Lysine for Cold Sores: How Does It Work
Published Dec 06, 2021
Cold sores are small blisters that appear on the lips or in the mouth. Certain individuals use lysine, an essential amino acid, to aid in treating or preventing cold sores, but does lysine for cold sores actually work?
Because cold sores are caused by a virus, a doctor will typically prescribe antiviral medication to treat an outbreak. Additionally, they may recommend taking l-lysine for cold sores, an amino acid found in certain foods.
Lysine is required for a variety of bodily functions, including calcium absorption and the formation of collagen. The majority of people consume enough to maximize lysine benefits to meet their body’s basic requirements.
However, individuals seeking to use lysine for canker sores or cold sores will almost certainly need to supplement their lysine intake. Continue reading to learn more about lysine’s effect on cold sores.
Lysine for Cold Sores Explained
Lysine may aid in the slowing or complete removal of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which causes cold sores.
HSV-1 requires another amino acid, arginine, to develop. However, lysine inhibits the absorption of arginine by the body, making it more difficult for HSV-1 to grow and reproduce.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the virus is carried by more than 50% of people aged 14 to 49. While lysine may slow or stop the life cycle of HSV-1, it does not cure the virus. Once infected, a person will always have the virus even if they intake maximum lysine dosage for cold sores.
Lysine is a necessary amino acid. Because the human body does not produce lysine naturally, it must be obtained through diet or supplementation.
Among the foods that contain lysine are the following:
- Parmesan cheese
Additionally, people can use an ointment containing lysine to assist in the treatment of cold sores. They can apply the ointment directly to the sore as directed on the packaging until the infection resolves.
Ointments and lip balms containing lysine are available in pharmacies and online.
Lysine for Cold Sores Risks
The majority of physicians agree that lysine is safe to use as a cream or an oral supplement. When using Lysine products, it is critical to follow the directions on the packaging.
Excessive lysine can have several adverse effects, including the following:
- abdominal pain
- kidney issues
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid lysine supplements unless their doctor recommends them.
Other Possible Treatments
Cold sores typically resolve within two weeks in people with healthy immune systems.
Also, they are usually treated with antiviral medications. The following are the most frequently prescribed medications by physicians:
- valacyclovir (Valtrex)
- acyclovir (Zovirax)
These medications are available in a variety of forms, including topical ointments, pills, and injections. Additionally, some people use them to help prevent future cold sore outbreaks.
Cold Sore Prevention
Cold sores are a very contagious infection. Even while undergoing treatment, a person is contagious and will remain contagious until all blisters have scabbed over. Individuals with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible to infection.
Individuals who have one or more active cold sores can help prevent the virus from spreading by:
- avoiding close personal contact with others
- avoiding kissing anyone
- avoiding close contact with anyone who has a weakened immune system, such as infants
- refraining from sharing beverages or food
- refraining from sharing personal grooming items such as toothbrushes, razors, or lip balms.
- washing their hands after coming into contact with a cold sore or medication
- washing their hands regularly throughout the day
- refraining from touching the cold sores
While lysine is not a cure-all for cold sores, it may aid in preventing and shortening the duration of an outbreak.
Individuals should continue to take any antiviral medications prescribed by their doctor for cold sores. Individuals considering adding lysine supplements to their routine should consult their physician first.
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn, is an SEO Specialist and author. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She started her career as a content writer for various digital magazines and renowned publications. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage others to share their voices as well.