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What is a cold sore?

Have you ever wondered why you get cold sores? These annoying little blisters are caused by one of two viruses: HSV-1 or HSV-2. A person contracts the virus when they kiss or share food or eating utensils with an infected person. The blisters may form on the inside of your mouth or on the outer part of your lip and can be both painful and embarrassing.

How can I get rid of cold sores?

When it comes to getting a cold sore, some people’s bodies are able to fight the virus and create antibodies to prevent future infections. However, if you get cold sores on a regular basis, you may need to boost your body’s defenses in order to fight the infection. Most cold sores go away on their own in a week or two, but if you’re looking to expedite the process, you can talk to your doctor about antiviral creams. You could also ask your pharmacist about over the counter creams such as docosanol (Abreva).

Home remedies for cold sores

If you’d rather try the natural route first, your cold sore may be responsive to home remedies such as:

To ease discomfort as your cold sore heals, try to eat less acidic foods, get more sleep, and up your vitamin C intake. Doing so will boost your immune system and kick your body’s natural defenses into high gear, which should help your cold sores heal on their own. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about your cold sores, consult your dentist.

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