Dr. Quinn Hand provides natural ways to beat and treat cold sores!
Welcome to the Introduction of Dr. Quinn Hand's blog series on treating cold sores, the natural way.
Cold sores, fever blisters or herpes labialis – whatever you call it, the little, red blisters that love to appear on the lips, mouth, nose and chin at inopportune times are often uncomfortable and unsightly. You may count yourself among the lucky few who have never suffered from a cold sore, but more than 1/3 of Canadians suffer from multiple attacks each year, lasting an average of 6-10 days. A survey conducted by Abreva (a topical cold sore treatment) found that Canadians would give up shopping, dessert and even their smartphones for one month to be cold-sore free, demonstrating just how annoying these little blisters can be!
Cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). There are two subtypes of this virus, HSV1 and HSV2. HSV1 has most commonly been associated with cold sores, while HSV2 is associated with genital herpes. However, it is possible for either subtype of the virus to affect each respective part of the body. As far as cold sores go, about 90% of sufferers have HSV1 and 10% have HSV2. It’s pretty easy to catch this virus, as it is so wide spread, with 70-80% of the population carrying it. It can be transmitted in saliva during kissing or by sharing cups, utensils, razors or toothbrushes with someone who is infected. The sneaky part of this virus, is that once we contract it, it never leaves our body. It travels deep into our nerves and lays dormant, waiting for the “right time” to travel back down the nerve to the skin surface, erupting into small clusters of blisters. The “right time” for cold sores to crop up is usually when the immune defenses are weakened such as with stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, cold/flu or even trauma. For some, too much sun can even be a trigger, leading to the classical pre-outbreak symptoms of tingling, itching or tenderness in the area. The trick to combating cold sores is to support the immune system so it can keep the virus in its dormant state.
Come back next week to learn 6 Strategies to treat and beat cold sores, naturally!
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