Cold sores are an irritation that can be unsightly, uncomfortable, potentially embarrassing and even hamper your romantic chances. As such, it is fortunate that a range of treatments and remedies exist and among these are lysine for cold sores treatment. Here we will look at what cold sores are, how lysine can help treat them, and how you should go about utilising it if you decide to.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus – in other words the same virus that causes the STI herpes. This then stays dormant in our body with no visible symptoms and only rears its head when our immune system is low, causing a red patch of flaking skin around our mouth which can be itchy and tingling. This appearance and discomfort is caused by damaged skin cells and this can spread.
How Lysine Addresses Cold Sores
Interestingly the spread of the herpes virus is largely caused by a simple amino acid named 'arginine'. This amino acid is necessary for the herpes virus to spread and damage more cells and its effects are noticed when the arginine reaches a particular storage area in the cell.
Lysine meanwhile is a very similar type of amino acid and is stored in the cell in the same place as the arginine. Essentially what this means then is that the more lysine there is in the cell, the less space it will have to store arginine. The idea then is that by 'flooding' the cells with lysine, you can then prevent them from being affected by arginine and so stop the profession of the herpes virus.
How to Use Lysine
It is possible to use lysine in a number of ways and there are many products that use lysine in their ingredients targeted at combating cold sores. These include both topical creams and supplements, and it is better to go with the latter – as the lysine in the creams will be unlikely to be effectively absorbed by the skin as the lysine particles are quite large. Studies have demonstrated that supplementing your diet with lysine can help to speed up your recovery from cold sores (reducing the outbreak this is – not removing the herpes virus altogether).
However be careful not to over dose and to take the supplement mostly when you think an outbreak might be imminent. It is also possible to increase the amount of lysine in your body by getting more in your diet, and this amino acid is found in red meats, dairy and fish.