• Consumer Health: Treating cold sores

a close-up of a woman's lips, with cold soresTreating cold sores
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are a common viral infection. They are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips, often grouped together in patches. Cold sores generally clear up without treatment in two to four weeks. There are over-the-counter, prescription and alternative medicine treatments that may speed the healing process, as well as some self-care measures that may ease the symptoms. Find out more about treatment options for cold sores.


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Tapering off opioids: When and how
Opioids are powerful painkillers. Because of the risks associated with opioid use, including high rates of abuse, addiction and accidental overdose, it's important that you take them exactly as prescribed and for the shortest length of time possible. Here's what you need to know about tapering off opioids safely.

Walking: Make it count with activity trackers
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Trans fat is double trouble for your heart health
Trans fat, also called trans fatty acids, is considered by many health care providers to be the worst type of fat you can eat. Unlike other dietary fats, trans fat raises your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol and lowers your high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol. A diet laden with trans fat increases your risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S. Learn more about sources of trans fat in your diet and how to avoid it.

What is reflexology?
Reflexology is the application of pressure to areas on the feet or the hands corresponding to organs and systems of the body. Several studies indicate that reflexology may reduce pain and psychological symptoms, such as stress and anxiety, and enhance relaxation and sleep. Learn more from Dr. Brent Bauer, director of Mayo Clinic's Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program.

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