Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Crank Sores

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Treat Cold Sores? 

Imagine waking up to a cluster of blisters right over your lips. And to make matters worse, you have an upcoming event where you have to look your best. What can you do in such a case?

Well, you have to act right away. With all the available tools in your house, it’s funny how there’s nothing to provide you with a quick fix!

So, how to treat cold sores quickly? There’s one thing that can help. Something we all share, and it’s none other than a trusty bottle of hydrogen peroxide forgotten on shelves!

So this begs the question, what exactly are these nasty blisters? And can you use hydrogen peroxide over them, and how?

We will be answering all those questions and much more. So without further ado, let’s begin!

Cold Sores: What Are They?

Before we can get into answering the question of hydrogen peroxide can treat or cold, and if so, how we first have to learn what exactly are they.

Cold sores are a nasty group of blistering that predominantly appear on your lips and the area around the mouth. They consist of fluid-filled sacs that are very tempting to pop (like pimples). However, they are pretty different, discussed in the subsequent sections.

Etiologically, cold sores result from an infection, particularly a viral one. Many people refer to this disease as “oral herpes” or “fever blisters.” This virus shares its name with a ubiquitous STD, herpes. Though, cold sores can affect anyone, regardless of previous sexual contact.

The reason for that being Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), the main culprit behind these sores, is highly contagious and can spread through oral contact such as sharing food, drinks, or kissing. Moreover, these viruses can stay dormant inside your body year and year. And thus, you can develop cold sores without any recent contact incident.

Hydrogen Peroxide – It’s Antiviral!

Now that we have gone over what exactly cold sores are and what are some of the causative agents behind these nasty pus-filled blisters, we can get into how you can get rid of them, fast and easy!

Hydrogen peroxide, as we all know, is one of the most famous disinfecting agents available in the market. Not only that, but it is also readily available in most of our homes inside first aid toolboxes or shelves, preserved in brown bottles.

People mainly use hydrogen peroxide for treating superficial wounds and getting rid of germs like bacteria over the skin. However, many people do not recognize or appreciate the full effectiveness of this chemical and its utility.

Hydrogen peroxide is highly indiscriminate in its disinfecting ability. What this means is the chemical property that is responsible for giving hydrogen peroxide the ability to fight bacteria is also effective against other pathogens, let’s say viruses.

But hey, instead of believing us, why don’t we let the research do the talking?

Research Claims

In a study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, scientists tested the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide vapors over the bacteriophage (a form of virus). The tested subjects were exposed to various concentrations of hydrogen peroxide vapors and over different surfaces and evaluated the results.

The results show a marked decrease in bacteriophage concentration after being treated with hydrogen peroxide for 30-90 minutes. And one crucial point that the researchers highlighted is that the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide directly correlated with the medium you used it over where superficial media (one not in contact with blood) showed the best results.

You can find other encouraging results in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Here the scientists used hydrogen peroxide over various viruses and observed the results. A variant of the herpes virus is one of them.

Their research showed that hydrogen peroxide reduced the viral population below embryo-lethal doses just after 30 minutes of exposure. Moreover, the scientists recommended using hydrogen peroxide for the removal and treatment of viral outbreaks in hospitals and other places alike!

This shows how hydrogen peroxide is terrific in removing viruses of all types. Herpes virus is shown to be weak against hydrogen peroxide by research.

Treating A Cold Sore With Hydrogen Peroxide

Now that we know how hydrogen peroxide is effective against causative agents behind a cold sore, we can get into how to get rid of it yourself. That too, at home with ease!

The great thing about hydrogen peroxide is how minimalistic it is, and you can perform the whole procedure with only a handful of equipment. Treating cold sores is one of the great examples of that.

What You Need

The Procedure

Once you have gathered all equipment, you can start the procedure right away. What you need to do is:

  • Take a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and splash a cup full directly into a clean bowl
  • Now take another cup containing cold water and make a hydrogen peroxide solution in the bowl
  • Once done, take a pair of tweezers and grab a cotton swab by its end
  • Gently dip the cotton swab directly into the bowl having hydrogen peroxide solution
  • Take it out and let the excess liquid drain into the bowl before you apply it over the sores
  • Now, take the cotton swab and gently tap it over the affected region
  • You may feel a bit of itching or burning sensation over the applied surface. However, that is hydrogen peroxide reacting with the pathogens present over the surface
  • Make sure to cover all of the area having cold sores, and leave it on for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • Repeat the procedure 2-3 times, or until you are assured that hydrogen peroxide has got all of the cold sores blisters
  • In the end, cover the area gently with an antiviral ointment for best results

And that about it! Perform this procedure twice or thrice daily for best results. It generally takes about three days to a week for a cold sore to completely heal away.

How To Know If You Have Cold Sores

So far, the major chunk of information in the article has been about how hydrogen peroxide is effective against cold sores and how you can perform the procedure at home. Now, we can address some of the queries people have about cold sores and hydrogen peroxide, the nooks, and crannies of the procedure.

Starting, the foremost struggle that people face lies in the initial step, which is to recognize the problem. We have also mentioned above how cold sores look quite similar to pimples and can be mistaken as such.

This confusion can be detrimental, as people who have a habit of popping pimples may face many severe consequences of popping blisters caused by HSV when compared with regular pimples.

For once, the pus-filled blisters of cold sores contain the herpes virus. And if you have not recognized it yet, this virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted easily. Popping a cold sore will release a gush of fluid containing the HSV virus and pus. And all those areas of your skin that were previously saved from the menace of this virus are now in direct contact with it—resulting in the immense spread of this disease.

Moreover, you can spread this infection to the people around you. If you have a habit of constantly touching the areas itched by cold sores, you can spread it to the people you come in contact with.

And if all of these reasons weren’t enough to encourage you to start treating cold sores right away, popping them will worsen the pain and swelling and may leave a permanent scar.

Cold Sores vs Pimples

We have constantly mentioned cold sores and pimples being two entirely different skin conditions. But how can someone distinguish the two?

These are the most classical differences between a cold sore and a pimple:

  • Pimples can develop all over the face, but seldom on the lips, while cold sores are primarily focused over the regions surrounding the lips
  • Pimples tend to occur in single pus-filled zits, while cold sores appear in a cluster
  • Cold sores tingle and burn much more than pimples and form a crust over the skin
  • The biggest difference that we have also mentioned a couple of times in the article is that the cold sores are contagious while pimples are not.

The Culprit Behind Cold Sores

We have already gone over how cold sores are caused by a species of virus known as herpes simplex virus and how it can remain dormant in your body and become active at a specific time.

However, some predisposing factors lead to the appearance of these nasty cold sores. Though they are not directly responsible for causing the disease, they play a great role in making your body vulnerable to this virus.

Some of them include:

  • Spending too much time in direct sunlight: The sunlight contains UV rays which may damage your skin and breach the skin barriers. Damaging the integrity of the skin leads to a higher risk of HSV infection.
  • Dry weather and wind: Quite similar to direct sunlight, these harsh weather conditions can weaken your skin barriers allowing opportunistic pathogens to attack.
  • Stress: Immune system has a direct relationship with the amount of stress a person faces. Too much stress can lead to the weakening of the immune system, allowing the HSV to come out of dormancy and manifest as cold sores over your face.
  • Hormonal Changes: Last but not least are the hormonal changes many teenagers and women face. This is also a primary reason why people mistake pimples for cold sores.

What’s the Ideal Concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide for Cold Sores?

One of the biggest concerns people have while using hydrogen peroxide is the concentration of the chemical they should use. And rightly so, hydrogen peroxide is a homely chemical that can turn into a dangerous foe if used in higher concentrations.

In procedures such as using hydrogen peroxide over the skin, we recommend picking up the lesser concentration of hydrogen peroxide. However, the concentration should not be so less as to remain ineffective against the pathogen you are using it against.

The safest and arguably the best way to go is 3% hydrogen peroxide. This is not only the most common concentration of hydrogen peroxide available in the market but also one of the effective ones.

Safety Precaution You Should Follow!

The last segment of our article revolves around preventing the possible side effects of using hydrogen peroxide for cold sores and ensuring you get the best possible results with your treatment.

One of the major mistakes that people make while using hydrogen peroxide for any procedure is picking up the wrong concentration. However, we have addressed this issue in the above-mentioned subsection as well as provided an adequate solution to the problem.

One thing you should be mindful of during the procedure is how your body responds to the treatment. Mild burning and tingling sensations are quite normal with hydrogen peroxide use over the direct wounds.

However, if this sensation becomes too harsh or persists for more extended periods, stop the procedure right away and wash off the liquid with cold water.

Moreover, if you have underlying skin conditions such as eczema, make sure to contact your doctor before using hydrogen peroxide directly over the cold sores.

The next big thing you should keep in mind is not to be too brash with the procedure, e.g., using hot water or rubbing the blisters with hydrogen peroxide will worsen the condition instead of improving it.

Last but not least, is to make sure that the hydrogen peroxide solution you are using is freshly made and not expired. One way you can check this is by draining some of the hydrogen peroxides down into a sink and looking for bubbling or sizzling sounds. Active hydrogen peroxide gives off this sound.

Final Verdict

By looking at all of the above mention facts about cold sores, hydrogen peroxide, and its efficacy in treating viral infections, we can safely say that hydrogen peroxide can be used for adequate results.

This claim is backed by research as well as a treatment plan that you can easily follow at home.

Therefore, if you are someone suffering from cold sores, or know someone who is, make sure to order your set of hydrogen peroxide bottles today!

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