16 Ways to Prevent & Get Rid of Cold Sores

cold soresA cold sore is not welcome on your face, or anywhere else, for that matter. Not only are they cosmetically unappealing, they can be downright painful. Let’s get over the fact they’re caused by the herpes virus. We all know it, and that aspect gets far too much attention. Defining cold sores simply for what they are, they are small, fluid filled lesions that pop up generally on or around your lips. The blisters often group together, and after they break, a crust forms over the resulting sore. There is no true cure for the virus, or the cold sores. The bright side is that there are preventative measures you can take that lessen outbreaks, severity, and duration. If the bothersome blisters do show up, there are a decent number of home remedies for cold sores that may ease your discomfort, and help diminish their appearance. Just because there is no cure, doesn’t mean you’re stuck using irritating prescription face creams or having a cold sore that hangs around for an eternity.

1. Enjoy vanilla

Vanilla extract, the real, good, pure, vanilla extract, is a natural cold sore remedy some people swear by. The thought process is that its alcohol based, and running along those lines, makes it hard for the virus to thrive and either wipes it out or lessens the severity and length of the outbreak. If you do use vanilla, try and get it organic, and try to start using it the second you feel the tingling set it.

You will need…
-a cotton swab or cotton pad
-pure vanilla extract

Directions…
Soak cotton pad or swab in vanilla until thoroughly saturated. Apply directly to sore, holding the swab or pad in place for a minute or so. Do this four times daily until no longer needed.

Dab It with Some Vanilla

2. Snag some licorice

One of the more random natural remedies for cold sores that you can use is licorice. Glycyrhizic acid, an ingredient in licorice root, has been shown in some studies to stop the virus cells in their nasty little tracks-or at least counteract the symptoms of them. This is thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. A way to glean something positive from this isn’t to go munch on a bunch of licorice whips, but rather get some licorice powder, and make a cream. You can also try drinking licorice tea daily, though that doesn’t seem as effective as topical treatment.

You will need…
-1 tablespoon licorice root powder or extract
-1/2 teaspoon fresh water OR approximately 2 teaspoons petroleum jelly

Directions…
Mix one tablespoon of licorice root powder to ½ teaspoon of fresh water, or however much you need to get the consistency of cream you want, making sure to add in small increments. Another option is to mix it with petroleum jelly, which on its own can help speed up the healing process of cold sores. If you opt for this, start with a teaspoon of the petroleum jelly and mix it with the licorice root. You can work your way up to your desired consistency from there. Gently dab (a cotton swab is handy for this) a thin layer over the sore, making sure to get it completely covered. Leave it on for at least several hours, or overnight if possible.


3. Toss your toothbrush

Throw out your toothbrush after the blister has formed, and toss it once the sore has cleared up. A toothbrush is the perfect vessel to carry the virus, and you can end up triggering an outbreak in yourself if you re-use the same toothbrush again and again. This is a preventative measure, since it can stop an outbreak or cut it short, it’s well worth doing.

4. Hands off

It may sound obvious, but it can be near an impossible to resist picking at that crusty little (or big) patch by your mouth. Almost subconsciously you can end up bothering it, or very consciously, you just want to peel it off and be done with it. Whatever your motive, resist touching the sore-even just reaching up to touch it and see if it somehow shrunk-as those actions can cause a bacterial infection. That’s the last thing you need. They are also so highly contagious that even touching your sore and then accidentally rubbing your eye, or somewhere else on your body, could cause them to spread (they aren’t confined just to the mouth, you know.)

5. Get milk

Putting a whole milk compress on your sore can help speed up the healing, and ease pain. The reason? Milk contains proteins known as immunoglobulins, which are essentially anti-bodies that fight off and prevent viruses-like herpes. It also contains l-lysine. L-lysine helps inhibit the wicked work of an ammino acid called arginine, which has been shown to cause outbreaks, and may help speed up the healing process as well. In short to prevent outbreaks, drink whole milk and get your dose of l-lysine. To help cold sores that have already erupted, make a whole milk compress to soothe the pain and fight off the virus.

You will need…
-1/2 cup to 1 cup of whole milk, plus a tablespoon or 2 extra
-cotton balls or cotton pads

Directions
Soak a cotton ball in approximately 1 tablespoon of milk, and apply it directly to the cold sore for several minutes. Before doing this you can either let the milk come to room temperature or, if you prefer, you can apply it cold. Use a clean towel moistened with water to dab off the milky residue at the end. If you feel you need it, apply a dab of petroleum jelly.

Milk Remedy for Cold Sores

6. Wipe it out with hydrogen peroxide

Anyone who had a parent that put hydrogen peroxide on a scrape knows that it’s not exactly pleasant. The good news is that it’s a lot less traumatic to use at your own will, nor does it seem to hurt as bad now that you’ve grown up a bit. Love it or hate it, the solution can be an effective cold sore remedy. It disinfects, healing up speeding, and makes it hard for the surfaced sore to spread or worsen. The blister is already bothered and infected, at the very least virally, and keeping it clean can ultimately make it go away faster.

You will need…
-1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide
-cotton balls, cotton pads, or facial tissue

Directions
Soak a cotton ball in 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Use more if you feel it isn’t saturated enough. Place the cotton ball directly on your sore-it’s probably going to sting-and hold it there for a few seconds, or dab it around. Let it be for 5 minutes or so, allowing it to do its job, before rinsing off.

Hydrogen Peroxide

7. Be minty fresh

Peppermint oil is thought to have properties that directly kill virus particles outside of your cells, like the ones floating around an erupted cold sore. It won’t help to ingest peppermint oil because it only attacks the virus escaped from your cells. What we mean by it being “outside” of your cells is that herpes simplex virus usually resides beneath the skin, lurking and waiting for a trigger to make it rear its ugly head. When its’ erupted, its accessible to treat with the oil. When applied directly to a cold sore, people have found that the sore healed faster than usual-especially when applied at the very first sign of one.

You will need…
-Good quality peppermint oil
-1 cotton swab
-a bit of fresh water

Directions
First, use a bit of water to rinse the surface of the cold sore. Doing so gets away some of the surface gunk that would make it harder for the oil to really sink in and do its best. Then, dip a cotton swab in clean water and then dip it into the peppermint oil. This is to dilute it a bit, making it less likely to irritate your skin. Try this twice daily until it is no longer needed.

8. Take Echinacea

There are a couple of people I am quite close to who drink Echinacea tea religiously and swear by it. Every time I come down with a bug they give me the “I am not sick now am I?” look, with a meaningful nod at their mug of tea. The reason they get away with their smugness is because Echinacea bolsters your immune system and its defenses, making it harder to catch bugs, and shortening how long you are affected by them. While not yet proven it may help prevent cold sore outbreaks which often show when the immune system is weakened.

You will need…
-1 bag of Echinacea tea
-1 cup freshly boiled water

Directions
Place your bag in a mug and pour boiling water over it. Cover-a plate works well-and let it steep for 10 minutes. Squeeze the juice out of the bag when you remove it to get all the extra good stuff.

9. Load up on vitamins E and C

Vitamins are good for us, and for our cold sores-and by good for our cold sores, I really mean bad for them. Vitamin C has been shown to boost white blood cell count, and white blood cells are the body’s defenders. When something like an infection sets in the brave little cells head into battle, and having more of them means you’ll be more effective at fighting off the infection, which in this case is herpes. Vitamin E, when applied topically, has been found to relieve the irritating and painful discomfort of cold sores, as well as minimize scarring. You can get the vitamins through an oral supplement, oil (in the case of vitamin E) and-the best way-through your diet.

Vitamin C rich foods include
-red berries
-kiwi
-broccoli
-tomatoes
-red and green bell peppers
-spinach (little did Popeye know he was onto a cure for cold sores)

Vitamin E rich foods include
-nuts
-leafy green vegetables
-whole grain
-avocados

10. Cornstarch paste

If you’ve worked with cornstarch before you’ll be familiar with its fine, almost silky, texture-it seems like it could be soothing to a cold sore, doesn’t it? I would say so, and it can indeed help relieve the itchy burning pain of a sore when directly applied. The less obvious reason as to why cornstarch makes a pleasant home remedy for cold sores is the fact that it neutralizes the pH of the sore- the virus thrives in an overly-acidic environment-and creates an alkaline state (alkaline is the opposite of acidic.) To seek relief, and shorten the duration of your cold sore, simply whip up a silky-smooth cornstarch paste.

You will need…
-1 tablespoon of cornstarch
-1 teaspoon of fresh water to start

Measure out 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and place in a small bowl. Mix in 1 teaspoon of fresh water. Add more water slowly until you achieve a paste-like consistency. Put a dab on your cold sore before bed, and rinse off gently with water in the morning. Do this nightly until cold sore is gone.

Homemade Cold Sore Cream

11. Dab on some witch hazel

The leaves and bark of North American witch hazel have been used medicinally for years, namely by Native Americans, and have now become quite commercialized. Nowadays you don’t have to worry about tracking down a plant and stripping off its leaves and bark since you can find a bottle of witch hazel, or witch hazel hydrosol, at just about any pharmacy or general store. Since it does not produce enough oil to sell as an essential oil, the hydrosol is a distilled liquid version. It has been shown to help with a number of maladies, particularly in skin care, with emphasis on acne, bruises, insect bites, blisters and, if you hadn’t guessed by now, cold sores.

You will need…
-1 teaspoon of witch hazel
-cotton swab or cotton pad

Soak a cotton pad or the end of a cotton swab in witch hazel. Dab directly onto your sore, and leave on. Do this 1-2 times daily as needed.

12. Grab some aloe gel

The go-to for soothing minor skin irritations, aloe vera gel can provide quick relief from the pain of a cold sore once it blisters. It also fights off bacteria that may be irritating the sore more, and may make it go away faster. Being so dependable, aloe is often touted as being one of the best natural remedies for skin problems there is. The best way to benefit from it is to have an aloe plant. They’re not hard to come by, they’re hardy (I got one when I was five and it managed to survive my care for years,) and best of all, they’re useful and inexpensive. If you cannot get an aloe plant, find a good gel sold in stores.

You will need…
-1 aloe plant OR ½ teaspoon of aloe vera gel

Directions…
Break off the end of one fleshy, succulent, leaf. Directly apply the gel to your sore. If you absolutely cannot come by a plant, dab a cotton swab in roughly ½ teaspoon aloe vera gel and apply directly. Leave on.

Aloe Vera Gel

13. Ice it

Looks aside, cold sores hurt. They can really, really hurt. Think about what they are-little fluid filled boo-boos that burst, blister, and form a crust. Kind of like constipation, they aren’t taken very seriously. If you complain about constipation pain-which can land you in the E.R., by the way-all people think is “poop” and then they tune out. With cold sores, most people think “herpes” and then move on-especially since cold sores are so common. To numb the pain that some people just don’t understand (and the injustice of it all) try holding an ice cube directly on the sore for as long as possible, and then put on a dab of petroleum jelly. The jelly will help keep bacteria out, and will lessen that tight, skin-splitting sensation that sometimes happens when a blister gets too dry, as it might after using an ice cube. It’s along the same lines of how licking chapped lips makes them worse.

You will need…
-1 to 2 fresh ice cubes, or an ice pack
-A bit of petroleum jelly

Directions…
Take a nice chilly ice cube, which would be most of them, and hold it on your sore for as long as possible, or use an ice pack. When you’ve finished, pat any obviously remaining water gently from the sore and apply a dab of petroleum jelly.

14. Wear sunscreen-even on your lips

Exposure to light, namely UV light, seems to be a very contributing factor in outbreaks. When you hit the beach, or even just go for a summertime stroll, apply sunscreen to your face, and apply lip balm with an SPF value of no less than 15. Indeed it may take you longer to get a crazy tan, but it’s a very, very, small sacrifice to make when you think of the painful cold sores erupting, and damage to your skin.

15. Wash it all away

You don’t have to go dump every single thing you own when you get a cold sore, but like your toothbrush, its best to get rid of some things that come in contact with your lips/mouth area-such as lip balm, or make up tools. In addition to this, wash your hands each and every time you touch, or even think you touch, your cold sore. While you’re always contagious, it’s easiest spread the virus when there’s an open blister and you may keep causes outbreaks if you continue using contaminated items.

16. Quarantine right away

The moment you feel the tingling sensation that precedes a cold sore flare up, start your treatment. Since there is no “cure” sometimes preventative measures work best, and nipping it in the bud seems to help boost the effectiveness of the treatment afterwards well as shorten the sores existence.

When it all comes down to it at the end of the day, you have a virus that will never go away completely until a true cure is found for herpes simplex. That being said, your world does not have to come to a crashing halt when a sore pops up. Use common sense, try to get to it in the beginning, and patiently treat it, keeping in mind that the remedy that works best for you will probably take some trial and error. Since you’ll probably be living together for a while, it’s good to remember that the less you bother your cold sore (i.e. picking at it or using unnecessarily harsh chemicals) the less it will bother you.

16 Cold Sore Remedies- and ways to prevent future breakouts.

Wet…or dry? A word on cold sore living conditions

There are generally two chains of thought when it comes to treating cold sores. One is to dry them out, while the other is to keep them moist. Some people say the virus festers in a moist environment, others say it makes no difference and you’ll be uncomfortable with a dry, cracked, split, scab.

There isn’t much official research done on this, but from personal experience, I’d have to toss in with the “wet” lot. Putting a dab of petroleum jelly on a sore is a life-saver. The pain of a dry scab ripping open again and again is too much for me-not to mention I WILL pick at it if it’s all crusty. Perhaps with a bit more clout is the Mayo Clinic which, according to their website, also endorses the moist route for treating cold sores.

You may also like our list of 14 Remedies for Nausea & Upset Stomach

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By Claire Goodall

Claire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything :) Meet Claire→

         

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We Want to Hear from You! Let us know which remedies work and do not work for you, ask a question or leave a comment:

59 Comments

  1. nottelling says:

    Cold sores are embarrassing, plain and simple. I am willing to do whatever I can to get rid of them faster but haven’t tried any natural remedies before. Do these really work?

    • Mandy Bouchier says:

      I find that Spirits of Camphor works really well.
      As soon as you feel that tell tail tingle, rub some on with an ear bud and hold it there a few seconds. Keep doing that till the tingling stops.

  2. C. Kroll says:

    I’ve had fewer cold sores since taking half a lysine tablet on a regular basis. But if I feel that familiar tingle that says I’m going to get a cold sore, Iup the lysine dose to two tablets a day (not taken at one time). Really seems to help. so does avoiding too much chocolate or nuts, which contain arginine and seem to bring on cold sores for me.

  3. cj says:

    L-lysine supplements help a great deal, but when that all-too familiar tingle appears, I nip it with a colloidal silver spray. I’ve been using colloidal silver for years and it works like a charm. Look for a higher concentration at any health food store.

  4. LBennett says:

    I use Spirit of Camphor…it’s what’s found in small doses in the over the counter remedies. Cheaper to buy a bottle, use a cotton swab and dab the area. Numbs it for pain, helps dry it up and then add a dab of petroleum jelly.

  5. HGould says:

    When I went to my doctor about 5 years ago and asked him about prescription medications, he laughed and told me he could do one better. He said to just mix 1 part liquid Benedryl with 1 part liquid antacid and dab it on the sore a few times a day. If I do it as soon as I sense a sore forming, it cuts the pain and development of the sore dramatically and healing time down to about 3 days. It’s great!

  6. Tammy Castleberry says:

    You had some great tips, some that I had never heard of, but you missed 2 main “tips” that I figured for sure you would have.
    I have suffered from these since I was 2 yrs old!
    Tip 1: L-Lysine, the best supplement out there for cold sores. I have found from personal experience that the brand Quantum Physics works best for me. They even have a lip cold sore treatment that I add to my treatment plan when I feel that first tingle. Combined with the Lysine supplement it does seem to speed up the recovery process.
    Tip 2: Camomile Tea! I basically make a camomile tea compress for my cold sores. Only use this if you are not allergic to it!!
    Just follow the directions for tea, there is no need to add any sugar, honey or what have you. Get a washcloth and put the tea bag on the washcloth and make sure when you take it, you have strained it so it won’t be sopping wet. Remember it should be very warm, so don’t burn yourself, and simply press it against the cold sore. It seriously relieves the pain. I do this as often as I need while I have my sores.
    Good luck!
    I hope this helps!

  7. Robin says:

    you can also use a product called Lysine+ ,have always found it at walgreens relieves the inching and and and crusty feeling.Also can shorten the duration,of sore if you start applying it when you feel the first tingle.Plus sometimes prevents the blister from forming,thus shorting the healing time

  8. Kim says:

    Also learn your triggers for what cause them. For my oldest son as soon as he starts getting dehydrated I can see it starting to form. I make him drink extra water & watered-down juice. He can have blisters just starting to form and in a day of extra fluids they will be pretty small or even gone. I react to dehyrdation the same way, but I also get them with stress & sickness. Since I have had my tonsils out in 2004 I have rarely gotten sick, but when I have had something I get a cold sore. I don’t get major symptoms, just a cold sore & mild symptoms. I also started using Manuka Honey on our cold sores if they do blister really bad. My nieces & nephew use it for cuts from gymnastics, other family to help with stomach bugs, bed sores, etc. I also use it for my son’s eczema daily to prevent & to get rid of the now rare bad outbreak. It’s our all around healer. I put it directly on the sore.

  9. Aly says:

    Bee Propolis is the only thing that works for me. It’s a tad expensive, but it knocks my cold sores out immediately.

  10. Marie says:

    I know this sounds crazy. But I have had cold sores since I was a teenager. I am now in my mid 30′s. When I first feel that tingle…I take 2 Tums Ultra 1000 tablets, double up on my Valtrex from 1 to 2 pills and use some Abreva. I take the tums 3 or 4 times a day. I also take the Valtrex 3 times a day. My cold sores never break and never look bigger than a pimple. Works great for me and I got the Tums tip from a friend who swore by it. I always seem to get cold sores right around when my cycle is due, when I am stressed or when I have a cold. And since at least 1 of those happens on a regular, I keep all those handy at all times

  11. Cynthia says:

    Lemon juice for dark spots but doesn’t work for my hair but thank you so much for all information with home made remedies.

    Thank you and have a wonderfull day and weekend.

    Cynthia

  12. Jennielynn Plaufcan says:

    I found that tomatoes are my cause, they are a zero calorie snack and a great tool in helping me lose weight. Anytime I feel hungry, I reach for tomato. But I ended up aggravating my cold sores. The best thing I found in speeding up the healing process was to take a sterilized needle and a tissue and slowly pop the cold sores like you would do with a blister, leaving the surrounding skin intact. It drains out the water and keeps them from popping our their own. After that I put salt directly on them daily, and several times a day, anytime I feel they are getting to moist. A cold sore that would take two weeks to heal is better in a week. For the pain I don’t know what to do for it though. I will try anything, except more drugs. I wish there was a way that I can continue to enjoy my zero calorie snack without the after effects.

  13. Candalyn says:

    I have found in the past that abreva and the lysine jelly, plus icing were always my best bet, but only if I could get to it immediately after the tingling started, and continue for days. I recently started using tea tree oil, applied directly. It cut it down to just two days– really only one uncomfortable, but not painful, day– and kept it from every being apparent or obvious to anyone else. Heaven! And so much more reasonably priced than abreva. Now I have little bottles in my car, my office, and my home for the next time I feel one comin gon.

  14. Lynn says:

    Agree with others about Lysine. Currently have a cold sore (hence why I checked out this article) and have been taking Lysine internally and putting Tea Tree Oil on externally and after two days it’s almost gone. That’s the quickest I have ever had a cold sore appear, blister, burst, and scab in my life.

    I also caution against using Petroleum Jelly as it comes from oil drills and I wouldn’t want it near my mouth.

  15. Donna says:

    White tooth paste works great.

  16. Natishia says:

    The best thing that I have found for sores are, L-lysine ointment and/or an ointment with Lavender, beeswax, Calendula

  17. h says:

    i got a cold sore fore a very stupid reason and i went YEARS without a cold sore then the past year i got 3 in a row….i started take lysine this year to prevent out breaks. does it really work?? i have valaclovir just in case….i need suggestions on how to keep it back bc i am in the service industry and hate that nasty thing on my face while talking to people

    • h says:

      oh i got to mention i constantly have tingling on my chin so im constantly looking at the mirror and need to stop OBSESSING looking at my chin

    • BB says:

      Yes, lysine works! As soon as you feel the heat or tingle, double the dosage they recommend and take again in the morning on an empty stomach. It works!
      In service industry too so I know what you mean. Throw away any chapstick or products you use on your mouth/lips. If you’ve gotten that many in that short a time you are probably reinfecting.

  18. George says:

    i hate cold sores there is no reason why they exist but misery, i get them every now an then usuakky when am losing weight or stressed out or have a fever i can never get rid of mine faster them a week , try’ed everything , the only thing that really cures it is time

  19. bqhqor says:

    Comprehensive advice offered (with nuggets of wisdom), but ‘nuts’ (under number 9) shouldn’t be mentioned as an alternative for cold sores. Yes they are high in Vit E, but also contain excessive Arginine – an essential building block in the cold sore virus. For that reason, nuts should actually be avoided during outbreaks.

  20. Fran says:

    Can you use these on canker sore also or what is best for canker
    thanks Fran.

  21. Diane Foust says:

    I don’t get the cold sores on my lips, I get them inside my nostril. Do any of these work for that location?

  22. Jan says:

    Have you tried this mixture? Does it work?
    Thanks

  23. Kristen says:

    I can never catch cold sores before they form. I seem to get the tingly feeling just hours before they’re completely broken out. Then there are other times where I think I feel tingling so I use Carmex for cold sores and it turns out to be nothing but my paranoia.

  24. Leanne says:

    I work in a cold warehouse and I am getting alot of big coldsores. Wats the best thing to use plz

  25. Connie says:

    Grandma’s tried and true cold sore eliminator…rub your finger behind your earlobe and rub on the cold sore every time you think about it. It will be gone in a day! Apparently, it is Vit D oil and you can’t get any more natural than this! Many friends and family do this and it does work even if it sounds a bit gross.

  26. Dianne Boulton says:

    I recently healed up a coldsore using straight lavender Oil and Coconut oil. When It first starts I put on the lavender oil straight then after a couple of minutes smooth on Coconut oil. The lavender dries up and kills the virus and the coconut oil softens the skin and is also anti viral. I usually only use the lavender for 2 days then just use the coconut oil. It never fully developed into the cracked sore version only had the tingling and irritation for about 4 days.

  27. Melissa says:

    Oganic Neem Leaf Capsules work for me. At first onslaught take 2. I ran out my medication one day and flelt it coming on. I took 2 capsules knowing that its great benefit is it is a blood cleanser and kills viruses. The tingling and and bump were gone within the hour. Good bye Big Pharma! You can get it on Amazon organic for app. $10.50/bttl with free shipping if you have Prime or any health food store should carry it. Also try to reduce/avoid stress and boost your immune system as too much stress and a low immune system trigger the outbreaks.

  28. S says:

    Baking soda. Totally works. You start getting a cold sore — mix baking soda with a tiny bit of water and dab it on. Leave on for a few minutes, don’t get cold sore. It’s pretty awesome.

  29. Riss says:

    I have had trouble with cold sores in the winter and sun poisoning in the summer on the same areas around my mouth and nose all of my life. The minute I get the feeling I’m breaking out, I grab yellow mustard! Yes, good old French’s Mustard.

    I keep it on and usually the bubbling, oozing and drying up lasts maybe one to two days, depending on how aggressive I am with keeping the mustard on the eruption.

    There are healing components in mustard. I have read that it was once used for burns.

    The aftercare is important. I agree. Keep it moist!

  30. Anna says:

    I have been gettin cold sores since I was 12. All my mom did was give me Carmex …that made it worse and spread it even more.
    I have done years of research and understanding and documenting my own triggers. I may only now have a breakout once every year. I take my LLysine pills and I also have cut wheat out of my diet. Wheat has the amino acid arginine that the cold sore virus feeds off of. I have to find my fibre in other ways. So now I am 34 and I only get an outbreak because I am stressed and I have learned to cope with that by exercising. One outbreak a year is better than every two months in my teenage years and 20′s.

  31. lynette says:

    you failed to mention the number one thing. The first thing you do when you feel the tingling or the sore coming on is the load up on Thousands of milligrams of lysine!! if you catch it in time the Sore will go away and It’ll never come out.

  32. Kyshana says:

    I’m very surprised no one mentioned this but bentonite clay works great! I will never use another product again. It pulls everything out and dries it up. I felt the tingle, applied it that night by putting a little water on my lips and sprinkling a little clay over it. The next day, gone. I was happily surprised.

  33. Dee says:

    I was told and have used ear wax on the cold sore, it will start to heal rather quickly (It can get messy, but it works. It actually burns a little when you put the ear wax on the cold sore )

  34. Aida says:

    Here is what i used and i havent seen one in 3 years, Lemon Balm extract read about it, it is a healing power….. I tried almost everything

  35. Jen says:

    You forget the easiest and most effective cure for a cold sore APPLE CIDER VINEGAR! I have dealt with “cold sores” my entire life and tried just about everything and ACV is the fastest and most effective treatment. The last time I had one it didn’t even blister just kept putting the ACV on it and in a day there was no sign of it.

  36. Dany says:

    Abreva as soon as I feel the tingle & I will NOT even have a breakout. I’ve had these ever since I can remember, with 30 years of experience , abreva has been the only thing that works (for me at least).
    My sister on the hand says abreva does not do the job for her. She uses an ointment prescribed by her doctor.
    Good luck! I hate those pesky little things.

  37. kathy says:

    ok, sounds nuts, thought my friend was nuts telling me this, but it was dead on….. You take a stainless steel butter knife, I use two, put them in the freezer. (the knives are thicker in bulk so they stay frozen longer) No, you are not going to cut off your lip, when you feel the tingle, take the frozen handle end of the butter knife and stick it to the sore….. sounds nuts, i know, but let it stay there until it thaws. I freeze two so i can do it often… it works…. IT WORKS!! it really breaks down the virus and they won’t spread!!!! It also keeps them from swelling and ewwww. Do this as often as you can….. I keep two in the freezer just for when I need them…. but the key is catch it early!!!!

  38. nicole says:

    I’m so upset! I’ve literally become a hermit…. I actually got infected from my son who had bad cold sores erupting from an illness. Well, the mom in me took over and I obviously got too close because I ended up with my first cold sore at age 33. Anyway, since that 1 sore, I have not been able to get rid of them totally on my lips, now in my nose, and an unknown scaly bacteria infection on cheeks, nose, etc. Doc gave me herpe meds and antibiotics. Months later, NO CHANGE! I don’t wanna miss out on my life. Any suggestions or advice, please. I guess a dermatologist is on my list, huh?…..thanx

    • Cindy says:

      It sounds like you have a severe case, as I do already for many years.
      In Europe we have a salve called Fucidin. There is also a crème but I find the salve (zalf) works best and has saved my skin from any kind of scarring…in fact, people tell me that my skin looks great!
      If you Google it, perhaps you can order it online.
      The first attack I ever had was the worst, it spread very quickly over my entire face and Fucidin saved me from losing my sight, for if the virus gets into your eyes it’s damaging. Now I keep several tubes of the salve on hand to only use when necessary because it’s an antibiotic so you mustn’t overuse it. It keeps well in the refridgerator, long past the expiry date…years past, also I keep a tube with me because if I get tired or stressed it can flare up very quickly.
      I always dab some around my eyes because I’m susceptible to that already for many years and have no idea how I became infected in the first place.

    • Holly says:

      Nicole,
      I saw this type of blistering on my daughter and it turns out it was from her using toothpaste with fluoride. I switched her toothpaste to Tom’s mint toothpaste without fluoride and it disappeared within just a few days and hasn’t returned.
      Good luck to you and I hope you get cleared up soon!

  39. Cristen says:

    I have been prone to cold sores since I was a probably about 5 or so. I’ve tried carmex, camphor, abreva, lysine and even putting plain salt granules directly on the sore in desperation and nothing really seemed to work. In my experience, abreva was a waste of money and while carmex was definitely soothing and hydrating it didn’t really do anything for healing. I was recently given a sample of eucalyptus oil with a list of uses for it and cold sores were on that list. I felt that infamous tingle and figured I didn’t have anything to lose so I gave it a shot…I put a couple drops on a cotton ball and held it on there for several minutes several times a day adding more oil as needed. Yes this sounds like a lot but in this case I felt like more was better….I just wanted this thing gone. I must say that in the 25 years or so that I’ve been getting these things, this was the smallest, fastest healing and least painful sore I’ve ever had….never progressed further than just a small pinkish irritation…smaller than a pimple. Now, i don’t know the science behind it but I think I FINALLY found my cure.

  40. Janice says:

    I’ve found Oregano Oil to be really effective in clearing up a cold sore. BUT, make sure you get the type that is already deluted – do not get full strength or you will end up burning your lips. You can find it at any health food store.

  41. Wallyatcha says:

    Really confused about this because I have read many other places that you shouldn’t eat nuts, broccoli, tomatoes, or spinach and this is suggesting them as sources or Vitamin C and E (#9). I’ve also read that you shouldn’t drink too much orange juice because an overly acidic balance can trigger an outbreak.
    Anybody else find a lot of conflicting opinions on the internet about cold sores?

  42. J says:

    Ear wax. A doctor told me years ago to take the q-tip from my own ear and dab it on my lip as soon as I feel the pain. It woks and my soar is gone in 2 days without bursting.
    I know that sounds gross but it works.

  43. o says:

    I’ve read not to eat any nuts, gelatin or chocolate. That ear wax thing I never heard off but I will try it. Can I put Lysine on my lip or is milk better?

  44. Tammy says:

    I have to deal with cold sores in my nose every change of season. Finally, I have found away to stop the pain and heal the sores quickly. I had to deal with is the congestion that is caused by the sores in my nose. I wouldn’t even be able to sleep a night due to the congestion. So now I have found relief.
    I use abreva and get a prescription for Valtrax 500mg. I start as soon as I feel tingling or burning pain. I( have tried so many remedies but finally with in 5 days all my sores are gone and the pain is no longer a issue. The worst issue I had to deal with is the congestion that is caused by the sores in my nose. I wouldn’t even be able to sleep a night due to the congestion.

  45. Melissa says:

    I got my first cold sore a few days ago at 34. I’m so angry! My ex husband whom I divorced 7 years ago has genital herpes. I don’t know if simplex is the same strand, but it’s funny that I NEVER had a cold sore until now. It’s probably stupid thinking, but still…

  46. Irene says:

    Applying Excedrin, or any over the counter generic version of it, as a topical treatment stops a cold sore in it’s tracks. Just hold a tablet briefly under running water & apply to the infected area. It will stop it from spreading & immediately start the drying-out process (moisture extends the process). I’ve suffered for years & this is the only remedy that has worked to instantly stop a cold sore from fully manifesting and/or spreading (3-4 days instead of 7-10). No more embarrassing days at work!

    • dooda says:

      I agree that moisture lengthens the outbreak. Once the swelling subsides I start moisturizing. I will have to try the excedrin trick! Thanks!

  47. Sandra says:

    local raw honey…. i dabbed some on my cold sore and the next day it was dried up and smaller and the next day it was almost gone and the 3rd day it was gone.
    i have become a huge fan of local raw honey for so many reasons. it started when i was researching natural and homemade remedies for allergies and it works! since then i have read a lot about it’s many healing properties. Dr. Edward Group wrote “A salve made of honey, for diabetic ulcers, has been proven effective when other topical ointments are not well tolerated. It can be applied to eczema, canker sores or bleeding gums”

  48. dooda says:

    Half my lip was swollen over my bottom lip for two days. I heated a needle and poked wholes to try and relieve pressure. May not be a good idea, but whatev. I did the peroxide daily, did a cottonball of aloe twice (not consecutive), and cottonball of vanilla extract (burned real bad so I did it once., Also tried the lemon and even pineapple but I think that enflamed it more. Two days later swelling went down and I only did peroxide after other attempts above. What I can say is get a good sweaty workout in after hydrating well, chapstick is your bff, after swelling goes down keep using peroxide and use neosporin (or neosporin lip balm) as often as you can. Started saturday and tuesday night it is almost healed. Third time this happened to me and I believe it is oveworking yourself, not hydrating enough, but mostly stressing very hard. Get some relaxation time in and sleep an extra hour when you feel the low coming on before the lip starts to tingle and take daily vitamins (mutli, fish oil, b-12). I hope this helps. Just remember to keep it moist after swelling goes down. I iced and heated throughout also. Heating felt better and I also took ibuprofen noon and night.

  49. Loren says:

    I recently had an experience with someone and was left sick for a few days after. Literally couldn’t move out of bed and had a canker sore. Finally saw my physician when I felt well enough and told me to look into some vitamins, foods and herbs.

    He gave me a list of vitamins and foods to make part of my daily diet. Once I started looking into these vitamins and herbs that boost your immune system, I found this product called instant immunity. Along with my proper diet and daily intact of that instant immunity supplement, I’ve been ok and have had one outbreak so far. For anyone that’s in the same predicament, I would recommend that course of action as it’s helped me get through this.

  50. Sandy says:

    I would not recommend peroxide for a fever blister. I did this several years ago and now have a permanent scar on my lower lip. It made the fever blister soft, but it never scabbed over and lasted double the amount of time that it should have lasted. It was a really bad mistake on my part. Now, when I’m out in the sun I have to use heavy duty sunscreen on my lip or I have another huge fever blister in the same area!

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