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To cure cold sores more quickly, reduce pain, discomfort and the risk of contaminating others, an anti-viral ointment can be applied every 2 hours as soon as the symptoms of itching, pain or bubbles start to appear. In addition to the ointments, there are also small patches that can cover the wounds, preventing the spread of herpes and the contamination of other people.
In more severe cases, in which the herpes takes more than 10 days to disappear, the doctor may also recommend the use of antiviral pills, to speed up treatment and prevent recurrences.
Herpes is an infection caused by the Herpes simplex virus, which has no cure and manifests itself through painful blisters in the mouth, which last about 7 to 10 days.This is a contagious disease, which is transmitted by direct contact with blisters or liquid, so while symptoms are evident, kissing should be avoided, especially in babies, as they can be life threatening. In addition, it should be noted that the person can also contaminate glasses, cutlery and towels that come into contact with the wounds.
The treatment for cold sores can be guided by a general practitioner or pharmacist and is usually done with the use of ointments such as:
- Zovirax (acyclovir), which should be applied every 4 hours for about 7 days;
- Dermacerium HS gel (silver sulfadiazine + cerium nitrate), which should be applied about 3 times a day, until complete healing, in case of opportunistic infections by bacteria;
- Penvir labia (penciclovir), which should be applied every 2 hours for about 4 days;
During the treatment, the person must take all care not to contaminate anyone and, therefore, must not touch other people's lips and must always dry with their own towel and must not share cups and cutlery.
2. Liquid dressings
As an alternative to ointments, a liquid dressing can be used on the wound, which will help to heal and relieve the pain caused by herpes. In addition, this adhesive also prevents contamination and the spread of the virus and is transparent, so it is very discreet.
An example of a liquid dressing is Mercurochrome's Filmogel for Cold Sore, which can be applied 2 to 4 times a day.
Oral antivirals can be used in more severe cases and in immunocompromised people, who are at risk of developing complications. In addition, they can also be used as a long-term treatment to prevent relapses, but only if recommended by the doctor.
The most commonly used drugs for the treatment of cold sores are acyclovir (Zovirax, Hervirax), valaciclovir (V altrex, Herpstal) and fanciclovir (Penvir).
4. Home remedies
Home treatments can be used as a complement to the treatment prescribed by the doctor, such as eating 1 raw garlic clove a day, which should be started at the first signs of herpes and should be maintained until it heals. In addition to this, other home remedies prepared with Jambu and Lemon Balm, for example, also help relieve symptoms and cure mouth blisters faster. See how to prepare these home remedies for cold sores.
Eating the right foods also helps to heal herpes sores in less time. Watch the following video and see how food can help fight herpes:
How to treat recurrent cold sores
In the case of recurrent cold sores, which manifests itself more than 5 times in the same year, the treatment should be done with the application of the ointment indicated by the doctor, when you start to feel itching or burning in the lip region.To prevent herpes from appearing so often it is recommended:
- Avoid excess stress and anxiety;
- Moisturize lips, especially when it is very cold;
- Avoid prolonged sun exposure and put sunscreen on your lips.
Although cold sores disappear completely after treatment, it can reappear several times throughout the patient's life, especially in a period of greater stress, after prolonged frames of other diseases, due to low immunity, or when the person is exposed to the sun for a longer time, such as during a vacation, for example.
Another way to decrease the frequency of herpes is to take a lysine supplement in capsules. Simply take 1 or 2 capsules of 500 mg daily for 3 months, or as directed by your dermatologist or pharmacist. The capsules should be taken when the herpes sores are improving, and they will prevent them from appearing again, also decreasing their intensity.
In addition, in some cases, the doctor may also recommend treatment with oral antivirals.
What is the treatment like in pregnancy
Treatment of cold sores in pregnancy and while breastfeeding should be done with caution, so the woman should go to the doctor so that he can prescribe a medicine that is not harmful to the baby. A good option is to use liquid dressings, which have no antiviral in their composition and are equally effective, or antiviral creams, such as Penvir labia, when indicated by the obstetrician.
In addition, home remedies such as propolis also favor the healing of the herpes wound and help relieve inflammation. See how to make a great homemade ointment with propolis.
Signs of improvement of cold sores appear around 4 days after starting treatment and include decreased itching, reduced redness and healing of sores and blisters in the mouth.The signs of worsening of cold sores are more frequent in patients who do not treat it properly and include the appearance of herpes sores in other regions of the lips, inside the mouth and pain when chewing and swallowing, for example.