Cold sores are unpleasant, ugly, contagious, and unbelievably painful sores. Some people experience tingling a few hours or even a couple of days before a break out. Others have breakouts that offer no warning at all.
Many cold sore sufferers try every home remedy they can find to clear up cold sores as quickly as possible. Home remedies range from helpful to harmful, with bleach being a commonly used home remedy that falls quite squarely into the latter category.
Cold Sore Basics
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, either type 1 or type 2. Studies suggest that the majority of cold sores are caused by the type 1 virus and the rest by type 2. It really makes no difference which type of the virus you’ve been infected with, the sores are equally unattractive, equally painful and equally contagious. Untreated sores from both virus types last an average of three weeks when untreated and can hang around as long as 24 days.
What a Cold Sore Treatment Should do
Basically, a good cold sore treatment should heal the sore, preferably killing the virus in the process and drying up the blister while it heals.
On the other hand, a good cold sore treatment will heal without causing discomfort or additional damage to your skin. Even a remedy that works is not much good if it causes more pain than the original problem or if it causes skin damage that takes even longer to heal.
Which brings us to bleach. Lots of people do it, and it really does heal the blister and kill the virus. However, bleach can cause redness and swelling that can last for months. Many people would prefer a cold sore for a couple of weeks than many months of unsightly redness. The bottom line is bleach does work, but at a high price.
A safer choice is to apply a natural treatment like Herdox. Don’t touch the blister, or you risk introducing bacteria that can cause infection. Also consider taking a multivitamin or at least extra vitamins B complex and C. B vitamins have been shown to lower stress, and stress is a common trigger for cold sores. Vitamin C is a good immune booster and can help your body keep the virus at bay.