold compress can help with the pain, as can medications with benzocaine or benzyl alcohol as active ingredients.

And ointment containing the herb chapparal can bring relief from pain, too. Don't forget that sometimes a painkiller such as ibuprofen, acetominophen or aspirin can do wonders.

Be sure to use a moisturizing cream or balm that will help prevent your cold sores from cracking and bleeding. This will make the treatment time more bearable and will keep your sores from getting infected and looking even worse.

Don't allow cold sores to ruin your life. Have a plan of action ready so that when they strike, you have a complete scheme for treating the condition.

Which Cold Sore Medication Works Best?

If you're wondering which cold sore medication works best, the answer isn't as easy as you might hope, but you do have many choices. Everyone is different, so some medications and remedies will work well for you, but maybe not as well for someone else. You may have to go through a period of experimentation to find your best cold sore medication.

For many, an over the counter cream that contains the ingredient docosanol works very well. Docosanol, which is also known as behenyl alcohol, has antiviral properties that work well against these sores. Medications with docosanol are in a cream base with 10% of docosanol as the active ingredient.

Docosanol medication should be applied to the area of the cold sore as soon as possible after the very first tingling sensation signals the start of a cold sore outbreak. It prevents the herpes simplex virus (the virus that causes cold sores) from replicating, so it can help prevent a cold sore and also trim down the time that you have a cold sore.

A prescribed medication of acyclovir, works for many cold sore sufferers and comes in pill and cream form. Again, it should be taken or applied as soon as you notice the very first signs of an oncoming cold sore.

Don't forget that there are many natural methods for helping to prevent cold sores and to reduce the duration of a cold sore attack. Vitamin and mineral supplements that contain vitamin C, zinc and lysine have been shown to help the immune system battle the condition with success, and also help prevent future attacks.

Herbal remedies can also be used as cold sore medication. Herbs such as echinacea, self-heal and lemon balm have all been used against cold sores with good results by some. You can also take bee propolis, which inhibits the herpes simplex virus from replicating.

The best cold sore medication for you could be one medication or a combination of supplements or herbs and medications. Depending on how you feel about prescribed medicines vs. natural remedies, and which of these have a positive effect on your sores, that's what will be the best medication or set of medications for you.

Self Care strategies for Living with cold sore virus

The next line of attack for getting rid of cold sores is to make sure that as soon as you think you're getting a cold sore you use either a medication prescribed by your doctor, an over-the-counter medication or a natural remedy for keeping the cold sore in check.

When you feel a cold sore coming on, you can use lysine as a supplement to stop it, but make sure your lysine supplement contains arginine, too. Lysine needs arginine to work. If it doesn't contain arginine, eat arginine rich foods like nuts, peanut butter, gelatin, chicken, turkey and pork.

You can also use natural and herbal remedies to try to head off a cold sore. Echinacea has been reported to work well, as has an herb called self-heal. Lemon balm ointment applied at the first sign of a cold sore will reduce the total time you have your cold sore to significantly less than if you leave it untreated.

Bee propolis, which can be found at health food stores is the substance that bees use to keep their hives germ-free. When propolis is applied to an area where a cold sore is developing, it acts as an inhibitor to the virus and keeps the virus from attacking cells.

You can also use an over-the-counter medicated cream containing docosanol to ward off cold sores and to help them go away quicker if you do get one. And of course, your doctor can prescribe medication in the form of pills or cream that can help to get rid of your sores quickly.

Start out with good health and then create a plan for how to get rid of the sores when they do appear. Cold sores needn't ruin your life, or even a day in your life. Just find the medications and remedies that work well for you and have them available for the first symptom of a impending sore.

Diet change strategies:

If you're searching for cold sore remedies that are natural, you'll want to try the following:

Lysine – Lysine is an amino acid that your body doesn't make on its own, but that helps your body to make protein. Protein is necessary for producing antibodies that help fight infections. Lysine is also helpful in inhibiting the herpes simplex virus, keeping it from getting out of control.

Lysine can be found in foods such as milk and cheese, eggs, fish, red meat and fish. But there is another piece to the puzzle. Lysine needs another amino acid, arginine to work effectively.

Arginine is found in peanuts and almonds, peanut butter, chicken, turkey and chocolate, among other foods. The good news is that you can find lysine supplements in the health section of your favorite store, and also lysine ointment that can be applied directly to cold sores. Combined with dietary changes, a supplement or ointment should be effective in shortening the duration of the sores and helping to prevent future outbreaks.

Resveratrol – Resveratrol is a substance that is found in red grapes. Lately, it has gotten a lot of press as an anti-aging compound, but it has also been found to inhibit the herpes simple virus in laboratories.

Resveratrol, when applied in cream form to the site of a herpes simplex infection was shown to suppress the formation of cold sores. The trick is that you have to apply it within a few hours of infection.

Self-Heal – Self-Heal is the Prunella vulgaris plant and has been shown to be effective against the sores, reducing their duration.

Bee Propolis – Propolis is the substance that bees use to keep their hives germ-free. It’s thought that propolis works against these sores by creating a barrier that keeps the virus from entering cells and also prohibiting replication of the virus.

Vitamin & Nutrient Associations

Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.

It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.

The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.

This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.

You may find benefit from our information on detoxification as well as a bit about detoxing because of change of diet

It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals. In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells. There is also more information here about why is nutrition such an issue nowadays?

It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years. Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate.

Further reading through our articles on cold sore virus health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.

We wish you well in your search for solutions to this cold sore virus problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.

More Resources available about cold sore virus:

Common Cold

Flu - Influenza

Psoriasis

Rash

Shingles





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