In this article, we explain how to use salt to treat cold sores, the causes, symptoms, other remedies and prevention.
Cold sores are minute lesions which appear on chins, cheeks, and lips. Also, they may occur inside nostrils. Often, these wounds cause itchiness and mild to severe pain before bursting and spreading. Lesions may cause serious complications such as decreasing vision if they reach your eyes and also meningitis when they spread to your brain.
Herpes simplex viruses, HSV-1 and HSV-2 which cause cold sores are contagious. An infected person can transmit them to a healthy person after getting in close contact with them. Once it enters the body, the virus remains inactive.
If a specific trigger activates it, it results in a cold sore. Some people have a single infection while others have several outbreaks annually. Also, some may have the virus without developing an explosion. Typically, HSV-2 occurs after having oral sex with a person with genital herpes.
At times, one may develop cold sores up to three weeks after getting into contact with the herpes simplex virus. Generally, a cold sore appears close to where the virus entered in your body. Two days before the attack, one may get itchy or have sensitive skin around the affected area.
Most of the people with the herpes simplex virus don't show any symptoms. They discover they have it once cold sores develop. When a cold sore appears for the first time, it's ordinarily severe. Afterward, the lesions are a sign of HSV-1 and HSV-2.
They are a recurring symptom of the herpes virus. Often, a herpes infection doesn't manifest other detectable symptoms. They mostly affect young children since they lack adequate antibodies.
One may also develop gingivostomatitis, an oral infection of the gums and mouth. It lasts for close to two weeks without recurring. They may also get pharyngotonsillitis, an infection in the tonsils and throat that affects adults after getting a primary infection.
Salt is renowned for its numerous medicinal benefits. It is suitable for treating cold sores as it's an antiseptic which prevents bacterial growth. Salt draws fluid from cold sores allowing them to dry. You can use ordinary table salt or sea salt.
Physicians recommend the use of salt since the herpes simplex virus needs a damp and warm environment to thrive. Applying salt to a cold sore draws out pus hence preventing the virus from multiplying. One can use salt on cold sores up to three times a day. Some people mix it with toothpaste to create a concoction which they apply on wounds early in the morning and just before sleeping.
If you develop cold sores, you can use a variety of treatment remedies apart from salt. In most instances, cold sores heal within two weeks. Using antiviral medication or ointments aids in reducing the infection's duration and minimizing discomfort. Over-the-counter (OTC) antiviral creams lessen the lifespan of a recurrent cold sore outbreak. They contain penciclovir or acyclovir. It's wise to apply them once you notice the symptoms.
Also, you can take an oral antiviral medication such as acyclovir and famciclovir. They significantly reduce the outbreak's duration if you take it once the initial symptoms manifest. Some OTC creams lack antiviral remedies including Blistex, bonjela, and cymex. They help in reducing discomfort. However, they don't shorten the healing process.
When applying the creams on your sores, avoid rubbing them. Also, you need to wash your hands after using them. It's advisable not to share your cream with someone who has cold sores. If the pain increases, you may use Tylenol or ibuprofen. You can also get liquid drugs for your young children.
Often, when one develops a cold sore for the first time, they have severe symptoms. Some people experience fever, bleeding gums, and swollen glands. However, these symptoms usually dissipate within a few days. Also, sores heal within six weeks without causing any scarring. You don't need to seek medical care when you develop a cold sore.
Some doctors prescribe daily medications to people with regular cold sores since it’s tricky to predict how long they should be under medication. Also, patients with weakened immune systems due to chemotherapy may develop severe cold sores. Consult your doctor when you develop a high fever and painful wounds.
Cold sores are common globally. Usually, they aren't life-threatening. However, if your cold sores persist for several months, you need to seek medical attention. Alternatively, you can use other treatment options including applying salt on cold sores.