Oral herpes is an endemic disease, and most adults are affected by it. The cause of all the calamity is the herpes simplex virus, which is usually quite harmless and can be found in most humans. Herpes outbreaks usually come when our immune system is weakened and once it appears it is likely to appear again and again. Herpes simplex is highly contagious, and we can be carriers of it too, which is why properly handling an outbreak is so important. An outbreak is characterised by itching, burning, and small pustules forming, usually around the mouth. There is no cure or antidote for it, and the immune system takes around 2 weeks to neutralize the outbreak. Handling the symptoms is possible though, and there are several home remedies that can help in this.
Before an outbreak the skin on the lips will feel tight, and the area will be itchy, puffy and red; this is a perfect time to start applying ice to the area. This may stop the cold sore from forming at all. The most important thing is that the ice itself is clean, and that no pollutants or irritating materials are applied to the sensitive area, as this would make the outbreak much worse. Nor can applying cold be done in a pleasurable form, like with a slurrpie or ice cream, as these can cause the wound to become irritated.
2) Personal hygiene
As the cold sores usually appear where the skin is injured, it si advisable to not scratch yourself with dirty hands, and to not pop zits with your hands, for example, and to not chew your lips either. After the herpes appears, hygiene becomes even more important; washing your hands frequently and not touching the wound can help a lot in clearing up the outbreak. Since the virus is highly contagious, it can spread to other areas, like your hands, face and genitals, so don’t pick at your cold sore.
3) Liquorice root extract
Recent studies have proven that glycyrrhizin; a compound found in liquorice root destroys the basic building blocks that make up the virus. It is incredibly sweet, and it is drunk in teas, or they apply a tincture directly to the cold sore. If you decide to use a tincture, it is important to ask your pharmacist what concentration you need. Liquorice is also a great antispasmodic and purifies the bowels.
4) Echinacea tea
Echinacea strengthens the immune system, and helps fight viruses. Drinking Echinacea tea the moment you start feeling symptoms can actually stop the cold sores from forming at all. If you already have an outbreak, it can soothe the wound, and help it to heal faster. It is best imbibed as a tea.
5) Aloe Vera gel
The symptoms of many diseases, cuts, bruises and burns can be treated with aloe vera. It has a cooling effect which helps the burning and itching, and it also helps fight bacteria. This can stop your cold sore from becoming infected, and can speed up the healing process. The aloe vera gels used in stores, or fresh aloe leaves from a plant are both perfect for this.
6) C and E Vitamins
The best medicine is prevention. This can be achieved by strengthening the immune system. Eating lots of C and E vitamins will boost your immune system, so if you have frequent outbreaks make sure you incorporate these essential minerals into your diet. The C vitamins will increase the amount of white blood cells in your blood, while the E vitamin relieves the itching and burning sensations, and thus helps to calm the area around the wound.
7) Change your toothbrush frequently
After you have had the virus, it is important that you do not keep reinfecting yourself over and over again, and the easiest way to do that is to change your toothbrush after every outbreak. The toothbrush can act as a viral incubator, especially if it is not properly cleaned, and this will cause outbreaks in the future.