Whether you call them cold sores or fever blisters, if you're among the more than 40% of Americans who regularly experience this inflammatory viral nuisance, you know they're anything but a joy to deal with. You've also probably heard of countless ways to deal with them, from over-the-counter remedies to treatment options that span generations. So what really works?
Well quite honestly what "works" when it comes to cold sores is management. And, specifically preventing, treating and eliminating the transmission of this most annoying of viruses. At Premier Dental we offer laser treatment for these viruses.
If you catch the lesion in time with laser treatment, you can prevent the cold sore from breaking out. As soon as you feel that tingling sensation that warns you of an oncoming sore, schedule an appointment for a laser treatment. If you already have a full blown sore, the laser will take away the discomfort and help it to dry up and heal much faster.
The herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores cannot be cured. After you get infected, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. If you get cold sores often, laser treatment can reduce the number of cold sores you get and how severe they are. It often happens that people will get cold sores that reoccur in the same spot every time. After being treated with a laser multiple times, there is a good chance that sore won't appear again in that spot.
What are the benefits of using a laser in treating cold sores?
- Laser energy destroys the virus that causes the sore
- Relief is immediate and profound
- Helps prevent sores if treated once the lip starts tingling
- Arrests the progression of the lesion after treatment
- Treatment takes about 5-10 minutes and without anesthesia
- After treatment, sores reoccur with less intensity and frequency at the same location
Cold Sore Prevention
The number one and number two causes are a weakened immune system, and exposure to rapidly changing weather. To tackle the weather, always keep your preferred brand of lip moisturizer with sunscreen on hand to protect your lips from weather's effect on your lips. And to boost your immune system, be sure to get enough sleep and find ways to combat stress in your life. Also, as with most things in life, what's good for our waistlines is good for our immune system. Here are some good dietary suggestions for cold sore sufferers:
- Eat Raw, Alkalizing Foods: Fruits and vegetables are super-good for you.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: Clinical studies are beginning to suggest that veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and kale are of great benefit to cold sore sufferers.
- Avoid Arginine: Cold-sores need the amino acid arginine to grow, so if you can limit the excess intake of this amino acid, you may be able to keep frequent outbreaks at bay. Nuts, chocolate, oats, and some protein shakes are high in arginine.
Cold Sore Treatment and Remedies
Preventing a cold sore from appearing is indeed your best medicine, and if you pay attention to what your body tells you, it is possible to dramatically reduce outbreaks. When a cold-sore does gift you with its presence, here are a few things you can do to minimize its pain, size and duration.
- Laser It! At the first sign of tingling, call Premier Dental at 402-718-8737 and schedule a 10 minute appointment for laser treatment.
- Ice It! Can't get to the office right away, when you feel that first sign of tingling wrap an ice cube in a paper-towel and place it on your lip where you feel the cold-sore coming on. Often two back-to-back applications of an ice cube until it melts can help reduce the pain and swelling that accompanies the sore.
- Slather? Not Now, But Later. Cold sores love warm, moist environments, and this is precisely the environment you present to a cold-sore when you slather it in cream for days on end. You're best to let it dry out to the point where it is no longer painful, and then begin applying cream or lip balm to minimize splitting. As the cold sore resolves itself, it's best to keep your lips moist to prevent bleeding, which also aids in the healing at this stage.
Eliminate Transmission of Cold Sores
Avoid sharing food utensils, towels, toothbrushes, or any other item that could come in contact with your mouth. Also, be sure to avoid touching the cold sore and then later touching your eyes or genital area. In fact, your best course of action is to avoid touching your mouth at all during an outbreak, and not again until the scab has dropped off completely. And healed over. This can take some weeks, as you know. Kissing, and other aspects of intimacy that involve your mouth should be avoided entirely. Wash your hands often-this cannot be stressed enough to avoid spreading the virus.
Having a cold sore is not the end of the world. Nine out of 10 of all people get at least one cold sore in their life, so there is no need to hide in the closet. Understand your triggers, find a solution that works, don't spread the virus, and stay healthy!