4 tips on Cold Sores: Treat herpes with natural medicine, over the counter medicine and with the help of your doctor.

By: Sean Darcy (Dr. Sean Darcy MD)

January 19th, 2015

Is there a new bump on your lip? First it gets red, then that itchy tingly area puffs out into a big embarrassing cold sore. Why, you wonder, does it have to happen to me?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. For most of the time, these viruses are homebodies. They stay put, but from time to time the virus family likes to take a little trip down the nerve highways until it reaches the skin surface. When this happens, you start to feel that awful tingling sensation that signals the start of another cold sore.

What can you do about it ?

  1. Zap It With Zinc. Several studies have shown that a water-based zinc solution applied the minute you feel that tingling, will help speed the healing time. Some suggest that zinc irons crosslink with the DNA molecule of the herpes virus and this means the virus can’t replicate. Zinc gluconate, available at health food stores, is kinder to the skin than zinc sulphate.
  2. Soften It With An OTC. Topical hydrocortisone (available over the counter) will help reduce the redness and the size of the bump. You can apply it multiple times a day.There are numerous products that claim to heal cold sores. In general, they contain some emollient to reduce cracking and soften scabs, and a numbing agent like phenol or camphor. Phenol may have some antiviral properties, and it’s possible that it could kill the virus.
  3. Avoid Arginine-Rich Foods.
  4. Start taking an antiviral medication. There are multiple antiviral medications including acyclovir or valacyclovir that you can take to combat the virus outbreak. Your doctor can also put you on a prescription regimen for preventing new outbreaks. Set up an appointment as soon as possible to reduce the time you have this cold sore outbreak. Or even email or text a picture to your doctor so that he/she can send you a prescription.
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Tips for Healthy Skin

Tips to Keep Your Skin Healthy

healthy skin

By: Sean Darcy (Dr Sean Darcy MD)

Beautiful, healthy skin is a telltale indicator that a person is healthy and feels good on the inside too. Follow these tips to keep your skin healthy and glowing which will leave your feeling the health and emanating the glow.

  1. Protect Yourself from the SunToo much sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots, increased risk of skin cancer, as well as other skin problems.  So make sure to
  • Wear sunscreen when outdoors.
  • Seek shade or shelter between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing like hats and long sleeves when you are in the sun during the middle of the day.
2.     Don’t SmokeSmoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of the skin, which decreases blood flow.  This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin (the fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity).
3.     Treat Your Skin Gently: Daily cleaning and shaving can have damaging effects on your skin. To make sure your are being gentle, make sure to
  •  Reduce the duration and temperature of showers and baths.  Taking baths and showers that are too hot or too long contributes to removing essential oils from your skin.
  • Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps and detergents tend to strip oils from skin. Shop for a more mild soap.
  • Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
  • Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
  • Moisturize dry skin. If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturizer that contains SPF.
3.     Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne isn’t clear — but some research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin
4.     Manage Stress: Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.
5.     Cosmetic Procedures: Sometimes we need a little extra help to fix skin issues that affect our self-confidence. When selecting a cosmetic procedure to reduce the appearance of wrinkles or sagging, make sure to seek treatment plans that are natural and minimally invasive. Give us a call to schedule a consultation with our cosmetic surgeon and he can provide you with a personalized recommended treatment plan.
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