A cold sore is caused by herpes simplex, which is an extremely contagious virus. Scientists have not shed light on what triggers the outbreak, but have shown that it can spread through contact and stay dormant for extended periods of time. Usually a cold sore lasts for about 10-14 days and heals by itself. Here are some tips to help you overcome the severity of the outbreak.
Topical Ointments: The local pharmacy has many medications for topical application that constitute of lidocaine or benzocaine to numb the pain. Most of these ointments are available over the counter. If they do not provide relief, consult your doctor and request for a prescription.
Prescription Medications: Most doctors recommend antiviral medications for a cold sore. You could get a shot or consume these medications orally. Consult your dentist to find some quick relief for the pain and shorten the lifetime of the cold sore with acyclovir or penciclovir. These drugs will also reduce the chances of another outbreak.
Pain Relievers: Sometimes all you can do is just treat the pain. Take some over the counter pain medication to find some relief. You could also try some natural home remedies for pain relief.
Cold Compress: Grab some ice or a pack of frozen peas and place it against the area. This helps to numb the pain and inhibit the virus activity in the area.
Eat and drink cold foods: It is hard to eat with a cold sore. Avoid spicy, oily and acidic foods to avoid additional burning sensation in the area. Eat cold foods preferably cold salads and soft foods that is easy to ingest. Drink juices and smoothies. Remember to stay well hydrated and on a well-balanced diet.
Good oral hygiene: It is vital to keep your mouth clean to avoid further infection. Brush, floss and use a mouthwash to maintain a good oral hygiene. Clean the area around the sore at least twice a day.