Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are small, fluid-filled, painful blisters caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). They are caused more often by the HSV-type 1 than the HSV-type 2. These blisters or sores appear on the lips, nose, or around the mouth. The skin around the blisters is sore, swollen, and red. This disease is highly contagious. HSV infection spreads from person to person by means of close contact. The infected saliva can also be a means of transmission of this disease. Fever, changes in the immune system, stress, hormonal changes such as menstruation, skin trauma, and even exposure to sun are the triggering factors for this infection. The primary symptoms of cold sores are pain around the mouth and lips, sore throat, fever, and swollen glands in the neck. Small, fluid-filled blisters appear, typically around the mouth, which is known as gingivostomatitis. The initial tingling or pain, which is referred to as prodrome generally lasts for about 7-10 days. Cold sores mostly appear on the lips and occasionally on the chin, nostrils, or fingers. These blisters break open and leak clear fluid. The sores cure completely within 2-6 weeks. In some people, cold sores can cause painful skin lumps on legs, which is called erythema nodosum.
Generally, cold sores heal within 7-10 days without any treatment. However, topical symptomatic treatments such as benzyl alcohol or topical lidocaine are recommended to relieve the symptoms. Use of antiviral medications prevents cold sores or shortens their duration. These sores can be treated with medications, dietary supplements, home remedies, homeopathic treatments, and acupuncture.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most effective treatment options. It can be used to treat a variety of health conditions. This technique involves an insertion of hair-thin needles through the skin at strategic points. There are about 2,000 acupuncture points in the human body and each point is associated with different healing attributes. This technique is used as an alternative treatment for a wide range of diseases such as depression, insomnia, drug abuse, weight loss, and cold sores.
Acupuncture works as a natural alternative treatment option for cold sores. When the needles are inserted into specific points on the skin, it stimulates to release endorphin hormone, which has relaxing and calming effect. It enables you to deal with frustration, stress, and anxiety, which are the triggering factors for the cold sores. Due to increased stress, pH level of the body decreases and this acidic condition is perfect to make the virus active. Acupuncture reduces stress and anxiety and thus prevents herpes infection. It also enhances the functioning of our body’s immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells. It also increases Alpha, Beta, and Gamma globulins, which prevent infection by producing immune antibodies. In this way, acupuncture reduces the duration of herpes outbreak and minimizes chances of recurring cold sores.
Acupuncture is also helpful in improving mental health by reducing stress and offering relaxing and calming effects. Acupuncture for cold sores is an effective and safe method to get rid of the dangerous symptoms of this viral infection.