Q: I’ve been getting cold sores more frequently lately, and they’re driving me crazy! Not only are they painful, but they don’t look great either and I feel like it’s so embarrassing. Do you have anything natural that can make them heal faster and maybe even prevent them from coming around? Thanks.
A: Cold sores are caused by a variation of the herpes virus, and are incredibly common; it’s been estimated that between 50 to 80 percent of people in America experience (or will experience) cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. According to the National Institute of health, 90 percent of people have the virus in their bodies, even if they’ve never had a cold sore.
Cold sores can be brought on by a number of factors, stress being one of the biggest ones. Thankfully, there are natural supplements which can both help cold sore outbreaks to heal quicker and also reduce the frequency cold sore outbreaks.
Lysine is the best supplement there is when it comes to cold sores. Lysine is an amino acid that aids in the production of antibodies and slows replication of the herpes virus. The typical dose for preventing and healing cold sores is 1500mg per day, which usually works out to be three capsules (best taken in divided doses). Generally, lysine should not be taken for more than six months continuously; it’s best to take lysine for several months and then take a break until a new outbreak occurs.
Even better than taking lysine straight, is Quantum’s Super Lysine Plus capsules, which combine the recommended dose of lysine with garlic, echinacea, and propolis- potent immune boosters with antiviral properties which help to keep the herpes virus in check.
In addition to taking lysine internally we have salves containing lysine for topical use. The one we’d recommend is again by the brand Quantum (they really seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to cold sores) which has been shown to reduce the amount of time to heal a cold sore by half (a claim backed up by scientific research). The salve also helps with reducing pain and irritation while it heals. In addition, we also have cold sore bandages at the store, which are particularly helpful for oozing or weeping cold sores (when a cold sore is weeping is also the time they are the most contagious).
Cold sores aren’t fun, but you aren’t alone in dealing with them, and there are natural things that can really make a difference- both in getting rid of them faster, as well as making them less frequent. Good luck! Stop by the store and we’d love to help you further.