Picture it: you’re getting ready for that long-awaited wedding, birthday party, work event or job interview. Then the weekend before, a tingling, itching sensation starts up. You notice a little blister on your lip, and before you know it, a cold sore has joined the party just in time for the special occasion. You want to get rid of it and you need that cold sore gone fast! Luckily, as a common complaint, there are plenty of ways to help heal that cold sore and have you looking and feeling your best.
Signs and symptoms of cold sores
Cold sores, or herpes simplex, start off as small, fluid-filled blisters. They often appear on the lips, but can appear anywhere on the face. Once the blisters burst, a sore, red scab will appear. The scab will often crack, ooze and form a crust. This scab heals up over time and doesn’t tend to scar (providing you avoid picking it!). In total, a cold sore can take around 10 days to heal, from first appearing to finally being banished.
Cold sores can appear if you also have a cold or other illness, have a weakened immune system, are stressed or even sunburned. Sometimes there’s no pattern, and the helpful little friends just pop up when you could really do without them!
For most people, cold sores are a minor annoyance. They are generally harmless and can be treated with at-home remedies or over the counter creams. There’s no way to get rid of one overnight, but treatments can help reduce the time spent with the happy visitor camping out on your lip.
How to get rid of cold sores quickly
At home cold sore remedies
Cold pack or ice pack
Cold sores can be exactly as the name suggests – sore! Wrapping some frozen peas or crushed ice cubes in a soft cloth or towel and applying gently to the cold sore can help reduce swelling, redness, and pain for a time. You can use it frequently throughout the day to help keep the pain down, but don’t apply it for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Aloe vera gel
You might only reach for this when you’ve overdone it in the sun, but with its cooling and mild antiviral properties, dabbing on some aloe vera gel can be a great solution for helping your cold sores heal at home.
This citrus-scented member of the mint family may help beat that cold sore in rapid time. Lip balms that contain lemon balm or lemon balm essential oil can help soothe and heal cold sores with their active properties. It gets bonus points for the lovely scent!
Good old petroleum jelly, typically Vaseline, is one of the best things you can use to help a cold sore heal. This medicine cupboard staple forms a barrier over the cold sore, which can help prevent germs from getting in while keeping it moisturised. By keeping the scab coated with jelly, it’s less likely to crack and will feel more comfortable, helping speed up healing.
Over the counter treatments
There are many types of antiviral creams available to help fight cold sores and reduce healing time. Brands such as Zovirax, Cymex, and Blistex produce cold sore creams, with or without light numbing properties (typically lidocaine or menthol). Look for creams that contain aciclovir as an active ingredient in any cream you choose. This antiviral medicine is a real hero when it comes to fighting cold sores, tackling the problem head-on. You will need to apply antiviral creams a few times a day to get the maximum benefit and to see that cold sore off more quickly.
Cold sore patches
There’s no denying that cold sores can often leave us not feeling our best when it comes to our appearance. If you have a stubborn cold sore, or find you can’t keep up with creams, a cold sore patch is a great solution. These thin and discrete patches use hydro-colloidal healing, which keeps the sore in an optimum healing environment known as ‘second skin.’ This stops a scab from forming, which is often the longest part of the healing process.
The patch also provides a barrier to prevent more bacteria from getting in. If applied early enough, cold sore patches can quickly squash a cold sore by sealing it off and containing it for quicker healing. The patches can also help conceal the look of cold sores, helping you feel confident to go about your day without worrying.
Painkillers and anti-inflammatories
Cold sores are uncomfortable and itchy – the swelling and pain associated with them is no picnic either! Fortunately, you can combat these symptoms with ordinary over the counter medication. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can help reduce the pain and swelling. They won’t help get rid of it, but they can help you feel better. Used alongside a topical cream or cold sore patch, you should find that you’re able to better manage your cold sore and help speed up the healing. Check with your pharmacist if they are suitable for you.
How VSM Pharmacy can help
There’s no need to let a cold sore hold you back. You can deploy a range of at home and over the counter solutions – and as your local pharmacy, we’re here to provide help and recommendations for how to get rid of cold sores quickly.
Whether you’re using our online pharmacy service or visiting our pharmacy easily accessible if you live in Camberley, Frimley or Farnborough, we offer a range of quality medications and treatments to help you beat that cold sore in record time. We can deliver right to your door or we offer pick up in store too. You can get advice from our helpful and experienced dispenser who has over 20 years of knowledge working in pharmacies! Our aim is to help you feel better with help, advice and remedies.
Make sure you’re stocked up to tackle cold sores – order top quality cold sore remedies from us today, for delivery or pick up at your convenience.