Effective Cold Sore Treatment: Expert Tips from a Dermatologist

Effective Cold Sore Treatment: Expert Tips from a Dermatologist

cold sore, dermatologist, treatment, Valtrex, Aciclovir, Zovirax, Mederma, antiviral medicine, cold sore patch, professional assistance

When that familiar itchy, tingly, or burning sensation sets in, you know a cold sore is on its way. Cold sores, caused by a common virus that affects approximately 80 percent of the United States population, can appear suddenly as small blisters that eventually form crusts. While they can occur anywhere on the face, they typically manifest around the mouth, often causing distress due to their unsightly appearance. So, what can be done to address them effectively?

According to Dr. Emma Craythorne, a dermatologist and the founder of Klira, a bespoke prescription skincare company, there are several options for dealing with cold sores. If you are within the first five days of developing a cold sore, Dr. Craythorne suggests taking a medication called Valtrex. Available in tablet, liquid, ointment, or cream form, Valtrex is an antiviral medicine that requires a prescription.

For those who prefer not to take tablets or have surpassed the initial five-day window, a cream version such as Aciclovir or Zovirax can be applied to help alleviate symptoms. Dr. Craythorne also recommends using a cold sore patch, like Mederma's, which serves two purposes: it aids in faster healing due to its breathable and skin-healing properties, and it conceals the area, making the cold sore less noticeable. Additionally, these patches reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

In severe cases where the cold sore has spread across the face, combined with eczema, or affected other parts of the body, Dr. Craythorne advises seeking professional assistance. In such instances, injections of Aciclovir or even steroids may be necessary to calm down the immune response.

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