Infections can rage as the seasons change. Protect your skin with these preventive measures, cream and medication.
Stress, lack of sleep and getting sick: if you suffer from cold sores, you know these are your worst enemies. Each can easily bring on an outbreak and leave you stuck with a nasty sore right on your face.
You want that blemish to disappear as quickly as it surfaced, but if you leave it untended, a bad cold sore can actually take up to two weeks to go away completely.
Do you need to surrender yourself to herpes’ hold? Not entirely. Here are 6 ways you can help that cold sore get packin’ and hit the road:
1) Be on the Lookout
If you can catch your sore early on before it really blossoms, you have a greater chance of limiting it.
If you’re sensitive to it, watch out for tingling, slight inflammation and itchiness that can be a precursor to an actual break out. If you suspect something is working its way up, apply cold sore ointment or contact your doctor to begin treatment and stop that bugger in its tracks.
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2) Use a Cold Medicated Compress
You want your cold sore to dry out, so that it doesn’t spread. It can be housing lots of fluid. If you burst the bubble, you risk infecting others and increasing the surface area of the sore on your own skin.
To limit the chances that this will happen, get an astringent solution like witch hazel or Domeboro. Doctors recommend that you soak a cloth in it, and apply this to your infected skin for around 15 to 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
This can help your skin to scab over much more quickly than it would, left to its own devices. When it does scab over, apply an antibiotic cream to help things heal.
3) Get Some Ointment
Purchase some cold sore cream at the drugstore, (you can get it without a prescription), and apply it once you sense an outbreak. It will provide you with some relief and help your body heal more quickly.
4) Visit Your Doctor for a Prescription
If you really want to get down to business and avoid outbreaks, visit your doctor. You can be prescribed an anti-viral that can reduce your chances of getting a cold sore in the first place. The medication decreases the herpes virus from replicating, which can speed up your healing time, and cause you to develop fewer sores down the road.
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5) Don’t Touch It
Resist the urge to pick. Every time you touch an oozing cold sore you risk infecting those around you, and you could be slowing down the healing process. Hands off.
6) Be Preventive
Use sunscreen and protective chapsticks when you’re in the sun. Your immune system is slightly decreased when sunbathing, and you’re tempting the infection gods when you don’t slather on protection.
It can also be a good idea to replace your toothbrush once your cold sore goes away. You reduce your chances of being infected again, right away.
Photo credits: Uwphotographer/Bigstock;volrab vaclav/Bigstock; kolesnikovserg/Bigstock