What Foods Should I Avoid
Sometimes, even foods that would otherwise be considered healthy arent the best for fighting off cold sores. If youre prone to flare-ups, you may want to avoid certain foods in your regular diet. Many of these risky foods contain large amounts of arginine. As stated above, arginine is necessary for the growth and spread of the herpes simplex virus. When you feed the virus these foods, it gains strength.
You dont have to avoid these foods and the nutrients they provide altogether. But, if you get cold sores a lot, you may want to limit them. Avoid eating them if youre in the middle of a cold sore flare-up. Some of the most popular foods that you should avoid during a cold sore are:
- Certain seeds and nuts
As you can see, some of these foods arent necessarily unhealthy for you. Some even contain a few of the vitamins listed in this article. Its all about finding a balance that works for you to reduce outbreaks. If you have a lot of these foods in your diets and regularly get cold sores, you may want to cut back.
Topical Treatment For Cold Sores
Lemon balm essential oil has antiviral effects on HSV-1 and -2. Studies found that lesion formation was significantly reduced, and in some cases, viral infectivity stopped almost entirely. Lemon balm is fat soluble, which enables it to penetrate the skin, and is an effective topical treatment for herpetic infections.
Peppermint oil has stopped several viruses, including herpes in preliminary studies, from reproducing.
Manuka honey, as shown in a study in the British Medical Journal, may be as effective as antiviral creams lesions cleared in eight days with antiviral cream and nine days with honey.
Mouth Ulcers Or Cracks In The Corners Of The Mouth
Lesions in and around the mouth may partly be linked to an insufficient intake of certain vitamins or minerals.
For instance, mouth ulcers, also commonly referred to as canker sores, are often the result of deficiencies in iron or B vitamins.
One small study notes that patients with mouth ulcers appear to be twice as likely to have low iron levels .
In another small study, around 28% of patients with mouth ulcers had deficiencies in thiamine , riboflavin , and pyridoxine .
Angular cheilitis, a condition that causes the corners of the mouth to crack, split, or bleed, can be caused by excess salivation or dehydration. However, it may also be caused by an insufficient intake of iron and B vitamins, particularly riboflavin (
If you experience these symptoms, try adding the foods above to your diet to see if your symptoms improve.
Summary People with mouth ulcers or cracks at the corners of the mouth may want to try consuming more foods rich in thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, and iron to alleviate symptoms.
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Conventional Cold Sore Treatment
The most commonly prescribed medications for relieving pain and discomfort from a cold sore are acyclovir , famciclovir and valacyclovir . These antiviral drugs dont cure the virus, and they dont help once the blister appears. They have to be applied when you can feel a cold sore coming on in order to be effective.
Several studies have investigated the efficacy of oral antiviral medication in the treatment of cold sores. The medication must be taken when symptoms first appear in order to be effective. Study results vary, but most suggest that antiviral medications reduce the duration of symptoms by one or two days, especially when taken at higher doses.
When acyclovir was tested on 149 patients who took 200 milligrams five times daily for five days, it had no effect on the duration of pain or the time to recovery. However, in another study, 174 patients reported a reduction in the duration of the symptoms after taking 400 milligrams five times daily for five days.
The most frequent reported side effects of oral antiviral medications are headache and nausea, which depend on the dose and duration of treatment.
Side Effects Toxicity And Interactions
Using a single amino acid supplement may lead to negative nitrogen balance. This can lessen how well your metabolism works. It can make your kidneys work harder. In children, single amino acid supplements may cause growth problems.
You should not take high doses of single amino acids for long periods of time.
Talk to your healthcare provider before taking lysine if you have diabetes or use medicines to lower your blood sugar. You should talk to your healthcare provider if you have osteoporosis or are using calcium supplements. Lysine may reduce how much calcium you absorb. It may decrease urine loss.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldnt use lysine supplements.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Cold Sore/fever Blisters
Cold sores usually occur on the lips . Occasionally, cold sores and fever blisters can occur in or around the nostrils, or on the chin or fingers. And although they never occur on the soft cheek tissue inside of the mouth, they can, rarely, show up on the gums and roof of the mouth.
Signs and symptoms may not appear for as long as twenty days after exposure, but like all HSV infections they begin as a series of tiny blisters, sometimes preceded by a localized sensation of tingling, itching, or pain. As they develop, the blisters spread, open, ooze, and eventually turn into a yellowish crust that hardens, then sloughs off, leaving pinkish skin. Unless they become infected with another germ, the lesions of a cold sore will not leave a scar. However, the herpes virus lives on, dormant in nerve cells, and can be reactivated at any time, causing another outbreak at or near the initial infection site. Reactivation is usually triggered by some sort of stress, such as the onset of a cold or other illness, menstruation, sunburn, fatigue, even emotional trauma.
Vitamin C With Bioflavenoids
Activating the white blood cells, which produce interferon, a natural anti-viral substance, is a benefit of vitamin C. When combined with bioflavenoids, the effect can be more powerful, helping the body to fight stress and fatigue and increase oxygenation, which contributes to the healing process. Foods containing vitamin C and bioflavenoids include fresh fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, strawberries and kiwi. Parsley and other dark green vegetables are also high in these compounds, as are nuts and seeds.
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What Are The Causes Of Cold Sores
Cold sores and herpetic lesions in general whether they are on the face, genitals, fingers and hands, or anywhere else are highly contagious. You can become infected from contact with anyone who has an active lesion. This usually happens by direct contact or as a result of sharing eating utensils, razors or towels. Anyone with an open skin condition or a suppressed immune system is more susceptible to contracting the virus.
Cold Sore Supplements Vs Creams
Of course, supplements and vitamins arent all that is available to treat cold sores. You can also choose from cold sore creams, cold sore devices and over the counter/prescription medication. Given that theres so much choice available, which should you pick? First, lets take a look at the advantages of using supplements to manage cold sores:
- Supplements arent for tackling existing outbreaks. Theyre for managing cold sores long-term. So, if youd like your future outbreaks to be less severe and less painful, theyre a good choice.
- Unlike other methods of treating cold sores, supplements are broadly beneficial. Vitamins and minerals, for example, are good for your general health.
- If you already take tablets, its easy to remember to take supplements too. This will help you regulate how you manage cold sores more easily.
However, some other methods of managing cold sores do have certain advantages. For example:
- Cold sore devices are reusable, and are therefore cheaper in the long run.
- Cold sore creams are more effective since theyre applied directly to the area.
- Cold sore supplements do very little to manage existing outbreaks. Other methods can, although not as much as if you treat an outbreak before it starts.
On balance, then, your best bet is to combine supplements with other things like creams and tablets. That way, youre covering all your bases.
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Vitamin B2 For Cold Sores
05/11/2012 by Ruth Holroyd
Cold sores cause misery for many. Theyre painful, unsightly and can spread easily. They are also a very popular topic on this blog, so when one reader suggested Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, as one way of preventing them I knew I had to share it with all my cold sore readers.
Vitamin B2 is one of the group of eight B vitamins which can help to reduce stress, a common trigger of cold sores in many people. There are different types of vitamin B including B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 and B12.
Vitamin B helps the body process and use fats and protein. B complex vitamins are necessary for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.
In addition to producing energy for the body, riboflavin also works as an antioxidant by fighting damaging particles in the body known as free radicals.
Vitamin B deficiency can cause cracks and sores around the mouth, another indication that its so great at fending off cold sores.
Load Up On Vitamins E And C
Vitamins are good for us, and for our cold sores-and by good for our cold sores, I really mean bad for them. Vitamin C has been shown to boost white blood cell count, and white blood cells are the bodys defenders. When something like an infection sets in the brave little cells head into battle, and having more of them means youll be more effective at fighting off the infection, which in this case is herpes. Vitamin E, when applied topically, has been found to relieve the irritating and painful discomfort of cold sores, as well as minimize scarring. You can get the vitamins through an oral supplement, oil and-the best way-through your diet.
Vitamin C rich foods include-red berries
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Upgrade Your Eating Habits
Are you eating a standard American diet, or SAD? That means eating lots of meat, fast foods, and and few fresh fruits and vegetables. Such habits not only work against living comfortably with herpes, they also raise your risk for many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Consider upgrading your eating habits through a few, not-so-hard-to-make changes.
Eat more veggies. Try to prepare home-cooked food more often. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed, says LeeAnn Weintraub, RD, MPH, a registered dietitian based in Los Angeles. She considers these three tips to be the first steps anyone who wants to eat more healthfully should follow.
Side Effects Of Herpes Supplements
Herpes supplements are not linked to any adverse side effects because most will utilize natural ingredients. However, studies have found that they can surely put some mild side effects on the body when not consumed according to the intended dosages.
That being said, healthy adults might not even experience those mild side effects at all. But when they are taking the supplements with other medicines, the mild effects can indeed be noticeable. For that reason, it is pretty essential to talk with your doctor before taking one of these supplements.
We refer to the mild side effects like dizziness, tiredness, headaches, nausea, depression, vomiting, joint pain, stomach pain, menstrual pain, stuffy noses, and skin rashes. Some people even reported that they faced mood changes while taking these supplements.
In terms of adverse side effects, few people claimed that they experienced easy bleeding and bruising. But we believe that the supplement that they were taking did not have the right ingredients.
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Expect The First Outbreak To Be The Worst
Remember that although herpes lasts a lifetime, the first outbreak typically causes the most pain, while later outbreaks tend to be much milder.
You will always have herpes, and the sores will come and go, but you can decide not to treat the current outbreak. If its not that unpleasant or uncomfortable, some patients will do that, says Gade.
What Are The Best And Worst Foods For Cold Sores
Diet plays a role in your lip health and overall health. If you are prone to cold sores, the types of food you eat on a daily basis may impact how you experience symptoms. You may have read about foods for cold sore treatment or foods that cause cold sore outbreaks. However, just because you get cold sores doesnt mean you need to rethink your diet entirely. Cold sores are a result of many different factors, and a single food wont trigger or treat an outbreak. To put it simply: diet is just one part of the lip health equation.
Learn more about foods for cold sores below.
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Special Precautions & Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Kidney disease: There is one report of kidney disease linked with taking lysine supplements. If you have a kidney disease, check with your healthcare provider before taking lysine.
Osteoporosis: Using Lysine with calcium supplements might increase calcium absorption.
Intolerance to lysinuric protein: Lysine supplementation might cause diarrhea and stomach cramps in children who are intolerant to lysinuric protein.
How To Prevent Cold Sores
This article was co-authored by Diana Lee, MD. Dr. Diana Lee is a Family Medicine Physician in California. She received her MD from Georgetown University in 2015. Most recently, she completed an Ophthalmic Pathology fellowship at Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests are diverse and include: cataract surgery, dry eye, thyroid eye disease, retinoblastoma and diabetic retinopathy.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 156,732 times.
Cold sores are painful blister-like sores that usually appear around the lips. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus , which can be transmitted from one person to another under certain circumstances. Herpes infections of the mouth are very common in the United States, with up to 40% of young adults testing positive for the virus, regardless of whether or not they show symptoms.XResearch source Herpes infections are considered incurable and it’s not always possible to prevent an outbreak of cold sores, so reducing your risk of exposure in the first place is your best bet. If you have a history of cold sores, then practice the following strategies to help prevent them from reoccurring.
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Potential Risks And Adverse Effects Or Long
Arginine deficiency may occur with kidney or small bowel pathology, sepsis, sickle cell disease, burns, trauma, or surgery. It is essential for growth, wound healing, endothelial function, and nitric oxide production. Lysine should, therefore, be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease, impotence, gallstones, asthma, or immune dysfunction.
How Do You Get Vitamin B2 Into Your Diet
There are many foods rich in vitamin B2, including:
- Mushrooms, in particular crimini mushrooms which hold the most out of all the mushrooms, though others contain differing amounts
- Meat such as venison, beef and liver
- Dried herbs, spices and peppers e.g. paprika, dried coriander, spearmint, parsley and chili powder
- Oily fish such as mackerel, atlantic salmon and trout
- Sesame seeds
Its interesting to note that many of the above are also known allergens its very important to understand the food you eat and dont eat to make sure you are getting a balanced diet with all the nutrients, minerals, protein and calcium you need.
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Natural Cold Sore Remedies That Really Work
These options are for those of us that dont want to rely on antiviral creams or oral medications for treating cold sores. These natural remedies are safe, inexpensive and effective at boosting your immune system to prevent your sores from lasting long and causing pain. My two favorite remedies are tea tree oil and peppermint oil.
Cold Sores Vs Canker Sores
Cold sores are often confused with canker sores, but the two are very different, looks aside. Here is how to distinguish between a cold sore and a canker sore:
- Develop on the outside of the mouth, usually along the edge of the lips
- Are contagious until they crust over and heal completely
- Appear as red blisters until they break, ooze and form a crust
- Generally heal with 10 days
- Caused by herpes simplex virus
- Can be triggered by sunlight and stress
- Develop on the soft tissues inside the cheeks or lips, underneath the tongue or at the base of the gums
- Arent contagious
- Are round with a white or yellow center and a red border
- Generally heal within one to two weeks
- Caused by immune-suppressing viruses, autoimmune disorders and auto-inflammatory disorders
- Can be triggered by an accidental cheek bite, food sensitivity, injury from dental work, hormonal changes, bacteria and stress
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The 13 Best Herpes Supplements Final Words
Genital herpes affects approximately 12% of Americans aged 14 to 49. That means one in every eight people has this disease. For that reason, there is an overflow of these supplements in the market. That makes choosing the best herpes supplements a pretty challenging task.
However, you will not have to worry about that one bit because the supplements covered in this article are all effective. You will be sure to get beneficial effects after taking them. So, consider your budget and other factors of the supplement and purchase one without worrying about anything.