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Health Tip: Coping With Cold Sores

Suggestions to ease discomfort

(HealthDay News) -- Cold sores are small blisters, triggered a herpes virus, that mostly form on the mouth.

The American Academy of Dermatology suggests how to cope with them:

  • Apply an over-the-counter antiviral cold-sore medication that contains docosanol or benzyl alcohol.
  • Apply an ice pack to ease pain, or an over-the-counter pain-relieving gel or ointment.
  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to manage pain.
  • Avoid acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, as well as spicy and salty foods.
  • Apply a cold, damp rag to the sores several times a day for five to 10 minutes at a time.
  • Apply petroleum jelly to the sore and surrounding skin.
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