When choosing the best over-the-counter cold sore treatment, it is important to know that it is just one medicine that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Docosanol 10% is said to be the only cream that can reduce the healing time of a cold sore if applied at the first wind of an outbreak. If an outbreak is completely inflated, finding an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that reduces pain, itching, and the laughing tingling sensation should be the first order. Stopping a cold sore from ripening should be the next consideration. Cold sores can be brought on due to sun exposure, so keeping your lips covered with a sunscreen can help limit the number of cold sore events.
Pain and itching associated with cold sores can be alleviated by the use of products containing benzocaine. Camphor, known for its cooling effect, is a favorite for minimizing the pain associated with cold sores. Menthol helps reduce the tingling and itching of cold sores. Products containing benzyl alcohol are also used to relieve the pruritus of cold sores. Although technically not over-the-counter cold sore medications, everyone can be used to treat the symptoms.
As an inhibitor of the swelling and growth of an existing cold sore, there are a number of ingredients that are effective. Products containing tannic acid are said to reduce the swelling of the cold sores. Tannic acid also helps stop a cold sore from developing if used on the outbreak. Products containing docosanol have been proven to reduce the duration of cold sores when used as directed. It also protects nearby skin cells from infection.
Keeping your lips both moist and protected with an OTC sunscreen can help prevent the number of cold sores occurrences. It is important to choose the right lip balm, however. A good lip balm should contain zinc oxide because it is non-toxic, adheres well to moist environments, and protects against harmful ultraviolet rays.
Many sunscreens contain an ingredient called para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). While PABA protects against UV rays, it is also believed to increase the risk of skin cancer. Therefore, lip balm containing PABA should be avoided.
When shopping for an over-the-counter cold sore medicine, be sure to read the ingredient list carefully. Found at the beginning of the list these elements have a stronger concentration than those found at the end. After the appearance of a cold sore, using lip balms containing botanical extracts that promote healing, and / or salicylic acid that promotes exfoliation, can help with cold sores relief.
- Be sure to read the ingredient list carefully when shopping for over-the-counter medications.
- Pain and itching associated with cold sores can be alleviated by the use of products containing benzocaine.