General Practice 2022

Best Ointments for Cold Sores (and How to Use)

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Best Ointments for Cold Sores (and How to Use)
Best Ointments for Cold Sores (and How to Use)

Ointments for cold sores have antiviral substances in their composition, such as acyclovir or penciclovir, which help to eliminate the herpes simplex virus, facilitating the healing of blisters, preventing the formation of new sores, decreasing itching and relieving the pain. In this way, the ointments accelerate the recovery of mouth sores, which usually last about 7 to 10 days.

Ointments can be used from the first signs of herpes to the total disappearance of the sores, and should be used with medical advice and guidance. However, if there is no improvement in symptoms, it may be necessary to use antiviral pills, which can only be used with a doctor's prescription. Check out the main pills used in the treatment of cold sores.

The main ointments for cold sores are:

1. Acyclovir

Acyclovir ointment works by blocking the multiplication mechanisms of the Herpes simplex virus, preventing it from multiplying and infecting new cells, and can be used by adults or children, with medical indication.

This ointment should be used from the first symptoms of infection such as burning or burning sensation, and can be found in pharmacies or drugstores with the commercial names Zovirax or Hpmix, or in the generic form with the name acyclovir sodium.

How to use: apply a layer on the herpes blister or sore, 5 times a day, at intervals of about 4 hours, skipping the application at night. The treatment must continue for at least 4 days and, if there is no healing, the ointment must be used for another 5 days, or according to medical advice.

2. Penciclovir

Penciclovir ointment can be used by adults or children over 12 years of age, and works by preventing the Herpes simplex virus from multiplying, reducing the severity of wounds and accelerating skin recovery.

This ointment can be found under the trade name Penvir labia creme.

How to use: apply the lip ointment to the affected area, on the lips or face, every 2 hours for 4 consecutive days. This ointment should not be applied inside the mouth, in the nostrils or in the eyes.

3. Silver sulfadiazine + cerium nitrate

Silver sulfadiazine and cerium nitrate ointment has healing and antiviral action, and can be used to relieve symptoms of itching or burning sensation on the lips. In addition, it also has antimicrobial action, preventing the infection of the blister or wound on the lips.

This ointment can be found under the trade name Dermacerium HS gel, sold in pharmacies or drugstores, and should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

How to use: apply the ointment directly to the affected area on the lips, about 3 times a day, until complete healing. Dermacerium HS gel should not be used on the eyes and should not be ingested.

Cautions when using ointments

Some important precautions during the treatment of cold sores with ointment are:

  • Use the ointment at the correct times, as directed by the doctor;
  • Wash your hands before and after applying the ointment, with water and mild soap, to prevent the infection from getting worse or spreading to other parts of the body;
  • Avoid kissing or having contact with other people's herpes sores while there are blisters or sores on the lips;
  • Avoid sharing utensils, towels or lip balm with others;
  • Avoid eating spicy foods or citrus fruits to avoid irritating the mouth sore.

It is also recommended to consume some foods, such as peas, fish or peanuts, which are rich in lysine, a protein that acts by inhibiting the growth of the Herpes simplex virus, which can help to complement the treatment with the ointment and accelerate skin healing. Check out the complete list of foods rich in lysine.

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