Q:

How can you treat cold sores?

A:

Quick Answer

To treat cold sores, avoid acidic or spicy foods, apply ice to the affected area, and seek out over-the-counter remedies, such as topical creams, as advised byWebMD. Particularly stubborn or irritating cold sores may require prescription medications.

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How can you treat cold sores?
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Full Answer

For mild cold sores, pain can be alleviated by using over-the-counter remedies that are available at any drug store, including products that numb the area using menthol or phenol while softening scabs and reducing cracking. One popular option is Abreva, which is a topical cream that minimizes cold sore pain and promotes healing.

Alleviating pain associated with cold sores also requires avoiding irritants that can cause the pain to worsen, such as acidic or spicy foods. The application of ice on the area can help to numb the pain and bring some comfort to the affected area as well.

For irritating or truly painful cold sores, a visit to the doctor may be required. Prescription medication so prevent recurrence, speed healing and provide pain relief may be necessary. These medicines include antivirals, such as Zovirax or Valtrex. Generally, prescription medications started within 2 days of the initial onset of the cold sore are most effective.

It is important to avoid rubbing the eyes after touching a cold sore, since this can lead to an ocular infection, and avoid touching the genitals to avoid the development of genital warts, warns WebMD.

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