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Lysine ointment is used to treat the occurrence of cold sores due to herpes simplex infections. Identified through research as a type of amino acid, lysine can shorten healing times when used for treating cold sores caused by a flare-up of the herpes simplex virus. The ointment can also be used as a preventative measure to help keep the virus from replicating.
Herpes simplex is a virus that invades other cells in order to replicate new virus cells. Arginine is a type of amino acid that is stored in cells. Unfortunately, it is also the amino acid that the virus cells use to replicate. Lysine ointment can stop this replication. Research has shown that lysine is also stored by cells and can force some of the arginine out, but lysine cannot be used by virus cells for replication. Cold sores are the result of cells that have been destroyed by the herpes simplex virus, and the stinging or burning a person experiences is due to the arginine fueling the virus cells.
Many amino acids are important for the body. They are considered to be the foundation for proteins. Lysine is a type of amino acid that is beneficial to the body, but it is not naturally created in the body. It must be consumed to be beneficial. In the case of cold sores, research has shown that lysine is an effective treatment against the herpes simplex virus. Due to its effectiveness, lysine ointment has become readily available.
The average cold sore lasts between 14 and 21 days. These open blisters sting and can be quite painful. Cosmetically, they draw attention to a person's mouth. Additionally, the virus can be spread through contact. For many years, there were not any effective treatments for cold sores, but studies proved that many sufferers could successfully use lysine ointment to reduce the length of time a cold sore remained while also reducing the intensity of the symptoms.
Although lysine is most effective when it is ingested through foods or supplements, lysine ointment promotes the healing of cold sores. It also reduces the intensity of symptoms, including the burning and itching that commonly occur. The duration of cold sores can be cut from 14 to 21 days down to about three to seven. Lysine supplements can help people prevent outbreaks of cold sores, but the ointment treats and soothes outbreaks that do occur.