Cold Sores- Why They Appear And How To Treat Them

Most of us will have to deal with cold sores at one time or another in our lives. Cold sores are small, swollen sacks with a ring of sensitive skin around it, usually appearing on the gums, on the inside of the mouth and cheek, or on the mucus membranes. The sore itself is harmless but unpleasant; it can become sensitive and turn into a scab, it can bother us when speaking, and can hurt when exposed to hot or cold, or spicy foods and carbonated beverages.

What Causes It?

Medical science as of yet does not know what causes cold sores. There are many suspects, though, as cold sores usually appear in the wake of physical trauma, when patients come into contact with acidic foods, patients who lead stressful lives or have food allergies are all more likely to have cold sores, and vitamin deficiencies are also common, but there are no clear correlations as of yet.

If you only experience cold sores once every few years, there is no cause for concern. But if you have an outbreak a couple of times a year, or if the cold sores take a long time to heal or if you feel a burning sensation when you get them, you may want to consult a physician. Although there is no known cure for cold sores, there are several remedies for symptoms, and talking to a  doctor may help with tips that can help hasten the healing process. Here are some home remedies that can be useful for the next time you experience cold sores.

cold sores

Oral Hygiene

It is advisable to be even more diligent in your at home oral hygiene routine when you have a cold sore, as bacteria can get in the wound, and slow healing down. Use antibacterial and anti-inflammatory mouthwash to clean the area, they’re available in most supermarkets, but if there are none near you, a pharmacy will always have them over the counter. Putting some sodium bicarbonate or salt in water also has the same effect, but you must not swallow these mixtures, as they are not good for you.

Even if the cold sore is in an unpleasant place, it is critical that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, to make sure that the oral cavity is clean. This prevents further outbreaks, and makes sure that your body has time to heal the sore.

If you have food allergies or are sensitive to some of the ingredients in regular toothpaste, maybe it’s time to change brands. There are lots of homeopathic, organic, ayurvedic and SLS free toothpastes, which usually contain fewer allergens.

Special Herbs

Sage has been used for countless generations as an oral disinfectant, and it works against cold sores. Grab some ground sage, and rub it on the afflicted area but you can also make a tea out of the leaves. Put three tablespoons of sage in 1 liter of boiling water, drain and then serve. You can drink sage tea, but it should have quite a strong flavor, and most people like to just rinse with it, but that is plenty enough to help heal your cold sore.

Aloe vera is also a good remedy against cold sores. Use the goo inside the leaves near the center of the plant, or buy a cream or ointment that is safe to swallow, and rub it on the sore two or three times a day. The effects should be almost immediate.

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Cold sores on the mucus membrane  can be remedied with propolis tincture.This is none other than a sticky, wax like substance that is the inside of the honey comb. Alum is an old home remedy, and it can also help, because it stops bleeding and shrinks the sore. If the area near the sore is very painful, apply ice to it, or gargle and rinse with ice water, this can also numb the pain and clean the wound.  


It may be that certain foods are causing the cold sores. Don’t use too much spice in your cooking, and don’t eat vinegary or otherwise acidic foods or drinks. Citrus fruits may cause them, or energy drinks, sugary soft drinks and the like. As physical trauma can cause cold sores, try and avoid peanuts, almonds and other hard nuts, as these can scratch your soft tissues, which can be especially bad if you are just healing from a cold sore and still have a sensitive area in your mouth.

If you suspect that allergies may be the cause, examine your eating habits You may want to go and get an allergy test. If you are allergic to gluten or have a problem with flour, that maybe the case of your cold sores, as these have frequently been observed together.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to get your vitamins. Iron deficiencies are common amongst people with chronic cold sores, and it is a frequent by product of anaemia, and B12 deficiencies also frequently manifest themselves in cold sores. Taking complex B12 supplements may remedy the problem.

Both alcohol and tobacco use hinder the oral healing process you will have to go without these substances while you have cold sores. Try and reduce stress, it has recently been proven that stress taxes the immune system. Organize your time well, get enough exercise, meditate, and find things that relax you.

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