how to get rid of cold sores in the mouth? Most people are worried about it. Most of us get a cold sore in mouth or cold sore in the lip . Let’s know how to recover from it and how to prevent cold sore in mouth.
what is a cold sore?
Let’s know what is a cold sore. Tiny fluid-filled blisters around the mouth and on the lips are Cold Sores . If cold sore in the mouth, are also called as cold sore in lip. They are also called Fever Blisters and sometimes also called Fever Sores. They can also appear on the tongue, gums, nose, and some cases in genitals as well.
They are a cluster of blisters, not dangerous but are highly contagious. They can be healed within one or two weeks without leaving any scars. They form as scab when blisters break after few days and scabs last for another few days.
Sometime, after appearing, the blisters can get absorbed on their own. Anyone can get infected by cold sores at any point of time in life.
Some people get them frequently in their life time, some get rarely and some people may never get them in their whole life. One can develop them at any age; however, it is believed to be rarely after age 35.
what causes cold sores in the mouth ?
It is a viral infection. The most common virus that causes cold sores is herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). In some cases, herpes simplex virus type 2 can also cause a cold sore. Also called as cold sores herpes.
Because of the name of the virus, it is also called as oral herpes. The sores commonly develop around the mouth, sometimes in the tongue, gums, and genitals as well. The fluid of blister contains a virus.
They can spread through saliva, close contact (kissing, touch, etc.), and using the same towels, straws, spoons or forks, glasses or cups that are contaminated with the fluid oozing out of blisters. Once the blisters become crusted over, they stop being contagious.
Once the viruses get through the body, they never go away completely. The immune system can keep them inactive within the body.
They remain in an inactive mode in a group of nerve cells, but as soon as the immunity gets weakened or the person exposed to triggers, the virus quickly starts to multiply and spread down the nerve cell and break out onto the skin as a cluster of blisters.
The HSV-1 viruses go into inactive mode again once they breakout in blisters. The factors that trigger the viruses may vary from person to person. Some triggering factors are:
- Weakened immune system.
- Cold weather.
- Fever due to cold/flu.
- Physical or mental stress.
- Excessive sunlight or sunburn.
- Menstrual periods/hormonal change.
- Dehydration/longer hunger.
The host may not get infected by HSV-1 in some cases and the viruses never breakout in blisters.
Cold sore symptoms and cold sore stages
The cold sore symptoms of cold sores and cold sore stages can be described as five different stages:
- Tingling: Unusual sensations like burning, tingling and numbness, or itching around the mouth where the blisters form 12-24 hours before.
- Blistering: The skin begins to be red, swollen and painful and a cluster of blisters starts to break out.
- Weeping: After a few days, some small blisters start to merge and eventually start to rupture and ooze out clear fluid.
- Crusting: Then after oozing fluids, blisters start to dry and crust over while the skin below starts healing. Should not pick the scab as it can delay the healing.
- Healing: The scab will peel off showing the new pinkish skin in that area as a process of healing.
The study shows in some cases after unusual sensations as first symptoms, the blisters may not appear and may get healed themselves. As soon as blisters appear, they may not get enlarged but they may get absorbed within as sooner recovery in some cases. Therefore, cold sores may take a few days to 14 days to get healed.
Treatment (how to get rid of cold sores in the mouth)
how to get rid of cold sores in the mouth. Let know the treatment or cold sore inside mouth. Cold sores do not need treatment generally, they get healed themselves, but we can shorten the healing duration with some remedies and lessen the pain from them. We should treat them within first 24-48 hours of the outbreak to heal up faster. Otherwise, the healing process may not get speed up.
- Place a cool or wet towel on the sores for about 5 or 10 minutes. Can repeat this action a few times daily to reduce redness and irritation. Applying cold used tea bags hourly can also help relieve.
- Can take pain killers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce the pain from cold sores.
- Can take over the counter antiviral creams. When cold sores start to appear, should apply an over-the-counter antiviral creams. The action can slow the reproduction of virus. If you start applying creams when you notice tingling, the sores may not emerge.
- Antiviral medicines: Antiviral agents like acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), penciclovir (Denavir), and famciclovir are prescribed drugs for cold sores. They can be available in the forms of cream, ointment, pill, and liquid. If the case is serious, one can take them an injection form. These drugs heal up quickly.
- Natural Remedies: Studies show that lemon balm, tea tree oil, peppermint essential oil, aloe vera gel, etc. are also the known remedies that can relieve and heal up the cold sore in mouth.
- Foods: Foods that are high in lysine should be followed for faster healing whereas foods with high in arginine, processed foods and highly acidic foods should be avoided as they can delay and aggravate the cold sores.
Prevention of cold sore in mouth
Cold sore is a viral infection, so it can spread from one to another. To prevent the spread of HSV-1 virus, we can follow the precautions:
- Kissing and intimacy should be strictly avoided.
- Sharing of towels, straws, cutleries, glass/cup, razors, creams/lipstick, etc. with infected person should be stopped.
- Washing hands frequently when infected to avoid the spread of virus to others.
- Being away from the newborn, pregnant women, and people with low immunity power as they are quite vulnerable to cold sores.
We may all get infected by cold sores at some point in time of our lives. This type of virus never goes away once they get entered into body but we can suppress their activeness with following measures:
- Triggering factors should be avoided. They may vary from one to another person and may vary from one time to another time. One should identify own triggers for cold sores and should avoid them to prevent cold sores.
- Boosting the immune system. When the immune system is strong enough, cold sores cannot outbreak. Including lots of fresh fruits, veggies, especially with vitamin C and foods like yoghurt, kimchi, etc. into our diet, can boost the immune system.
- Vitamin E. It soothes the skin, helps repair skin damage and alleviates inflammation. Sources of vitamin E are wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds/oil, tomatoes, almonds, olive oil, etc. These sources can help prevent cold sores.
- Sunscreen. Excessive sun exposure can provoke the HSV-1 virus. Applying appropriate sunscreen can decrease the risk of cold sores.
- Managing physical and mental stress. Stress can wear down the immune system and excessive stress can provoke the virus to cause cold sores. So, we should relax and breathe deeply instead when feeling stressed. Physical stress can also lead to cold sores, we need plenty of night sleep, rest, yoga, etc.
- Treating cracked lips: The cracked lip is highly vulnerable to cold sores, so cracked lips should be treated with hydrating lip balm to prevent cold sores.
Foods to Avoid in Cold Sores
There are foods that aggravate cold sores, which we should avoid.
- Arginine Foods: HSV-1 virus requires arginine or L-arginine (a type of amino acid) to multiply, so foods with arginine can make cold sores worse. Avoiding the arginine-containing foods like flaxseeds, sesame, sunflower seeds, chocolate, spinach, whole grains, peanuts, walnuts, etc. can suppress the severity and can speed up the healing process.
- Highly Acidic Foods: Acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, fruit juice, wine, etc. can make the healing process of colds sores delay.
- Processed Foods: Processed or refined foods do not support our immunity, so such foods should be avoided. Sugars, ketchup, packaged snacks, frozen foods, canned foods, etc. should be avoided.
Foods that heal a cold sore in mouth
There are other food types that can heal faster.
Lysine Foods: Lysine is also a type of amino acid, found in certain foods. Another amino acid called arginine is required for HSV-1 virus to grow. Lysine blocks the arginine to be absorbed into body, eventually making HSV-1 difficult to grow or multiply. If lysine does not make HSV-1 multiply, then it will accelerate the healing process of colds sores. The foods high in lysine are pork, chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, yoghurt, cheese, milk, etc.