Cold sores, which are also referred to as fever blisters, are a nuisance. If you have cold sores, you’re far from alone. Over 40% of Americans regularly deal with cold sores too. Finding the best treatment to keep your sores under control isn’t easy. So, you may be wondering whether using Aquaphor for cold sores is a good idea. Let’s explore this question together in the next few sections.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Cold Sore?
- Can I Put Aquaphor on My Cold Sore?
- Is It Better to Keep Cold Sores Moist or Dry?
- How Do You Stop a Cold Sore From Spreading?
- Aquaphor for Cold Sores Can Help!
What Is a Cold Sore?
A cold sore is a type of viral infection. Also commonly referred to as fever blisters, a cold sore is a small blister found around or directly on the lips. The blister is filled with fluid and may be found alongside multiple other blisters.
Eventually, the blister will break, leaving a scab over the area. The unsightly scab may remain for multiple days. Generally, most cold sores should heal without leaving a scar within three weeks.
Cold sores cannot be prevented, but with the right treatment they can be kept under control. In some cases, your physician may prescribe an antiviral medication or cream, though often no formal medication is needed.
Most cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, though some can be caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2. A cold sore is contagious and is spread by kissing or other forms of close contact. In addition to affecting the area around the mouth, cold sores can also affect the genitals and be spread through oral sex.
Can I Put Aquaphor on My Cold Sore?
However, remember that you won’t want to apply these ointments to your cold sore until it has dried out and is no longer painful. Cold sores like moisture. Applying Aquaphor Lip Repair for cold sores too soon may make it worse.
Before applying Aquaphor to your lips and cold sore, consider refrigerating it for a few minutes. Applying a cool ointment can help alleviate some of the pain and itching associated with a cold sore.
Is Vaseline Good for Cold Sores?
However, just like with Aquaphor, you won’t want to apply Vaseline to your cold sore until it has dried out and is no longer painful. This will keep the cold sore from getting too moist when it is still blustery, which can make it worse.
Is It Better to Keep Cold Sores Moist or Dry?
When treating a cold sore, you should initially leave it dry. Adding creams or ointments during the early stages of a cold sore, can make it worse. However, once the cold sore has dried itself out and has stopped being painful, you will want to keep it moist.
Keeping it moist at this point will help ensure that your lips don’t bleed and crack. It will also help the scabbed area heal more quickly.
How Do You Stop a Cold Sore From Spreading?
As we shared above, cold sores are highly contagious. Here are a few things you can do to reduce the chances that you’ll pass on the herpes virus to someone else when you have a cold sore.
- Avoid touching your cold sore: Do not touch your cold sore to decrease the chances of it spreading. Remember, the cold sore is contagious the entire time it is present, so you should avoid touching it completely as long as it is there (except when you’re applying creams or ointments to the area).
- Wash your hands frequently: Washing your hands frequently can help decrease the chances that your cold sore will spread. Always wash immediately after touching the cold sore.
- Don’t kiss anyone: Kissing is one of the top ways that HSV-1 spreads. Try to be extra cautious not to kiss children, pregnant women, or anyone who has decreased immunity.
- Don’t share any personal items with others: You can also transmit HSV-1 through sharing personal items, such as silverware, glasses, straws, and lip balm. Avoid sharing anything that comes in contact with your mouth/face with another person.
- Replace your toothbrush: There can be remnants of the virus in your toothbrush, so you’ll want to replace your toothbrush to avoid reinfecting yourself. Replace it after the blister forms, and then once more once the cold sore has completely healed.
- Abstain from oral sex: The HSV-1 virus can be also be passed to your partner during oral sex, leaving them with an infection in their genitals. If you have a cold sore, you should not have oral sex.
- Avoid triggers for your cold sores: Different individuals will have different triggers for their cold sore. If you know your triggers, try to avoid putting yourself in situations that will make it more likely for a cold sore to form. A few examples of triggers include UV light, fevers, colds, injuries, hormone changes, and stress.
What ointment should I put on a cold sore?
You can use Aquaphor or Vaseline on a cold sore after it has stopped being painful. Another option to consider is Abreva. Abreva is an FDA-approved treatment cream for cold sores that is designed to reduce the duration of cold sore symptoms, such as pain, burning, itching, and tingling.
You can also use a healing patch, like this one from Mederma.
Are cold sores contagious?
Yes, cold sores can be very contagious. Most cold sores are caused by HSV-1, or the herpes simplex virus type 1. It is commonly spread through close contact, such as kissing or sharing personal care items, such as utensils and towels.
Once the herpes virus is in an individual’s system, it stays there for life. It is often dormant, but can become activated at any point. There is no guarantee that it will become activated and cause cold sores, though, as some individuals who carry the herpes virus never develop cold sores.
It is much more likely for someone to pass the herpes virus to a partner or another close contact when they have a cold sore, however it is still possible for the virus to pass even when there are no cold sores present.
A cold sore will remain contagious until it has completely gone away. In most cases, the cold sore should clear up within two or three weeks.
Aquaphor for Cold Sores Can Help!
Using Aquaphor after your cold sore has started to dry out can help soothe the skin and prevent it from cracking and bleeding. If you are worried about a cold sore, have a weakened immune system, get multiple cold sores each year, or experience any severe symptoms, reach out to your physician.
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