Cold sore diary – life span of a cold sore

I haven’t had a cold sore now for nearly a year, not a proper throbbing mess of a one, so maybe it was karma, time I had some pain. But when I got the tingle recently, instead of doing what I normally do, which has kept me cold sore free, I tried some of the remedies people have shared here.

I tried lots of different attacks on the cold sore. His name is Winston, and he has a wife and kids now.

Firstly I would like to advise against the use of garlic. I am pretty sure my lip went from being slightly sore and swollen with no blisters to massive blisters almost immediatly after applying the garlic.

My usual treatment of tea tree, bergamot oil and aloe vera is so very much kinder, does not hurt at all and nearly always avoids the blister stage entirely. But here begins the sorry tale of the most painful cold sore I have EVER HAD.

Woke up with this cold sore

Cold sore

Cold sore first thing on Day one

This is how my top lip looked when I woke up. Not too pretty and the obvious signs of a small family of cold sores waiting to party.

They got bombarded with lots of different things from ear wax and garlic to tea tree oil and aloe vera.

Read Cold Sore Diary – waking up with one to find out what methods of attack I used.

Cold sore after garlic…

Cold sore blister

Cold sore blisters

Almost as soon as the garlic went on we had blisters.

Could have been on the way anyway and maybe this garlic just speeds up the process dramatically.

Whatever it does it was very, very, very painful. It stung – a lot!

Would I recommend it? NO way. I’m a wuss when it comes to pain and I didn’t like the garlic treatment at all. It was really, really painful and seemed to inflame the blisters so much and I’ve never had such a horrendous cold sore in my life.

Day two, after a nights sleep, lots of tea tree and more Llysine

Day two of cold sore

Day two, blisters scabbing

I was feeling smug, hadn’t it got smaller? The cold sore didn’t feel half as bad.

The blisters had begun to look scabby. But these are not just any old scab, these are wet, soggy cold sore scabs which rip off at the slightest touch and turn to goo when wet.

I managed to shower without getting them wet and ripping off the new and fragile scabs.

Now I just need to heal, heal, heal Winston and his family into a quick submission.

When it was first brewing and I was very conscious of it, I went out to a prearranged night at the theatre. My lip felt painful, tight and itching but I was determined not to miss out. Winston and his family enjoyed an amazing night of tango at my local theatre with Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacaci. My lovely friends said, “Oh you can hardly see it.” meaning my cold sore(s). They were very kind and the show was so amazing. Sitting in the front row on the edge of my seat totally mesmerised by the kicks, flicks and whirling bodies on stage. Awesome. Totally took my mind off my swollen lip. No time to feel sorry for myself.

Day two of the cold sore I had a meeting in London for a Focus Group so the poor unsuspecting people had to stare at my swollen cold sore lip.

Generally getting out and about, if you can bear it, will take your mind off the offending cold sore and good friends will not tease you or comment on it. However, cold sores also need lots of rest to heal. Early nights and taking it easy are the general rule I follow when I have them, if I can.

Day 3 and 4 – the horrible bit where it’s healing, hurting and looks gross

I have been applying tea tree oil, holding a tea bag onto the blisters and applying thin layers of aloe vera, as well as lots of multi vits and Llysine. All it seems, to no avail.
Scabbed cold soreThis cold sore has been a complete pest. I really didn’t want to go anywhere once it really got blistered and sore over the weekend.

I also tried a warm, wet tea bag, which I found didn’t help at all. It just made the blister grow and the scab soggy. I recommend a dry tea bag as this aids in drawing out the venom of the sore.

I was in hell. It was throbbing and nothing seemed to help.

I think that burning it with garlic at the start was such a bad idea it just escalated into the cold sore from hell in revenge. At least I tried it, and can now advise everyone I meet to never try that at home, ever!

Worst cold sore ever – still here after 7 days

Well now it still looks pretty awful. Proper scab on cold sore

The husband has taken to calling me little hitler because it’s right where the moustache should be, I so hope it doesn’t scar there or I will be mighty unimpressed.

However it is healing, and taking these photos has proved this to me, so I mustn’t feel so miserable. It isn’t hurting any more, and is only slightly tight. It is much, much smaller and is now a proper hard scab which is still a little fragile.

Towards the end of a cold sores life if you knock the scab or break it while eating it bleeds, a lot, which can be a little embarassing if it happens when you’re out. But when this is happening it is finally forming a proper scab instead of the crust coming off to reveal a damp, weeping open wound.

Cold sores really are quite gross.

So what I learnt from all this experimentation? Actually, be kinder to cold sores. If you burn them with garlic or something else harsh like that they really don’t like it and neither will you. I’m all for less painful, kinder and quicker treatment.

And finally, what I normally do…

I will be reverting back to my original cold sore regime which has meant I’ve not had a really bad one for months and months. Probably years. Basically I don’t burn or pick or attack it in any way unless you count taking supplements, immune boosting, tea tree oil etc. as attacking.

I throw everything I’ve got at it but I don’t want to be in any more pain than I have to. Please don’t rub raw garlic on your cold sore. Do eat lots of garlic though, I’m sure that will only help.

Very quick, avoid cold sores regime…

  1. Straight away take Llysine at first sign or tingle, Take about 1500 mg a day.
  2. Apply zorivax or over the counter cold sore cream (I find these don’t work on their own now but they may help a little so if you have them, apply at first sign of tingle.) Always wash hands and have a separate face cloth and towel
  3. Take echinacea or other immune boosting supplements and foods. I also take vitamin C, D and E in a multi-vitamin
  4. As soon as the lip feels like a blister may be forming or there is any redness or swelling, hold an earl grey tea bag on the sore, as soon as you feel it making it’s mark, preferably before the blisters really take hold, but it will work on blisters. The tea bag should be dry. Hold it still, on the cold sore for as long as you can
  5. Dab tea tree oil neat onto the sore and repeat the tea bag trick as often as you can
  6. I also have a tea tree and Llysine lip balm which I apply when I’m out and about
  7. At night, after applying tea tree oil, apply a thin layer of aloe vera to aid healing
  8. Get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water and herbal tea

Drink lots of herbal healing teas such as nettle, rooibosh, green tea and fennel. Avoid coffee and alcohol.

For more information on getting rid of cold sores read my pretty concise list of Do’s and Don’ts for getting rid of cold sores, which includes the types of foods to avoid and which could aid healing and absolutely hundreds of comments from other cold sore experts with tips, moans and stories of what they’ve tried.

So tomorrow will be a better day. I reckon we’re looking at seeing the back of this cold sore in a few more days? What’s your record time at getting rid of one? I have reduced the blister with the tea bag treatment so that the sore never even formed and it just flattened and went away, back to where it came from. Probably about two days is my record, from tingle to attack with tea tree, Llysine etc.

This has been a hard lesson for me and I’m sticking to my original plan of cold sore attack thank you!

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.

Comments

  1. Ouch, they look sore!

    I’m glad you are now on the winning side. I’ve been a cold sore sufferer since childhood and it’s no fun, you have my sympathies.

    Mine seem to be triggered by bright sunlight as well as when I’m run down or stressed. My all time record was when I went on my first holiday abroad with my friends as a teenager. I ended up with about 20 of them in the end, completely covering my bottom lip (not a great look). I think I made things worse by picking at them as I was so desperate to get rid of them.

    When I get them, it appears as though there is only one and then when the top comes off there is always a cluster of them lurking underneath!

    Zovirax is the only thing that has worked for me so far but I will try some of your tips next time (which I hope won’t be anytime soon).

    I’m paranoid when mine erupt and I even resort to drinking out of straws to avoid contamination. I also keep well away from the kids to avoid passing them onto them, I’m convinced I got mine off my nanna.

    Hope you are soon healed and they don’t scar.

    Take Care,

    Deb

    • Hi Deb, thanks for the support, they are truly horrible little blighters. I hate them. They are so painful and when I have them I really feel ill too, very under the weather. I’m not sure if the virus has the power to really make you feel so bad you just want to mope, hide away and die! This one has gone leaving only a small scar, most of this sore was quite high on my lip so it didn’t get wet when I ate or drank so it didn’t get knocked off quite so much. It’s not a good idea to pick them because the are so contagious – I have a separate face cloth, hand towel as well as the usual separate towels for washing. I don’t know where I got mine but I remember my first one, it came on a birthday one year and I remember the horror when my Nana told me, oh you’ll always have those now, once you get one it stays in your body forever! What a lovley birthday present – is there a Nana link there? Mine used to give me some eue du cologne to dab on them which did seem to kill them. Don’t know where you get that now. I read about these electric zapper things to get rid of them, I’m looking for one of those now to see if that works. Thanks again and wishing you a cold sore free life. We can live in hope.

  2. I know this post was from almost a year ago but I just thought I’d share what works for me! A few years ago I was going through a very stressful time in my life and recovering from a lingering illness. I continually got cold sores for a few months; I always had at least one or two. Sometimes up to five. I finally went to my GP and she put me on an antiviral medicine I could take when I felt one coming on. It worked alright but not completely. I found a product similar to Abreeva but all natural called Releev. It says it’s a one time use product but I apply every few hours when I feel one coming on and I haven’t had one get to the blister stage in almost a year! It’s a smaller bottle but a liquid not a gel and one bottle lasts me six months or so? I’m not sure if you can get it in the UK but you can order online. I’ll still use honey and aloe occasionally but it’s definitely easier to carry a tiny bottle of product in your pocket or purse so you can apply at work or on the go.

    • Hi Alden, yes this is an old blog post but it’s still going strong and hopefully helping people with cold sores all over the world. I’m not sure if you can get Releev in the UK but I’ll look out for it. I have kind of got mine under control with Llysine at the first sign, tea tree neat and bergamot oil regularly. I still use Zorivax if I feel a tingle and usually I can get them to die back before scabbing. Just getting over one though, nasty outbreak with about four blisters on the bottom lip but amazingly they didn’t bother me at all, not painful like they can be. I tried a BioPropolis ointment so I’m not sure if that helped but it’s now five days and they’re almost gone. I just alternate between stuff and attack mine with everything I can throw at it and contrary to some who think letting it dry out is best, I find using some kind of cream soothes and helps mine heal. Bye bye cold sore. This time I was also using a Boots cold sore lotion. NO idea what’s in it as I’ve lost the box but that seemed to get rid of the nasty thing quite quickly (touch wood). I don’t think you’re ever totally free of the cold sore virus but you CAN get control over it and stop it ruining your life with painful, swollen, unsightly cold sores. Being rundown often brings them on. I wish you many more cold sore free years and thanks for sharing.

  3. Klaudia says:

    Hey there. I started getting the tingle Wednesday morning on my way into work! Couldn’t do much about it being stuck on the train. Got to work for 7am…all the shops shut and had nothing to put on it. Left it until lunchtime- by that time it was already swollen. Got some Zovirax- did not help at all. Went home, applied a remedy I have used for years. Arnica with spirit- a polish remedy (arnica is a herb). Held it onto the coldsore for a good hour or two. Then, grabbed some ice and held it onto the coldsore for another 2 hours. At this stage- the cold sore was massive and swollen. I went to bed defeated. The next morning, I applied a compeed patch. Changed it twice during the day and didn’t pay attention to it. That night I went home, and applied arnica for another hour with cotton wool. Left it over night with just a bit of Vaseline. This morning I have woken up and the cold sore is now gone- it’s now at the scabbing stage. A bit tender and sore but applying Vaseline onto it so it doesn’t break is doing the trick! So I do hope by tomorrow the scab goes down! 3 days and it’s nearly gone! Woooooooo.

  4. Hey Ruth, I know its been over a year since you have made this post but I have a bit of a personal question about cold sores. I was looking for an email to contact you at but I couldn’t find one if you can post one that would be great.

    • Ki, long time no speak. I’ve just pinged you an email. I have kind of hidden mine as my spam email rate has gone through the roof, to the point my email account is groaning, I can’t delete the junk quick enough. Desparate meausres and will be changing my email address shortly so watch this space.

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  6. I recorded my own cold sore in hopes it might help me in the future, and possibly others if they read it.

    Tuesday, 9 pm – felt like I was getting a zit on the lower left corner of my mouth. Hadn’t taken much anxiety medication. Tried to get earwax on it because they say it helps, damn my clean ears!, ended up covering the small red blisters with a big gob of toothpaste. Treatment: not touching or popping them, took anxiety med, covered in toothpaste, took vitamin C, had lucky charms (they say to consume dairy).
    Hoping toothpaste dries out blisters. They say peppermint helps, fingers crossed.

    I used to pop them and rub a miriad of treatments for 2+ weeks. Keeping it simple, trying not to irritate cold sore.

    Wednesday, 9 am – woke up and washed toothpaste off, blisters were red and inflamed. I tried to dab concealer on it to go to my clinic but it looked bad.
    Got back and washed concealer off with a q-tip and hydrogen peroxide. Put toothpaste in a small Tupperware cup and added several drops of tea tree oil. Put a big gob of the mixture on the sore. It’s an hour later and I can still feel the tea tree oil tingling, so hopefully that means it is working. I really just want these to shrink and go away quickly. I will not pop them, I don’t want them to keep filling up with fluid and turn into a worse, more aggravated sore. Can’t believe I have a cold sore. Ear wax had been keeping them away and I hadn’t put any on. I don’t get the tingling sensation prior to the outcrop, as ppl say they get – i woke up from a nap at 7 pm, went to Walmart and at 9 pm they were there!

    Thursday 2 am – totally scabbed over with a big, dark red chunky scab. Looks like hell! I only used toothpaste the first night – since then I have been using tea tree oil. I want it to be able to breathe and there are a billion remedies. Many ppl say tea tree oil 3x a day, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m going to the doctor today (unrelated), and its going to be awful with the cold sore – I will probably use a moisturizer and a q-tip to apply loose powder. Hopefully this is gone within a week!
    Haven’t picked at it, didn’t pop the blisters, just keep applying tea tree oil.

    Friday, 8 am- last night, the sore was ridiculously big and red and chunky, and I realized drying it out worked to get it to the scab phase quickly, but I needed something to get the scab down.
    I found a small tube of cold sore medication called nexcare, and a container of Carmex for cold sores. I was gonna go with drying it out, but now that I see how dry and chunky the scab got, I had to change techniques.

    I applies some of the foul-tasting cream and rubbed it in, followed by the Carmex. Had it on a cpl hours and the scab softened up. Went to touch it up with a q-tip and the damp scab immediately started sloughing off. I took the q-tip and gently rolls it back and forth on the sore, as I did so wet pieces of scab came off. I pit the tube medication on the raw skin underneath and hopefully it will shrink up without a lot if scab.

    I feel bad that I can’t even kiss my boyfriend, let alone do anything else with him, share a drink or cigarette with him. I think he knows this isnt the bad kind if herpes, just a fever blister. The stigma is awful and embarrassing, I want to scream “I don’t have std’s!”

    Sunday 2 am: still looks awful, but only half as bad. It isn’t raised at all, just a pink, tender area. I just keep it covered with the tube cream and Carmex, then any scabs that come up can be gently rolled off with a q-tip. I am glad I dried it out first, so it got past the weeping stage. Then the Carmex got it soft so I could make it flat by removing those chunks of wet scab. Seems to be healing well, and I can dab a bit if concealer onto it if I go out. I’m very self-conscious of it in public.
    I did notice that there is a small white blister on the top corner of my lip, probably because when my lips are closed the top lip is making contact with the sore.

    They need to come up with a patch that immediately sucks the virus from the blisters when they appear. The patch abreva makes that you can put makeup over looks awful, how are ppl not gonna see a big circle of concealer?

    Monday 1:45 am cold sore is finally looking better. Still pink, but it’s flat. The worst is in the corner of my mouth. The blister on the top lip is just a red spot, since my lips are red it’s hard to see.

    Just keep putting Nexcare and Carmex on it and use a qtip to roll off the white, stretchy skin that comes off.

    Hopefully by Tuesday it’ll be almost gone. It’s almost been a week!

    Tuesday oct 30 5 am – tomorrow is my boyfriends bday and tonite his family and I are going to Italian. Cold sore is almost gone! I kept putting the nexcare and Carmex on it. Now it is a pink area with a little cracked/dry spot in the corner.

    I think I figured out what works for me. Alternating between dry and moist. Dry it out to shrink it up, it’ll scab up. Then put the nexcare or Carmex on it and the scabs will soften and stick to a q-tip (especially after a shower). Mostly keep it moist, but clean it once a day and let it dry out.

    The most important part is to apply gobs of toothpaste (or baking soda mix, etc) to suck out the blisters. Do NOT pop them, no matter what people say they will weep and spread more blisters and fill up again and again. So keep it dry in the beginning and covered with paste. Tea trea oil helps dry it out. I mixed it with mint paste and it really dried it out.

    It’s been almost one week and it’ll be gone soon. Hopefully by tomorrow or tonite, but I know it’s on it’s way to going away!

    Friday 4:40 am – ok where I messed up was, on Tuesday I tried to peel off what I thought was a small flake of skin. It turned out to be the whole top layer of the cold sore area. So that had to heal. Yesterday I was going to do the same, but I used nail clippers and clipped it off. Now there is a very tiny piece of skin left in the corner of my mouth – still using Carmex to keep moist. It took a week and 4 days, if I hadn’t pulled off the skin it would have been a week and a day or two.

    It’s over! (By tonite or so when that flake falls off). I hope this journal helps for next time (what to do and what not to do).

    • Hi Molly, what a brilliant cold sore diary. Love it and I think you did pretty well at shortening its life. You saw that evil sore off quick sharp. The scab is really hard to not bash or knock. It is so fragile. And getting the balance between drying it out, but also using something to heal and stop it feeling so tight and painful is difficult. Glad yours has gone, gone, gone. STay away cold sore if you know what’s good for you.

    • Crusty Lip ???? says:

      Please make an overnight virus absorbing patch happen! I’d happily accept a freaking cure too! 😉

  7. coldyfacekilla says:

    I have been a cold sore sufferer since I was 12. I came home from camp after 4 days in the bush, and being tired and run down brought on one hell of a family to my lip- I ended up having two weeks off school because it was so severe. Anyways, shoot forward 17 years [today] and I am sitting here with a revolting, sore, tight scabby top lip 3 days before my birthday and at the end of week one of my new job. I feel like a lepper. And I have decided that nothing works for my outbreaks.
    Zovirax does nothing but take money out of my wallet. I take zinc, c, d, lysine, garlic and horseradish. I’ve tried salt, vinegar, tea bags, honey, leaving it, picking it and my dr once gave me Gential Herpies medication to see if it would do anything.
    Mine are severe, the doctor last time I went counted each blister- there were 80 +. I would love to be one of those people saying “oh I did this, this and this and it was gone in three days”.. I get no symptoms at all. Nothing. I go to bed with cute lips, wake up with a family living there.
    Apart from knowing it will all be over in a week or two [for me] is the only thing that gets me through and I treat myself to a new lip balm on the last day.
    Im really sick of buying toothbrushes also!
    It sucks, I hate it them, they make me miserable.
    The end.

    • Hi there coldy face killa, can I call you that? I bet you wish you did have that power… And I know you’re heave it all before, but I used to be like you. Maybe not quite to the number (80+? that’s just insane) but frequency was a nightmare. I now have Herstat propolis cold sore lip balm which honestly, since I’ve had it, has worked wonders. I do get tingling so I apply as soon as I feel it, but if you wake up with them it’s a but if a sucker. It does speed healing. I also swear by tea tree, neat oil. Apply directly to the sore as soon as you can with a cotton wool pad. Do this as often as you can. It tastes a bit gross so try not to lick your lips. Easier said than done. I also apply aloe vera gel 99% which acts like a barrier to protect and help it heal. Certain foods do trigger mine, especially if I’ve had lots of processed food so I’m not sure quite what sometimes, but tomato definitely does also. If you can pinpoint what triggers yours that helps but sometimes they appear anyway despite living like a saint. Read my blog about Herstat, there is a tab at the top ‘cold sores’ with all the cold sore blogs I’ve written over the years. Good luck – and I hope you live up to your name of coldy face killa very soon! Get lost cold sores.

  8. Frustrated-Tanya says:

    I’m 39 and never had a cold sore before. Never knew what it looked like. I woke up on the 25th with my bottom lip, on left side, completely swollen. Looked like daffy duck. I had no clue what this thing was till I Google pictures. By this time, I was way into development. It covers both my inside and outer lip. It’s now been 9 days. I started taking Wellness Formula cause I was feeling rundown. I have been putting on Blistex (medicated version) on multiple times a day for the past 3 days. I had the nasty crusted yellow scab .. fall off… then reform again. My husband said “it looks disgusting” well geez thanks.

    • Oh Tanya I’m so sorry you got your first cold sore. Get hold of some tea tree oil, some Llysine and some Propolis ointment. There is a link above to a company called Herstat. Works wonders for me. Never had one since using that but have been plagued with them all my life.

  9. Hay, I have read your blog post and everybody’s replies. Just wanted to add a few words. Myself and my GF have been together for almost 21 years, she had had cold sores since the day we met. Although they have never been as severe as some of you describe, nonetheless still very nasty. I’m pretty sure she has tried everything known to man kind to try and stop these things in their tracks the second she understands there is one about to crop up, including every over the counter medication she could find, keeping it dry, and keeping it moist 24/7. She finally went to teh doctor and he told her not to waste any of her money on anything but Blistex, the medicated stuff in the little (Blue) tin, exactly as what Tanya said she does. So, the second she knows one is coming, she keeps it covered in Blistex, and they never blister (maybe a tiny little bit) and never ever scab over any more. What used to take a week to 10 days, from start to finish, now has an average a lifespan of 2 or 3 days now. Doctor says they key is to keep it moist with something that will also medicate the area as to word off any other infection (because it is an open flesh wound) and to kill any current infection, which will ultimately prologue healing, like any other open wound. Hope this helps someone.

    • Thanks Neil! Yes I bombard mine with neat tea tree oil, then aloe vera to help heal and kill the virus. It also creates a barrier over the sore to keep it healing. I have also used propolis ointment which aids healing. Not sure I’ve ever got rid of a blister as quick as your GF but this propolis ointment stops them even appearing. the minute my lips goes red adn starts tingling an wack on the propolis (herstat) and also PurePotions tea tree salve. Anything to help it heal.

  10. Cold sores…the bane of my life. One thing i will say..I bought a cold sore zapper from boots,cost bout 35 pound I think it was, but worth the money. If you use it as soon as you feel that familiar initial tingly kinda feeling,it shortens it by about a week for me. Also the coldsore doesnt look anywhere near as bad, no scabs atall in my case. You must act immediately though. I was caught short once, not having the zapper on me at the time of the first pang, didnt manage to use the zapper until I got home a few hours later, n by that point its too late. Like I said though,If your quick then theyre great. Dont use those patch things, jn my experience they jjust spread em across your mouth and youl end upwith more.

  11. Did this leave you any scars? I also picked and attacked mine a lot (I really regret it) and now it’s creating a big black scab on my lips (worse than your pic in day 7). I’m afraid this will create a scar. 🙁

    • The scars should fade, give it time. Find some healing balm and give your lips some tlc. I have had scars but mostly they are so faint now you can’t see them. I have a very slight scar on my top lip now but I actually don’t mind it. You can hardly see it.

  12. akon watson says:

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  13. John "Ratty" Arbuckle says:

    It’s herpes. Best way to avoid cold sores is…don’t become infected with herpes. Don’t share drinking glasses, don’t kiss people with cold sores, don’t let dogs and cats kiss or lick your mouth and nose. No one in my family has this disgusting disease, because we have never done any of the above. It’s as simple as that. They say 85% of the population gets cold sores, but that’s because 85% of the population shares drinking glasses, kisses their pets, and/or kisses people with cold sores.

    • I’m not sure I entirely agree with you there John. It’s not that simple. I never had pets, grew up in a family where very little physical contact was given and certainly no kissing. We did not share drinking glasses yet I still got my first cold sore at about 8 years old. Some people carry the virus but get no signs of swelling or blisters. Some people will never get it. Maybe you’re just one of the lucky ones. But not kissing someone with cold sores is good advice though I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t want to kiss anyway – they hurt like hell.

  14. Yes cold sores are a herpes, and so is chicken pox, and most people have been exposed to HS1 and the lucky majority don’t have breakouts. The herpes that cats and dogs get is not transferable to humans. The good news, a cure is nearly here. Vaccine to prevent infection and reduce recurrence is in testing, another medication to prevent the virus from hiding out in your nerve cells is being researched. In the meantime, do not be concerned with the opinions of ignorant, arrogant punks. You might try Reishi mushroom extract – it’s been shown to kill virals, and learn de-stressing methods (turn off phone at night, deep breathing, checking in). Keep skin moisturized and don’t rub it. Minerals calm the body (vitamins excite), lysine can help stop an attack, but will also slow down healing, so take it for first 3-4 days. Acidic juice, sugar, salt, chocolate, can trigger attack. Watch out for hormonal plunges – 2 days before monthly. The latest evidence is that the virals are ‘killed’ when dried, so if the scab is totally dry, you should be ok touching it, but be very cautious about spreading wet fluid elsewhere. Try to sleep it away – the body heals twice as fast while you sleep.

  15. Hi All,

    I had cold sores from as young as I can remember but didn’t know what they are until a couple years ago, which is when I was 25. After reading tons on online articles I finally found something that works for me and would like to share with poor souls like me. ICE is your best friend when before and during your outbreak.
    1. If you feel tingles on your lips and suspecting a cold sore then just ice it for 15 to 20 minutes and take ~2000mg of L-Lysine. (Do more research on L-Lysine before you take it because I am not responsible for anything. I am just giving tips based on my own experience) DO NOT HESITATE OR BE LAZY! NOT WORTH THE GAMBLE!!! Repeat the icing a few times every 2 to 3 hours and for me I take 1000mg of L-Lysine every 5 hours for the rest of the day to be sure.

    2. If you missed the warning time and little bumps started to appear. ICE it and take L-Lysine as well. It’s never too late to use ice. It’s amazing how effective ICE is.

    3. Ice also helps with healing of the sores. So keep icing it even if the sores are dried up and you don’t feel it anymore. Keep doing it. Can be less frequent but good to keep it up. Someone claimed that he is now 6 years cold sore free after icing the sores every time they appear.

    Ice is cheap and can do no harm. For such a easy task and has so much reward is totally worth it. I really want to share what I know with the other poor souls at my workplace too but I don’t know how to engage on a conversation like this.

    I really hope this will work for you guys! Sending my <3!

  16. Hi, does anyone have scars from their coldsores? I always get them in the same place every month or so which is right in the centre of my top lip and it swells just above the lip too. My outbreaks are over quick as I use lysine but I just can’t get rid of the mark it leaves each time. I have tried using mederma each day and I think it helps a bit but once I get another coldsore I’m back to square one.

    • Is there a way of posting pics?

    • Hi Ashley, I do have a scar on my top lip on the left hand side where I continually got cold sores for as long as I can remember. Weirdly, after a very traumatic application of raw garlic to the last cold sore that grew there which caused the worst volcanic cold sore of my life, I’ve never had one there in that spot since. Very strange! I have had others, but none as bad as that one since and I use Herstat Propolis and Pure Potions Tea Tree salve and mine never get that bad any more.

  17. So.
    I was just skimming the Internet looking up hsv1 and the whole tingling sensation, Yada yad, ya.

    I’ve had cold sores for about 7 years now, you’d think I’d be used to them by now, nope. Anyways I woke up with one Sunday popped valrex, lysine and cimitine, like 3xs the average done kept it at bay, woke up Monday had two fat flay fluid blisters took a qtip and a needle you I do not touch the cs. But I do pop it and let the qtips absorbed the viruses filled fluid without the qtips touch my lip, than I aplied the valrex cream took more oral valrex and lysine and cimitine, and as of today it feels like this virus has reactived, I’m getting the sharp tingling sensation it’s been about 1 week now, so I guess I shall see.

    Honestly though hsv1 is very common yes, but nothing makes you feel more shifty than you alead you do from being ran down than having a cold sore to prove it. Igh

  18. Wow. Thank phone for all the auto correct, sorry I probably should have received read it.

  19. I’ve been getting cold sores since I was 14, and always at the most inopportune times, before a big date for example.

    The thing that has helped me most is patches, eg by Compeed. If you get one of those on at first tingle, the sore will often not come up, let alone scab, even if it does stay tingling and active for nearly as long. It feels really satisfying putting the protective shield over it, letting it throb away without threatening to blister.
    I think healing time is reduced too, but not dramatically – I think 10 days is my average now.

    Try not to change the patches unless they come off – ideally they last for days and form a kind of second skin drying the sore out.

    Other tips I’ve tried:
    – lots of lysine (and don’t feed it with arginine at all) – definitely helps
    – fruit and veg ie alkaline diet (no grains) and 20% high lysine proteins like fish and eggs – include pineapple, for bromelaine – seems to help
    – allicin supplement – not sure – felt it might even have worsened it?
    – monolaurin supplement – not sure – have got high hopes for this as a preventative over time, but we’ll see

    Unfortunately I’ve found nothing that reliably keeps them away so it seems to be my lot to get them every 2-3 months.

    Hope the above helps!

    • I posted here last October under the name Yolo. What I tried back then worked pretty well. Combination of ICE and L-Lysine. I’ve never been convinced that taking pills to be a permanent solution to prevent cold sore outbreaks. There has to be better ways. Instead of thinking what we can do when symptoms appear maybe we should consider a solution to prevent it to happen at all, or at least minimize it. THEN, when it happens we can use these remedies for faster recovery.

      Okay! Enough about that. So after I got my last cold sore, it was right after Christmas Day of 2015. Usually I get an oocurance at about every month. Then I remember ready something about getting rid of warts, I’m talking about warts on foot or finger not genital ones. For all these viral related “deiseases”, they all occurs when we are stressed out, lack of sleep, after a cold, and all that. All it comes down to is when our immune systems are weaken and how can we maintain a stronger immune system? You eat healthy, sleepy plenty, and exercise frequently. For me, none of those were ever consistent…Long story short…..I decided on picking the eating healthier, which means getting enough nutrients route since the other two were hard to stay consistent for me….Anyways, I just started drinking a wheat grass shot every morning to make sure that I have a base nutrient to start my day. I have been drinking the freah kind. They’re just Costco powdered kinda and since Christmas I haven’t gotten a single cold sore. I know that half a year is not long enough of a sample size but hey, doesn’t hurt to drink wheat grass shots right?

      I know I wrote a lot and pardon my broken English. Hope this will work for you guys too.

      -Yolo

  20. I’ve been getting cold sores since I was 14, and always at the most inopportune times, before a big date for example.

    The thing that has helped me most is patches, eg by Compeed. If you get one of those on at first tingle, the sore will often not come up, let alone scab, even if it does stay tingling and active for nearly as long. It feels really satisfying putting the protective shield over it, letting it throb away without threatening to blister.
    I think healing time is reduced too, but not dramatically – I think 10 days is my average now.

    Try not to change the patches unless they come off – ideally they last for days and form a kind of second skin drying the sore out.

    Other tips I’ve tried:
    – lots of lysine (and don’t feed it with arginine at all) – definitely helps
    – fruit and veg ie alkaline diet (no grains) and 20% high lysine proteins like fish and eggs – include pineapple, for bromelaine – seems to help
    – allicin supplement – not sure – felt it might even have worsened it?
    – monolaurin supplement – not sure – have got high hopes for this as a preventative over time, but we’ll see

    Unfortunately I’ve found nothing that reliably keeps them away so it seems to be my lot to get them every 2-3 months.

  21. I’ve get about 8 to 10 cold sores a year. I have one right now that spread like crazy, the worst i’ve ever had!! it was on my lip and went straight to my chin. Its a little bigger than a quarter. Its a big thick scab but keeps oozing too for like 4 days now. I don’t get why its not drying out?? Ive used alcohol tea tree and yea I went to my doctor crying my eyes out and she won’t give me anything and acted like it wasn’t a big deal. I have to take time off work i don’t want anyone to see me this way and hope i don’t get fired. Haven’t been able to eat, haven’t slept all night because this thing keeps leaking and i’m getting really depressed :'( any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Feelingthepain says:

      I get super depressed when I get a cold sore too!

      I started taking Acyclovir (a prescription) a few years ago. I take 800mg – 5 times a day for 5 days (sometimes shorter if it goes away). I ALWAYS have a few pills on me just in case. I haven’t had a bad blister or noticeable sore in a few years. Normally, it never even blisters and just goes away.

      Sadly, this weekend wasn’t the case. I was out of town and sleeping in the same room as my daughter. I couldn’t bare waking her up, and I had no idea where my purse and pills were.

      So I woke up to the familiar signs, and took my pills.

      I vowed not to pick at this because I really needed it to go away. I’ve been using essential oils on it. My combo is tea tree, lavender, peppermint, and geranium. I clean my mouth with witch hazel, and then on a cotton swab I put a drop of each and push it into my lip. When the blister oozes, I just get some tissue and dab it without getting it on my fingers or anywhere else. I’m 5 days in and it’s almost gone. It hasn’t scabbed in the traditional way. It has a sort of skin colored scab that is very minimal THANK GOD!

      The key is patience which is terribly hard! Keep it clean. Keep your hands clean. Drink TONS of water (with a straw) and get plenty of rest!!!

      Good luck all!

  22. I had cold sore a month ago, it was a horrible pain. It’s peeled off, after taking it’s own time.
    However, still there 2 to 3 small blisters appearing on my lip.
    Have tried zovirax (tablet+cream), taking lysine..nothing is helping. It’s been there for more than a month.it’s not progressing and no pain. Just the blisters are still there.

    Pls can someone advice with your experience/knowledge.

  23. Hey guys. So anything growing on my lip lol assume it’s a cold sore. Although none of my experience have co me close to any pics online and I never get pain/burn/tingle…. I’m assuming the worst Everytime I would say I’ve have 3 light outbreak but never on the lip itself always on the lip lining. Anyways sat morning woke up to 3 pimple like bumps. Went to work right away with alcohol peroxide and tee tree oil. Sun looked about the Same maybe abit bigger so I started researching. I applied raw honey with salt. Man this stuff dried and crusted whatever I had there in just few hours. Apply with q-tip. Monday morning scab onsite. Applying more honey and salt u’ll feel it working. Hopefully by tomorrow it’ll fall off. Kyp

  24. I got my first cold sore when I was 20 and have gotten 1 every 10yrs since. I’m 40 now SMH. This recent one that I am just getting over was the worst and is still lingering. It is going on 3wks and although there is not a sore, it still tingles and swells throughout the day for a few minutes at a time. I haven’t gone to the doctor for this and have just been using abreva. Has anyone else had an issue where the cold sore site swells like this with no sore?

    • Yes I get this too. It’s the virus trying to take hold. So you need to slow down, get early nights, use tea tree, llysine, propolis, anything to attack that spot to stop the cold sore taking hold. Search for the other cold sore blogs on this website for more…

      • Edwin neville says:

        I got one when I was 24 and not another one until now on Saturday, im now 38. Bought some lysine lip clear and now Monday looks a little bit better but hopefully gone soon. I took some days off from work also , i deal with the public and this is embarrassing for me , feeling like everyone i speak to is staring at my lip.

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