Dr Gott: Cold Sore Remedies Abound | Health, medicine and fitness
DEAR DR. GOTT: I noticed a lot of people write to you about cold sores. Valtrex works to totally inhibit them. I have suffered from cold sores since I was 4 years old. When I was in my thirties the virus got out of hand and I had cold sores every month. My dermatologist suggested that I try 500 milligrams of Valtrex per day and my cold sores have completely stopped. I have had two cold sores in the past 15 years, both times after stopping the drug for about two to three weeks to see if I still needed it. My mom and brother also use Valtrex but as needed. They take it when they feel the tingling that precedes the sore. They take two 500 milligram tablets when they feel this tingling, then one 500 milligram tablet once a day for a week afterwards. Please inform your readers about this remedy.
DEAR DR. GOTT: Cold sore outbreaks can be triggered by foods high in arginine, such as peanuts or peanut butter. Eliminating these foods or increasing L-lysine intake may help.
DEAR DR. GOTT: I would like to share a simple home remedy for cold sores. Just take a red match, moisten it with water, then place it on the cold sore and hold it for a few seconds. It may sting, but it’s just the sulfur doing its job. If you can catch it as soon as the sore starts, it will never develop fully. My two grandchildren, aged 6 and 7, have used it successfully.
DEAR DR. GOTT: For years I had cold sores. I suffered with them in and around my mouth. I found that eating raw onions (which I didn’t like growing up, so I never ate them) cured them when I had one and kept them from happening. For 30 years, every time we start, I add onions to my salad or my hamburger and go. I still don’t like them, but I tolerate them. Hope this helps other sufferers.
DEAR READERS: Cold sores (also called cold sores or herpes simplex 1) are painful, fluid-filled lesions. Most often they occur on the lips. Less commonly, they can appear in the nostrils or on the chin or fingers. Rarely, they can occur inside the mouth. Cold sores are not the same as canker sores (painful, superficial, white, or yellow ulcers), which occur only in the mouth but are not the result of the herpes virus.
Valtrex is a prescription antiviral medication. In most cases, when I reply to letters about cold sores, I don’t recommend prescription drugs, mainly because many people avoid them. Instead, I am most often asked to provide home remedies or alternative remedies for this common ailment. However, for severe cases like yours, Valtrex may be the most beneficial and effective treatment.
L-lysine is one of the most common home remedies used for the treatment, and sometimes for the prevention of cold sores. L-arginine is known to trigger the herpes virus in some people.
As for the match and the onions, I’m not sure why they work, but I also don’t see any harm in trying.
Dr Peter Gott is a retired physician. Contact Dr Gott by writing to Dr Gott c / o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., 4th fl., New York, NY 10016.
DEAR DR. GOTT: To the reader who wrote in your column regarding her grandson’s psoriasis: Try a naturopathic doctor who focuses on diet. I went to a dermatologist for years with a horrible case of psoriasis. I used steroid creams, took cortisone injections (once directly to the soles of my feet, one of my most painful experiences), and gave myself weekly injections in my abdomen. I even had an infusion and countless “trial drugs” to try and get back normal skin that didn’t crack and bleed. When my dermatologist suggested that I save my semen and do a light chemo, I went to get more advice.
The diet and supplements that the naturopathic doctor gave me were aimed at rebuilding my liver and kidneys, as they had been damaged by prolonged use of an over-the-counter medicine that I should have known better than take for so long. He was the first doctor to go through a full story with me and changing my diet to include restrictions while including more fruits and vegetables was much easier to swallow than another drug with many side effects and few tests. .
Hope you can pass it on and it will help others. I’ve never written to a advice columnist, but I understand the pain and frustration of having your own skin in the midst of rebellion, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help.
DEAR READER: Psoriasis is a common autoimmune disease. There are several forms of it (plaque, gout, reverse, scalp, fingernail, pustular, and erythrodermic), but each affects the life cycle of skin cells.
The most common form is plaque psoriasis. It causes dry, raised, red skin lesions with silvery / white scales (plaque). They can be painful and / or itchy and can occur anywhere on the body, including in the mouth.
Guttate psoriasis is more common in people under the age of 30. It is usually triggered by a bacterial infection and characterized by teardrop-shaped sores covered with a fine scale on the scalp, arms, legs and trunk. It may go away after a single outbreak or may reappear, especially if there is an ongoing respiratory infection.
Reverse psoriasis causes areas of smooth, red, and inflamed skin, mostly in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and around the genitals and buttocks. It is worsened by sweating and friction and is more commonly seen in overweight people.
Scalp psoriasis looks similar to plaque psoriasis and can cause dandruff-like flakes. As the name suggests, it occurs on the scalp, specifically the hairline. It can also extend beyond the hairline. It may be painful or itchy and bleed when picking.
Nail psoriasis can affect both the fingernails and toenails. This results in abnormal nail growth, discoloration and pitting. Some people may have onycholysis (the nail lifts off the bed); severe cases can cause the nail to break down.
Pustular psoriasis is rare. It can appear on large patches on the body or on the hands, feet or fingertips. It usually grows quickly. A few hours after the skin turns red and tender, blisters filled with pus appear. Fatigue, fever, chills and severe itching may also be present. The blisters often dry up within a day or two, but the cycle can recur every few days or weeks.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is the least common form of psoriasis and can cover the whole body. It causes a red, peeling rash that may itch or burn badly. Certain medications like corticosteroids, sunburns, or other forms of poorly controlled psoriasis can trigger it.
There is also a disease known as psoriatic arthritis. Between 6 and 30 percent of all people with psoriasis will develop one of many forms that can range from mild to severe and can lead to permanent damage and deformity.
Psoriasis can usually be diagnosed by visually examining the lesions. Rarely, if in doubt, a skin biopsy may be taken.
There are many treatment options available to include topical creams, lotions and steroids, oral and injectable steroids or other immunosuppressive drugs, and various forms of light therapy.
Home treatments include a daily bath with oil, colloidal oatmeal, or Epsom salts in lukewarm water with mild soap. When drying, blot the skin rather than rubbing it. Then apply a moisturizer. For people with dry skin, oils may be best.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no approved diet for people with psoriasis; however, it is recommended that you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting sugars and fats. This diet is recommended for most health concerns because it can boost immunity and is the most ideal way to get all the vital nutrients the body needs.