Cold Sores - Symptoms, Treatment, and Homeopathic Remedies
Using Homeopathy for Cold Sores and Herpes Virus
Cold sores are occasional outbreaks of a viral disease around the mouth, lips, nose, chin or face (and sometimes other parts of the body). The infection comes from either herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) - the more common culprit for facial cold sores - or herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), which reside deep in the nerve cells between the recurrent bouts during which they "express." Both viruses can cause genital herpes as well, though HSV-2 is more commonly the source.
Reliable statistics for cold sores are hard to come by, and estimates vary very widely, with some sources claiming that 50-80% of Americans are infected with HSV-1. Infection during childhood via saliva is indeed very common, but it is difficult to determine whether in fact a full half of all USA residents experience cold sore outbreaks.
Symptoms include clumps of small blisters, ulcers, lesions, or mouth sores, which can be itchy or painful. During the first infectious episode, there is often an accompanying fever and other indications of illness such as enlarged lymph nodes and achiness.
Susceptibility to outbreaks is higher when someone is physically or emotionally run-down or their immune system is compromised in some fashion.
Visual diagnosis can be sufficient in some cases, but several diagnostic tests are available: blood testing for HSV antibodies; viral cultures of the lesion; and direct fluorescent antibody testing of lesion cells.
Conventional Treatment Treats the Symptoms Not the Cause
Most people do not undergo any treatment for cold sores. Those who have especially severe, frequent, or prolonged attacks may take an antiviral medication such as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), or famciclovir (Famvir), and some people (with either oral cold sores or genital herpes) take these medications continuously to reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks. Because the first episode is frequently more severe than recurrences, more patients are inclined to take these medications at that time.
Home remedies for cold sores include applying ice during the beginning and warm compresses during the healing period; adding lysine to one's diet; taking a daily multi-vitamin; applying garlic oil or oregano oil; and cleaning the sore frequently with peroxide or alcohol.
According to conventional medicine, outbreaks of cold sores (and genital herpes) are a lifelong problem with no known cure. But the homeopathic approach has been successful in curing cold sores for many people. Homeopathy treats the whole person constitutionally, rather than just the symptoms of a particular malady. This holistic approach is very effective with a problem such as cold sores. According to homeopathic theory and practice, suppressing the symptoms of cold sores can force the malady deeper within the organism, so that it eventually manifests as a lung ailment, for example. This is why homeopathic remedies are designed to address the problem at every level it exists.
Homeopathy Matches Your Individual Symptoms to a Homeopathic Remedy So You Feel Better Right Away
Homeopathic remedies for cold sores include Arsenicum album, Graphites, Hepar sulphuricum, Mercurius solubilis, Nat-mur, Rhus tox., and Sulphur. The selection of an effective remedy or series of remedies depends on numerous factors such as where the sores appear, their frequency and shape, prevailing mood patterns, whether there is attendant burning, whether this is any discharge from the sores such as pus (suppuration), etc.