Cold sores can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, and last for a week or more. Most people will feel tingling, burning, or itching around the lips for several hours or a day before the cold sore appears, which is the best time to begin treating the cold sore. Treating cold sores in their early stages can stop or minimize the outbreak, resulting in a faster recovery time. Here are some tips for treating your cold sore in its early stages:
- Have prescription treatments on hand
Antiviral medications (such as Valacyclovir) are proven to stop a cold sore from developing or reducing the size and healing time of a cold sore. These medications work best when used as early as possible.
- Keep track of your triggers
It may be helpful to keep a diary or log of what triggers your cold sore. Potential triggers could include certain foods, stress, illnesses, hormonal changes, or injuries.
- Over the counter (OTC) treatment
There are several over the counter medications that can treat cold sore symptoms, for example, Abreva, Zilactin, and Anbesol. Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide can also help dry the cold sore and speed-up healing. Do not use these products if they cause more pain or irritation. Painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help with pain relief.
- Home remedies
Cold packs and ice can help soothe the affected area, and help reduce inflammation. Some cold sore patients also claim that aloe vera and tea tree oil help provide temporary relief.
To reiterate, OTC treatments & home remedies might be okay for temporary relief, but prescription treatments are the most effective in minimizing your cold sore outbreak. Alpha makes it easy for you to have prescription medications available in advance so you can treat your cold sores as quickly, safely, and effectively as possible. You can start your online visit today.