Dealing with the Dreaded Cold Sore

I have to admit, I suffer from these nasty fever blisters and I hate them. It’s ridiculous, but I get very self-conscious when I have that blister show up and then of course there’s the awesome scab that comes along with the healing. Uggghh.

I find that it’s really important to be especially kind to myself during an outbreak. I try to reduce as many stressors from my life as I can. I increase the amount of herbal teas I drink and I try to get more rest. As soon as I start to feel that tell-tale tingle, I begin applying lavender and tea tree essential oils directly to the area. Although most essential oils should be diluted using an oil or lotion etc., these two oils can be applied “neat” or directly on the skin. I put a drop of each in the palm of my hand and use a Q-Tip to apply it to the area to avoid spreading it. I am also really careful to keep my lips moisturized and my preferred ointment is a calendula cream because of it’s not only a great emollient, but it’s also has vulnerary and anti-inflammatory qualities needed to soothe and heal the area.

Another thing useful to know is that foods rich in lysine can help to not only heal but also prevent cold sores! Foods high in lysine include lean meat, milk, cheese, eggs and fish.

Foods to avoid are foods rich in arginine which are nuts, brown rice, wheat, oatmeal, chocolate and beer. Sorry!! It’s also a good idea to avoid acidic food like tomatoes or pickles because cold sores love to thrive in an acidic environment.

There’s actually a lot of information out there on how to naturally treat cold sores and some of the advice is good like using ice to cool the area because cold sores also like warm areas and the ice also helps reduce the pain associated with the outbreak. Other good advice is to increase your multi-vitamin and Vitamin C intake and increase your intake of immune boosting food like cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, onions and garlic. There’s also really harmful advice like using nail polish to treat the area. No matter how desperate you get, just don’t do it! It doesn’t help and is actually really bad for you. If it sounds harmful or ridiculous, it probably is!

Remember, if laughter is the best medicine, turn on the kettle, put on your pj’s and find a good comedy.

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