Many people eventually become infected with the virus that causes the unsightly and painful lip blisters called cold sores. Using antioxidants, immune boosters, and especially the amino acid lysine, you’ll have the tools to inhibit the virus and help heal the inflamed skin.
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The initial outbreak is often marked by unsightly and tender blisters on or near the mouth; sometimes flulike symptoms and swelling in adjacent lymph nodes occur as well.
Recurrences may be milder: An itchy or tingling sensation on the lips is followed in a day or two by one or more fluid-filled blisters.
When to Call Your Doctor
If you develop eye pain or sensitivity to light — it may mean the virus has spread to the eyes, where it can damage vision.
If cold sores last longer than two weeks or recur often — you may need a cream or oral antiviral drug.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
What it actually is?
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Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that usually appear on the lips, though they can also develop on the gums, inner cheeks, roof of the mouth, or the area around the nostrils. In addition, the cold sore virus can spread by touch to the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and genitals — or to abrasions. Typically, cold sores (also called fever blisters) break and then form a scab, disappearing in a week to ten days.
What Causes It
Cold sores are usually caused by herpes simplex type 1 virus (HSV-1). This virus is different from the one responsible for genital herpes — herpes simplex type 2 — which is generally transmitted through sexual contact. Because the cold sore virus lies dormant in nerve cells after the first outbreak, new sores are likely to recur as frequently as every few weeks or as infrequently as every few years. Sores often reappear when the immune system is depressed by a fever or a viral infection such as a cold. Recurrences can also be triggered by fatigue, menstruation, stress, or exposure to sun and wind.
Diagnosis of Cold Sores
Secondary to how common cold sores are in the general public they are usually diagnosed primarily by clinical symptoms and history. However, the following represent the most accurate methods in which to diagnose the herpes virus.
Virus Culture Detection Tests
In order to prepare a viral culture a physician must collect cells at the base of the genital lesion using a sterile cotton swab The sample is then tested in the laboratory. An individual must have a active or live infection at the time of the swab test to produce a positive result. If the herpetic lesions or ulcers have begun to heal the test may give a false-negative report. However, when active lesions are present, this method is seen as the gold standard for diagnosing genital herpes.
Serology Blood Tests
When an individual becomes infected with the herpes virus the body will produce antibodies designed to fight the virus. These antibodies are specific to each virus and remain permanently in the bloodstream. A blood test for a herpes simplex virus can indicate if someone has been infected at some time during their life.
Cold Sore Treatment Options:-
Prescription medications have been proven in clinical trials to be the most effective treatment option for treating cold sores:
Valtrex is the first and only oral one-day treatment for cold sores. The recommended dose is 2 grams taken at the first sign of a cold sore, such as tingling, itching, or burning and then again, approximately 12 hours later. You should be prepared for subsequent outbreaks of cold sores by having a supply of Valtrex readily available.
Certain amino acids and vitamins have been found to influence the recurrence and duration of cold sores..
An imbalance in the amino acids lysine and arginine has been shown in studies as a contributing factor in cold sore outbreaks. A diet that is rich in the amino acid lysine may help prevent recurrences of cold sores. Foods which contain high levels of lysine include most vegetables, turkey, legumes, fish and chicken. Individuals may also take supplemental doses of Lysine. The recommended dose for the prophylactic treatment of cold sores is 1,000 mg of lysine three times a day during a cold sore outbreak and 500 mg daily.
In addition to taking increase amounts of Lysine individuals should limit their intake of arginine. Foods that contain contain high quantities of arginine include peanuts, almonds, chocolate, and other nuts and seeds.
What Else You Can Do
Apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) to the lips to prevent recurrences. In a study involving people with recurrent cold sores, those who didn’t use sunscreen developed a cold sore after 80 minutes in the sun.
Don’t touch the blisters. This can spread the virus, as can sharing personal items such as towels, razors, drinking glasses, or toothbrushes
Try meditation, yoga, or other forms of relaxation to reduce stress, which is thought to precipitate cold sores.
Stay away from nuts, chocolate, whole-grain cereals, and gelatin. They contain a large amount of the amino acid arginine, which some doctors think triggers cold sores. Lysine may counteract its effect.
Supplements can be safely used with prescription antiviral creams, such as acyclovir or penciclovir, which also promote healing of cold sores.
Holding an ice cube to the affected area for a few minutes several times a day can help reduce pain and dry out the cold sore.
* Avoid excessive sun exposure to the face
* Wash hands frequently
* Avoid contact with those individuals who have active lesions
* Do not touch cold sores (this can spread the virus to other regions)
* Avoid kissing the lips or eyes of infants under six months of age
* Maintain a healthy lifestyle (proper diet, adequate sleep, exercise)
Proper diet may have an effect on the recurrence, as well as, the duration of cold sores. In general, cold sore sufferers should eat a healthy diet of unprocessed foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Individuals should avoid alcohol, chocolate, nuts, caffeine and sugar.
Supplement Recommendations :-
Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day for flare-ups, then 500 mg a day.
Comments: Take on an empty stomach; don’t take with milk.
Dosage: Apply cream to sores 2-4 times a day.
Comments: This herb is also called lemon balm.
Dosage: 1,000 mg vitamin C and 500 mg flavonoids 3 times a day.
Comments: Use for flare-ups; reduce dose if diarrhea develops.
Dosage: 25,000 IU twice a day for 5 days.
Comments: Women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should not exceed 5,000 IU a day.
Dosage: 200 mg echinacea and 125 mg goldenseal 4 times a day.
Comments: Sold singly or as combination supplement.
Dosage: 600 mcg a day only during flare-ups.
Comments: Don’t exceed 600 mcg daily; higher doses may be toxic.
Dosage: 1 tbsp. (14 grams) a day.
Comments: Can be mixed with food; take in the morning.
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Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs and www.eurodrugspharmacy.com