If you have noticed a small red blister around your lips or mouth you may wonder how to heal cold sores. Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are cause by the herpes simplex virus. This virus spreads through contact of an infected person. Kissing, oral sex, sharing razors, or even eating and drinking after an infected person with a blister puts you at risk for contracting the herpes simplex virus. Unfortunately there is no cure for cold sores or the virus, but you can help them clear faster, in some cases.
- Place a cool red cloth on the blister. Do this as often as possible to reduce redness and swelling. Leaving the cloth in place for at least twenty minutes for best results.
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen helps manage pain. The cold sore may cause pain around the lips or inside the mouth. Using over the counter pain medication can help the discomfort and may lessen some swelling.
- Keep your mouth clean by rinsing with a baking soda based mouthwash. The baking soda with also help soothe the sore and ease pain. In severe cases a doctor may prescribe a medicated mouthwash.
- Apply over-the-counter cold sore ointments. Ointments such as Abreva and Zilactin can help alleviate pain and speed up healing time. In some cases, if the onset of a cold sore is caught before it has broken the skin, these over-the-counter ointments can prevent the cold sore.
- Contact your doctor after two weeks. If your cold sore does not heal on its own with in two weeks you should see a health care professional for further treatment. However, in most cases, with proper care at home care a cold sore will go away on it’s own after several days to two weeks.