Witch hazel cold sores: Heard of the phrase, “A little spark leads to forest fire?” Well, cold sores are those little sparks. It may sound as simple as a common cold, but it isn’t! Contrary to its name, cold sores are quite complex and sometimes even life-threatening. This article will shed some light on cold sores, how to use witch hazel for varicose veins and how witch hazel can provide relief from cold sores.
Well, with that frightful introduction, one would be intrigued to know what cold sores are. Cold sores are a group of fluid-filled blisters that develop in various parts of the body like the nose, and corner of lips. Herpes Simplex virus (type 1) causes cold sores. Once these pathogens enter the body, they remain dormant until they are triggered. Though there is no fixed pattern, it can vary from person to person. The term cold sore was first introduced in 1870; cold sores are also commonly known as, “fever blisters.”
Cold sores are generally painful and are triggered due to stress, sunburn, fever.
You may wonder what the symptoms might be so that you can prevent a painful ordeal. Well, the following points answer the same, although, not everyone is bound to show the symptoms first hand. Here are top 10 signs of cold sores.
Signs of cold sores
- Pain, burning sensation, and itching.
- The appearance of the tiny version of rashes.
- Oozing and crusting of tiny blisters that leave shallow open sores and causes a crust to form.
- High body temperature.
- A sore throat.
- Lip swelling.
- Swallowing difficulties.
- Mouth or tongue pain.
- Swollen glands.
|NOTE: The first attack of herpes infection is called gingivostomatitis. Kids are vulnerable to it and it causes fever, swollen lymph glands, and blisters inside mouth, lips, and tongue. It may even result in dehydration. Keep watch on your child if (s)he begins developing any signs of such blisters.|
More on cold sores
Many people experience cold sores, but there’s no fixed or promised pattern because various factors such as stress, immunity, and sunburn contribute to it. People diagnosed for the first time may experience fever, sore throat, headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, and painful eroding of gums. These viruses spread with or without close contact.
External cold sore blisters get healed with no external pressure or medication. The virus must be treated as soon as possible if not the virus can travel to the brain and affect the nervous system. A weak immune system if left with no medications can have complications that include Eczema, severe burns, and HIV/AIDS. You must visit a doctor if the following criteria match any of your symptoms:
- It’s more than two weeks, and the cold sores remain on your body.
- Irritation in eyes.
- Very frequent break-outs of cold sores.
Once you are affected, you should change your food habits and other habits accordingly. To prevent higher inflammation and further transformation, the following are few don’ts if you have cold sores.
Things to avoid if you have cold sores
- No acidic and salty foods.
- One shouldn’t rub medicine and dab it. You must resist touching the blisters because you might touch another body part and it will spread.
- Kissing the eyes and mouth of babies should be avoided. Especially, if they’re below six months of age since it can cause complications.
- You should not share anything while having the break-out, because it runs the risk of the virus spreading.
The World Health Organization recently updated the statistics that annually, on a global scale, almost 3.7 billion people, i.e., 67% people below the age of 50 are affected by HSV-1. This shows that it’s a growing concern and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
LET’S BURST FEW MYTHS!
This table will clarify the facts and clear some common misconceptions.
|1. Winter is not a common season for cold sores. Interestingly, sunlight is usually a trigger.|
|2. Catching a common cold doesn’t always mean you are bound to get cold sores as well.|
|3. Canker sores are ulcers on the inside of your mouth, tongue, and gums and cold sore isn’t the same.|
|4. According to research done by University of Edinburgh, cold sores are not hereditary.|
|5. All lip blisters are not cold sores and you should identify it correctly.|
|6. Cold sores are contagious even at the initial stages.|
|7. Cold sores can appear anywhere.|
|8. Currently, there’s no cure for cold sores.|
|9. Intimate contact is not the only way to get a cold sore. Sharing lipsticks or toothbrush is enough reason for contracting cold sores.|
|10. Only the marks or evident presence will fade away but the pathogens won’t leave the body.|
With all this information you may wonder if your symptoms match the criteria listed above. Well, there may not be medicine for completely curing or killing those pathogens permanently, but there is scope to remove the blisters that are present on your skin; witch hazel is one such boon. Here are some reasons why you should consider using these witch hazel cold sore methods.
WITCH HAZEL COLD SORES: A practical solution
Before diving into the methods of witch hazel cold sores treatment, you need to first know about witch hazel. It is a plant native to North America. Also known as winter bloom, it’s very famous for its healing properties. Furthermore, does witch hazel shrink pores? Yes, it does. It acts as an effective medicine and dries out cold sores to cure them. If you have sensitive skin, then be careful as it can irritate the cold sore. You should dip the medicine in a cotton ball and dab it on the areas that need healing.
This magical plant has properties that include antiseptic, antibacterial and sedative components. It has various other uses like removing make-up, treating razor burn, and acne breakouts. You may question, “How this would help heal cold sores?”. Here’s how it will:
Firstly, one might want to know if their skin type is compatible with witch hazel. The following test will answer the same:
- First, one should choose a sensitive part of the skin. Preferably, neck part below the hairline.
- Then they should apply a little amount of witch hazel to the skin.
- A little tingling sensation or appearance of shades of pink should not be an issue.
- You should wait for 30 minutes and check once again the next day.
- If no such reaction is found, then you’re not sensitive and can use the product.
Using this product regularly will regulate oil flow in pores of skin and scalp. One can find witch hazel oil online or can quickly prepare it at home. Well, the next two sections of witch hazel cold sores will clarify how to prepare it at home (with and without alcohol).
Few might not like the presence of alcohol in products so here is the preparation methodology of how to make witch hazel solution at home without alcohol in the section of witch hazel cold sores.
Preparing witch hazel for cold sore treatment
(you should make sure to add these in lid-tight pots only)
1. 0.1 kg of American witch hazel bark or leaves.
2. Water to cover.
3. Boil it and reduce the heat level.
4. Simmer it for 10-15 mins by covering it.
5. Turn off. Let it cool.
7. Refrigerate for a week’s use. Freeze for longer use.
As you now know how to make one’s solution without alcohol, you might wonder how to make the same with alcohol. The answer to how to make witch hazel solution at home with alcohol is as follows in witch hazel cold sores section:
The steps above show how to make witch hazel solution at home without alcohol in witch hazel cold sores section. You need to follow the same method until the 6th step then there’s a slight change in making witch hazel solution at home with alcohol. Here’s what you need to do after the 6th step to make use of witch hazel to treat cold sores:
|7. Measure the amount of hazel water.
8. 0.10 liter of vodka or grain alcohol.
9. Store the solutions, which can be used for 2-3 months.
Having read how to make witch hazel solution at home with alcohol and without alcohol, few organic product enthusiasts might question if there’s any way to make such solution organically. The following section in witch hazel cold sores will deal with how to make herbal witch hazel solution.
Preparing witch haze organically for cold sore treatment
1. You should find a nearby natural grocery store and choose the witch hazel which has at least 86% of witch hazel extract and rest 14% or less other required chemicals. Having chemicals, especially alcohol above 14% might end up irritating or drying your skin which is not desirable.
2. You can consider herbs like basil, calendula, chamomile, green sencha leaf tea, lavender floor, lemon balm or peel, lemongrass, orange peel, peppermint, rose petals, rosemary, and vanilla beans with witch hazel. They do go well with witch hazel. You can also pick your favorite herb or combinations as well.
3. Having selected the desired herbs, you should put them together in a jar and one should take a moment to decide the concentration of the desired solution. In case, if one feels that mild concentration is their wish, then they should place few herbs at the bottom and in case you wish to have a strong potion, then cover it up few centimeters, say, five centimeters. You should make sure that you give herbs a little room to expand and swell as they start infusing in the witch hazel.
4. You should make sure that you set the prepared solution in a place where there will be no drastic change of temperatures like inside a garage or attic. Preferably, one should store in cabinet or closet.
5. Before you use it, the jar should be shaken every single day for a period of two continuous weeks; make sure that herbs swell and get infused with witch hazel thoroughly. Sometimes many don’t prefer this method as it’s time consuming.
6. After completing two weeks, one should transfer the prepared solution to a different jar.
7. Now that it’s ready, you can start using the solution on your skin.
8. The good point about this solution is that it can be stored for approximately 6 months which is a good deal.
|NOTE: The main ingredient in witch hazel is, the presence of a chemical called as tannins. This gets directly into the skin and reduces swelling, repairs broken skin and fights bacteria.|
Side effects of the witch hazel cold sores solution
Regarding the side effects, it’s proven that it’s safe for almost all adults and few tend to have minor skin irritation. That’s why you are expected to follow the skin-compatibility-test that is mentioned above. Ingestion tends to result in nausea and other side-effects. There’s no report or information or reliable information for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and it’s strongly advised to consult a doctor before using any witch hazel product.
You may be interested in knowing the exact mechanism of Witch Hazel and might question, how does witch hazel generally work on your skin.
Bark, twigs, leaves of the plant contain constituents such as polyphenols and tannins. These elements, when mixed with water or alcohol, form a concentrated solution. Tannins remove excess oil from the skin.
Witch hazel contains gallate esters; they contain a considerable amount of proanthocyanins, galloylated sugars, and methyl gallate.
|NOTE: Polyphenols are present in witch hazel, which are generally used in producing anti-aging cream. Maybe this explains why witch hazel is applied on the face and helps in reducing aging signs like wrinkles and dark spots.|
After reading the witch hazel cold sores section, you may wonder the process of witch hazel medications; the following section will explain how to apply witch hazel:
- You should purchase witch hazel online or according to your doctor’s prescription.
- Keep the area of application damp, but not dripping wet, for easier absorption of medicine in the skin.
- One should make sure to check the sensitivity level towards witch hazel by applying to areas other than the required area.
- Dab the solution on the wound; Don’t rub it on your skin.
- For adults, it can be done twice a day. For kids, especially below six months, a doctor should be consulted.
- Witch hazel penetrates deep into the skin and will give you the desired result, provided you use it efficiently.
Conclusion on witch hazel cold sores
- Cold sores don’t have a permanent solution as they stay inside the body, but the external appearance can be removed by applying for effective topical medicines like witch hazel.
- Witch hazel is useful in treating various sicknesses.
- You can prepare your witch hazel solution at home.
- Cold sores seem easily treatable, but it can be tedious and lifelong if left with no medication or treatment.
- There should be enough awareness about cleanliness, symptoms and other various effects and side-effects since almost 2/3rd of the global population is affected by this disease.
These are some of the best witch hazel cold sores uses that you can use for effective results. If you know more ways in which witch hazel can help in curing cold sores, please let us know in the comments below.