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Debunking: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Cold Sores

If you are dealing with a cold sore and are wondering if apple cider vinegar can help, this article can help get you some answers.

Read on

Let's be honest, having a cold sore is absolutely no fun.

If you are dealing with one, you might be wondering "How do I get rid of this cold sore (and fast)?" and "What about a natural remedy?".

Well, we've got your back.

Let's get into the nitty-gritty of the internet hailed cold sore cure. Does apple cider vinegar really kill cold sores?

Cold sores or fever blisters, can be blamed on the herpes simplex virus type one (HSV1). This type of herpes virus namely affects the throat or mouth. (HSV2 is the herpes virus that affects the genitals.)

Did you know that the herpes virus is very common?

HSV1 is actually one of the most common viral infections.

More than half of all Americans (aged 14-49) carry this virus.

Once infected, the virus travels to the spinal ganglion where it may remain in a dormant state until it occasionally begins to replicate again, which produces skin breakouts- such as cold sores or fever blisters.

The virus might always remain dormant in your system, so you may never experience any symptoms. For those that do experience the occasional HSV1 cold sore outbreak, it can be painful and downright inconvenient.

Can apple cider vinegar help with cold sores?

Not so fast. While there is evidence suggesting that apple cider vinegar (ACV) has antimicrobial properties there is no concrete evidence that apple cider vinegar can help to kill or treat a herpes breakout.

As a granola crunching woo-woo myself, I personally lean toward natural remedies before anything else. In my mind, they are just worth a shot seeing as anecdotal evidence could precede scientific evidence.

However, does apple cider vinegar kill cold sores? Is there real scientific evidence supporting this as a cold sore treatment?

The simple answer is, no.

Could the proven anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties of apple cider vinegar help a cold sore breakout?

Apple cider vinegar’s cult-like internet following would say: “Heck yeah, man. :)” But the truth is, we just don't know yet if it’s effective since there have not been adequate clinical trials on the subject.

Also Read: How to get rid of Cold Sores: 8 tips

What to do if you’re worried you might have HSV1 cold sores

Don’t panic. As stated earlier, this is the most common viral infection which means that: #1. Outbreaks can be treatable.#2. Life goes on- don’t worry.

Also read: Are cold sores contagious?: How to protect yourself and others

If you’re concerned you or your partner might have a herpes infection, speak with your doctor about treatments as soon as possible.

The wisest course of action is to try proven antiviral treatments under the care of a medical doctor, rather than trying the internet’s best guess at-home remedies.

Being that herpes rears its head in waves of breakouts, it's best to sink your teeth into proven remedies to get any current or future outbreaks quickly under control.

Antiviral treatment options for cold sores

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the herpes virus.

So any treatment option is simply to either treat or reduce the severity and longevity of cold sore breakouts.  

The leading prescription options for herpes breakouts are antiviral drugs valacyclovir (Valtrex) and acyclovir (Zovirax)Valacyclovir is an antiviral medication that may help reduce the severity and longevity of a breakout.

Pharmacist Dr. Barat says “Valacyclovir is considered a ‘prodrug’ and it converts into acyclovir in the body."

But, by giving this medication in the Valacyclovir form vs Acyclovir, the bioavailability is increased about 3-5 fold.

Valacyclovir can help clear both the HSV1 (cold sores) and HSV2 (genital herpes) types of infections, but the dosing is different depending on what you are treating.”

Also read: Valacyclovir (Valtrex) for cold sores

Valacyclovir from Strut for cold sores or genital herpes

At Strut, we offer online questionnaire-based consultations for free with our U.S. licensed doctors to see if the antiviral medication Valacyclovir may be a good option for your HSV1 cold sores or HSV2 genital herpes.

Valacyclovir may reduce the amount of time that your pesky cold sores stick around, and may help reduce the rate of recurrence.

If you are a good candidate for treatment, your prescription medication can be shipped directly to your front door.

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