Written by Gillian Day BHSc. Comp Med, Adv Dip Nat, AFMCP Grad
Cold sores are not fun! We don’t like talking about them, let alone looking at them in the reflection of a mirror. However it’s estimated around 90% of the population will get at least 1 cold sore in a lifetime and about ½ this amount of people regularly suffer with cold sores. The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that around two thirds of adults aged 50 and over have the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) virus responsible for cold sores as it becomes active and then replicates, causing symptoms.
There are many medicated treatments available that can do the job, however the last thing that’s needed by the delicate area of skin around the lips, is a chemical heavy cream, lotion or potion. So, if you’re one of the growing many that are looking for a more natural, yet effective prevention plan and treatment strategy, then keep reading.
Whilst there is currently no cure for cold sores and they do eventually clear up on their own, they can hang about for up to 3 weeks – which for most sufferers, is 3 weeks too long! There is so much you can do naturally to support your body to reduce the risk of getting a cold sore, and decrease the intensity, frequency and length of any outbreak you might have.
Some are lucky enough to sort their sore with common kitchen and bathroom staples including tea bags, toothpaste and even milk; however the purpose of this article is to give you the most researched and proven methods to support your body and heal your cold sore FAST.
This part focuses on 2 amino acids; lysine and arginine. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and can be either essential and non-essential. Non-essential amino acids can be made by the body therefore they are ‘non-essential’ to be put it. Essential amino acids, are…. you guessed it, not made by the body so they are ‘essential’ to find outside of our diet.
Part A - Love your Lysine
Lysine can be used as both an effective preventative and as part of your treatment protocol for cold sore outbreaks. For premium lysine containing topical treatments, click here; Please note; always consult with your healthcare practitioner before commencing supplementation.
Part B - Avoid your Arginine
It is equally important to decrease your arginine rich foods as the virus that causes cold sores (HSV-1) feeds off the amino acid arginine.
You don’t have to eliminate arginine in full from your diet. The goal is to increase the ratio of lysine and arginine, in favour of lysine.
Time for a New Toothbrush
Once you see a blister form, it's out with the old toothbrush and in with the new. Your toothbrush is the perfect vehicle to carry the HSV-1 virus and ensure it hangs around for the longest time possible; the exact opposite of what you are trying achieve.
As difficult as this is, resist the urge to touch, play, handle, pick or peel the sore that forms as
it is a super easy way to cause a bacterial infection and
cold sores are highly contagious
Ice Ice Baby
Finally, applying ice on a cold sore when it first starts to develop can reduce the swelling, redness and pain. Wrap an ice cube in a new/not used dishcloth and then place it over the affected area. For best results, repeat this process with a fresh ice cube 4 to 5 times daily.
Try Natural Ingredients
Each ingredient has been specifically chosen for its unique skin treatment benefits and natural healing properties including; (but not limited to)
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil; antiviral and antibacterial properties known to dramatically reduce both the duration and discomfort of a cold sore and can be directly applied to the site of infection.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) provides antibacterial support to clean and aid in the recovery of a cold sore outbreak.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) promotes circulation and healing to a number of skin conditions, including cold sores.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) includes antifungal and antiseptic properties long associated and researched in healing skin conditions, including cold sores.
At Necessity we have blended these natural ingredients into our 100% Natural Cold Sore Relief formula. Necessity Natural Skin Care products use the highest quality natural plant based oils. They are extracted without the use of chemical solvents, are cold pressed and completely free of petrochemicals, harmful substances and not tested on animals.