Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus Type 1. These contagious sores affect the lips and skin on the nostrils, chin, genitals and the fingers. The signs and symptoms of cold sores occur only after about 20 days after the virus attacks.
These symptoms include a tingling sensation on the skin followed by painful and fluid-filled blisters on the skin after about two days. The symptoms may also include headache, fever, and irritability. The person also often has difficulty swallowing food or liquids.
There are chances of the blisters bursting and oozing too. But they must not be burst forcefully as it can lead to secondary infection on the skin. Because of cold sores, lymph nodes may also swell up.
The symptoms of cold sores usually last from seven to ten days. After that, the blisters dry up and fall off. But that does not mean the viruses have left the person’s body. Once exposed to the herpes virus, the virus becomes dormant in the nerve cells and attacks again when the immune system is low. Other than that, pregnancy, stress and fatigue, trauma to the lip or gums, and hormonal changes also cause cold sores. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cold sores. All one can do is make sure they don’t attack again. For that, the patient has to pay special attention to his diet. He must eat lots of fresh fruits, raw vegetables, and green leafy vegetables. This diet is rich in vitamins A, C and E, and zinc, which are all necessary for keeping the immune system strengthened and combating all kinds of viruses and bacteria. Additionally, the sufferer must abstain from consuming acidic and salty foods, spices and condiments, chocolates, oatmeal, peanuts, food grains, peas, and whole wheat as they have arginine that aggravate the problem. So, the intake of these products must be restricted as much as possible. Also, excessive consumption of tea and coffee, alcoholic beverages, processed foods must also be avoided as they weaken the immune system. Consuming two cloves of garlic everyday keeps most kinds of viruses and bacteria at bay because of its antiviral properties. When blisters erupt, one can apply witch hazel, aloe vera gel, or press warm used teabag on the blister for 30 seconds to treat them. Rubbing ice for a few minutes on the blisters every hour also treats the problem. Getting a regular exercise for 20 minutes also keeps system strengthened.
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