What are Cold Sores?
Cold sores, also known as herpes, are viral infections of the lip, mouth, eyes, or nose that manifest themselves as a group of small, painful blisters. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and may be passed from one person to another by sharing utensils or razors, kissing an infected person, or coming into contact with an infected person’s saliva. Cold sores can be spread to other parts of the body, including the genitals. The blisters on the skin may appear for several days to several weeks, depending on the severity of the outbreak, and because there is no known cure, there may be recurring symptoms throughout the infected person’s life. Current treatment focuses not on eliminating the virus, but on reducing the severity and frequency of outbreaks.
How can I treat Cold Sores?
Traditional Chinese medicine considers cold sores to be a hot, fiery condition and indicative of damp heat. Long-term treatment aims to diminish this fire and build up the body’s vital energy. Much of this process in traditional Chinese medicine centers on herbal therapy that directly targets each individual’s imbalances. Externally, cold sores are sometimes treated with lemon balm and slippery elm. Other remedies for reducing the severity or frequency of outbreaks include washing the hands after coming into contact with cold sores and applying ice to the blisters for pain relief.
What should I avoid in my lifestyle for Cold Sores?
Much of cold sore flare ups relate to actions and habits that should be avoided, which include not touching the blisters to avoid spreading, not sharing utensils, razors, towels, toothbrushes, or pillow cases that have come into contact with blisters. Also avoid stress, colds, the flu, and other conditions that flare up the body’s heat.
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