Having a cold sore can be annoying, and you may find it tempting to pop the blister. However, you may need to keep in mind that popping a sore doesn’t promote any healing. The fact of the matter is that it can cause scarring, which can be even more painful. You do not want this sore to linger for any longer, and for that purpose, you will need to keep your hands off it.
How long do cold sores take to heal?
There are different stages a cold sore passes through before it heals. In the first stage, a cold sore is not visible, yet a person knows that it is coming due to tingling and burning sensation. In the second stage, the fluid-filled blisters appear. These blisters are also known as fever blisters due to the way they look.
The popping of this blister results in the formation of a scab, which flakes off eventually. After that, the skin returns to normal. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), a cold sore should heal on itself in a couple of weeks after its appearance, given that the person who has it is healthy.
Why is it a bad idea to pop a cold sore?
Popping a cold sore can raise the risk of bacterial infection because the infectious fluid can spread to other areas of the mouth. Picking at the blister or scab can result in the cold sore becoming infected, which can result in the infection of the skin on the inner cheeks.
The cold sore blister contains a fluid which is saturated with a type of virus known as herpes simplex virus type 1 or HSV-1. This highly contagious virus can spread to other areas of the body and other people. The AAD suggests people with active HSV-1 to avoid any contact with other people that could result in the virus spreading. Anyone who has an open cold sore should avoid contact with other people with weaker immune systems.
How to deal with a cold sore
If the cold sore you have is being uncomfortable, you may want to use a cold compress, ointment, or medication to speed up the healing process. You may also use a cold, damp cloth against the sore. In fact, you can use an ice cube on the spot where currently feel tingling. It will prevent the sore from developing.
You can help shorten an outbreak by using the over-the-counter ointment for cold sores. You can ask your doctor about the antiviral cold sore medications that you can use. These medications generally work best when applied during the initial stages of sore development.
According to Mayo Clinic, you may use lysine as a cold sore remedy. You can apply it on the sore or take it orally. Synthetic beeswax called propolis can also help speed up the healing process.
A cold sore is undoubtedly annoying, but you do not want to pop it due to its unfavorable consequences. The best way is to discuss this issue with your doctor or dentist.