Many people are in search of a canker sore remedy for this common skin problem. Most people have had or will experience the unpleasantness of a canker sore at some point in their lives. For about twenty percent of the population, canker sores are not a one-time problem, but rather a recurring problem, which affects daily activities such as eating, drinking, and teeth brushing.
Symptoms of Canker Sores
Canker sores exist on the skin inside of the mouth, either on the inside of the lips or cheeks, under the tongue, or even on the tongue. They are best described as small red shallow ulcers or crater type formations. Cankers usually appear as single sores, but occasionally as small clusters. Sometimes the sores have a white or yellow coating over them with a surrounding red ring or halo. These sores are often quite painful and very sensitive to anything that comes in contact with them for the first three to four days. It is for this reason than many people seek an effective canker sore remedy. Fortunately, cankers are not contagious.
The day before a canker appears, a person often will feel a tingling or burning sensation in the area where the canker will appear. There is swelling in the area and after about a day the affected area opens up to form a sore.
Causes of Canker Sores
Canker sores can be an inherited problem. Some people because of their genetic make-up are simply more susceptible to the problem. Some studies suggest that women are more likely than men to get cankers.
Generally, the exact cause of this skin problem is unknown and this can make finding a suitable canker sore remedy difficult. However, there are certain causes, which are strongly believed to cause outbreaks. Suspected triggers include: stress, tissue injury, foods such as citrus or acidic fruits and vegetables (lemons, limes, oranges, pineapples, grapefruits, tomatoes, strawberries, nectarines, etc.), abrasive foods such as potato chips, anti-inflammatory medications, or constant friction in the same area caused by braces or a rough tooth surface. Chewing gum may also contribute to the development of canker sores. A toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate may irritate mouth tissues and lead to cankers as well.
Canker sores may be caused by a deficiency in vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid, or iron. They can be a symptom of an underlying health condition such as allergies to foods, bacterial infections, hormonal disorders in general or for women during menstruation, Celiac or Crohn’s disease, or an immune system problem such as AIDS.
An effective canker sore remedy is to avoid the foods and other triggers and to visit a physician to see if the canker sores are a result of an underlying health problem. For example, if the canker sores are due to a vitamin B-12 deficiency or zinc deficiency, then the canker sore remedy is to increase the intake of the respective vitamin or mineral. If the cause were due to a disease such as Crohn’s disease, then medication to control Crohn’s would also be a good canker sore remedy.
Canker sores cause a lot of pain and discomfort for individuals that get them. In many cases, a canker sore remedy is not used because the sores are minor in nature and clear up within one to two weeks. For these minor sores, once healed, there is no evidence that a canker sore existed in the affected area.
Deeper and larger sores are more troublesome. These sores can last from three to six weeks and therefore, a canker sore treatment is required. Often these more significant sores will heal with scaring.
Note that if canker sores persist for over two weeks despite using a canker sore treatment or if the sores are large and spreading, then a visit to a physician is recommended. This is also a requirement if canker sores occur with other symptoms, such as fever, diarrhea or skin rash.
Over the Counter Canker Sore Remedies
There are a variety of over the counter canker sore remedies that can be obtained without a prescription from a physician. Some commonly available products are Orabase, Zilactin-B, Blistex, Anbesol, and Tanac. These products can contain ingredients such as benzocaine, menthol, and eucalyptol. These preparations often sting at first but with repeated use the pain will be reduced and the healing time shortened. Check with a pharmacist to see which canker sore remedies are best for you.
An effective canker sore treatment may be the use of prescription medication. Doctors may prescribe steroid or antibiotic containing mouth rinses, topical steroids, or topical antibiotics. Antimicrobial mouth rinses may also be required. This type of canker sore treatment is prescribed when the sores are large, painful, and persistent. Medications help reduce the swelling and help to promote healing. Doctors may also prescribe anesthetics such as lidocaine to numb the ulcers and reduce the pain.
A prescription drug called Debacterol, which is a liquid topical agent, has proven to be an effective canker sore remedy.
Often individuals with canker sores do not see a physician or use an over the counter canker sore treatment to deal with their problem. Instead, they find that certain home treatments can be effective in dealing with canker sores. Below are some possible home canker sore remedies.
To relieve the pain crushed ice can be used.
An effective remedy for canker sores is to use a liquid mouth rinse for 30 seconds to a minute, several times a day. These mouth rinse solutions can be made with a variety of ingredients to help relieve the symptoms of canker sores and promote speedy healing.
Another often used canker sore remedy is the application of an ingredient directly to the affected area. The ingredient is often left on the sore for several minutes and repeated several times a day. Examples are using a raw onion, the bitter herb Sorrel, a black tea bag, alum preservative, fresh papaya fruit, Sage powder, Myrrh herb powder, Burdock herb powder, salt, or tea tree oil.
The use of any of these can be an effective canker sore remedy. Results will vary from person to person.
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