Cold sores also called fever blisters are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus. In many cases this virus in contacting when you are young and remains dormant in your body until stress, or a lowering of your immune systems allows the virus to result in visible symptoms.
Once contacted there is no cure for the herpes simplex virus, but using apple cider vinegar to treat a cold sore, may help that cold sore to heal faster while reducing some of the itching or stinging that accompanies a cold sore breakout.
Let’s take a look at what a cold sore is, how you get it, and how apple cider vinegar may help.
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Contacting the Herpes Simplex Virus
In many cases you can contact the herpes simplex virus and not even know that you have it. There are basically two forms of the virus known as HSV-1 and HSV-2.
Herpes Simplex virus 1 is normally spread through oral secretions or sores on the skin and is the predominant cause of cold sores, although SSV-2 (which is sexually transmitted) can also result is sores around the mouth and other parts of the body.
In many cases, children contact this virus through a parent or another child, but the virus lays dormant for years and the person doesn’t even know they have the virus until a breakout in the form of a cold sore appears.
What Exactly Causes Cold Sores?
While the cause of cold sores is the herpes simplex virus, some people may have the virus and never experience a cold sore. The virus normally remains dormant until the immune system weakens allowing the virus to cause breakouts.
Breakouts occur often when people:
- Become ill or overly fatigued.
- Are under physical or emotional stress.
- There is trauma to the effected area.
Some people have few cold sore breakouts while other people get breakouts on a repeated basis.
What Do Cold Sores Look Like?
Cold sores are small blisters that appear on the lip on the area around the mouth. Sometimes there is a single blister and at other times blisters occur in clusters. A few days after the blister appears it will break open and ooze a clear liquid.
While you can pass on the virus at any time, you need to be extra careful during the oozing period that others do not come in contact with the blister or the liquid that oozes from it.
Cold sores can be itchy or painful, and ugly to look at causing embarrassment to the person who has one, so getting rid of that cold sore as quickly as possible is important to most people.
How Apple Cider Vinegar can Help
Apple cider vinegar may help you treat your cold sores in a number of ways. First, it may prevent a cold sore from even forming. In many cases, just prior to cold sore breakout, an area of the lips or around the mouth may start to feel itching or sting.
Dipping a cotton ball in some apple cider vinegar and applying it to the area has been known to help prevent any blisters from forming.
Once a blister does appear, using apple cider vinegar as a topical treatment can relieve some of the itching or pain that accompanies the blister. Do keep in mind however, that once the blister breaks open using vinegar can sting, but also may dry up the cold sore faster than the sore will dry up on it’s own.
Some people even believe that drinking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar a day can help reduce the number of breakouts. While there is no scientific evidence to suggest this is the case there is some anecdotal evidence showing this may work for some people.
Do keep in mind that if you have chronic cold sore breakouts, or your breakouts last more than 14 days with or without treatment you should seek medical advice for dealing with your cold sores.