Cold sores: the mere mention is enough to strike fear into the hearts of sufferers! Ever since I can remember I have been afflicted with these fuckers, sometimes appearing two at a time, or one after the other in a continuous stream of pain and ugliness. And I have tried everything. My dad used to tell me to keep licking it and the saliva would make it go away. How wrong could he have been! This is the worst thing to do. Well, almost, along with picking, itching, poking, etc.
The best lesson I have learned over the years is: DO. NOT. TOUCH. IT.
The minute you put finger to tingle, that nasty, spiteful little virus will come flocking to the surface in a cornucopia of red, swollen, liquid-filled blisters, rendering you frustrated and cross for the next two weeks. If you can resist the urge to touch, the blisters will be minimal and the whole ordeal will be over far sooner- not to mention minimising the risk of a second infection by spreading it inadvertently across your face. The other thing I should point out on this note is do not use any kind of lip balm while the poisonous pustules are there. It too will become infested, and the next time you come to use it, guess what? Yep. I don't need to elaborate.
But now, the real purpose of this post is actually to share with the world a wondrous discovery that I hope will ease the horror for all sufferers! And here it is.
Tincture of Myrrh.
Press a tissue or a piece of cotton wool soaked with a few drop of it to the afflicted area for 30 seconds or so (it will sting, if it doesn't you need to press it on for longer), every few hours. The alcohol in it will dry it out, and the myrrh is a strong anti-viral, reducing the swelling and irritation and the life of the beast. I managed to get rid of an uber-sore in a week with this method - normally that would be two or even three weeks start to finish! It would probably have been less if I'd figured out the technique sooner - to start with I was just applying drops of tincture directly onto my lip, which was actually annoying it more because the pipette poked it a little bit and made it extra itchy.
I've read about people doing this with nail polish remover, which sounds completely horrifying! It's the same theory though, drying it out with alcohol - the difference being that acetone is extremely toxic and poisonous if consumed, whereas tincture of myrrh has beneficial effects and will not harm you if you accidentally swallow a bit. I know what i'd rather go for!