Aloe vera has long been considered as one of Mother Nature’s miracle plants, well-regarded for its healing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties, among others. As such, it is not surprising if you see a lot of folks using aloe vera for cold sores.
What is a Cold Sore?
A cold sore is often characterized by the presence of blisters. That is why some would call the condition as fever blisters. These can appear anywhere in the body, although almost 9 out of 10 cases will mostly affect the lips and the insides of the mouth. Other parts of the body that can be affected include the nose, fingers, and cheeks.
Right after the formation of blisters, you will see secretions oozing out from the blisters. Within a few more days, the blisters will form a crust or scab before eventually falling off. Once the scab has completely shed from the affected site, you will see new skin underneath.
Cold sores typically last about 7 to 10 days. It is contagious and can be spread by direct contact with other people. The period of infectivity lasts until the completion of the crusting.
What Causes Cold Sore?
The most common cold sore causes is a virus known as Herpes simplex virus type 1 or HSV-1. About 80 percent of people will get the virus before they reach the age of 10. After the initial infection the HSV-1 goes to sleep and lies dormant for many years. However, because of a variety of factors, the virus can get reactivated any time. When the HSV-1 is reactivated, cold sores appear. Some of the more common triggers for its reactivation and, hence, the formation of cold sores, include the following.
- Psychological and emotional stress
- Trauma to the mouth or the lips
- Prolonged exposure to the sun
In all of these situations, the triggering event almost always leads to a compromised immune system. Because the body’s natural defense mechanism is somehow decreased, then there is no adequate immunologic mechanism to check against the reactivation of the HSV-1. This leads to an eruption of cold sores.
Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel with its Properties for Cold Sores
A short clinical review by Surijushe, Vasani, and Saple in 208 showed that aloe vera gel has excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, cleansing, and wound healing properties. It is through these properties of aloe vera gel that it is able to get rid of cold sores, making it an ideal solution to the perennial question on how to get rid of cold sores on lips, mouth, and other parts of the body. Let us look at these benefits one by one.
- Reduces inflammation
Aloe vera contains 8 enzymes, C-glucosyl chromone, 4 fatty acids, gibberrellins, auxins, and 20 amino acids, all of which have been shown to provide excellent anti-inflammatory effects. This can help reduce the swelling that is often associated with the formation of blisters found in cold sores.
- Fights free radicals
The vitamins A, C, and E are known as powerful antioxidants. Aloe vera for cold sores is naturally rich with these vitamins. It also contains several minerals that have antioxidant properties like chromium, selenium, zinc, and copper. Since stress is one of the major triggers of cold sores, providing ample antioxidants in the body can help reduce both the incidence and severity of the cold sores.
- Kills microorganisms
Just how beneficial is aloe vera? According to Zandi, Zadeh, Sartavi, and Rastian (2007), aloe vera gel has excellent antiviral properties. This is made possible by the presence of the anthraquinones emodin and aloin while the fatty acid lupeol has also been known to exhibit antiseptic characteristics. Aloe vera gel also contains salicylic acid which is a substance that is well-known for killing fungal species, one of the most common microorganisms that can take advantage of a reduced immune system functioning related to cold sores.
- Heals wounds
The vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, gibberrellins, auxins, and saponins contained in aloe vera all contribute to the faster healing of the cold sore blisters.
How to Use Aloe Vera Gel to Treat Cold Sore
Now that you know the many benefits of aloe vera gel especially in the management of cold sores, the next thing you have to learn is how to use aloe vera for cold sores. You can apply a high quality aloe vera gel product as directed. For best results, the gel should be applied three times a day until you see the lesion has completely dried. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after applying the aloe vera gel.
Alternatively, you can use fresh aloe vera leaves, wash them thoroughly, and cut them into 2-inch pieces. You can squeeze the juice of each piece onto a cotton ball and apply this onto the cold sore. Again, it is important to keep your hands clean before and after such application.
Other Surprising Beauty Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel
Aside from the ability to get rid of cold sore on your lips, aloe vera for cold sores has many other benefits, too. Here are some of the many beauty benefits of aloe vera:
- It helps treat sunburn by helping facilitate the faster healing of sun-damaged skin while also replenishing moisture and providing it with protective layer.
- It moisturizes the skin so that your skin will feel and look fresher, younger, and more vibrant.
- It helps treat acne in the same way as it does cold sores. Aloe vera has a number of substances that have amazing anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce the severity of acnes and other skin problems. Additionally, it can help stimulate the growth of new skin cells.
- It helps you look younger by providing the skin with the antioxidants it needs to minimize the appearance of fine lines, stretch marks, wrinkles, and even dark spots that are often associated with aging.
- It nourishes the skin. Aloe vera provides 7 of the 8 essential amino acids and 20 of the 22 amino acids needed by the body to produce healthy cells. It also contains healthy fatty acids, enzymes, minerals, hormones, and vitamins that increase the overall health of the skin.
To say that aloe vera for cold sores is an amazing product is a gross understatement. It is a miracle plant that not only treats cold sores but also keeps you feeling and looking more beautiful, younger, and more vibrant than ever.
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