You know the signs, that tell-tale little tingling sensation that signals you’re in for a real treat, a cold sore is on the way. Zovirax and Abreva are widely used as a first line of defence and can be successful at keeping cold sores at bay, but need to be applied at the tingling stage. Not so useful if they appear in the morning as most of mine do. When you wake at night to that itching niggling feeling do you always leap out of bed and hunt for the cold sore cream? No, you don’t, you roll over and go back to sleep and pray for a miracle.
When you wake up the next day with the beginnings of one of these little lovelies you know it’s time to take action. Once a cold sore has erupted and begun its blistery miserable life it’s no fun at all and they can be really painful, but there are lots of things you can do to shorten its life span, and to prevent them coming back.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and once contracted can lie dormant in nerve cells for years. Triggers include being run down, getting stressed, menstrual cycle, exposure to direct sunlight and even certain foods. There is no cure for cold sores. If you’ve had one, chances are you’ll get them again, but there are loads of natural remedies and actions you can take to minimise attacks.
Here are my Do’s and Don’ts for surviving, minimising and banishing those cold sores for good!
- Eat food that’s rich in Lysine e.g. Dairy products, potatoes, legumes (peas, lentils, beans) meat (specifically red meat, pork, and poultry), cheese (particularly parmesan), certain fish (such as cod and sardines), nuts, eggs, soyabeans (particularly tofu, isolated soy protein, and defatted soyabean flour), spirulina, and fenugreek seed and brewer’s yeast all contain lysine.
- Take L-Lysine supplements – This amino acid supplement hinders the growth of the virus so can really aid healing and stop spreading.
- Use a separate towel and face cloth – For the simple reason that cold sores spread so easily, if you or anyone else in the family has a cold sore, make sure everyone else knows not to use their towel to prevent contamination.
- Use an anaesthetic ointment to numb – It will help to alleviate the pain if you have a particularly bad bout
- Take painkillers – They will just take the edge off the pain of your cold sore.
- Get lots of rest – One of the key triggers is being run down so make sure you get good and regular sleep. Cold sores don’t like that!
- Take vitamin supplements – Vitamin supplements such as zinc, vitamin E, B to help heal your skin.
- Boost your immune system – Take Echinacea or other immune boosting supplements to help knock cold sore attacks on the head
- Keep it moisturised – Simple vaseline or petroleum jelly will do the trick, but there are loads of cold sore and chapped lip creams. Keeping your cold sore moisturised will aid healing, but make sure you always wash your hands after application
- Get plenty of exercise – Exercise bolsters the immune system so don’t hide away. Get out there and get some fresh air; it’s a really effective way to fight off stress.
- Try a cold pack – Ice can help dull the pain so try a cold pack or compress to numb the discomfort.
- Learn to combat and cope with stress – Try yoga, pilates or meditation as great stress busters to keep you on an even keel.
- Protect your lips – Make sure you wear a good sun-screen lip balm in direct sunlight as this can trigger cold sores. In winter make sure you keep lips moist, use a lip balm. If lips do become chapped or sore it can be easier for the virus to take hold. Healthy lips will be less prone as they skin is stronger and more supple.
- Eat foods rich in Arginine e.g. Chocolate, Cola, beer and peanuts
- Eat salty acidic food – Crisps, lemon and similar foods will aggravate your cold sore.
- Kiss or perform oral sex – Cold sores are extremely easy to spread and pass on through physical contact so don’t feel tempted.
- Touch, scratch or pick it – Physical contact with these little blighters can encourage them to spread very easily so when you do treat it, wash your hands and then avoid contact.
- Get it wet! – Cold sore scabs can be very fragile, so avoid licking it or getting it wet if you can. Don’t go swimming and try to keep it out of the water when you shower. This is almost impossible to acheive and is very frustrating.
- Let it get you down – Cold sores can be really painful and miserable, so take it easy and be kind to yourself. Ignore them and pretend they aren’t there!
- Wear make-up Avoid using lipstick as you could contaminate it with the virus.
- Keep your toothbrush in the bathroom – Moisture prolongs the life of the cold sore virus to make sure you dry it out, keep it in the bedroom instead so any virus cells won’t survive and spread back onto your lips before it’s fully healed.
It’s good to see far more Do’s than Don’ts here, and as if that’s not enough for you to be going on with, here are some other natural remedies that I’ve gleaned from friends, family and fellow cold sore sufferers.
- Zovirax – Available in most chemists this is the first line of defence when you feel tingling. It contains aciclovir which helps prevent the cold sore taking hold. Boots, Lloyds and other pharmacies often do their own brand which is much cheaper than Zovirax. Careful when you open these little tubes as you can end up with the half the contents spewing out when you only want a tiny bit. Abreva is also widely used to treat cold sores.
- Propolis – Use a propolis based cold sore remedy such as Herstat, regular users report much faster healing and a reduction in pain. It tastes almost good enough to eat too.
- Toothpaste – Dab some directly onto the cold sore. It dries them out!
- Witch Hazel – Using cotton wool dab some onto the cold sore. Witch Hazel has natural healing qualities.
- Corsodyl gel – Also available at the chemists. Not tried this one out yet.
- Whisky – I didn’t discover whether this remedy involved application to the cold sore or drinking, or perhaps both. I’ll leave that up to you…
- Colloidal Silver – Can also be dabbed onto the cold sore to aid healing. You can get this in most health food shops in liquid form and you can keep it in the fridge.
- Eue de toillete – The alcohol dries up the cold sore but also stings!
- Licorice – Make sure it’s real licorice and not flavoured.
- Milk – Soak cotton wool in milk and dab onto the cold sore
Cold sores can also be triggered by food allergies so if you do keep getting recurrent cold sores start a food and symptoms diary and try to pin point what foods are causing it.
What are your cold sore remedies? What works for you to banish these little horrors? I usually give mine a name like Colin or Clary – bring in a bit of humour. Let em know I’m not bovvered. It usually does the trick!
Buy cold sore treatments online
If you want to see what LLysine looks like or check the names of cold sore treatments mentioned here, and even buy them online, visit the Buy Allergy Stuff page for some ideas.
Other cold sore blogs
- 15 Natural cold sore remedies
- What’s the difference between cold sores, shingles and impetigo?
- Vitamin B2 for cold sores
There are about ten blogs here about cold sores. To see them all visit What allergy blogs about cold sores
As if almost by magic, the writing of this article spurred on a flurry of tingling lips this morning. I whipped out the zovirax, popped a Beroca and L-Lysine capsule and skipped off to bell ringing and church. Have I knocked this one on the head? I almost hope not so I can try some of these remedies but no movement to report. Cold sore be gone! I suspect the glass of white wine that accompanied the writing. Perhaps that’s one of my triggers! What a shame…
should i pop it so that all the stuff comes out? or leave it alone?
No! God no. Leave it alone. If you pop it you’ll scar. It’s unsightly as a blister but at least it will soon be gone – unlike a scar.
but what to do when it keep spreading
Don’t pop it no. Apart from hurting A LOT you want it to dry out and not break the scab. Not always easy to do. I often find that I catch the scab and knock it when I’m showering or drying after a shower. So, I would say NO – don’t pop it. Try to dry it out. Ice it if it’s really sore and then keep it dry. I find tea tree works for me. One other reader suggests holding a dry tea bag over it and keeping it there for a while. This dries it out. Then apply something healing. Like tea tree, witch hazel etc. Good luck!
Whats the easiest way to get rid of them??
im facing a cold sore right now and its not pretty. i would say the easiest way is to drink lots of water and put toothpaste on it thats what i always do.
So I had a coldsore, and it popped on it’s own and everything. I think it was too small for it to scab, but now it looks like a cut. Do I keep putting antiviral creams on it or do I put neosporin on it?
Carmex for Cold sores, I think only avaialble in the US is brilliant too. A friend bought me some back recently.
Heidi Lanier says
Carmex only makes cold sores more shiny and noticeable!
Hi Heidi, I’m not sure it’s the best thing to use but some people swear by it. It’s supposed to aid healing but I’m not sure I like the smell of Carmex either. Can’t beat a bit of tea tree oil
It’s like cold sore highlighter!
Carmex – definitely! For me, it works faster than Abreva. At the first tingle of a cold sore, I slap some Carmex on. Rather be shiny for an hour than sport a blistery bump on my lip.
Paul, fever blister hater says
I agree with keeping it moisturized and clean, and the toothpaste technique works too. Using a separate towel and face cloth follows the same thoughts I have for utensils and cups. Don’t let other people touch items that touch your sores.
The toothpaste technique does indeed work but you get some funny looks if you go out and forget you have a dab of white stuff on your lip!
Toothpaste didn’t work for me at all it just made my lip and the cold sore bigger.
Ouch! Sorry for suggesting it then. I tried it and not sure it made a massive difference for me, but it didn’t make it worse. Hope you’re not suffering too much. Just need to dry out the little blighters. I take L-Lysine supplements and also Zinc and Vitamin E and Echinacea when I get a cold sore. Or Impetigo which I also suffer from. Main thing is to not spread it and use separate towels etc. so noone else in family catches. Hope it’s gone soon.
Ruth, I also suffer from cold sores and impetigo. I think mine may go hand in hand, but when I realize that something is headed towards the “look” of impetigo, I start dabbing it with tea tree oil. It helps immensely. It’s a natural antiseptic (or so I read) and it seems to make a difference. Just thought I’d throw some help back your way!
Great idea Brittany. I do have tea tree which is great in the bath water if you have eczema. I’ll try it on impetigo next time. Not had it for a while… touch face! It really is horrid. It starts off with the nerves and skin on my face just hurting. I know the signs now so next time I’ll dab on some tea tree
Same with me. I found licking my finger and then putting salt on it and applying it to my coldsore helped. It hurt a little bit but it was worth it. Keep it on for at least 3 minuets. Re-apply as needed.
I haven’t tried the salt idea. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll try that. I had one coming yesterday but Llysine and zovirax and vitamin explostion and it’s sneaked back where it came from. Yay! Down with cold sores.
I always use salt but it’s also the most painful thing to do. But I find it works magic, especially when it scabs over.
sorry ur right that has been happeneing to me oh well sucks to suck
I eat anything related to a pig and I get cold sores. Pork is Geletin < – — It's in alot of candys, chocolate bars, some drinks, pudding, jelo
It has been the worst experience really figuring out what I was allergic to. I am 23 now.. I learned when I was young I couldn't eat bacon and ham but it took me awhile to realize alot of stuff has pork in it.
I avoid eating these things because a cold sore on your face makes you feel ugly and it sucks when people look at you and wonder why I have a cold sore. As much as id like to say its because im allergic to pork, I really don't like to explain it so I just let people think whatever unless they ask!
The worst part about it is… I'll get cold sores occasionally because hot dog packs say ALL BEEF
and I end up with a cold sore and its like what the H*** they should specify if theres pork in this stuff!!
I know I get them when I eat certain things. I’m pleased to hear from someone else who does since my doctor says there is no link, just that I’m run down. Not pleased for you obviously… sorry! If I eat eggs that are runny I get a cold sore, not every time, but if I have them twice in a week I definitely will. Lots of processed foods give me one too. It’s a nightmare. They really are nasty little critters. Good luck with the pork avoidance. By the way, have you heard of pork cat syndrome? Are you also allergic to cat dander?
I know this post is really old…but wondering…do you find that if you eat fully cooked eggs you do NOT get cold sores? I think eggs trigger mine too.
Ruth Holroyd says
Eggs don’t trigger cold sores for me no, but some foods do so it’s certainly possible that they could. I find that eating processed food can trigger them for me but I’m not sure which nasty ingredient is doing it… Fingers crossed I’ve not had one in a while though…
I got a little confused…you say that we should moisturize it but in the same time using toothpaste and other things to dry them out? o.o
Hi Veni! Yes it does sound confusing doesn’t it? I find I’m far more likely to get one if my lips are chapped and dry, so keeping them moisturised with vaseline etc. should help prevent you getting them so often, but they also do heal quicker if you use a suitable moisuriser. Like Zovirax which contains acyclovir, which cold sores don’t like. Anything would help though. However, if you’ve got a real whopper that’s at the throbby nasty blistery phase, I sometimes put something on to dry it out. Which I think is where the toothpaste, whisky and eu du toilet come in. If you can dry out the scab so it’s on it’s way out, and then moisturise it so it heals quicker and is less painful. I’m not sure the toothpaste worked for me when I tried it but someone did suggest it worked for them.
Who knows, perhaps puberty made you more run down, more stressed. Are you a worryer? I am and I know that they are worse and more frequent when I’m stressed. No easy feat but if you can pinpoint stuff that stresses you out and try to avoid getting stressed out it helps.! Good luck.
I’ve been getting cold sores almost once a month for the last ten years ( I’m 21 ) and the worst part is that I don’t only get them on my lips but also on my nose and chin. Everything I’ve been told to do helps only if I do it before the blisters appear and I haven’t found anything that makes them go away faster – they usually last between one and two weeks. You say that you shouldn’t put make up on it but it looks horrible having a big red block on your face. How can I make it look less obvious?
I find that mine come as a result of an allergic reaction. So the can be pretty frequent when I’m not in control of what I’m eating. Food can trigger cold sores, so then no matter how hard you try to avoid stress and do all the right things, they’re gonna get you if you don’t realise this. It could be worth keeping a good and symptoms diary to see if you can spot any patterns there. Not what you eat, how you felt, and any physical symptoms like a cold sore! Whey they are on your face they can be actually impetigo or something else… I feel for you though. They really are nasty. I darn’t say it but I haven’t had one for a while…
Heidi Lanier says
I get really bad cold sores around my mouth. I think that hot air from my hair dryer blown over it indirectly helps them feel better, but I don’t know if it actually works. Some articles I have read said to try and dry them out– which the hair dryer does– and other articles say to keep them moist so the skin stays intact better. Any thoughts?
Once you’ve got the blister you do need to dry it out ultimately. Ice will help with the pain, this works, I’ve tried it. Some readers suggested a dry teabag held over coldsore to draw out the moisture and dry it out. I put on teatree oil too before going to bed. If you can catch it at the tingle, zap it with zorirax but often it’s hard to catch them. Once they are there they are nasty, unsightly and painful. I sympathise. Always wash your hands too if you do touch it. For me though, I find soap really drying. If I get a really bad one I wash it in warm soapy water then pat dry. Then apply teatree or anything else to dry it. Some people swear by toothpaste. I’m not sure how well that works. Hair dryer on it might work. I haven’t tried that. But swimming would be a definite no no.
Monkey Harris says
Keep the cold sore clean by washing with warm soapy water
Get it wet!
Keep it moisturised
Moisture prolongs the life of the cold sore virus, make sure you dry it out
Get lots of rest
Get plenty of exercise
Really? I mean did you just make half of this up or do you genuinely believe you know what you’re talking about?
1. You do need to keep the cold sore clean, esp if it gets really bad. Washing with soapy water will get it clean and prob also help to dry it out in the long run as soap can be drying. But in general you wouldn’t want to go swimming or blast it with shower water as it does tend to break the scab.
2. To avoid getting cold sores keeping your lips mositurised is important. And whilst you do want to let the cold sore dy out, there are some soothing balms that will really help to heal it if applied reguarly and help it heal much quicker than if you left it completely to dry. Ultimately it does need to form a crust, dry out and die.
3. Now this one is really stupid. You can still get plenty of exercise in the day and have an early night and get plenty of sleep. I’m not suggesting you exercise day and night!
I certainly never make stuff up. This is my blog where I share my thoughts, my experiences and I try to research things properly and would never claim to be an expert. I’m just a person with allergies and experience of having a LOT of cold sores. So I’ve learnt and sought ideas from others. Some of things above were things people suggested might work but they’re not all my ideas.
Are you a cold sore expert? I’d love to hear how you think people could avoid getting them. After all, blogs are all about openness and sharing. Thanks for dropping by.
Monkey Harris says
Apologies if my post came across as rude, I’m just frustrated that I can’t get a simple yes or no to using moisturiser on my cold sore.
I’m not an expert on cold sores, just someone who unfortunately suffers with more allergies than anyone I’ve ever met.
Fortunately I hardly ever get cold sores, when I do it’s always from being run down and under the weather (lack of sleep, too much time in the gym, working late etc). I only ever get cold sores on the corner of my nose and always with other symptoms (such as a cold, sore throat, headache, watery eyes, fatigue), which is why I find your advice to exercise strange when I feel out of energy walking down the stairs. I’m currently trying to find out whether I should be applying a moisturiser to my cold sore or leaving it dry but can’t find the answer anywhere on the internet. I have been increasing my Vitamin C intake (pure orange juice) to try and help my immune system fight of this virus but you’ve said to avoid acidic foods. You also say eat Dairy but approximately 3 weeks ago I completely stopped Dairy intake as part of an anti acne diet (which is working very well). I’m currently drinking oat milk with cereal/protein shakes to obtain calcium. I don’t want to go back to dairy as I’ve suffered from very bad acne for more than 10 years.
As for allergies, they do really worry me, I’m 24 now and the older I get the more allergies I discover. Just to list a few allergies: dust (severe), hay fever (severe), fresh cut grass (severe – causes breathing problems), cat hair (severe), dog hair, smaller animal hair (guinea pigs etc) and recently discovered Soya milk (whilst finding an alternative to dairy I had an anaphylactic reaction to soya milk which caused severe breathing problems), I also used to suffer from asthma between the ages of 14-21 but less so now. I’m also allergic to casein protein (again anaphylactic reaction). Not sure if sensitive teeth and eyes count, white table cloths and white walls in the summer cause me terrible eye pain and headaches 🙁
Well it did come across as a bit ranty, but we all have days like that. It is frustrating with all these things like allergies, eczema, cold sores etc. We’re all different, so what works for me might not work for you. I find tea tree oil works well on my cold sores. Can sting a bit but helps to dry it out. Sometimes I do use zovirax to moisturise the cold sore but that really works best if you can get it before it erupts. Impossible most of the time because I wake up with a fully fledged cold sore normally. I do find it helps me to moisturise them a little bit, just because they can be so sore, but always wash your hands after touching the cold sore so you don’t spread the germs.
Getting run down is one of the key triggers. It sounds like that is your trigger. I also get then if I eat the wrong foods but it’s probably linked because recovering from allergic reactions I do feel terribly run down. If you are getting plenty of exercise then the exercise comment isn’t so important. What I mean by this is get out and have some fresh air, go for a walk, do some yoga, but not run around on a treadmill, especially if your body doesn’t want or need that. Exercise does give your more energy though in the long run. Unless you overdo it. If you feel exchausted then have a quite night in, but if you continue to feel exhausted something isn’t right and exercise can often help to stimulate everything. It’s all a balancing act, getting that life/work balance right. It’s not easy.
It’s so hard to stop and take time out. You’ve got to be kind to yourself and learn when to slow down, when to have an early night, when to give the gym a miss. Often it’s too late though and before you know it you’re run down again. Some people just don’t seem to have this problem but I do. I get incredibly run down very easily and I don’t like to give in either, so I’ll still go and play tennis in the rain and then wonder why I wake up with a cold sore.
Allergies really worry me too. I am collecting them every year. I have allergies to cats, dogs and other animals, horses very bad, dust, mould, ALL dairy, all nuts, tomatoes, celery and coriander. Intolerant to eggs and not sure about soya. I get anaphylaxis to celery, dairy and nuts and just terrible skin rashes, hives and skin splitting open from tomatoes. Also latex, nickel. Anything else? I seem to be collecting them as I go along, so I try to eat as many things as I can, and to eat eggs (only an intolerance) and wheat which can cause me bloating when I can as I dont’ want an allergy to anything else.
Dairy is an interesting one. Apparently the cold sore virus doesn’t like dairy, but if you find it isn’t good for you then this obviously doesn’t apply. I can’t eat any dairy so I don’t know if this works or not. LLysine supplement will also hinder the growth and function of the herpes virus so that can help too.
I do find enzyme digest pills help. If I eat out or have eggs or wheat I take one. Acidophilus bacteria helps me too. Echincacea for getting run down. You’ve just got to keep smiling, keep learning and try to recognise when you’re getting run down. I’m not good at this myself but I am getting better with age.
Good luck Monkey! Hope you don’t get any more allergies or cold sores.
Hi monkey I’m sure you’ve solved your problem now but on reading your post from what I’ve looked into to reduce getting cold sores, it sound like its your diet that has triggered the cold sore, oats milk! and pretty much anything to do with oats and other grains ( wheat, seeds nuts) all are high in a chemical with is good for over skin but in being good for the skin it sends it good coldsores growth which you want to avoid!
I had exactly the same problem as you. i used to get ‘cold sores’ really badly when i was younger. They stopped for a while and then came back with a vengeance until i discovered that i had developed an egg allergy (Not Baked Goods but Eggs mayo anything like that) since i stopped eating eggs or mayo i have not had a single cold sore i thought it was because i was taking l lysine supplements but took them so infrequently that it wasn’t until this winter that i realized i hadn’t had a single cold sore with no tablets. I usually start getting them in September and they carry on till February it is now march and no cold sores. i had some caesar dressing without thinking and my whole face began to tingle it was then that i worked out what the problem was, a quick dosage of antihistimenes and my face was no longer tingly and no nasty cold sores thank god as if having allergys and bad eczema isnt bad enough without herpes too.
Anyway my point is seeing that you stopped having them for so long it could not even be a cold sore it may be an allergy so good luck 🙂
Nail polish remover! It removed almost all the blisters it just gave
Me a very fat lil. But I would rather have a fat lip then cold sore blisters. Then wash your hands frequently do the nail polish remover for five minutes every hour or two also abreva and Ice.
Well this is a really interesting one Jeanne. I have never tried this. Not quite looking forward to my next cold sore, but I’ll try this out to see if it works. PS. what’s Abreva?
What country do you live in Jeanne? I’m in the UK and never seem Abreva. I’ll look out for it now thought. We have Zovirax over here.
Whats Abriva??? Ruth, you’re posting about cold sores and don’t know about Abriva. It’s an over the counter cold sore topical ointment. I have found I can not use an ointment because it spreads and makes it AWFUL. I have a prescription for Valtrex and it works wonders, if you catch it soon enough. I have also found acidic foods(kiwi, orange juice, lemons) make those puppies show their ugly faces! Also, when I am outside in the sun or tanning in the tanning bed I get a break out:( I take my Valtrex, apply ice packs, stay away from acidic foods, and keep that sucker as dry as possible!!!
Didn’t mean for the Abriva comment to sound snotty!
Well it did a bit Melissa, but I encourage all heated debates. What country do you live in? I’m wondering whether we are in different countries and perhaps different brand names are causing the confusion. Am looking out for both Abreva (Abriva?) and Valtrex now… we only have Zovirax here in the UK which contains a drug called aciclovir which fights the cold sore virus…
Hi there Ruth! Abreeva is probably another name for the drug you mentioned. Most likely she’s in the states, because it’s sold there (lived there for 16 years) but in other countries it’s not available, at least by that name. It helps to shorten the life span of a cold sore, and if applied in the tingling stage can help keep it from “breaking out”. It doesn’t work for every one, but when I had the option of using it (it was easy to find, it was at any drug store or Wal-Mart) it helped me a lot. In Saudi Arabia it isn’t used, though, so I’m stuck with home remedies. Did you mention tea in your article? It helps with the pain, and shorten the span of the cold sore apparently (it does help me) also, honey is pretty effective as well! Used in the tingling stage it helps fight the sore and keep it from breaking out. Hope this helped some! Thanks for the article! I applied toothpaste, ice, and tea (and a few prayers) and hope it helps! I have prom in 5 days :[
Abreva is NOT related to zovirax; zovirax is aciclovir which we get in the UK also generic brands. There are other brands related to this molecule, containing things such as penciclovir and other aciclovir derivatives. Abreva contains docosanol which as far as I’m aware is a completely different molecule – useful for people who may have aciclovir resistant strains of the cold sore virus. Abreva is MADE IN THE UK by GSK, however you cannot buy it here in the shops. You can buy it on amazon but it’s about £15 for 2g. I used it when I was in america for a bit and it works a lot better than zovirax – this could be because I’ve had cold sores for so long (DO NOT KISS BABIES, PEOPLE!!) the strain is now resistant. Another thing you haven’t mentionned which works really well is holding a piece of cut garlic to the cold sore. Hurts like hell but garlic has both antibacterial and antiviral properties which mean not only are you kicking the cold sore in the teeth, you’re also preventing any secondary infection. You might think it smells bad, but it smells MUCH better than an infected fat lip!! Right now I’m also taking 1000mg vit C a day and about 3000mg lysine but nothing is happening and this is the first cold sore I’ve had that has made me feel like I’m really really ill. Anyone else get these super cold sores? I’m a bit worried that wheat has something to do with it. Don’t ask me why, but when I don’t eat bread I don’t get cold sores. but but but I love bread!! (>.<)
Hi Rhia, thanks for this. I’ll check out Abreva. Neither my doctor nor my pharmacists has ever mentioned it to me, but then I’ve never asked! Thanks for clearing that up though.
Kevin Nam says
L-Lysine has been the most effective treatment for me. When I feel the tingle, I immediately ingest at least 3000 mg of L-Lysine and take 500 to 100 mg vitamin C pills. Then I’ll keep taking lysine incrementally throughout the day. I don’t know if it’s actually necessary for me to eat that many, but psychologically, it helps me feel like I am fighting the virus. Herpes needs arginine to multiply. Lysine and Arginine compete for the same cell resources. Therefore, the higher your lysine to arginine ratio, the less “food” the virus has to grow. Then the Vitamin C boosts your immune system to jumpstart the process. When I do this, the cold sores never grow big or unsightly, and pretty much dries out and dies before even getting a chance to get big. I’m sure people react differently, but based on the science, I’m pretty sure the lysine overdose method will do wonders.
I swear by L-Lysine too, it prevents the coldsore virus from growing. I find echinacea, zinc and selenium help to boost my immune system too. Am fighting one right now and it’s on its way off.
would it help if you crushed l-lysine, mixed with water and applied straight to the sore?
Lysine is by far the best treatment. I’ve suffered from cold sores since I can remember, tried everything and nothing has a faster healing process than Lysine. Try it people! “I hate cold sores”
Do you think applying after shave to the Cold sore would be potentially bad for it. I know it needs to dry in order for it to heal. But Alcohol will just destroy my skin, wouldn’t it?
No not really. It might sting a bit but ultimately it would dry out the sore. I’ve used eu de cologne before it seemed to work. Check out the comment above though. I take LLysine too and I think it really works if you’re plagued with them. Good luck.
Most of the time plastering on Zovirax as soon as I get the tingle stops the outbreak, but if I don’t catch it in time and it turns into a monster outbreak this seems to work for me:
– Straight away I start taking the lysine tablets. Over here in Australia you can get a general cold sore combat tablet which contains lysine, zinc and vit c. I also take echinaceae tablets.
– Second, I wrap an ice cube in a tea towel and keep it pressed to the cold sores (they usually appear on my top lip). This greatly reduces the swelling, stops any pain and makes the blisters look much better and that really helps my mental state – I don’t feel quite like I look like I’ve got the plague.
– Third, once the ice cube has dissolved I put on an unused (and never to be used!) dry tea bag. The tea bag really dries the cold sores and the whole area out, this also improves the way it looks. Normally I tie the tea bag tied to my top lip with the cord from my dressing gown, it must look extremely funny but desperate situations call for desperate measures right?
– Fourth, once the lip is tea-bag dry I liberally apply Zovirax or any of the other cold sore creams – but only the ones that contain the magic aciclovir.
The whole process gets repeated 4-5 times throughout the day.
To give you an idea of healing time – if I get a major outbreak on a saturday, by the sunday I can be relatively presentable, by monday you can barely notice them and most people wouldn’t. By Tuesday we’re all done and I have survived.
Hope that helps.
Dry teabag. I like that idea. I wonder what kind of teabag? Rooibosh teabag might be good. Off to lie in the shade with a tea bag. One other really weird thing I sometimes do when I can just feel it coming on is to dig my fingernail into the area which is tingling. This sometimes seems to stop one erupting. No idea if there is anything in this.
When I feel I’m gettin one I pop a few lysine… And when I go to bed I plaster gel deodarent on the cold sore… It makes mine smaller and speeds up the process… I also use camphophinic cold sore cream.. sorry bout spelling
Please advise me on what I can do. My lip is sore and I cannot drink warm drinks, without getting my lips wet. The thing is, you will always get you lips wet at any time- Drinks, washing even during sleep etc. So what are the best methods to keep this under control
You’re right, you can’t completely avoid getting your lips wet but you should try not to lick your lips if you can. Depending on where the cold sore is, try to keep it dry when drinking, but this isn’t always possible. You could try using a straw if it’s really bad and getting it wet hurts. There are blister plasters that could be used to protect it too though I’ve never tried these so I’m not sure. You could try the dry tea bag suggestion above, after icing with an ice block.
Is there a risk of spreading a cold sore to other parts of my body by showering and having the water run over the sore to the other parts of my body? Same fear w sweating.
Hi Joe. I don’t think so, no. Try not to touch it when you’re showering. If you use a flannel that could spread the virus. It shouldn’t spread from sweating but it definitely is contagious from your towel after you’ve showered and mopped sweat. You can spread cold sores but in my experience if you’re careful and wash hands after putting on zovirax or other treatment you’ll be fine. Generally they just pop up where they feel like it and cause you misery. Nasty things.
I’m so sorry to ask the same question again but I’m confused. I don’t normally get cold sores. I have a memory of using 4711 on cold sores as I child but nothing since then (I’m 41 now). I had some nasal / sinus surgery 3 weeks ago and the constant mouth breathing has made my lips really dry and the lack of sleep hasn’t helped and I have a HUGE cold sore on my top lip. I tried Zovirax early, but to no avail. So I’m up to scabbing stage now. Should I continue to use Zovirax or will using it at this stage just keep it moist. Should I just try something like toothpaste or something to dry it up?
Hi Denise. Sounds like you’re immune system has taken a bit of a dive. I would suggest getting something like echinacea to boost your immune system. Ask ar eyou local health food store and they can advise you as there are loads of other things that would help. Plenty of vitamin C too. Once it’s scabbed over zovirax won’t make a huge amount of difference. I tend to stop using the zovirax once it’s a turned into a proper blister. Now is the time to dry it up. I used to use eu de toilet years ago. Stung but dried them up. Now I use tea tree oil neat, just a few drops directly onto the cold sore. Witch hazle would also help. One reader suggests a tea bag. I haven’t tried this but I can see how it would work by drawing out the moisture. Then apply something drying and healing as discussed above, like tea tree etc. What sort of tea bag? Any would work but I reckon a rooibosh tea bag would work wonders. Good luck with it. Hope it goes away soon.
I know how painful they can be at the blister stage though so anything that might cool or calm it would be good. You can get special cold sore healing creams. Good luck with getting rid of it.
Thanks so much Ruth. Its bed time here is Australia. I’ll get onto the tea tree before I go to bed. Thanks again.
Ah well if you’re in Australia you are in the home of tea tree oil! Someone has told me vinegar works too but I haven’t tried this and wouldn’t taste too good! Early night will do your immune system the world of good. Thanks for the comments.
Christine Bailey says
Great feature and one thing to mention is that is does not matter what age you are you can suffer with cold sores and yes they do often come back.
With my nutritionist hat on again here are some additional thoughts for you.
Stress is a big factor and so we often run adrenal stress saliva tests on clients to check their levels of cortisol, DHEA and secretory IgA which is important for our mucosal immune support
As you mention it is important to support the immune system hence the importance of checking SIgA In addition, checking for any food intolerances ican help as this can place additional burdens on the immune system
To support innate immunity and strengthen immune system against viruses I would therefore consider adding in Saccharomyes Boulardii (probiotic yeast) and high strength non dairy probiotics in addition to some other supplements too.
These would include
Bio D Mulsion Formulas since this is crucial for immune health and mucosal health
Bio Ae Mulsion formulas to provide immune support and promote healing
Colostrum / Immune support – colostrum supports via supplements Helps to reduce intestinal inflammation, heal the gut lining and promote a stronger immune system.
Olive leaf extract combined with antioxidants makes this a useful anti-viral supplement.
Yes L-Lysine is great – this amino acid has been nick-named ‘herpes killer’, but in fact whilst it does not kill the herpes virus it helps to starve it, thereby being used for the past 20+ years as a means of controlling outbreaks of cold sores and other herpes related infections like shingles. A dose of 2 x 500 mg caps mid am and mid pm may be ideal.
But keeping a check on stress levels is often a big issue for many and therefore adrenal support may also be needed
Thanks Christine! Great comments. Probiotics are a great idea and thanks for the advice on how many L-Lysine to take. It definitely does work. I never get such bad cold sores as I used to get now I’ve got that! What would you suggest applying to the cold sore when it’s at the nasty blister stage?
Uggg I’ve hit the perfect storm. I had a cold, went to beach, didn’t wear sunscreen sunburned. Developed a fever from from a virus. Results the worst cold sores I EVER suffered. They are above my top lip to my nose and under in three places I’m too embarassed to go to work. I must have seventy or more tiny and large blisters. Went to doctor he gave me valtrex and I’ve add L-lysine. Have the worst headache. I tried drying them out. So far the left side I use perixode and woke up almost gone. The other alchohol not only dried them out so is the skin looks awful. Now triple antibotic. I have five days going tol a wedding praying for a miracle.
Years ago I stayed on a regime of a multi vitamin and one 500mg of l-lysine a day. I didn’t get a cold sore in two years. Time to start over again.
Ok this sounds to good to be true but it works an cheap an FAST. Go to your closest grocery store buy a clove of garlic and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Once home cut a peice of it about the size of your sore. Than us the base of the knife smash the garlic peice till the kicked come out the more juice the better apply directly to the cold sore for about 2 minutes its going to sting after be sure to furrow everything away you will feel the cold sore dieing after the tingling stops wash with water dab dry with a paper towel. Now take a que tip get it wet with the alcohol now put that on the sore to repeat as much as possible it will go away fast! I promise
Garlic? I think that sounds a brilliant idea. Thanks Michael. It is know for it’s healing qualities and I have heard it can stave off a cold so maybe it’s good at fighting cold sores too. Is this to apply when you have a cold sore? or at the tingle stage? The rubbing alcohol will dry it out I guess. Not sure where to buy this in the UK but thanks so much for the comment. Cheap and fast – can’t argue with that! Trying to grow garlic in my garden but I think something ate it all!
Has anyone tried Compeed patches? They claim they are invisible, which is ridiculous, but they really helped. I was at the scabbing stage and it felt like so many days had passed without any improvement. I found the patches covered them up so they couldn’t get knocked when I ate or drank and didn’t get wet when I showered or brushed my teeth.
No I haven’t tried compeed on cold sores. I did use them on a rather nasty astro burn and they worked really well. I like the idea, though, like you say they will look quite obvious. But hey – cold sores aren’t exactly pretty anyway. Worth a try, and it is really easy to knock the scab, esp after washing/showering etc. I wonder if you put something healing under the patch would it heal quicker? Or does letting the air get to them help to heal them? Did you see the garlic comment above?
I tend to only suffer from cold sores maybe once or twice a year but when I do I tend to have a mass breakout of them at the moment I have 5 of them on my lips and since I work nights I didn’t notice the tell tale tingle so at the moment it looks like my lips haven burned they have blistered up that much. So what would be the best way to speed up the healing process
Hi Scott. I tend to take L-Lysine supplement which inhibits the growth of the virus and also a multi vitamin to boost my bodies healing abilities. I take a Berroca and immune booster such as Echinacea. One reader above also suggests an interesting combination of ice, to numb and help with the pain. Use an icecube.
Then hold a dry teabag over the cold sore for about 20 minutes to dry it out. He ties it on with a dressing gown cord – not really great if you have company, but hey, cold sores are horrible so I’d try anything. Not tried this as I haven’t had a bad cold sore lately. L-Lysine seems to stop mine getting so bad. Throw it out after (the teabag) and I’d suggest something like Rooibosh tea bag as it’s meant to be good for you too. Then apply some healing cream such as Zorivax. Hope it gets better soon.
Mine used to last for weeks until I discovered Lysine. With the lysine it will begin
to subside after a day or two. Cuts the duration time by about 80% for me.
I use both the Lysine tablets orally and the gel topically. I got one yesterday
and with frequent application of the gel it is already getting smaller tonight. I keep
the gel on hand at all times and pretty much apply it as soon as the previous
application wears off. Which is very often, but it works! Hope this helps!
L-Lysine is a godsend. Without it I’d have a nightmare. It totally kills the coldsore. Always have a stock in your cupboard. Will look out for the gell. Not seen that yet.
These seem like great tips. But right now, I’m having my first full blown cold sore and now I’m in the scabbing/slowly healing stage. So I’m wondering what exactly can I do from your tips in this nasty crusty phase? It’s weird because I’m bleeding still underneath my scab and every time it dries up, I open my mouth to eat food and it cracks making my sore bleed. Please let me know how to expedite the healing (I’ve been drinking emergen-c since it supposedly strengthens your immune system) besides applying Vaseline at this stage.
Hiya MoBy, they really are nasty when they are bleeding badly. They split at the slightest touch and bleed like nothing else. Urgh! Brings back memories. I’d say, if it’s bleeding you’re on the way through to it healing. Once you have the full blown blister it’s pretty much a waiting game. Some people use ice to numbe the pain and then apply a teabag for 20 minutes to really dry out the scab/sore. Then moisturise. Aloe Vera and other soothing gels can be good. It’s a kind of catch 22 situation. If it really dries out it splits but too wet and it goes soggy and the scab comes off anyway. Nasty nasty things. Hope it goes away soon. I take a vitamin boosting drink too, in the UK there are a few such as Berroca which gives you a hit of most vitamins and minerals. It might not help but I feel like I’m doing something about it. In future, Zovirax (aciclovir), L-lysine supplements and L-lysine cream can really shorten the life of the cold sore and even stop it from errupting. Good luck!
How do i know the cold sore is completly gone and i can start moisturizing?
Ahh, well it’s kind of preference, but I find that they are so painful and get so tight and don’t stretch for you to even laugh and eat sometimes. As long as you apply something healing, and wash your hands before and after, that mousturising helps. Ultimately it needs to dry, scab properly and heal but it’s sadly got to go through the nasty horendous and profuse bleeding stage before it gets there. I say, if it’s sore, it needs a bit of help. I find put on a layer of aloe vera helps. Dab on some tea tree and then seal with Aloe Vera (99%) gell. It creates a kind of clear layer/seal over the sore. Natural antiseptics and healers. There are also lots of special cold sore creams you can get at the chemists and online. Check out this page where I’ve pulled together a few products from Amazon that you can get online. Some also have customer reviews online on Amazon so worth checking out. https://whatallergy.com/affiliates
Just developed one today. I had one trying to come the other day but stopped it dead in its tracks by using ice and teabag. I actually applied a wet teabag to keep it from forming. A few days later, my partner got sick and I got sick at the same time. Boom, woke up and it was right at the spot that I had previously battled. It wasn’t huge and I had it under control with the teabag, vitamin supplements and ice treatment which works wonders. Got really sleepy and noticed that I couldn’t continue the fight because I am sick. Went and put toothpaste on it because I read it helps dry it out. Then I woke up a few hours later and it was HUGE!!! So now I am a little pissed but at least I know what doesn’t work for me. Now I am about to try the dry teabag bit and see if it helps. Really sucks though now that I have to deal with the scab process.
Argh! No Jarrell. I’m so sorry you’ve got one. Not sure if there is something in the air, but after a late evening at a work seminar last night in London I now have the twitching eyelid and the beginnings of a rotter of a cold sore on my top and bottom lip. Someone told me toothpaste worked for them but I found it didn’t really do anything for me. I’ve been trying the tea tree oil neat trick so far but I can feel it throbbing. Tea bags at the ready and a vitamin and L-Lysine rush when I stop for coffee. I also found some stuff on Amazon which claims to create a protective film over the sore. It’s a bit pricey but take a look at https://whatallergy.com/affiliates/ and check out the Urgo cold sore stuff and also some Lysine cream which I’ve also never tried before. Planning an Amazon order myself shortly.
In the early stages I put a tea bag in a bit of water and freeze it, then hold it on my sore for about 10 minutes every few hours – it really slows down it’s growth.
i’ve also heard that Sudocrem (only available in the UK i think) can be really good. I’m just trying that as we speak so will let you know!
Oh Sudocrem… now that’s interesting. Never heard that one but we do have some somewhere I think. I wonder why it works for cold sores. I guess because it’s antiseptic it will help heal and dry it out. Thanks for sharing Katie.
what if you crush l-lysine, make a paste and apply directly to the sore?
Hi Julia, I’ve never tried this, but there is a cream you can get with Llysine in it. I might try this next time I have one. I almost want one to have a go at destroying it. He He.
I’ve actually tried it and it seems to help.
I never knew what a cold sore is until last week. I live in Singapore and was out in New York for 2 weeks.
Here is the story, by the end of trip I had to travel to Delaware for a day trip. On Thursday morning – I took a train at 6 AM and got back to the hotel in New York 11:30PM..it was a long day. With too much of work I did not get a chance to grab a good meal..I survived all day on 4 oatmeal cookies and very little cheese pasta. When coming back in the train I felt itching on my lips and I applied my usual lip balm..by the time I was in the hotel I was feeling very weak reason known to me was no proper food entire day.
I slept over the night and Friday morning when I got up I felt as if I had fever and my lower lip is painful..I never knew what I had thought normal dryness.
I took my 19hrs flight and during the flight the pain became terrible had to take pain killers to ease my travel. I landed in Singapore on Sunday and went to the doctor and I was diagnosed cold sores.
its been terrible since then..lower lips have healed but mouth ulcers are really bad not allowing me eat well.
I will visit the doctor today again and see if he can provide any medication for mouth ulcers as well.
How long will this take to go away?
Hi Vipul. You poor thing. Sounds like you got rundown and the cold sore virus got you good and proper. Cold sores can take a while to go if they take hold and you are still feeling run down. I’d suggest taking something to boost your immune system while you’re feeling like this. I take echinacea but there are other supplements and you could get good advice at your local health food store. Hopefully your doctor will prescibe you something to help. Aciclovir, the drug which kills cold sores is not so effective once you have one. It’s better for stopping them come. Now you the signs, put on some zovirax when you feel the itchy tingle, about every hour or two, until the tingling stops and you SHOULD stop it coming.
I have had cold sores that grow on the inside of the lip/mouith and they are very hard to get rid of. You can get a supplement called Llysine which inhibits amino acids, which is what feeds the cold sore. Take this every day when you have one and it should help see it off. There are also loads of suggestions above of how to get them to dry out quickly. The tea bag, though not so convenient to administer, can really help. HOld the teabag onto your lip (preferably earl grey) and it will draw out the life of the sore. I really feel for you. I’ve just come out the other side of a nasty cold sore episode, but using the tips above really help shorten its life. Unless you’ve had one you can’t understand the pain. I take pain killers too sometimes when they are really bad. And sadly, once you have the virus you won’t get rid of it. It lies dormant and can pop up, usually in the same place, when you don’t want it to. Good luck with the healling. Tea tree oil can help dry it out. Aloe vera can help heal it. The Aloe Vera also forms a kind of layer over it. Always wash your hands when you have touched the cold sore though so you don’t spread it.
I suggest lots of early nights, good food, rest and recuperate. If you enjoy exercise try to get some, even if it’s just a short walk. HOpe it goes soon. I’m not sure how to get rid of mouth ulcers. We have Bonjella here in the UK. You could try the chemists, they might be able to help. Good luck!
ben chesterman says
hi i get cold sores quite often but always leaves a scar but i try not touch it is what’s the best way to prevent them and ow can i take out the redness of them any help would be appreciated
You all need to go out and buy yourself some Hydrogen Peroxide. Kills the virus instantly and most of the time before it blisters. Worst case it’ll heal a lot quicker (about 1 week), I was always 2 weeks till I found it.
Think it’s an ingredient in toothpaste?
Hi, Ruth. Thanks for your blogsite here. I found it a couple of days ago because I just had a recurrence cold sore (the worst one I’ve ever had this time) less than 2 weeks after a previous one healed. Since I don’t usually get them more than once or twice a year, I was understandably concerned and upset.
I read about trying fresh garlic and made a special stop at WalMart on my way to my next destination (I was on a roadtrip.) I cut it open right there in the parking lot & kept it on as long as I could, probably about 3 to 5 minutes, then re-applied as often as I could for the next couple of hours. My cold sore had already been in existence for about 24 hours probably by that time. Before that I was only using Campho-Phenique Cold Sore Treatment, as that’s what I had bought for the last one. But this one was so much worse and flared up so quickly, with my lip swelling to about 4 or 5 times it’s normal size. It was horrifyingly uncomfortable really quickly. Ice brought the swelling down, but that’s about all it did.
Anyway, besides the garlic at WalMart, I also bought HepecinL with spf 30 to apply as a lubricating protectant to prevent it from breaking open. It has Lysine, vitamins B6, C & E, plus Lemon Balm. I figured it would be useful sometime during this course. And of course, I bought a bottle of L-Lysine 1000mg tablets. I took 5000mg while still in the parking lot.
In years past all I used was ice, tea bags and Blistex on my cold sores and they usually didn’t get too bad, rarely swelled up like this one, even rarely blistered up much. They were usually gone within 7-10 days. But the one I got about a month ago lasted 2 weeks, although it didn’t really get too bad, didn’t swell up much, and didn’t really blister the way this one seems to be doing. I’m not happy with the progression and that this course is so much worse than I’ve every had before.
The other thing that’s bothering me is that although I’ve never had more than one on my lower lip, always in the same spot (the middle of the lower lip), over the past few hours I’ve felt the tingling sensation that usually preceeds the cold sore in various parts of both lips, top, bottom, all along different parts of both lips. This has me really concerned. I’m not sure if it’s real or in my mind at this point because I’m dealing with such an awful eruption.
Back to what I found on your site and what I’m trying: So I iced it, applied fresh garlic to it (extremely uncomfortable, I might add, a tingling like the precursor to the cold sore, but much more intense), applied HerpecinL to keep the lips from cracking (using my fingers so as not to contaminate the stick), alternating with garlic, ice and HerpecinL. I also added tea tree oil to the regimen later last night after I found some at Walgreen’s. I’d forgotten to look for it at WalMart, so a few hours later I stopped at Walgreen’s to see if they had any & to see if the pharmacist could help me with something else.
I had also read about Lactinex somewhere, but the pharmacy tech never heard of it, so I figured they didn’t carry it. I later went to Walgreen’s and found out by talking to a pharmacist (which is what I should have done at WalMart, instead of the tech) that it is kept behind the counter because it has to be refrigerated. It is an OTC drug, but becuase of refrigeration they can’t keep it out or it would go bad. As it was, they would have to special order it because not many people buy it anymore. It’s another kind of probiotic, and people are leaning toward the unrefrigerated probiotics according to the pharmacist I spoke to at Walgreen’s.
I was optimistic after I started applying the tea tree oil, as it seemed to start drying up and I had a darkish scab forming. When I went to sleep last night I was hoping to awaken with it much improved. It was worse. It was more swollen than the previous morning. It looked pretty bad. I started again with the tea bag alternating with ice, and the tea tree oil. The swelling just seemed to get worse over the course of the day. I took aspirin to reduce swelling. I took 5000mg of Lysine. I put garlic on it again. When the garlic is really juicy (scrape it a bit with a knife & that brings out the juice) it’s extremely uncomfortable, but supposedly this ‘kills’ the virus.
Well, I needed more help so went searching again, and because my computer had decided to restart during the night I couldn’t find your site at first and began reading whatever I could find. Boy there are a lot of ideas out there to try. I decided to try the hydrogen peroxide idea, using a q-tip I applied it to the lip, which still wasn’t oozing or anything yet, but it seemed to work it’s way under the skin and I suddenly had what looked like a couple of large blisters filling (probably the peroxide was bubbling up underneath the skin). I pressed a paper towel between my lips to absorb whatever might ooze out. I did this a couple of times (also not comfortable), then went back to garlic. The garlic is even more uncomfortable after the lip is open. Now I’m waiting for another cup of tea (decaf this time, because I don’t drink caffeine after noon) then I’ll apply the tea bag.
I sure hope a cure is someday found for this!
Because I’ve never had an outbreak follow another one so quickly, I was very concerned. I read elsewhere that certain foods seemed to be triggers, so will begin to look at my dietary intake, especially since I just started keeping a food log because of ocular migraines that I was recently diagnosed with. (Some foods trigger migraines, so we’re trying to ID a possible dietary trigger.) The other thing is that I’ve been working pretty hard at is trying to bring down my BP with dietary changes, and it was working for awhile, but not so much this past couple of weeks. So I guess there was some stress present. The previous episode occured along with a head cold right after several days outdoors in the sun hiking (sans sunscreen, as I am not into sunscreen.)
I hope I haven’t bored you with my experience. But I am grateful to have found your blog with the suggested treatment options and the experience others have shared.
Gosh I hope you knock this on the head quick. Mine are definitely triggered by stress, sunlight and certain foods. Generally anything processed and getting rundown. Not things that are easy to erradicate from the diet. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve not tried garlic on the cold sore – sounds stingy. Try eating it too, and get early nights, good sleep and try to destress. I hate the bubbling feeling. I had it yesterday, working again at the weekend and whipped out the zovirax and then chilled as soon as i got home and tried to destress. Take it easy and WOW! The things we all do to get rid of these unsightly cold sores. Nasty virus that we are all stuck with unfortunately but we can do lots to keep it at bay. Immune boosting stuff works like echinacea.
When I was 10yrs old I got my first cold sore “cold sores, Lips, gums, and down my throat” it was painful.
Any how for the longest time I was getting massive out breaks every three months or so. When I hit high school it was about once every six to eight months. Extremly embarrassing trying to goto school and work. I am now 21 and I’ve been in the Army for three years “cant just go home when it gets to bad”.
Its nice to know there are a handful of other people out there going through the same thing. I will be trying all of these things right away.. Thank you all…
Be careful with those Compeed patches, which are completely visible (clever marketing to play on the vulnerable who get sick of people looking at the nasty buggers, like me, lol) I have an allergy to the adhesive in bandaids/sticky plasters and a Compeed patch left a nasty mark on and around my mouth that took about three weeks to heal – much worse (and more embarrassing) than a cold sore. I have found that smashing about 3000mg lysine, Zovirax in the early stage and fresh aloe vera in the scabby stage is the way to go. Over the years I have tried just about everything. Apple cider vinegar – burned and left massive marks, toothpaste – got stuck in the scabs and looked gross, lemon – ouch, metho, tea tree, paw paw ontment, famiclovir, every single herbal/ medical topical ointment…on and on. The only thing I haven’t tried is a heat device I spotted in the chemist last week. Costly at $100 – Herpotherm. Any experience with this one?
I WENT TO THE OCTOR AND THEY GAE ME SOME MEDICINE TO PUT ON IT CAUSE I HAD AN INFECTION IN IT AND NOW I HAVE ANOTHER ONE I AM PUTTING SOME MEDICINE ON IT THE OCTOR GAVE ME AND THIS TIME IT GETTING BIGGER
Ouch! That sounds nasty. Make sure you wash your hands before applying any medication and then wash them again afterwards so you don’t spread the infection. What medication is it? Do you have any tea tree or aloe vera in the house? They can spread, so be careful, and if you’re worried it’s getting much worse quickly go back to the doctor.
Good thoughts, Ruth. My two cents – I’ve suffered for years with these miserable suckers and for me personally, nothing is as efficacious as tea tree oil. I’ve just started using Zovirax but if I don’t get it on as soon as I sense it coming then forget it. Won’t work for me. But having run the gamut of all kinds of so -called remedies – and most of them haven’t worked for me – dabbing tea tree oil on the sore does wonders.
I totally agree. I never leave home with out my tea tree oil and some L-Lysine and Berroca to boost the old cranky immune system. Zovirax is rubbish once a sore has started to grow but it is pretty good at the tingle phase.
I have a convention out of town for a week beginning tomorrow. I am a first time cold sore recipient and a huge on on my top lip in the middle….any quick suggestions for swelling and redness?
Sorry for not replying sooner and hope you aren’t suffering too much. I never leave home without tea tree oil, L-Lysine, Berroca and echinacea. Try to get early nights, stay off the alcohol and avoid any trigger foods which feed the virus like lots of sugars and carbs. How did you get on?
my doctor told me ice can aggrivate it, and not to put anything on the cold sore or your lips as the cold sore can spread, i’m using compeed and they seem to be working, but i really want it to go quickly so i’m not sure wether to try somethings from this site what do u think???
The things I use myself that I think really help me are neat tea tree, echinacea, l-Lysine and if I can catch it at the tingle, Zovirax.
ill try them thanks 🙂
If u want it to go quickly then honestly try using yogurt on it. Apply it as much as u can and u will start to see results straight away. I got rid of mine in a day using it
Thanks for the advice, but I find a lot of those make my cold sores bigger and more noticeable!
I recently (about 4-5 cold sores ago) came across “Polysporin Cold Sore Patches” and the work wonders! As long as you can put them on with little creasing (the area must be completely dry!), you can barely tell they’re there! It heals your sore super quickly (like within a few days) and i just replace the patch a couple times a day, like when it starts to peel off and look silly.
Hopefully you all can find them and they’ll work for you!
I just really wish there was a cure or some way to keep them from returning, cause boy, they just don’t hesitate to join in during important occasions! Little buggers.
Hi Christina, Can I ask where you live? These sound amazing. I wonder if they are like Compeed patches that we have here in the UK. I have to admit I’ve never tried them, worried that they will stick to the sore and also look unsightly but I might give them a try. They can’t look any worse than the actual cold sore can they? I haven’t had one now for months and months. Sorry! Mrs Smug over here, will probably get one on Christmas day, or the day before one of the Christmas lunches I’m going to!
1,000 mg of L-Lysine supplements daily along w/ Vitamins B, C, E & Zinc for management.
Valcycolvir 2x’s daily
Tea tree or lemon balm lip balm / chapstick with SPF for daily use
Calendula cream on lips at night before bed.
When a cold sore is present, I increase my intake of L-Lysine from 1,000 mg to 3-4,000 mg/daily
Vitamin C 2x’s daily, Vitamin B, Garlic, Zinc 2x’s daily, Valcyclovir 2x’s daily, sometimes St John’s Wort
Toothpaste & salt overnight dries it out, cleanse with hydrogen peroxide, apply ice to reduce swelling, inflammation, Licrogel or Zovirax topical ointments applied 5-6x’s a day, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, lavendar oil mixed w/ a carrier oil.
Usually when I apply ice and then toothpaste / salt mixture overnight it’s dried out and scabbed the next morning. Because of the type of work I do I treat it in the morning, may cover it with a liquid bandage and apply dark lipstick over it with a number of q-tips. Always use q-tips or cotton balls / rounds. Never touch or even attempt to pop the cold sore regardless of what others may say. What works for some may not work for you. I
Upon first notice use ice to decrease the virus from spreading within the cell; ice forces the cell particles to bunch together. Then, purchase Super Lysine and apply this to the sore. Similar to the L-Lysine capsules that others have commented on taking as well as decreasing your Arginine foods, the topical treatment works wonders directly at the source of the outbreak. We all know that the sooner applied, the less days necessary for the outbreak. A week seems to be the common consensus, I am able to practically eliminate it by day four with this. The best part of this product is it’s $5 and sold at Health Food stores (Whole Foods, GNC, Trader Joes, etc). This beats spending $20 on Abreva, which to me hasn’t decreased the time line.
I have read that Vitamin E oil can help heal the scab. Is this true?
Hi Brittany, yes I think vitamin E might help. It has healing qualities and is great for healthy skin. I haven’t tried it myself though. I have also put pure tea tree oil, dabbed on with a bit of cotton wool. This seems to help heal. Aloe Vera gel (99%) is also really soothing and helps create a sort of protective scab over the sore. I have also just got hold of some bergamot oil which someone told me would be good. I do get so few now, taking L-lysine really helps and keeps them away!
This is the first time I’ve gotten a cold sore, and it burst earlier this morning, I noticed it was around for a day. Now it appears to be a scab. What should I do?
My recommendation would b to try putting yogurt on it. It will ease any pain in it and also get rid of it quickly
I’m 45 and got a cold sore for the very first time in my life! Will i be haunted forever now?
Not necessarily, though once you have the virus in your body it can appear again and again, and often in the same place every time. But don’t panic. YOu might be lucky and just have one, but if you’re not lucky, you know where to come for help!
Okay so the one’s mentioned above do work but not too quickly..for me anyways. One day a cold sore just popped up full blister and everything..no tingling sensation for warning. I had plans to go out that night and meet up with a lad. So of course I went into panic mode as most girls would do and i started looking up online how to get rid of it. If its up fully, then most of the sites are no good to u because they all talk about stopping it at the tingling. The best remedy I found was to put yogurt on it, any kind. I just kept on applying it all day. I also used heat (not ice) as this brought the blood to the surface to promote healing. Just from using the yogurt and the heat my cold sore was gone by that night and trust me this was a really bad one because i constantly get them and nothing has ever worked this quick for me.
Hi,, well i am getting over my second cold sore,, and it is pretty embarrasing.. so i have read many of the postings to get advise on getting rid of this,, this is my 4th day with it but it is way smaller than last time,,, and i got it to the healing stage quicker,, what i did was start using abreva as soon as possible,, it helped by not letting it get any bigger, then that night i got some L lysene pills and crushed them and added peroxide ,, and applied to my lip,, that definetely helped A LOT,, but apply to your sore constantly,, and it will sure bring it down… i have done it for 2 days .. and my sore never got big.. =) like the first time,, oh and ICE it .. now im using abreva and carmex to keep my lips moist.. . also taking L Lysene 1000 mg tabs,, i take 1 1/2 tabs twice a day,, but now that i know about L Lysene i will take it on a regular basis,, hopefully it will help to decrease episodes.. Hope this helps =)
I got a cold sore yesterday and since then it has spread all over my chin! I put tea tree oil on it,does it work? It really stings too.Im only 12 and usually get them around christmas.Any ideas on how to get rid of them quick
ice and toothpaste….!!! the toothpaste stings but it dried mine up over night. so it cut the process in half now im just waiting for the scab to fall off
i got one only 3 days after christmas, so i put toothpaste on it and the cool sensation stops any stinging i’d use toothpaste
Try some Campho Phenique! It burns for a second, but my cold sore was dried up the next morning. Then use the Zovirax for 4 or so days for healing.
Everyone here should try valtrex. Ask your doctor, they give you four 1 gram pills. As soon as you feel one come on take two and then 12 hours later take the other two. The next morning your cold sore is basically gone. It completely stops it in its tracks. If you catch it early enough it won’t even appear! Cold sores are the worst, I recommend this medicine to everyone.
i use to get them and rip them off with my teeth then it would get worse now i jus got one today since a while ago and im so pissed off about it cause christmas is around the corner and i gotta be around my family and my girlfriends family lookin like an asshole
Ed I hope it wasn’t too bad… you need to get a cold sore first aid kit. TeaTree oil, bergamot oil, aloe vera and L-Lysine tablets and lipsalve. Also some echinacea or other immune booster. Never leave home without it and you should be able to stop these horrible outbreaks.
Andrea Williams says
I hate them – they are so painful. I have just gone and bought some tea tree oil and bergamot oil because of your recommendations but it says on the bottle to not apply neat or onto broken skin. Do you dilute them? And my skin is sore, red and broken – currently scabbing and flaking off. Should I use them or will they sting like hell?
They might sting, I try to use really early before scabbing and it can make then just disappear. Might be too harsh once broken skin. Use aloe Vera if skin broken or llysine lip cream. Ice helps the pain too. Tea bags (earl grey contains bergamot) held onto the sore really helps it dry out
I finally found something that works after 20 years of suffering – unfortunately the company has discontinued it. Its called Herpetrol – they still make the ointment, but it was the pills that were used with the ointment that were a miracle! Everyone I recommended it to had great success with it – I cannot understand why it was discontinued. Perhaps if enough people contact the manufacturer they will bring it back – I too have one for Christmas and am wishing I had my Herpetrol!!!!
Sheryl I hope yours wasn’t too bad… I don’t think we have Herpetrol in the UK but ask in teh chemist of health food store for L-Lysine. It’s amazing. Maybe it’s the same thing? you need to get a cold sore first aid kit. TeaTree oil, bergamot oil, aloe vera and L-Lysine tablets and lipsalve. Also some echinacea or other immune booster. Never leave home without it and you should be able to stop these horrible outbreaks.
I was always told never to lick my coldsores when I was little. But then I read an article saying that saliva carries properties that wound healing – excuse the likeness but like a dog licks its wounds. So I tried it once and haven’t regretted it since. They never come up like they used to if at all and when they do you can hardly tell they’re there because there is no unsightly scab. At least now I have the confidence to leave the house.
I think licking them isn’t a good idea as they the scab becomes wet and comes off, but if it works for you, then great. Anyone else tried licking their cold sore and found it works? However, if I’m honest, and anyone who has had a coldsore will know this. They hurt, so it’s almost impossible to avoid licking them. The body instinctively wants to, so maybe there is something in this licking busines.
I’ve just had the norovirus & surprise surprise, I come up with not one… But FOUR coldsores today!
I’ve been putting tea tree oil on mine and it seems to have helped loads.
Zovirax has ALWAYS spread them for me!
I-lysine tablets are meant to be a winner so I’ve purchased some of them, although they are HUGE like horse tablets!
Guess ill see how it goes!
L-lysine tablets are pretty big. You can also get lip salve which contains it and tea tree. I just got two tiny ones last week while skiing and using teatree and bergamot oil, lysine and berroca it just crawled back down my nerve endings in disgrace. Didn’t amount to anything. Once you get the hang if it you can really knock them on the head.
Wow! How did you do that? In what order do you take apply these things? I’ve always suffered when I get run down and have just had a bout of tonsillitis…just as that was going I wake to my WHOLE top lip cover in sores. It looks like lip filler gone wrong and I am dreading going out of the house. Please let me know how you manage to win your battles with these mini monsters. I’ve given up on Zovirax and compeed patches…they’re not cutting the healing time anymore. 🙁 please help…eagerly waiting by computer before dashing to boots 🙂
I have got pure teatree oil. Dab some on a cotten wool pad and then blitz that cold sore, at the first sign of any lump. Zovirax can only work at the sign of tingling and sometimes it’s too late before you realise. I think I’m immune to zovirax now anyway. I also have bergamot oil. I put on a bit of teatree and bit of bergamot. Then, before I go to bed I put on a thin layer of 99% aloe vera gel. That forms a clear seal over the sore. I also take L-lysine and some immune system buster stuff like echinacea. Get an early night. Cut back on the booze till it’s conquered and drink plenty of water. If it takes hold and becomes a proper cold sore and it agony, ice it and then hold on an earl grey teabag. Drys it out a treat. Really only works if you can keep on doing this at regular intervals. Wouldn’t be without teatree, bergamot, llysine and echinacea. I actually hardly ever use Zovirax anymore. I have also bought some teatree and lylysine lipbalm which also really helps. Got two blisters appear last week on a skiing trip and after doing this regime above, they just withered up and never came to anything. Wham Bam. Cold Sore Scram
My cold sore regime is just about to change! Think zovirax has lost it’s power on me too…but have been using 10 years! wow just thought about the fortune they have made out of me for those tiny easy to loose little tubes. Thanks for the advice, off out with cold sores and shopping list! If this works to battle future onset, high kudos to you!
And Tasha – You squeeze zorivax and half the tube comes out in one go!!! The waste indeed.
Can you tell me the brand of tea tree and lysine lip balm you purchased Ruth and what type of store you purchased it from? I have a 5yo who gets regular cold sores and it breaks my heart to see her struggling with them. Interesting they always come up in exactly the same spot on her lip. She takes lysine tablets but they don’t seem to make much difference but I’ll try anything really.
Hi Liza, it’s by Aloe Dent, teatree and Lysine lip balm. I also buy neat teatree oil and dab this on with cotton wool pad. I got them as a kid and mine come in the same place too. Some one once suggested vitb too.
Zovirax is terrible, it’s never ever worked for me! I use a cold sore liquid sold in boots it’s boots own brand and its the best thing ever!! They often sell out though so if it’s in stock, stock up!!! I always have one in my bag just in case!!!
Ashleigh devtroy says
TOOTHPASTE AND SALT works pretty well! Wash your hands first. Mix the toothpaste with salt make sure you can see the salt on the toothpaste after mixing them. This helps dry the cold sore out and be gone in about 2 days! It works great for my friends and I. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and use a DRY towel/tissue/napkin whatever you prefer to wipe it off. DO NOT RINSE IT. That defeats the purpose you’re trying to dry it out not make it wet again! Hope this works for any of you!!
How often do u use the toothpaste n salt??? How many times a day? I just got over the flu,so I believe it’s from that. I woke up this morning with it and I want to get rid of ASAP!!!!! I have some cream from the doc from previous times, but seems to take forever! I have the toothpaste on now!! Hope this works !!! Thanks
Well how often depends on you and the cold sore. It does also look a bit daft so I only really do it at home. Dab a thin layer on every few hours. Also try teatree and bergamot oil, which also really work for me. Dab on gently with cotton wool pad.
Thanks for your great comment. I love the idea of mixing toothpaste and salt. Brilliant.
your just pissed you spent a fortune on all of those oils and she is like toothpaste and salt gone! any you prob realised that you have been wasting your money on zo whatever and all that tree oil. toothpaste worked for me in one whole day on a public school day (today anzac day) off and it was the first time i got one and it worked a treat so um yea just wanted to let you know that ‘ruth’ erm yea i probs look like a douche now…
Hey Lola, toothpaste didn’t work for me but I know it does work really well for lots of people and it’s a fab cheap solution if it does, as is salt. I haven’t tried salt yet but I will next time I get one, but I don’t seem to get them now. Not for a while anyway, but I probably will now… sods law. I didn’t spend a fortune on zovirax, if I get it I buy the cheaper version, but I don’t feel it actually works as well as lots of these natural solutions. Teatree oil is also not that expensive when you consider it lasts for a really long time and you only need a tiny but and if it kills the cold sore then that’s a winner in my book. It is also really useful at fighting other infections so is handy to have around the house. Hope your cold sore is gone and you don’t get any more. Keep rocking that toothpaste
I just recently came back from my holiday house and whenever i come back i ALWAYS come bavk with a cold sore. but this time its a whole cluster of them!! theres like 2 slightly bug ones and heaps of little ones! in the past i used to just let it go and do its thing and i would also pick it i dont know why i couldnt help it then i came across zovirax but did the same thing i applied the cream and a few hours later would pick at it and if there is a blister i would burst it then apply the zovirax. now i use lysine as i think it seems to work but this time round its working rather slowly and same with the zovirax. im thinking i might give this toothpaste thing a go but will it sting? and if it does then how could i reduce the pain? and also what exactly am i supposed to do with the toothpaste thing?
Hi Talia, sorry to hear the cold sore struck again. I dab a tiny bit on and repeat every hour or two. To help with pain try a painkiller and ice! Aloe vera can also be very soothing. Good luck.
What about abreva? Doesn’t work for you Ruth
Hi Dee, I have heard of Abreva but we don’t have this here in the UK. I keep meaning to try to get hold of some. I believe this is a product in the US? We only have a brand here called Zovirax which used to work but I appear to have become immune to it. I think Abreva works in a different way and I’d love to try it. Anyone else found Abreva in the UK?
Just found this forum and thought I’d give you my opinion on Abreva. It is OTC (over the counter) here in the U.S., a little on the spendy side and really doesn’t work for a lot of people. My dermatologist said it is an expensive tube of empty promises!
Zovirax I found, is an Acyclovir based product. I’ve had good results with the prescription pill format but it does have long term side affects. And if you take it often enough it is less effective.
Has anyone ever tried hemorroid cream?! It really works because it fights redness and swelling. Ice is also my best friend as soon as I feel the dreaded tingle.
I have a cold sore right now that is thankfully on the downside and I’ve been using Denavir, which is prescription-only in the U.S. and also good old Carmex to keep it moist. I also use a cotton swab or Q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol if the sore is a really bad one.
I also take Lysine and Vitamin C. And I avoid tanning beds when I have a cold sore. Thanks to my regimen I’ve gotten the whole timeframe down to about 5 or 6 days total.
And it sounds corny, but I try and NOT stress about my cold sore as that doesn’t help it go away any faster. I figure, strangers might judge me but do I really care? And my friends should like me no matter what! The hardest part is if I have a meeting at work with someone new (I’m in sales). When I was a teenager and even in my 20’s I used to want to hide away and now in my 30’s I don’t let these destroy me.
(I think I’ll try toothpaste, too!)
Hi believe Blistex cold sore cream contains the US ingredient Docosanol that you may be after. I am so upset just got my first cold sore think I caught if off my Mum in law who had a horrendous attack scarlet face swollen like a chipmunk! Mine is causing my whole face to ache big swelling under jaw & now ear ache starting! Life sucks hey:-( Suzanne
First i woke up this morning and i started to notice below my lip was super itchy. Hours later it starts to form a cold sore. BuT wait…… It forms 8 of them. So my face feel’s like crap and so full of germs. I have been waiting for about 5 days now and nothing has changed. Some one please reply and give me edvice:>)
I just found this new remedy using a 9 volt battery. Get Isopropyl alcohol, q tips, and a new 9 volt battery. Take some alcohol on the q tip on both sides. With one side clean both prongs on the battery and with the other side of the q tip clean your blister. Now take the prong side of the battery and place all around your blisters for a couple of seconds each time. Do this for about a minute. Make sure to clean the battery and your lips with alcohol afterwards. I also like to use witch hazel to cut down the redness and swelling as well as ice it for about 15 minutes. I also take l-lysine tablets, multi vitamin and vitamin c. Make sure to stay away from drinking alcohol/beer, chocolate, peanuts. You can look up the video for the 9 volt battery on Youtube. It’s been a life saver for me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU9MOl9vbvQ
I have 12 itchy painfull cold sores on my face. whats the best way to get rid of them? Please Reply somebody
I suffer regularly, and after having a crop of 8 or 9 coming up in one go, I was given aciclovir tablets. I decided that I needed to get more help for next time, did some research and found info on an infra red mini lamp for getting rid of them. It was about £20 from Lloyds pharmacy, and it seems to work. I took it on holiday with me and used it when my lips got chapped -not a sign of a cold sore. I started getting a sore Sunday morning, have been using the light regularly, and just have a sore patch now, didnt crust or scab at all.
WOW Jo, that’s an interesting one. I’ve seen those lamps in Lloyds pharmacy. I wonder how that works? Thanks for the tip. May have to invest. Anyone else have a infra red mini lamp?
Read my comment above regarding the 9 volt battery. I works! I don’t know how but it does. I also heard that a red laser light (like the ones cat chase) works by shinning it on your blister. I haven’t tried it yet but I will.
Hi Nate, you can’t go far wrong if you read this blog post and all the amazing comments. Thank you everyone for joining the debate. Together we can eradicate these horrible little monsters. I apply neat teatree oil using a cotton wool pad to the area where the sore is rearing up. I also use bergamot oil. I alternate these. I also take L-Lysine tablets and echinacea which you should be able to get from the chemist. I also have an Llysine lipsalve which soothes. Aloe vera is also good if it gets to blister stage as it creates a thin barrier over the sore and promotes healing. If they hurt put an ice cube over it and it it’s a scab, put the ice cube in some cotton wool so you don’t get it wet. Hope they have gone now Nate. Zap those cold sores.
Ruth how many times a day do you use the tea tree oil?
Hi Dee, Well I apply, with a cotton wool bud, at least twice day. Morning and night, but if I can carry the oil and cotton wool or am at home I do it more often. If it strikes at the weekend it gets hourly applications and if I remember to take the stuff with me if I’m working away from home. I alternate teatree oil and bergamot oil. Cold sores don’t seem to like bergamot oil at all!
I have a giant cold sore in the middle of my lip which is really swallon and puffy. I also have two smaller ones in the corner of my lips. They re so painful. I have had cold sores my whole life but this is by fair the most painful. All my glands are swollen under my chin and around my jaw from it – has anyone else had the experience of swollen glands?
I get swollen glands too Hannah when they’re really bad. I think this just means you’re run down and your body is fighting hard to get rid of the cold sore. Get some supplements to boost your immune system, get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water hopefully that will help. I take echinacea when my cold sores strike but your health food shop would be able to advise you about other stuff too.
I have been battling these monsters for a long time now, and I have found a treatment that works pretty well for me, albeit a bit painful. At that first sign of tingling (when I’m lucky enough to catch it that early) I quickly grab a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and some qtips or a paper towel. I repeatedly rub the sore spot with a qtip soaked in alcohol until it breaks the skin. Yes it IS painful, but once you’ve rubbed a bit of skin off with alcohol, a scab will start to form — usually within hours. The key, I have found, is to keep them as DRY as possible. Once you get a scab, continue to dry it out regularly with alcohol. I’m warning you though, if you get it wet, it WILL come back, and spread too.
From the moment I know I’m getting a cold sore, I relentlessly attack it with alcohol. Sometimes I’m successful and it’s a 2 day scab at best. I have found that antiMICROBIAL hand soap works wonders too. It’s sometimes hard to find — doctors use this stuff when performing surgery. You might find it at a tattoo/piercing shop though. Anyways, if you rub the antimicrobial soap on the sore for 5-10 mins, 3-5 times a day, it will usually kill it within a day or two.
That’s a new one on me Bill. Attack with antimicrobial soap. A day or two is pretty good going kill rate for cold sores. I must see if I can get hold of some. I’m doing so with with avoiding them now
by not eating my trigger foods I have been coldsore free for over a month. The last one that tried to appear whilst skiing was seen off with teatree oil and bergamot dabbed on morning and night and more often if you can.
Ruth do you take the lysine tablets daily…and the immune boosters
Or only when you have a break out occurs
Usually I can tell when I’m run down. I’ve had shingles in the past and get like electric shocks in my nerve endings, a good sign cold sores might arrive, so when I have one or think I might I take echinacea and Llysine. Seems to,work. Early night and water good too.
I am a long time cold sore sufferer, and have tried anything and everything to get rid of them. I’ve finally found treatments that work for me…Although it doesn’t get rid of the cold sore over night (I wish!) It does shorten the duration (typically from the moment I feel one coming on, it is dried up and scabbing the next day… the scab part is what takes the longest to heal and disappear).
At first sign of a cold sore:
– SuperLysine (500 mg lysine plus other herbal boosters) 4 tablets 3 times a day
– Vitamin C (follow dosage suggestions)
– Anti-viral vitamins (supports immune system, follow dosage suggestions)
– B12 (follow dosage suggestions)
– Oil of oregano (use a qtip or clean tissue and apply directly on cold sore, it burns and has a very strong taste but it works)
– Oil of oregano (4 drops under the tongue with a bit of water, swish around and swallow)
– Vitamin E (400 IU, 1 capsule 2 times a day)
I also use a SuperLysine ointment and rotate between that and oil of oregano.
After a few days when the sore has dried and scabbed, I continue with smaller dosages of the SuperLysine and Vitamin E.
Most of this stuff should be readily available at a health food store.
Hope this helps!
Great advice Sara, thanks for sharing. Never tried oregano so that’s interesting. Thanks
OMG so I’m 24 never had a coldsore in my life and one comes up 2 days ago! It’s fukn disgusting! The last 2 days i have used that stupid clear away patch and cleaning it with methalatyed spirit on it! And NOTHING IT’S GETTIN WORSE!! Please help! I have herpes on my mouth YUK!! Please help 🙁 I’m gonna try toothpaste and salt tonight and sleep with it! Is that ok??
Cold sores are horrible, I know. But do not despair. Help is at hand. You need to get yourself some Llysine tablets and Llysine lip salve, also some tea tree, the neat oil in a little glass bottle. Dab tea tree on with cotton wool bud, then cover with a layer of aloe vera 99% gel. The tea tree heals and the aloe vera helps to create a protective layer over the top. Keep it dry, the key is letting the cold sore dry out, so try not to lick it and get it wet when you shower. This is almost impossible but water kind of makes the scab disintegrate. Get plenty of sleep, early nights. Lots of water and good luck! Some people use Boots Cold sore lotion too. I’ve got this and it stings, but does help to dry it out. Good luck!
Hi Ruth I slept with toothpaste and salt but it’s all dried up on my sore how do I wipe it off without getting it wet! And what to do today?
Hi Samantha, I hope the toothpaste technique has worked, I’ve only tried this a few times and I think I had always managed to almost lick it off by the morning. You could try cotton wool to gently remove it but the scab is very sensitive. I use tea tree oil and aloe vera gel. Zap that cold sore.
OMG Ruth so I woke up it was scabby then all day I was cleaning it with WHISKY it was looking good then last night slept with toothpaste and woke up In so much pain my lip is so swollen and it’s worse! It hurts so much I can’t feel my face!!
So I got a cold sore about a week ago and it just started to scab; it looks gross. I’ve been putting vaseline on it and I just started to take lysine pills. Am I doing anything wrong and if so do you guys have any suggestions for getting rid of it in the next 3 days?? Please help me!!!!
Cold sores are gross. Vaseline might feed it, it can help to prevent one, to keep lips healthy and moist, but once you have an evil cold sore attack it with tea tree oil, or hold a tea bag on it, bergamot (earl grey) works well. Ice to help with pain. Llysine will fight the virus/what feeds the sore. Hope it goes soon.
I really need help so i had a cold sore last week and I kept picking it and touching it it had went away but not completely I thought I was don with the cold sore but a couple day later i get this VERY itchy and tingling feeling I felt all theses small little bumps and I was like shit I think the cold sore came back does anybody know why this happened and I used to get them when I was really little but I got it again 8 years later Im currently usng abreva but any other ideas on how to take care of it and how to keep it from spreading all over my face please HELP!!!!!!!
If you touch the sore and pick at it, chances are very good of it spreading on your lips/face and reappearing. Use ice since the cold sore virus (Herpes Simplex – NOT the STD virus) needs warmth to grow and spread. I’m 35 and have gotten cold sores ever since I was a little kid. The virus is always in your system, it will never go away but can be dormant until a trigger, like stress or a bad cold, makes the virus active. Lysine is a great supplement (it’s an amino acid) that fights the virus. Also, get to a doc and ask for a prescription like Acyclovir or Denavir. I recommend a dermatologist. They are usually more sympathetic, too! Too many GP’s have the “Oh, it will go away on its own” attitude and don’t understand how these sores really mess with your self confidence.
I have also found some good OTC (over the counter) products at the pharmacy/chemist.
AND…easier said than done BUT don’t stress out!
i get coldsores every winter after a sore throat or a cold, but more during the summer if i am in the sun more than 15mins or so… i use herpecin lip salve & take L Lysine vitamins… most of the time they take about 4 days to heal sometimes more… my daughter gets them right after i do almost everytime, she is only 5yrs old. i feel so bad for her… thanks for everyones questions & all comments all of it has really helped, i am on my way to try the toothpaste & salt now! :/
The Scab Is Gone!! Thank You So Much Ruth For This Post It Was Really Helpful! Best Wishes
Ha! Bear! WE beat the coldsore. Glad it’s gone. Now never leave home without your cold sore zapping weapons. Sometimes now mine sculk away before they come to anything at all. But often it’s on holiday, when I’m in the sun and have forgotten the tea tree, llysine etc. that they get me. Ruins a lovely holiday does a cold sore.
I get cold sores in my nose, of all places. It is miserable, and as they spread they will get into my sinuses and cause swelling in my face. The itching is never ending, and the only thing I have found to cool it down, is putting Carmex up my nose. Though this helps the areas I can touch, I am sure you can imagine how uncomfortable it is to have constant itching in your sinuses…. No matter how many times I have had them, my glands still swell up, and I end up feeling really run down and sick, even if I have just slept 8 hours. All of these remedies seem great, but I wonder if any are acceptable for treatment in the nose?!?
I get cold sores from an allergy to citrus. Any citrus that I ingest causes this nasty blister. I have used abreva for the part few years along with lysine supplements. It seems to work but I want it to dry even faster, what can I do?
I flew to phuket Thailand to be best man at my mates wedding. Today I wake with the tingle. I jumped up, downed two lysine tablets and spread on a whole lot of zovirax. Luckily I brought these with me but I am hoping to god it doesn’t grow. I have not left my bed, and lay here feeling the constant tingling. Meeting the 80 people here for the wedding tomorrow at a pre wedding party. The ugly embarrassment. So upset. I may go to the pharmacy and see what they have.
..so went to pharmacy and bought valtrex. I have been reading all this positive stuff about it, how it stops the sore growing.. well mine grew alright. It is the largest I have ever had in my life. It is about 4 times the normal size for me. Bloody awful. Zovirax is garbage and does nothing. Lysine kinda squat all, and the miraculous valtrex had zero effect. All useless. Holiday is ruined for me. Wedding is ruined, photos ruined.. disgraced. So upset.
Oh Neil, I feel your pain. I find tea tree oil really speeds them going and also bergamot oil or earl grey tea bag held onto it for as long as you can. Some people recommend vit b. boost your immune system and look out for what triggers yours… Mine are often caused by certain foods. So sorry to hear cold sore wrecked your holiday. They are horrible but I cn get rd of mine in a few days now and also hardly ever get them now. Famous last words!
Went to the local pharmacy and health stores.. neither had tea tree oil or bergamot. I would have to hire a scooter and travel for about 20min info patong which would mean wind and sun on the sore. Don’t think I want that.. meaning I’m stuck using the stuff that doesn’t work.
I just got my first cold sore .. I got so paranoid because my upper lip is swollen like a balloon and I look really ugly . When ever I look at the mirror I have this idea ymthat this might not be sore Mybe it’s mouth cancer because I smoke !!! Is it normal ? Please someone tell me if it is normal to have my lip so swollen like this.
As for a treatment i tried every thing to reduce the swilling
I put vodka tried Zovirax and fucidin h nothing worked !!
Swelling is common with cold sores (usually right before the blister appears), BUT if you are a smoker and have any doubts, get to a doctor so they can take a look at it.
Ice is what I use to alleviate the swelling along with Preporation-H (or any tube of hemmoroid cream).
As soon as I wake up with one I put direct ice on it, for about 5 miniutes.
Then I put tea tree oil, metho and a good perfume on it. This only works before the break out tho.
I honestly do recommend it. I have a huge one right now and it’s formed as a scab, I didn’t treat it straight away, but it’s so painful and ugly. Help is needed as i will get bullied at school.
Hope I helped.
I have been getting these nasty things since I was a teenager. No one in my family has ever has one so its my beliefs that my high school sweet heart gave it to me 🙁 I had no clue what they were! Any way I’ve been able to keep them under control really well with Zovirax until now! I’m 27 with a 1 year old! I’ve been getting them so much more recently and could not for the life of me kick it! It has now spread to my upper lip and I’m pretty down about it and so so so scared I’m going to give it to my son. 🙁 I would not wish this on my worst enemy! So I’m going to try the tea tree oil and oregano oil today and hope it finally kicks these boogers in the butt! I’ve always had issues of feeling low when I get one how do you keep it from getting you down? I try to stay away from people for as long as I have one! I want to not care but I feel like I have a big ol’ red blistered sign on my face that’s days “yes please judge me!” 🙁
I feel for you, I do not have any children but can imagine your fear. I try to stay away from everyone, especially children because they do not know nay better to touch your face etc. I would just want to die if I gave it to someone’s child. I live with my husband and am constantly bleaching everything in the bathroom (where I apply treatments), using straws to drink out of cups, and washing my hands till they are raw. I admit I do not think it helps when you are a clean freak because you tend to get more upset over things like this. It is smart to be cautious though. I hope you feel better soon! I also could use tips on how to feel better about the cold sores.
I too am suffering from the worst cold sore outbreak I have ever had. I caught them from a friend when I was a teenager (sharing lip gloss when she had an outbreak because I didn’t know any better). About 4 days ago I wake up with one for the first time in 2 years. I treated it with Tea tree oil and OTC Abreva. My lip got so badly swollen, the worst I have ever seen! It swelled so much that the rest of my lip (that was originally chapped to begin with) began to split open and crack everywhere! I continued to treat the cold sore and ended up using vaseline on the unaffected area that was cracked open (which happens to be my ENTIRE upper lip and corners) So….I wake up and it seems a lot worse so I went to the Doctor. She put my on Valtrex and gave me a topical antibacterial gel (Bactroban) to spread over my lips….I was very hesitant to do the topical gel because cold sores are viral not bacterial and I did not want to spread more of the cold sore infection. She assured me it would be fine. Well…it is far from fine. The gel spread the cold sores ALL OVER my entire upper lip and it hurts so bad I can’t sleep (it is almost 5am now). It feels like someone scraped my lip off and poured bleach on it. I was practically crying so hard to my Husband that I was hyperventilating because I am so disgusted and upset by this. I have no idea what to do but to go see a trusted doctor in a few hours when they open. I have to say that I have broken my arms 5 different types (one time both at once), tore my tendon in my knee cap that required surgery and this is by far the most irritatingly painful. I know I am doing two horrible things for cold sores by not getting any sleep and getting highly stressed out over them but it has got me so down. Reading everyone’s stories on here has at least comforted me in knowing that I am not the only one facing a multi cold sore outbreak. I hope we all get relief soon!!
Ruth is really correct in what she says about the tea tree oil. I had one come up and used toothpaste as this has worked for me before, but with it being partly on my skin I wasnt prepared to mix it with salt. Last time the salt/toothpaste combo worked a treat but left a tiny scar on my lip…this is fine but I wouldnt be so happy with one on my skin. I therefore popped the blister, drained it carefully. I bought witch-hazel and put some on a cotton wool ball and dabbed it on the cold sore 3 times a day, this dried it out really well. It is now scabbed and would have healed if the first scab hadnt fallen off SO DON’T PICK YOUR SCABS and be really careful not to knock them off as you start healing from scratch.
Anyone it is now a week since my sore appeared and is now scabbing and healing well. Then I felt a tingle on the other corner of my mouth…I was getting a second one, it was a small slit in the corner of my mouth just how the first one started! So I wen’t & bought some tea tree oil & dabbed it on sore with a cotton bud every hour or so and today it is a teeny tiny little red dot in the corner of my mouth….so it has completely prevented it from coming out. I have also been using the tea tree on my other scab and it is definitely drying the little blighter out. So 100% tea tree oil is the way forward.
Also I started having one vitamin c effervescent tablet in water every day. 🙂
I have been reading all about my fellow cold sore sufferers, I had an outbreak a week ago the first time in years but it really got even with me the worst ever! I only get them on the right side of my face right under the nostril of my nose and there were three humongous ones that appeared with my lips swelling and swollen glands! Never on the mouth does anyone else get them there.? I went to my doctor and scared him he put me on valtrex for three days and a cordizone cream for swelling! They got better but are still red and some scab! I forgot about Lysine and have started taking it again. I wonder if tea tree oil would help the healing now? Doc said to use aquaphor so I just started will let u know, I am going to buy those oils to have on hand and take the Lysine daily like I did yrs ago! Of course I have had major social engagements which all the pictures show me with a bandage under my nose!
I woke up with 4 cold sores on Friday, one on the bottom of my lower lip and 3 on the top of my lower lip. One thing my mum told me that I thought really works is foundation. I put toothpaste on for about an hour and then before I go to sleep, I apply foundation to the cold sores and when i woke up, it was smaller, and scabbing.
Thanks for all the great tips I woke up with one monster one on the left side of my lower lip on Sunday one week before a long biz trip the states yay for me. I look like I have an official trout pout 🙂
My hubby has suffered from these for years and has recently had quite a few bad bouts, we are also quite good about avoiding the spread of it but I guess after having had a few viruses and recurring ear infections my immune system succombed and I am now the proud owner of Nigel!
Nigel is my new pet and I have fed him with toothpaste, aloe vera vaseline, anti bac handwash, echinaca and tea tree oil as I couldnt get hold of the bergamot I stuck earl grey tea bags on it and slept with tooth paste on it at night. Now on day 3 and its is improving, lip skin is peeling, swelling coming down and scabs forming.
I am hoping it will be gone by Sunday please! Nigel you are a part of me but please dont visit too often 😉
Try a coldsore cream from the chemist call virasolve, its in a small white and yellow tube. works wonders!
Oh the curse of cold sores! I’ve gotten them ever since I was a child and my family had no idea what they were. Used Gentian violet to treat, which was a real joy walking around with a purple lip. Didn’t really learn the name and cause till I was in my teens. Began to get more outbreaks as I got older and slowly but surely came up with my regimen. Rarely am I able to nip it in the bud before the blisters appear. So I’ll ice (if I have time), and apply tea tree oil. May alternate with Abreva. By mouth I take L-lysine and valtrex. As the blisters appear I try to dry with alcohol (I use toner on a cotton swab) and I do prick the blisters with a pin and drain them carefully to avoid spread of the virus-filled fluid. I hurts like hell, but then I don’t have to deal with the obviously hugely swollen lip. I can get em pretty dry and scabbing in 2-3 days now. Then it’s just a matter of letting the darn scabs heal. My dark complexion helps because they’re not as obvious, especially since I work with customers and coworkers all day. There are def days that I want to call in sick because I feel ugly and diseased and I don’t wanna see anybody, just hide at home until these things heal. But I give myself a pep talk and head out into the world anyway. I bust out the makeup for a little extra coverage (use new sponges and brushes to not contaminate) and confidence boost. I do still avoid socializing and doing much in the way of public activities though. Hope this helps, stay strong everyone!
Can you still get gentian violet? Tho purple lips does not appeal ever so… Sounds like a great attack plan and that is what it has to be. I have never drained the nasty stuff out if one… I can see why that might help actually but it does sound very painful.
I’m intrigued that so many people talk about getting them at Christmas time. I get them almost every year at that time…mostly because I’m worried I’ll get one and that is the time of year that I see all my relatives and friends. I HATE cold sores so much!
I came on here tonight looking for the quickest way to heal it. The blister for me doesn’t last all that long, but the red mark on my lip lasts for about a week and I’m wondering if the red mark will go away faster if I let it dry out or if I keep it moist with carmex?
Hi Steve, once mine has healed I use an aloe Vera and llysine lip balm on the red mark, it should help heal that lip faster. And once the sensitive scab has gone moisturise – I find winter is worse too, cold sites hit the same spot often and having chapped and dry lips makes it easier for them to take hold. If lips are healthy I get less, but in winter they can easily get dry. Christmas is a long way off yet but let’s hope for a cold sore Christmas this year!
I always get cold sores,i get them from my nan and im crusied with them i alest have one,once a year and i normally get them in the coner of my lip which is so painful but i just got on on friday morning top of my lip and later on it spead to the botton lip but i had cream on it,it was also my friends birthday and was going out with her and im dont know what eles to do it gone kinda crusty yellow 🙁 ew!! it still painful, also it say on a website to keep the coldsore moist to speed up the healing prosess or is it better to get it to dry out ??? and im 15 so it hard not to spead them in school ??
Andrea Williams says
Oh Hollie I do sympathise with you they are absolutely horrible and painful. I went to the doctors last time I had one about a month ago because was hoping for a miracle cure but he gave me nothing. He said to keep it dry. I had been doing to opposite by smothering it in zorvirex every 20 mins because it felt more comfortable when it was moist. However after taking the docs advice I do think letting it dry out between applying and applying less often did make it heal quicker.
I have stocked up ready with tea tree oil, bergamot oil and l-Lysine for the next one after all the advice from on here. It is so good to hear other stories on here and realise you are not alone as they make you feel so down in the dumps and like you never want to go out the house.
thank you for the advice andrea! that help alot , my sister who 24 came over and has a coldsore too , is finding out what to do,your advice has helped us both !!:)
Hi Hollie, They are nasty aren’t they? and yes they can be so painful and spread, making the lip swell. Once they start to crust one thing that helps, apart from tea tree oil that helps to heal, is also aloe vera 99% gell, which forms a kind of seal over the sore. It doesn’t hide it unfortunately but it should help it heal quicker. Hope yours goes soon. I’m finding that the more times I conquer one before it appears, with quick use of tea trea, aloe, bergamot and ice to stop the pain, they go away quicker and quicker. I wonder if you really can actually decrease the strength of the virus over time? Llysine also really helps as it attacks the thing that makes the cold sore strong and grow. It’s not always available in the shops but is worse searching for. Health food shops do stock it usually. Good luck.
Hey all, I just got one of these little buggers! I recently spent a few weeks in the hospital dealing with some recurring health issues, and so I’m thinking it has to do with my immune system being run down; I’m also under a lot of stress because I haven’t been able to attend my college classes due to this illness. Of course I’m also stressing about every other thing under the sun! I had a question, and it might sound silly, but some posts say to dry it out and some say to keep it moist, which of these should I be doing and at what stage? I must have passed the tingly stage when I was sleeping last night and didn’t notice it. It’s become slightly red and it appears to be starting to blister. I have Abreva, which I’m using at the moment, but it never seems to work with me, I’ve gotten them since I was little usually right before or after I get really sick. What a horrible little virus this is!
Also, my little sister is really susceptible to these, and the last thing I want is to spread one to her! What should I do to prevent spreading to her? (I recently moved home due to my afore mentioned illness, and I haven’t lived with a lot of people like this in about three years, and I haven’t really gotten one of these in about a year.)
So the doc prescribed me what she called Valtrex. The bottle says Valacyclovir. Two pills a day, morning and night. After two doses my cold sore was shrinking and hurt way less. These are miracle pills!
Oh my soul, I rarely get sick but I got sick and then woke up with 4 on my top lip! This is the first time I’ve ever had a cluster of cold sores, the first time I’ve had it on my top lip and by far the worst outbreak I’ve ever had! They are so large and ugly! This is horrible!! I’ve been taking lysine for about a year now and haven’t had an outbreak until now. Thanks cold and chapped lips! To make it even worse I am a breastfeeding mom to a 6 month old and I am so scared of spreading it to her 🙁 I am thankful I found this site though, gonna send my husband to the store for my very first cold sore kit and in the mean time try the toothpaste and salt treatment! Crossing my fingers and praying for a miracle! Please Lord, Please Lord, please make these go away! Amen
Just a question, does anyone else take lysine on a regular basis? Can you become immune to the effects?? I once read somewhere that by taking it everyday it stopped all outbreaks and other people said they had one every year or two by taking it everyday… I’ve been taking it everyday for a little over a year and am worried I have become immune to it!
Hi Krystal, I only take llysine when I’m run down or feel the tingle. Cd be you became immune but I hope not. There must be other things that wd do the same thing. I take echinacea too and milk thistle to cleanse. No idea if either really help but not had a proper one for, oh I don’t know when… Have you thought about food triggers?
The only trigger I know I have from food is from Splenda for some reason but I don’t use it anymore. Another trigger is chapped lips! I’m pretty sure this cluster was brought on by the cold I have and my severely chapped lips from blowing my nose! I usually try my hardest to make sure my lips are well taken care of (sunscreen, chap stick, exfoliation, l-lysine everyday) and I don’t get cold sores often and when I did have one, you couldn’t really tell that I had one but now that I have this cluster of 4 I’m worried my days of only getting one small, unnoticeable cold sore are gone 🙁
Ok. So last night my lip was pealing. I just pulled it off and was too lazy to put carmex on it. And 3 hours later a coldsore appeared on it. I almost died!!!! I put alcohol and then abreva. The sore is still the same size but has not dried out yet. I’m not sure what my next step should be? Should I continue alcohol and abreva or should I try something different. I also took a lysphine tablet today as well.
Definitely keep taking lysine! Before I started taking it everyday, when I’d get one I’d take one 500mg in the morning and another before bed and they would never fully develop! One of my big triggers is chapped lips to keep them moistened! Something new I’ve been doing is using neosporin on it once it breaks open and it’s working! I woke up to a cluster on Friday and now I’m down to one last one that is almost gone! Read all the other comments above, they have a lot of great tips and tricks!
I’m in a dilemma as usual my cold sores make their appearance during any planned social event. Don’t get them very often but when I do I feel like the whole world is judging me and my cleanliness. I simply turn into a recluse and avoid any contact with anybody if I can help it. This sore is not too bad though it came up this Monday catching me short as I did not even get the tingling sensations beforehand. I think my saviour is using Boots cold sore machine which I brought a couple of years ago incase I had another attack. It seems to be working I have used it three times a day alongside dabbing t-tree oil on my sore and taking lysine supplements the sore never really got that big and this seems to have speeded up the healing process. My question is how can I get rid of the unsightly scab on my lip before Sunday? Really desperate here as I do not want to look like a leper. Been extra careful not to touch the sore by using q tips only and drink using straws on no accounts do I ever use zovirax as it seems to spread sores any reply would be greatly appreciated.
I dry mine out with a tea bag. Any tea bag will do but Earl Grey is good as it has bergamot in it. Sounds mad but hold it gently over the sore and keep it there as long as you can. It drys it right out. Then help healing with tea tree and aloe vera. Fingers crossed it will go by Sunday. You can get a an aloe vera and Llysine lip balm which I find is also reallyg ood.
Many thanks for your advice! Will try the lip balm. Hopefully this thing will be gone by Sunday.
I have had excellent results from applying a dab of ear wax (my own of course) with a cotton swab. the cold sore pain is relieved and it usually dries up and goes away within 2 to 3 days. According to Wikipedia’ earwax has anti-bacterial properties. A piece of rolled up gauze about the size of your little finger is a safe tool to stick in your ear to get a little wax.
Was this comment an April fool I wonder?
This is not a joke! I’ve been getting cold sores since I’ve been a child..the horror! But for yrs, at the very 1st sign of tingling, I would get ear wax from my ear & dab it on the tingling spot. It normally helps but if I catch it too late. & the sore has already formed, the ear wax doesn’t work for me. I just tried the toothpaste & salt..waiting to see what will happen now..hope it works! ….oh & this may be a dumb question but with the tea bag, do u use a dry tea bag straight out the box?
Sorry Dee! I don’t get much ear wax but for anyone else doubting the ear wax cure for coldsores, check out this website with instructions of how to mine your ear for ear wax. I’m truly amazed at the bodies capacity to heal itself. can’t wait to try this. http://www.ehow.com/how_4712695_cure-cold-sore-earwax.html
Regarding the teabag, yes, dry, straight from the box. It then seems to suck the life out of the coldsore. Works for me anyway. Yours searching for ear wax…
Don’t listen to all the people saying you need this pill, this oil, this vitamin…..all you need is fresh garlic! It sounds crazy but it works. The day you feel tingling cut a garlic clove in half and with a knife make scratches on it so that the juice comes out. Place on your lip for about 10 minutes. Reapply every 2-3 hours. If the cold sore has already erupted still do this but it will hurt like crazy. But it’s worth it. The cold sore is killed by garlic immediately .
I love the garlic idea, it has lots of health benefits I think. Will defo try this, but I do also find that avoiding my triggers, taking echinacea and Llysine at the first sign also help me. I think it’s all about getting your immune system strong and healthy.
Oh.. I should not have enjoyed those strawberries so much yesterday. Apparently it is a trigger. Woke up this morning with a good size cold sore. First one in about 5 years. L-Lysine here I come will be taking about 1000 mg a day. I have found that Airborne also has L-lysine and taking that weekly to boost my immune system is also helpful in warding them off. I used to get them all the time but a dentist told me about L-lysine. I also found that ambesol the baby numbing stuff works on the pain as well and has a little drying affect. The garlic oil sounds interesting.
Glad you seem to have got in control of yours, but they do seem to sneak up when you’re not expecting them and yes, for me too certain foods seem to wake up the cold sore. NO idea why. They don’t always seem to be foods that are on the NO NO list, as in ones that can feed them and make them worse. The llysine is the key I think. I only take it when I feel the tingle and then during the outbreak. I sometimes take the odd one if I feel really run down and as that is often when they strike but it just proves you CAN get on top of them. Never thought of baby numbing stuff but that sounds like a great idea because they really can be so painful.
I’ve been getting cold sores for about a year, and i seem to get one once a month after my period. its awful. I have one right now on my lower lip/chin that it huge, painful, and blistered. It’s nice reading that I’m not alone and other people out there feel my pain. Has anyone heard of the 9-volt battery trick? If you YouTube it a blonde woman talks about it… It didn’t work for me but she seemed sold on the idea. I know baking soda realllllly REALLY dries the sucker up, but then you get a scab. Is there anyway to dry them up quickly and avoid a scab? Right now my blisters are skin colored so you can’t notice them that much.. But I’m scared to know what they will look like scabbed over if I dry it out…also I’m afraid to take pills for it because I feel like this is something we can grow out of (in a way.) my mom used to get cold sores but now she’s gone YEARS with out one. I feel like taking pills won’t help build up my immune system up toward them…..?
Llysine really does help but yes, boost that immune system. That’s the key.
Hi there, i have had my colesore for about 2 weeks now and another on the other side of my lip now!! They wont seem to go away, ive used zovirax, compeed patches, tcp, vaceline, vinegar etc and they wont seem to go away, any ideas would be greatly appreciated i just want rid of them now 🙁
Aimee, check out the home page for more ideas. Natural remedies for cold sores … I suggest a teabag…
Teabag for how long and how often?
Ok, teabag, I use a dry one to dry out the sore. Hold on for about 10-20 mins, apply tea tree or other drying out healing treatment in between. Or… A lady I know suggests warm wet teabag, with drops of essential oil, lavender, Melissa and bergamot. I’ve tried bergamot and that really works.
I treat my cold sores by applying pure vanilla extract to the cold sore every two hours. I also keep my lips moist so the scab is more flesh toned and soft. Cold sore heals within 4 days and is not very visible.
I agree about the moist lips but people get soooo confused about the keeping it moist and also that it needs to dry out to heal. 4 days is pretty good going. Am going to try vanilla extract next time. I’ve been using tea tree and bergamot which both work really well and usually render mine almost invisible in a few days. 4 days to totally heal. Thanks for sharing. Vanilla smells lovely too. Does it sting?
Mix up a thickish paste of baking soda and water. Let it sit on your cold sores until it dries and begins to crack off. Then apply it again. And repeat this as much as you can as long as you can. It will dry them up. You even be able to see it absorb the fluid onto the baking soda because the baking soda will turn a yellowish color (gross I know) but trust me, it works.
Numb it with ice. Try to pop it. After its popped, mix toothpaste and salt and apply to cold sore. It will hurt really bad. But this is the fastest way to get rid of them.
Ooooh I’ve never tried to pop mine, but they do pop often because the scabs are so pathetic and soft. The ice really does work though. Ice it every time. Anyone else tried the toothpaste and salt treatment?
I feel like popping them is a bad idea… You need to be carful that you don’t spread the infection to othe roars of your face. You don’t want to get the cold sore germs in your eyes. I read that It’s the leading cause of blindness in European countries. So be carful if you’re popping them!
Michelle McLaughlin says
I missed the tingle stage while I was sleeping and woke to a bump on my upper lip. It always comes in the same spot and I usually can count on one every 4 to 6 months, I immediately applied ice then Abreva then a clove of garlic, took some vitamin B &C and lysine, and then some lysine lip balm. Soon I’m going to wipe all away and treat with more ice and rubbing alcohol and 9 volt method. Is it possible to over treat a cold sore? I’ve not had good luck with any one treatment so this time I’m going to bombard the bugger with everything I can think of. I’ve had so many cold sores in the same spot that I have a scar on my upper lip area that is constantly red. I am so upset by these I hate to even go outside and avoid as many people as I can until its gone. If I forgot ay treatments let me know. I’ll try just about anything!
Hi Michelle, Oh I know what you mean. I have the same thing, often the sneak up in the night and you ignore it. I had the tingling the other day and praise the lord, after applying tea tree oil and bergamot oil directly to the area, taking llysine and other vitamins, also applying zorirax (or rather a cheap copy of…) and so far good. It’s gone. As for over treating? No, I don’t think so. When I have one, and it’s forming into a blister I totally bombard it. I haven’t tried the garlic yet because I’ve got so good at kicking them into touch (smug… I’ll get one now, you just watch) but no, I totally bombard mine, with tea tree, ice, teabag held over it, zovirax even though sometimes I’m not sure it works, llysine lip balm, aloe vera, you name it. Will be trying garlic next time though I don’t find toothpaste that effective and you look a bit of a fool too with a crusty white lip..
I am having great success with my most recent cold sore. I learned so much on this forum (thank you Ruth, especially) that I had to post in case I could be of help to others. When I saw the blisters yesterday morning on my lower lip, I was horrified. I decided to attack the cold sore with every anti-viral home remedy I could find. This is what I did each day:
-1 teaspoon powdered spirulina, once a day in water. Drink it quick, it tastes horrible. Or take the pill form. It boosts the immune system.
-12 oz of veggie juice (kale, swiss chard, cilantro, green apple, 1/2 cucumber, parley, all organic) juiced in my juicer
-about 2000 mg of l-lysine each day, today will be more
-I took 1 vit D3 today
-LOTS of vitamin c. – 3 emergin c yesterday, and emergin c and vitamin c supplement today. Also took a multivitamin supplement, and have been taking 2 zinc supplements each day as well.
-i have been taking 1 asprin every 4 hours to help with inflammation. I think this is important.
-lots of echinacia, defac green, and peppermint teas. I read that peppermint is anti-viral.
-I have been eating LOTS of organic, raw honey for its anti-viral properties, in my tea, and over plain greek yogurt
-I am eating a couple of spoonfuls of coconut oil each day
-all I have eaten for the past two days are the veggie juice, spirulina, yogurt & honey, and homeade chicken soup with chicken, onions, carrots in broth. I have also been drinking a couple of glasses of milk and several ounces of cheese each day. My goal was not to eat any of the foods listed on the internet that can trigger cold sores and to eat as much alkaline foods as possible
-I started yesterday with the usual abreeva (I live in the US) but that has never really worked in the past, so I followed advice from this forum and used tea tree oil (I diluted mine in coconut oil) several times yesterday and I used a lot of ice yesterday too. I have also started applying the tea tree oil directly without the coconut oil. All with clean q-tips.
-Today I decided to hold the dry earl gray tea bag (thanks again Ruth!!) to my cold sore blisters for 15 minutes. And low and behold, by the second round of this, the blisters went flat!!!! Without popping!!!!
I know that is a lot of stuff to do, but right now the cold sores are flat on my lip and you can barely see them.
I did briefly try the salt/toothpaste thing, but I know that salt on the skin can cause burns, and burns themselves can blister, so that did not seem like a good idea to me and it hurt.
Hopefully this can help some one!
This fantastic news! Thanks Rebecca, I don’t have sprirulina so will get hold of some. I’ve heard it is good for immune bosthing. I too have just had one, and this time, instead of following my advice and learnt techniques for killing them, I tried some other stuff. I wouldn’t recommend garlic, it seemed to make the blisters immense in such a quick time and from then I was doomed. A cold sore that started on Wednesday last week, it is only now at the stupid floppy breaking scab stage where it bleeds like you wouldn’t believe. I know this is the home straight though. Good bye cold sore. So what have Iearnt? Don’t put garlic on your cold sore, but DO cook with lots of garlic when you feel run down, feel one tingling or have one. It is sooooo good for you, but NOT good for rubbing onto a brewing cold sore, unless you are a sadist of glutton for punishment. Cold sores are bad enough on their own without this.
Since my blisters went flat yesterday, they are now a couple of tiny scars on my lip and are well on there way to healing. I think the key, as you have mentioned on this forum, is to boost the immune system, and also not to mess with the cold sore too much. Other than putting the ice, tree oil, earl gray tea bag, and a little bit of l-lysine cream, I have not messed with it very much.
I have read about people using bleach or whiskey on them, and I think that would just damage the skin and make the healing time take longer. In the past I once tried acetone (nail polish remover), and ouch, it did not work. It caused more inflammation!
I also applied the dry tea bag after the shower so that the little scars did not get too soft. It helps them shrink way down.
i got one just this morning and rubbed some ointment on it but when i go home am gonna rub toothpaste on it. that always work.
I have to share my experience. Have suffered with cold sores for years and have tried the usual Zovirax, Abreva and Zovirax tablets.
On Thursday night I could feel the dreaded tingle as I lay in bed. Friday morning it was out.
I went to Boots and bought their own brand cold sore cream and the cold sore light machine at £35. Expensive yes but you know what it’s like when you’re feeling crap.
The instructions say 3 minutes twice a day. Well, after reading reviews I saw others had done multiple zaps so I went for it. It is now Sunday afternoon and when I say it’s almost gone and can’t be seen, I really mean it. I zapped away hourly and the pain, itch and tingle had gone by yesterday and overnight it has healed beyond belief.
Why I never bought this sooner I don’t know but I won’t be parted from it. There are various machines on the market and can be bought also from Amazon. Also, it can be obtained on the NHS prescription for those wotrried about the cost. The Boots machine is not on prescription but if you google it, you’ll find the name of the one authorised by G.Ps. Please, don’t hesitate – I’ll be buying one if these little gizmo’s for my sister who suffers terribly with cold sores.
I’m so getting one of these… especially after my last cold sore from hell
Andrea shiel says
The dreaded cold sore has made its annual appearance 🙁
I’m quite lucky only get 1 on my top lip, looks like I’ve had Botox lol.
The sun causes mine
I’m using tea tree, hope this little wonder works
Argh! Has it gone? It should have by now if you’re lucky. Hope it’s not still lurking and sun can trigger mine too. Never leave home without a lip sun screen to apply.
“Let it get you down – Cold sores can be really painful and miserable, so take it easy and be kind to yourself. Ignore them and pretend they aren’t there! ”
Agreed. Additionally getting stressed and depressed will hamper your immune system and may trigger more cold sores. Don’t get caught in the cycle.
mike like says
That’s very right. Every time I have it…it makes me so depressed and more stressed and so anxious. Thanks for that…hopefully I will be able to cope the stress of having it again.This time on my lower part of my nose. It is so painful.
They really are the meanest most painful most horrid things. My last one was epic. Had to name it it grew so huge. Called it Colin
Heather Ward says
Haha, thanks for brightening my day.. Colin. Too good.
I’ve NEVER had a cold sore/fever blister/little lip bastard….what ever you want to call it…
And I’ve done so much research in the past few days…but I’m still unfamiliar with the ending stages and what it might look like.
I can find pictures of what it looks like but not in its healing stages.
I’ve been getting cold sores for years (I’m 24) I’ve tried so many things; from l-Lysine (which didn’t help me) to abreva which doesn’t help either. I don’t have food allergies, but I do stress easily and I always know when I’ll get them (like I knew last night and I am now dealing with it.) Thankfully I get one a year (it used to be multiple a year), and they are always in the same place (upper lip, left side) there is always one large blister & a few little ones. I just found last year that using Lysterine (or any mouth wash with alcohol) really works at drying them out. I’ve done ice too, and that takes the swelling down which is great seeing as my lip always swells and tends to make me cancel any plans I originally had scheduled (like I had to today) and it makes me want to stay inside and talk to no one. I’m never ashamed of them, its just they always swell up half my top lip and make me talk funny (its like I’m talking around the sore). Another thing that seems to work for me is using Nail Polish Remover (I put it on a cotton ball and hold it there until the stinging goes away and then I wait 2-3 hrs and do it again). If I catch them before they break through nothing seems to help, but the alochol based & acetone based stuff really dries mine out. Sometimes if they are too big I wait a until the following day; pop the main large one and then use either listed above (or sometimes both together works).
This may not work for everyone but it does for me. Now all I have to do is find a way to keep myself from getting too stressed.
Never tried nail polish remover but yes, I agree, once they are there they are hard to shift. So how to avoid stress? Now THAT is the question. I had one coming the other day, dabbed on tea tree and it has disappeared!
i’ve been getting multiple cold sores quite badly my whole life, when i was little i used to get them on my chin and now i get them all over my lips, they are awfull.
i have honestly tried everything but the best cure i have found to date is apple cider vinegar, just dab a cotton wool bud in some apple cider vinegar( you can pick it up at any supermanrket very cheaply) and apply it to the coldsore, even with the worst ones they will be gone within 3 days, if its a small one it may not even come up at all!!
If you truly want to nuke it i recommend taking some oral acyclovir when you wake up and before you go to sleep + around 2000-3000mg l-lysine.
this little trick has saved my life.
trust me, if all you have to do is try the apple cider vinegar once and you will never use that over expensive, useless over the counter creams which never worked for me.
I just got one yesterday, the last morning of a hens weekend. The brides wedding is this Saturday and I’m in the bridal party. Usually when I get cold sores (which isn’t very often) I get a needle and prick them. Then I get some ice and make it numb, and then get a used teabag and hold it on there until the sting goes away. This helps to burn it. Unfortunately this didn’t work this time round, instead it has spread to my chin and I am desperate to get rid of it before the wedding. I will try alissa’s method next, wish me luck!
use hydrogen peroxide it helps. Well u can burst it first but b very careful
Unfortunately I have been getting these nasty and embarrassing things since I was very young. I could never find anything that seemed to work for me until recently. I dab some hydrogen peroxide on a cutip or a cotton and hold it to the cold sore for a few minutes. I noticed that the cold sore seemed to heal a lot faster and would diminish in size. Definetly the quickest remedy I have ever used trying to heal these things.
I usually only get one and can stop it as soon as the bump occurs by applying ice as often as possible. The tiny bump hangs around but its easily covered and it doesn’t turn into a big ugly blister! At the moment I have the worst outbreak I’ve ever had, two big ones and some tiny ones around it, so red and crusty and in a different spot to usual. I’m so frustrated because I had my cold sore routine down and it worked so well, and then this happened. I tried everything to stop it in its tracks to no avail, it’s awful. My trigger is usually wine, chapped lips, or using Blistex but this time I have no idea!
Mary Young says
I have one right now, but I run after it as soon as I have the tingling, applied ice, no sun, and change of diet has helped it not to break out into a big blister but a tiny one but yes its ugly and irritating, I have no idea what triggered it 🙁
Hello. I usually get 2 a year and I agree with Alissa. I’m not overly embarrassed by them, just makes me not sleep the best and not want to do anything. Thanks for the info, above. I agree with it all. Only thing I can add is…be really fit and healthy. I have been a 1.5yrs without one once and that was because I was exercising a lot. Also, I know this doesn’t apply to all, but lifting weights really helps me. It is a amino acid and protein deficiency, if your muscles are demanding the amino acids to grow you should have less of a problem. Unfortunately we will always get them. NO medicine helps me at all. It usually takes 7-10 days to heal from the first sign but I am lucky that mine dont hurt at all.
These are my main points: Eat healthy (go easy on that chocolate girls!), don’t drink too much and get wasted (this will leave your body run down and vulnerable), take Lysine supplements, put carmex or some lipbalm with spf on before and while you are in direct sunshine, and exercise…a lot. This will keep your coldsores away AND give you a better lifestyle! Good luck!
i have neve gotten one i was feeling sick headache stomach hurts i just got some pills and cream i go to the gym a lot my doctor thinks i got it there i have been taking the medicine for well this is my third day and i still don’t feel right yet should i try to go to the gym or just rest for one more day
Just rest if it is making you feel too low. If your body is telling you it feels that low you should listen. Get some rest, early nights, good food, de-stress. Get some tea tree, LLysine and zap it. Good luck getting rid of it. I have one threatening me at the moment but so far keeping it at bay.
hi Ruth thank you very much for you opinion i am angry that the place i like the gym is where i got it i have had 7 back surgeries but never anything like this i hope your gets better soon
Thanks for the tips! I was just laying in bed on my phone when I started to feel the tingling sensation and I was like oh no! So I quickly went to search up some remedies and tonight I’m trying the toothpaste one. I think mine was triggered by chapped lips because as of late my lips have been chapped badly and I have a problem with picking at the skin! Bad I know but this is my punishment, a cold sore! anyway I do hope it goes away I have plans this coming weekend with family and friends o the beach and I don’t want to stay home, Haha!
I have been getting cold soars since I was a kid, literally the worst covering my entire mouth or cheeks or chin. They are extremely painful and embarrassing. I attempt to stop the spread as soon as I feel the initial sting or tingle. I usually stick to using Abreva it works okay for me, I don’t find the medicines prescribed by my doctor work very well. I was in the sun all weekend and was sure to put sun screen on and re apply it continuously through out the day, I thought I escaped them… not the case I woke up this morning with them lining my entire bottom lip and one on my top lip. All I have on hand is the Abreva (am hoping it will stop them from spreading even more as well as swelling up). At this point I am at a loss I took L-lysine as well hoping something will do the trick. I have work all week and another trip planned this weekend ;/
The sneaky ones that come out at night are the worst… I hate those. Keep putting on abreva all the time. One thing I’ve noticed I do is to bite the tingly bit. I wonder if anyone else does that. Not such as to break the skin but before the sore has been formed, when it’s just swelling and sending you that warning I bite the area. Sometimes I think that sends it away. Keep zapping. I find tea tree the most useful as well as the acyclovir – in the UK we have zovirax. I am applying as we speak and praying it goes away. I know mine is triggered by alcohol and mistaken consumption of dairy. Guaranteed to start that tingling. Good luck with yours.
I’ve had cold sores for as long as I can remember and they have progressively gotten worse as I’ve aged. I’m freshly turned 17 and I’ve been getting 2-3 outbreaks a month. And when I get the dreaded things, I don’t get a small one in the corner of my mouth where no one can see them.. I get atleast 2-5 and they spread up inside of my nose and down to my chin. Mine form in clusters and they are so painful and humiliating I can’t stand them. I got them on my prom last year and I was so upset I didn’t even want to go.. I take l-lysine every night before I go to bed and I’ve stopped eating anything salty or citric. Nothing ive tried works, abreva helps to get the sores to deflate from the swelling and relieve doesn’t help much either. I’ve tried almost everything and nothing seems to work.. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get rid of these things..
nd I’stopped eating everything that has to do with salt and citric acid.. but they just won’t stop. I hate them so much and nothing is helping.
My outbreaks are very similar to yours, multiple cold sores from chin to nose on a very regular basis. My doctor says it’s the worst case he has seen, lucky me!
Anyway I just wanted to let you know that as I have aged, I am now 34, the outbreaks have lessened in frequency and how bad they are.
It’s terrible to have to deal with but it will eventually start getting better!
Hey Ladies. I used to get horrible cold sores every month. I started taking calcium everyday because I read that a deficiency could lead to cold sores. So far the only time I feel one coming on is if I forget taking my calcium for a few weeks. When I feel the tingle coming on though if I take three tablets throughout the day it either doesn’t come out or will be much smaller. I take the Jamieson 500 mg Calcium with vitamin D.
Brilliant advice Sandi, I do also take vitamins and minerals with calcium and make sure I also eat a lot of foods with calcium (not dairy as I’m allergic). Maybe that is the key? And when I get then it’s often when I’m eating badly, not the calcium rich stuff, and also forgetting the supplements. You might be onto something there with the calcium, which you need vit d with to absorb.
I used to get them just as often as you do. I have an allergic reaction to abreva (if I put it on my lip without an outbreak my whole lip would erupt with an outbreak). I am now 33 and don’t get them as often. What helped….peppermint oil…dries them out real fast. (I pop them with a steril pin capture the fluid with a tissue so not to spread it and put on peppermint oil. Numbs and dries….and smells good). I also take a couple pills of acyclovir (prescribed by dr) since it’s an antiviral meant to deal with the herpies virus. If I catch it at the tingling part I take two Andover couple hours later and it won’t erupt but if I wake with it (which is most of the time) I take 3 a day and it heals quickly. When I got them 2 to 3 times a month when I was in my early 20s I took the pill daily for 6 months….now I only get a couple a year….and only when my lips get real dry. Hope that helps
Valtrex and Abreva work great. I just got my annual cold sore today and using both these has helped stop it from getting worse. Lysine is also recommended. I will be using Lysine pill with breakfast and a probiotic to help fight my cold sore first thing in the morning.
Ive just discovered Almonds trigger Cold Sore Outbreaks for me! I usually get them once a year maybe.. but this year starting in Feb-March i got one on my bottom lip.. just figured it was my yearly and it would go away!! but it never did up til a week ago X| ..once it cleared another popped right back up around the same area.. ugh. I started back tracking what Ive been doing or eating differently and the only thing i could think of was switching from reg Soy milk to Almond Milk.. so i cut it out.. and now my skin is completely clear and outbreak free.. yay!! so if having recurring problems.. may want to look at what you’re eating/drinking!!
I know food can trigger cold sore outbreaks but it’s hard pinning down which food does it. Well done for the detective work. Everyone should look at this though it’s hard to work out as you can be eating so many different foods each day. Alcohol does it for me :o(
mike like says
I always get mine twice a year….and it makes me so depressed and it makes it worst and instead of going away, I got more outbreaks…thanks for sharing…
I get cold sores EVERY year and they are the most annoying painful and ugly things mine get huge and nasty and I don’t want to do anything i will just say locked up in my room and not talk. The worst ones I got was in high school I got 4 at one time and they were all big and nasty and hurt so much I could barely sleep or eat and I missed 8 days of school and work cause of it. Never new what it was causing it but I started feeling the tingly sensation and new it was coming and the only thing I ate today that I almost never eat is chocolate this is the first time I’m having chocolate since my last cold sore and what do yah know?? I start getting my cold sore symptoms well I’m trying the toothpaste on it to nip it in the bud right away hopefully it works never tried this before.
That is bad news, sounds like chocolate triggers cold sores for you. I find tea tree oil, bergamot oil and Llysine tablets really help. As soon as I feel the tingle I also use Zovirax but on its own that’s not enough. How did you get on with toothpaste?
The toothpaste actual worked I had to do it about three different before the tingling actually went away so now it’s gone but I’m nervous it’s gonna come backup when I least expect it
I have mine every few months and it’s the most freaking annoying putrid thing ever. I guess I’m lucky I only have one and it’s to the right of my chin so I don’t touch it a lot. We’ll all keep waiting for the cure. They are working on it.
I have just discovered propolis which comes from bees. Amazing stuff. I swear it hurts less and heals faster. Try it, made by Herstat of A-Vogel
You should only apply the propper medication to a cold sore and call your doctor to see if he or she can be of assistance. Do not apply toothpaste! No where on a bottle of toothpaste does it say “apply this product to cold sores”. You also shouldn’t pick at the sores. Apply the appropriate ammount of medication and let it heal.
HSV-1(the cold sore causing virus) is an extremely common virus spread through saliva. One can have HSV-1 without showing any symptoms. It is also possible to only have one cold sore outbreak without ever having another. Even though the virus is a common one I would still be cautious about it (when needed).
You can always learn more about cold sores and the Herpes virus on educational websites.
I have now noticed that I will get one if I drink alcohol. A couple days ago I hurt my back and I had some whiskey before I went to bed so I could sleep and woke up the next morning with one.
Sometimes I use Liquid bandage to cover it, but right now I have it air drying. The only thing is this time I have some small red spots around the mouth that Are tingling a little bit. Hopefully Coridon will release their vaccine in a couple years.
Alyssa Davis says
Vaccine!? I would be so happy if they have one. I would be the happiest woman alive if I never had to get another one of these ugly/painful things ever again!! I’m sure we ALL will be!
Now a vaccine for cold sores – now you’re talking. I honestly think processed foods are so key for me. I have cut them out now for about two months and been totally tingle free. This includes a lot of freefrom processed foods. I am better with just fresh fruit, veg and home cooking. Try it if you dare and let me know how you get on.
Oh my! I have never had or even seen such an outbreak on anyone in my life than what I have got right now. I can’t speak its so painful/big! I have 2 huge ones on my top lip and 3 massive ones all along my bottom lip- I look like I’ve had collagen to replicate the mouth of Cher!! Wah I need help, I’ve used them invisible patches which seems to have dried them out but ran out and they are expensive so had to switch to zovirax which now people are telling me was the wrong thing to do! Does dabbing alcohol/nail varnish remover etc work once they have erupted into huge yellow scabs?!
Alyssa Davis says
I hate these things SO much! I felt the tingling yesterday & thought “SHIT!” Woke up this morning w/ the fucking thing…one big one two smaller. Normally I always get them in the same spot, on my upper right lip, but for the 1st time I got it on my lower lip, in the middle. Its very swollen and hurts, but not too bad. I start school tomorrow too… WORST time to get it too. They are just so embarrassing and make you feel so timid! I use abreva around 5 times a day and take Lysine 1,000mg. Any other suggestions!? I don’t like to try and hide it with make-up because the make-up is obviously going to be really bad for it….ahhhh this is the worst timing! Well hope everyone elses is getting better/better already! The only thing that really makes these suckers dissapear is TIME, unfortunately…when they are gone I get so excited….I just appreciate the fact my lips have no cold sore on them! I know you guys all know what I mean!
i KNOW what u feel.. myself, I am 24 started class Today, and was SO embarrased since I got one saturday morning.. I tried RELEEV it worked very well with me. Now, it is so small i even forget i have it 😉 i get them once a year myself. And I feel as if everyone knows i have it!! grrrr.. I hope tmrw it will b GONE.. once and for all… (TILL NEXT YEAR)
I have been getting them since i was a kid and I usually get 2 – 3 a year. However, for the past 8 months I didn’t have one until recently.. just 2 weeks ago. Worst part is as soon as that one went away another has just formed and it’s a bad one. Directly in the center of my bottom lip…. it’s nice and red and the scab makes it look worse. I’m currently at work hiding behind my desk. Everytime I get em I try to avoid people and eye contact and I do what I can with my lips to cover whatever I can so it’s not so noticeable. I’m guilty to say too that it gets me way down even though I know we should do our best to stay positive.
I’m currently using Campho-Phenique to apply on my lips to help numb and dry it out and I’m also trying th teabag trick…. dried though. Not sure if I’m supposed to feel any sensations but I’ll do anything at this point. I have some aloe vera at home too so I can try that when I get back.
It’s amazing… I usually get cold sores when I’m about to get sick but I never get sick. I guess that’s my punishment for never being sick… my body gives me cold sores instead. I rather get sick I think…. these things suuuuuuuuuck. =(
I’ve been feeling the tingling on the top right corner of my lip. I put Abreva on every day and it prevented it from showing up.
Then I wake up the other day and I have one in the middle of my bottom lip. WTH??? I wonder now if I would’ve put the Abreva all over and around my mouth if it wouldn’t have come up somewhere else on my face!
Also, even though I have this blister in the middle of my lower lip, I still feel the tingling on the right corner of my top lip!
I think the virus is there waiting. Make sure you boost your immune system and keep using abreva or tea tree oil even after tingling has stopped for a while. Maybe only put the abreva on the bit that tingles though and always wash hands. I know what you mean though, if it’s like the product we have here in the UK, you take off the cap and so much comes out of the tube that you don’t want to waste it. They do spread though so be very careful. If your lips are chapped the virus can spread too. Hope it goes soon.
Actually Ruth, if you read my post you’ll see that I said I’d been applying Abreva everyday to the tingling area and it prevented it from coming in that region, but it popped up in a different area. Also, even though it popped up in another area I still feel the tingling in the first region.
I have had that, it’s almost as if it’s desperate to get out and will do so at any cost. I put neat tea tree on mine and bergamot or an earl grey tea bag. Hope it goes quietly and quickly. Avoid cold sore feeding foods too, check the blog for tips
I have a question … I’ve had to deal with these nasty little buggers before but this time it is the biggest and most painful one that I’ve ever experienced. This article is incredibly useful but I’m confuse as to one thing, it says that keeping it moist is a ‘Do’ but some of the comments talk about drying it out? are you suppose to dry and dry it out before you get the blisters? Keep it moist once the yellow color sets in or is it the other way around??? Help please!! ???
I found this online. Not sure if it helps.. I personally found that keeping it moist makes it bigger and last longer. I’ve been sticking with the drying it out. I think its supposed to be whatever works. 🙂 goodluck
Wiki how says dry wins
Last year, I posted that there were two schools of thought, and that my opinion was to do whatever worked for you. And I still stand by that, but I will say that in looking for answers online, it seems that the “moist” side has more medical clout behind it. (The Mayo Clinic endorses moist.) I could not find any peer-reviewed or “name” information recommending dry, so I will have to throw my recommendation to keeping it moist, although there is probably an army of grandmothers out there who may disagree.
I have suffered from cold sores my entire life, my first occurrence at age 7 or so but thankfully do not get them as often as an adult, but when I do it always looks like a case of Botox gone bad! So I first felt a tiny tiny bump in the center of my bottom lip at around 12:30am last night. I immediately took 2,000 mg of lysine and drank some water before going to sleep. I took accutane in 2009 and have used Carmex religiously since. So I applied some Carmex then fell asleep. It was just a tad more visible when I awoke at 7:00 for work so it gave me hope. As the day progressed I continued to take a 500mg of lysine every little bit and drink plenty of water and watch my moods and eating as I have learned from past experience that these things are ultimately what decides if they are gonna be big and mean or small and manageable. So I was feeling good until I began to get this horrible tingling in the right side of my lip where I am just recovering from a small pimple. Within hours you could see the tiny blisters beginning to form. So now I have one in the center moving down off my lip onto my skin and one big cluster forming on the right side as well. I have always used abreva or let it run it’s course..and one time used some Zovirax cream which I thought Made it worse so this time I turned to google for a new quick remedy.
I kept see tea tree oil so I just purchased some at walgreens and waited for an hour to use it while I searched on Google for people that said it Made it worse, because that is the last thing I wanna do!!! I finally just NOW dabbed some TTO directly on the blisters with a qtip . It is still itchy and tingling, maybe a little milder than before but now I am terrified that it will make it worse. Has anyone used tea tree oil and had any bad experiences. I just wanna know what I’m in for if it is gonna be worse. My little boys birthday party is tomorrow 🙁
I hate these things. I just wanna skip the next 10-12 days!! any responses would be greatly appreciated.. I’m very on edge about it and trying not to b!
Also, does applying milk directly really work? 2% milk work?
Oh.. Also.. Do I need to wash the tea tree oil after application. If so how long do I leave it on? Thx!!
I just dab some tea tree on and leave. I don’t wash it off. Hope it goes soon…
Well all of those remedies may or Kay not work, well my first time getting it, my whole left top of lip swelled up, and it wasn’t on my lip, it was on top, . I tried ice, and it took swelling down a little bit, but after I ice it (Placing the ice directly on the cold sore until the ice melts l i put something very natural on their, which is called african shea butter. It not only soothes the sting, itch or whatever irritation you may be having, but it heals the cold sore and brings it to a very small cold sore and it moistens it . This really works . Your not always supposed to dry it out, keep it moist, during the day i leave it open, i wash it with antibacterial Soap and let it get some air. And at night time before bed is when i apply The african shea butter . Dont bust it,because it can spread, and take longer to heal
never, ever, ever pop it!
I agree – only a mad man would pop a cold sore. If you pop it could spread the virus so best to leave to heal. HOwever I have heard that some people pop theirs and swear it heals quicker… who knows. I guess we are all different. I don’t pop mine.
Do you know if I should still treat the cold sore during starting to scab phase with OTC cream?
Thank you in advance for any suggestionss
YES treat it. I find Propolis really stops pain and aids healing. I used Herstat. Anything though like tea tree, aloe vera etc. that is healing will help. I think so anyway.
hi thanks Ruth!
I had to take four days off during the worst blister stage
Tried lysine pill, vitamin B, lysine cream, abreva (put in on day 1 right after work) Found the lysine cream helped better
Took one week to get better. Day ten now it’s a red spot and hope to look better next week
Mine was due to stress and lack of sleep (overwork) 🙁
Felt ugly and embrassed at work
If you pop them just when they are tiny little bumps then never get to the big blister phase. It may cause them to spread but tiny bumps make for much smaller sores versus the huge blisters that you can get when you don’t pop them. Plus they can spread with out being popped, as a kid I would literally have my entire mouth covered in sores.
I have never actively popped one, ever, but I do get them elsewhere on my body, the same virus. Sometimes on my legs, torso or arms. Because I have eczema sometimes I do scratch them, by mistake, which is horrible because they hurt. But sometimes if the blister is destroyed early on by my scratching, and I then put on tea tree oil or whatever to heal it they never get that big. So I’m bursting them but not on purpose. Just had a nasty crop on the back of my neck which has taken AGES to go away. Blumin things. Generally the tea tree and propolis keep cold sores away for me, but if I wake up with one it’s annoying – once they’re established you have to just keep attacking with whatever you can and as often to reduce their life.
Aspen Mooring says
what if I had a cold sore scab But It started to peel off and it bleeded but i washed it completley with a clean towel and stopped the bleeding now it just looks kind of redish color Should i put neosporin on it or abreva still or will another scab form over or ?
It will scab again but cold sores are notoriously fragile so it might get knocked again. I put a layer of 99% aloe vera gel on mine when they are at this stage. means it’s healing if it bleeds. they can bleed quite a lot sometimes.
Add running alcohol right after. It stops the sucker I’m telling you!
I always pop them and it definitely helps them heal more quickly. Just make sure you squeeze out the liquid, dab with a tissue, then apply cream (Abreva works great!)
Regarding popping, I’ve never done it. Never had to. The scab never lasts that long for me ever, it just disintegrates over and over again and so I do dab it dry and then apply aloe vera or anything soothing or healing so abreva does probably help but I find aloe vera just as good.
I always do. Stops the sucker in it’s track.
The doide laser at the dentist’s office (used to treat gingivitis, etc.) is a miracle treatment for cold sores! My 9 year-old daughter has been getting terrible outbreaks lately, and the dentist or hygenist will zap them with the laser and they dry up the next day! Of course the earlier, the better, but she had a cluster treated on Day 3 and they dried up immediately. The laser kills the virus immediately so it can heal. I’ve also started her on LLysine and lots of lip balm to try to prevent the outbreaks in the first place. If you google “laser” and “cold sore” you should find some good info about this treatment option.
Wow! I wonder if you can get that on the Nhs. Book in for a zap at first sign of blister. Or can you buy your own zapper? Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Aimee Finlay says
Ive just got two coldsorea on either side of my lips and there so sore 🙁 help pleasee what can i put on this asap !
Put some teatree oil onto them. Or Zovirax or abreeva,which really help some. If it’s sore ice it, then hold an earl grey teabag on it to dry it out. Get sleep, drink lots of water and read the list of dodos to avoid. Don’t feed the cold sore! Hope it goes soon.
Hi i find that i dont get tell tale signs anymore they just appear as blisters i am currently on aciclovir 400mg tabs which i take for an out break and they help really well these are also used as preventors if you suffer from quite bad break outs often i use tea tree oil which helps to dry them out and if used early enough will keep them to a small size everything else ive tried doesnt help. My immune system isnt as it should be which doesnt help and i find the minute my lips get dry one will appear, dont ever put a needle in and pop as ive seen someone say otherwise you could cause an outbreak of impetigo,having oily or really dry skin will increase your chances of a coldsore. You can also speak with your gp to get a cream called fucidin and metrodonazole which are antibiotics used for the treatment of bacterial infections of the skin which i have found to work especially well when suffering a bad outbreak . Hope this info is of use especially if you have tried everything else.
Hi Gemma, thanks for sharing. I do pretty much what you do and mine do stay away more often now. I used to get so many. It is all about building up your immune system, planning to write more on this soon. My dr has never been that helpful but good advice there, may be worth a try if that cream works well. Don’t suffer in silence people. Until someone has had cold sore after cold sore they won’t understand how horrible they are. Goodbye cold sores.
Virastop 2x is a great supplement to take to diminish time you have it and prevent it from happening. also viruses exist when you are low in zinc. get on a zinc regimen and take a little extra when you have a cold sore (be careful about zinc tho because too much is bad for your liver) – take in small doses.
knot mouth says
Oil Of Oregano P73 will destroy cold sores before they can even form. You can get the extra strength or the regular formula. Glaze a few small drops across your lips and the virus won’t ever erupt on your lips. To kill the virus while in your mouth use the same oil soaked in a Q-Tip or piece of dental gauze and place inside of your cheek or on your gum line. Take olive leaf extract daily also to reduce the virus colonies. You can also use B-propolis(liquid alcohol based)to stop cold sores deep inside of your mouth. Big Pharma does not want you to know this information!
I, of course, get this nasty cold sore the day I spend the day with my boyfriend. Looks like no physical contact what so ever for us. Thank you, Lord of the Cold Sores.
I get the sores on my bottom lip. As soon as I feel the tingling I immediately try to kill it. No luck yet. I get them so bad. Within an hour my whole bottom lip has broke out. Not exaggerating. It’s bad. I can’t wear anything on my lips other than vazaline. I have only one thing that will help. Valtrex. I have to take it immediately or it spreads. With taking this I only get abou two or three. Within three days they are dried up and healing. Why do they spread so quickly and big ones? Maybe some of you ideas will help. They hurt so bad.
Hi Tiffany, yes I’ve had them like that too, they are so painful. Unless someone has had one they wouldn’t understand. I know how bad they can be. I reckon mine was being caused quite a bit by my diet, by cutting out processed foods and possibly keeping eggs to a minimum I haven’t had one for a while. Am I tempting fate? Teatree oil and bergamot really seem to help me and L-lysine capsules. Good luck! Though you do seem to have a handle on them – some people have them lasting for much longer.
Thanks. It’s just so frustrating. Just found this site and it helps to know I’m not alone.
Judging by the number of comments on this blog post you are definitely not alone!
I’m reading alot of “natural” remedies and talk of immune systems, etc. It’s all hogwash in my opinion- pharmaceuticals are the way to go. As some smart ones have said, at the first sign of a lip tingle/itch, apply Abreva. When the blisters do eventually form, and they will, pop them when you’re comfortable doing so (don’t do it too soon as it will bleed, you need to wait until there’s visible liquid inside).
Once popped, squeeze out liquid gently, dab with tissue until there’s little left, apply more cream. Throughout the day as the blisters ‘fill up’, just repeat the pop/squeeze/dab/cream steps listed above. Within 2 days, you’ll have no more blisters -or very few- and it scabs over. Within a week, your lip will look normal again (no scabs or discoloration like redness). But the sores should be gone within 72 hrs if you followed my instructions. Hope this helps!!
Hi Rich, well I think we’re all different. I have never found that abreva or the UK equivalent zovirax work for me. What DOES work EVERY time is a tea tree oil, neat, on the site of the tingling. Or propolis ointment which has almost got rid of mine forever. I buy Herstat propolis treatment. If one does into a blister I find they do burst of their own accord anyway for me. I have NEVER managed to get one to NOT just slide off, the scab is so rubbish on a coldsore. At that point I apply aloe vera which helps heal. You can keep your big pharma drugs. My immune system is almost on top of cold sores now. Llysine also works really well. I take the capsules at the first tingle stage. You should try it. Go on, you know you want to.
I started to experience these about 5 years ago. Mine usually pop up once every 3 months. The latest round i experienced started 3 days ago. Felt a numbness feeling on my lips and then i knew that the little buggers have come back for their quarterly visist!.lol (Something like hello we are back did you miss us ?). I think what triggered off the latest attack was the excessive amount of alcohol i drank a few days before, also spent > 4 hrs at the beach in direct sunlight the following day in hot weather, not to mention the nut mixture i consumed around the same time (Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews,peanuts). So i’m not exactly sure what triggered off my current outbreak. The alcohol, the nuts or the heat & sunlight ? I usually take lysine tablets about 8000mg per day only during outbreak times, plus some acyclovir too! Seems to be work and reduces healing time. i usually get mine on my bottom lip, one or 2 at most ! Had a date planned but i can’t go thanks to these little buggers!!
They are such an eye sore I hate going work when having these buggers as I like to look fresh and clean but as time has gone on ove learnt to just ignore it the best I can my step kids who are 8 and 6 call it a crusty crab haha it makes me chuckle I don’t know how they come up with the name I use tea tree most the time only thing is it dose really dry your skin and leaves a white dried look hopefully it will be gone by the end of the week.
Oh and I always seem to get mine on the right just under the bottom of my lip last year I had 3 in a month worst time ever it would just heal then bam more blisters appeared maybe one day there will be a simple injection to have them wiped out for good.
Contradicting info… first you said to keep it moisturized, and later said it’s best to dry it out. Which is it?
I have done both and for me it’s best to let it dry out. If I moisturizer it then it oozes and spreads.
If I moisterize it then it just keeps rescabing and looks worse.
I agree, yes, cold sores need to dry out. The moisturise advice is really meant a) for lips in general, if you have chapped lips it’s easier for a cold sore to take hold. Keep your lips healthy and you will prevent some infections or lessen the severity. But for me, sometimes they are just so sore and painful that some moisture on them can soothe. I use aloe vera which also forms a protective barrier over the sore. Other products are out there and it depends on what helps you really. When they are hurting all the time and really throbbing, something on it can help, you can get some that numb the skin and others that heal. Try different things till you find what works for you.
Hi Joe, if it works for you better to just let it dry out totally then great. I find that using a numbing cream or other cold sore healing cream or also aloe vera helps, just makes it hurt a little less. If you can bear to have nothing to soothe it then try that. If it hurts like hell there are lots of creams and oitments out there that could really soothe an help it heal. By keep it dry I mainly mean don’t lick the sore or get it wet in the shower, swimming etc. Try to leave it alone. Easier said than done!
I find which doctor soothing gel works we’ll with protection against infection and also healing it won’t moisturise it completely like vaseline would and always drys into the coldsore using at the moment as I’ve had a mammoth cold sore in the healing stage at the moment. Tea tree oil also helps dry it out.
Last thanksgiving I ended up with my normal stressed caused cold sore. And my mom handed me calcium lactate pills and told me to take 2-3 a day. And within 3 days (way faster than normal) it had shrunk and was almost gone. I also used Listerine (the blue kind) to dry it out.
Just spent quite a while reading all of this and I am happy to see that there is such detailed information about the herpes simplex that is cold sores.
I never get cold sores so the lip abrasion I am battling now is very very alien to me.
It was valentines day at work and all the staff were required to wear red lipstick (cheesy – I know) … Cut a long story short I ended up sharing my lipstick with 2 other staff members.
The next morning I woke up with a swelling on the top left of my mouth that resembled a Ping pong ball! It is massive!!!
Being the worry bag that I am I quickly took myself off to A+E thinking that normal cold sores do not reach this size.
After telling the doctors my symptoms and the events of my night, they told me they had no idea what it could be and took blood for testing.
Now I have a cluster of yellow scab on top of awful awful swelling and I have no idea what to do.
I’m not to certain if it is indeed a cold sore … But I can not think of anything else!!
How do I return my lip back to normal size ? How do I get rid of the yellow scab? There is a firm yellow scab now formed – would this be the right time to apply tea tree oil ?
Sorry for the lengthy comment!!
I had a horrible sinking feeling that you might have caught a cold sore from one of the colleagues who borrowed your lippy… I hope not. Whatever it is though, I reckon ice it. Put some ice cubes into a plastic bag and gently hold it onto the sore. That really helps my lip when I get a really bad cold sore. They can swell up really badly. So no news from the doctors yet then? It could also, and this is a long one, be some kind of allergic reaction on your lip. If your lip was broken or dry at all it could have come into contact with something you’re allergic to. Peanuts can make my lips swell to incredible proportions and it’s painful, as done latex, but that doesn’t result in the crusty scabs that cold sores bring so perhaps not now I’m writing about it. Whatever it is it sounds like the dreaded herpes simplex virus. Ice, every hour. Get a teabag, preferably earl grey (something about the bergamot) and between iceing, which should help to dry it out. Hope it goes soon. I also use neat tea tree oil and take L-Lysine when I’ve got one. Good luck.
Many thanks for the reply Ruth, I don’t want to run the risk of spreading the “cold sore” – so are you sure ice in bags is the safest way?
And will normal tea bags work? It’s all I have indoors and I can not be seen in public with this size growth! Ha.
Also with the tea tree oil … Do I apply this to the scab? There is no open wound as such and everything is scabbing over.
There may still be trapped liquid inside the yellowish pale brown scab, but I really don’t know.
I don’t have access to those tablets right now but I’ll be sure to get some tomorrow!
Hi there. I’ve always found that as long as you chuck the ice after it really helps with pain and swelling to ice it. Shouldn’t spread it as long as you’re careful. Any normal tea bag will do. I know it sounds weird but it kind of sucks out the nastiness. Sit and hold it on as firmly as you dare without making it hurt. I tried to tie it on but that’s not easy and you’ll look like a crazy lady but worth a try. Tea tree just dab on with a cotton wool pad, neat to the scab. I sometimes put 99% aloe vera gell on too, it creates a healing layer over the top and seals in the nasty cold sore. Sending healing thoughts your way. Take some pictures too so you can monitor your progress. They really are nasty little critters. Good luck!
I have suffered terribly since I was a baby my mother told me she had a terrible outbreak when I was breast feeding and since then I have been a victim to these horrible ugly things and they don’t get better with age for me and I’m in my mid 30’s now. My main triggers are peanuts/satay, being run down, sunburn/windburn or stressed.. actually I think everything triggers mine especially if I am needing to feel good about my appearance for a social event or party. I generally will get them quite badly and sometimes for a few weeks on end and hide my face and am so embarrassed as they are always bad, I woke this morning with Pete Burns lips with the entirety of my lips covered in them so I rushed to Pharmacist and got FAMVIR so will see if this helps as I have not used this before as I begged the Pharmacist to give me something as I’m so tired of getting them, I have been taking Lysine daily for the previous year and outbreaks a lessened but no way shorter or less server, I use Zovirax when in public and Betadine when at home and I’m willing to try anything so have also tried a bit of tea tree oil this time and some peroxide and will see. I would sell my mother to be cured of these things I hate them so much and will be using all the advice on here but I have found popping them helps me with the length of time I have them it seems to shorten the time and am REALLY hoping the FAMVIR works as I hate the stage when they are a scab and dry and sometimes tear and bleed when laughing or eating, the FAMVIR has seemed to stop any further outbreaks which I would usually get on my chin or nose.
Dont do says
The best thing to do is buy abreva it might be a little expensive buy it helps. If you try any of those things chances are its going to get worse ! Just letting you guys know
Abreva works if you put it on RIGHT AWAY and keep it fresh. Once it dries out, carefully dab it away with damp toilet paper, dab dry, and re-apply. It has to completely saturate the cells to work, it works by preventing the cells from bursting and spreading the virus.
So, if your dad had herpes in his system a he had a kid, does that mean it could have been passed to the kid? Because I’m that kid and I got a cold sore a I want to get rid of it. I have had it for 5 days and It’s not getting any better. I’m going to try some of these things thougBut could his herpes pospossibly been pass to me?
hello,. my doctor gave me a vitamins called poten cee which is an ascorbic acid.. do you think thats good for me.. ???
I just got cold sore on Thursday, tried everything including taking lysine, abreva , eating cheese, yougert but it looks like its getting worst 🙁 I’m so depressed , not sure how to tell my boss I have to take days off missing work 🙁
Cheap Solution says
50 milligrams of zinc daily will stop cold sores from developing. Don’t overdose on zinc. Just take one tablet daily. Herpes virus can’t handle zinc.
You said to eat nuts in your “do’s” but those I have heard are the worse things you can eat for cold sores as they have more arginine than lysine
FAMVIR OR FAMVIC.
Note either of these medicine names down everyone (same medicine different product name)
These are medication that can be bought over the counter now (until recently was only available on script)
These tablets are expensive, generally $30 for 3 tablets but they are so worth the money.
Although they may seem expensive they generally work out cheaper than all the creams, lip balms and vitamins needed to combat cold sore out breaks.
If Famvir is taken when tingling first occurs they significantly prevent the cold sore out break.
If taken after the outbreak they can dramatically reduce the severity and duration of the cold sore.
I had tried every thing available on the market, every old wives tale and some things that were just plain awful to try and manage cold sore.
I found Famvir while desperately searching for remedies online.
At the time went to my doctor with the Famvir information and begged for a script. BEST THING I EVER DID. Almost instantly after taking my first dose my cold sore began to reduce and the re-occurrence and severity has almost diminished to non existent.
I recommend Famvir to everyone I see with a cold sore and I always keep a pack on hand to prevent outbreaks if I feel a suspicious tingle or know a particularly stressful situation is about to arise.
Famvir information is available online. Definitely worth researching.
Best of luck to all trying to manage this awful affliction, be kind to yourself and keep well.
Can’t thank this post enough, summer ball on Friday and, as you could guess, the beginning of a rather large cold sore started yesterday just under my nose. I always seem to get them whenever photos are going to be taken! I usually just use antiseptic cream but this has never helped much, however this morning I used a cold tea bag and also the tooth paste. within 12 hours my cold sore has greatly subsided, already scabbing over. Thanks guys.
Okay so I’ve had cold sores my whole life. I’m sixteen now. Ive been lucky the past two or so years and haven’t seen any on me. But the other day at work, I felt it. The miserable tingling in the corner of my mouth. I thought I was going to die. When I got home I put my special medicated chap stick on and that actually helped. The next day it was dried out and just scabed. But that night at work, I felt it again. And this time I thought nothing of it thinking I could just do the same thing when I got home. That was my mistake. When I got hone my whole bottom lip was swollen out of control and I had a huge nasty bugger in the very middle surrounded by little ones. I’ve tired the chap stick, ice, and I even pop and drained them and washed it. The problem is that it seems to have gotten bigger. I didn’t know not to eat peanuts and chocolate. You can guess what I’ve been eating to make me feel better… Now that I’ve read this I’m worried. Is there anything else to do?
Zap it with neat tea tree, propolis ointment if you can get some, take some Llysine capsules, echinacea. Early night. Once you have a blister it is hard to get rid of them. I find holding a dry tea bag on the sore helps. Rooibosh or earl grey if you have it. if not any will do. It kind of drys it out quicker. You will feel weird holding a tea bag on your lip but it works for me, just remember to chuck out after – don’t make tea with it!
on the one hand, she says to keep it moisturized, but also to dry it out. Which one is it?
she means to keep your lips moisterised before you get the horrible thing, but once you’ve got it the best thing to do is dry it out make it die.
About how long do you hold the tea bag on it
I usually hold it on for at least 10-15 mins or longer if you can bear it.
I use vicks vapor rub! Its dries them out and numbs the pain.
I like that idea Brittany. Thanks for sharing. How long does it take for a cold sore to die with Vicks Vapo rub?
Note this is for after it has already broken out, not to stop it from happening. It usually take a around two days for mine to be cleared up and gone of the pain completely. I’ve found it to be a lifesaver when helping with the pain. And works a lot sooner than abreva or any other cold sore treatments!
Thanks Brittany. I’m trying this since the blister is coming as I type. These things are nothing but the devil. I am always so embarrassed because I think everyone is looking at it.
Evil little horrors aren’t they. my lip is tingling right now so am putting on Herstat propolis lip balm on the hour. Fingers crossed it will crawl back where it came from. Good luck with yours.
Stay away from Chocolate and peanuts and drink milk, eat cheese, and any other dairy products…it does wonders
If you take a daily dose of L-Lysine (500-1000mg) the virus stays in remission.
Larry G says
I’ve had periodic outbreaks since I was a young child (thanks to whoever gave me the virus!) as long as I can remember.
I’ve read these posts and immediately started on 1000mg of l-lysine each morning. This has helped dramatically!
Instead of getting one at the change of each season (Northeast USA here – we see all 4 seasons) like usual I only get maybe one a year. I attribute this to my change in diet and the daily l-lysine supplement.
When I do feel the tingling I immediately apply Denavir creme to the area and it seems to help.
Once broken out, though, I follow a lot of this same advice. I get as much sleep as possible, keep the sore dry, apply hydrogen peroxide with a Q-tip to help speed the drying, and then wait it out. Unfortunately once I get a blister it lasts about 4-5 days and the redness stays 1-2 weeks due to my fair skin.
Oh, to keep my lips moist when I don’t have a sore I put on Aquaphor before bed, after I shower, and when I drive to/from work.
Thanks for the advice everyone!
Chapstick is always a mistake for me, it causes cold sores. Anything with petroleum jelly on my face causes one.
Oh my gosh, me too !! Everyone always tells me to use pawpaw ointment to moisten my lips and I’ve learnt go stay far far away from it. For some reason, everytime I’m in contact with pawpaw ointment or Vaseline products, BAM cold sore !
I’ve got one ATM and I’m trying to kill the bastard with Witch Hazel.
This works great, try blistex, take lysine supplimnts, drnk oj, and DO NOT TOUCH
I found a random product called Releev at CVS, and it works great! I used to have cold sores stick around for 2 weeks from tingling lip to all scanning gone (and that was with Abreva) I used Releev and I’m on the third day and it’s scanned up and almost gone. New holy grail product
Never heard of this. I will have to find some. Just saw a tingle off with purepotions tea tree rescue salve. Never even made it to blister. Cold sore is gone
I dab a drop of tea tree oil on the itchy sport every few hours and usually it won’t even surface. 🙂
I put a piece of ice in a baggie and hold it on the cold sore every few hours when I know it’s coming, keeping the baggie in the freezer ready to grab and reuse. The cold sore usually never even surfaces and it takes away the heat and the pain for hours at a time. When you feel it start to swell again, time to re-ice it.
Icing seems to make them go dormant for YEARS at a time! I just felt one coming on yesterday and haven’t had one in about five years. My sis-in-law was a lab pathologist and said that ice was a very good way to hold them at bay for long periods of time.
Using chap stick seems to bring them on for me, too.
Ice does work like a miracle at reducing pain. I have found, weirdly that just holding pressure of a finger nail over the itching lump where the cold sore is threatening can make it recede, so if you are ever iceless with no opportunity to get ice when one threatens, try this as a last resort when you’re out of all other options. Weird but it works, not always but last few times I’ve tried it when I cannot face getting out bed in the middle of the night to fight one.
cold sore on corner of mouth says
Thanks for sharing informative article about cold sores, I wonder if cucumber is effective home remedy for this matter, because some of my friends told me it’s effective.
I suffer with cold sore always have to the point i get one after the other at times when im stressed out or run down. I use zovirex but hasnt worked this time. The blister has gone but is now scabby n red it keeps cracking and bleeding and its making me feel uncomfortable. I dont know if im to keep it moist to stop the cracking or let it dry out but then it cracks n bleeds.
I just wanted to comment, on your list of Do’s you have petroleum jelly listed for keeping it moist. I don’t know about anyone else but for me petroleum jelly causes cold sores. I don’t mean it makes them worse or spreads them, but I can be free from sores for months and something with petroleum jelly touches my skin and “bam” I get a sore the next day. I actually experimented with this cause I wasn’t sure what was causing it and I finally figured it out.
If there are any out there like me you might want to put a sub-note or something in, just in case.
WOW, yes anything could trigger a cold sore. It could be that the petroleum jelly is contaminated? Just a thought, but I know certain foods and drinking alcohol can trigger them for me so anything is possible. Anyone else get cold sores triggered by petroleum jelly? When you think about it’s not a very nice product – you wouldn’t put petrol on your lips would you? urgh no. So why do we even use petroleum jelly which is made from a waste by product from industry? Gross!
My lips are the same! You are not alone! I haven’t touched petroleum jelly in about 10 yeaRd (I’m 20) I figured this out when I was about 8. Thought it was a freak thing. And since I never used it much I didn’t think too much about it. But then when I was ten I was having a spell of dry lips after dry lips and my go to petroleum jelly. Well thats when I noticed and never used it since. Now what I do (I usually get it once a year around fall/winter time) I pop all the bubbles and then clean with rubbing alcohol. Probaby not smart but it works for me. Dries it out immediately and will then heal within a couple days by applying rubbing alcohol with a swab a couple times a day.
I haven’t used petroleum jelly on my lips in over 20 years. My wife gave me a tiny container of it this week because my lips were chapped, so I applied some before I went to bed. The next day I had a fever blister on my bottom lip. I applied Zovirax several times that day and, since my lips were still a bit chapped, I again used petroleum jelly on the areas of my lips not being treated before going to bed. I woke up this morning with yet another cold sore, this one on my upper lip! I am 50 years old and have suffered with cold sores for my entire life and this is the first time I’ve ever had both lips affected at the same time. I am convinced that the petroleum jelly had something to do with the breakout. My curiosity about it brought me to this website.
Hi Murray, it does sound suspiciously like it could be that petroleum jelly causing the problem. I wonder why we put petroleum on our skin, does it come from petrol? Doesn’t sound nice when you think of it like that. Some things definitely cause one for me, usually foods, but it is entirely possible that this gel caused yours. Only way to really know is risk another outbreak. I would recommend herstat propolis oitment or purepotions tea tree balm.
Stay away from any type of chocolate cookies, candies, cocoa, etc) and anything containing peanuts. Make sure you drink milk and eat dairy products every day.
According to the FDA one of the cures fofrom cancer is derived from petroleum… chemotherapy. Imagine running that through your bloodstream.
Also, she says to moisturize, but also to dry it out–which is it?
What ‘she’ ie ME means is, that the sore needs to dry out, once it reaches crusty stage is when it is on its way out. However they can be very painful. Whilst you should avoid getting the sore wet when you shower, bathe etc. and try not to lick as this softens the sore and can make the scab come off, they are very fragile. However I find that the various cold sore healing ointments etc. can be very soothing and healing. So aloe vera for instance will help it heal. I also have an llysine ointment and use Herstat propolis ointment to soothe, heal and help prevent further infection etc. So yes, don’t go swimming and try to keep it dry BUT make use of all the products out there to help heal it. Keeping lips moisturised and healthy can also reduce the number of cold sores you get and spreading. Dry chapped lips are far more at risk of infections. Make sense?
Thanks for the clarification. My sore is now in the puss-ing phase, leaking a yellow fluid. It is yet to scab over. Should I continue applying Aciclovir cream in this stage, or do I dry it out? I wonder if I’m delaying the scabbing phase by applying this cream.
Once the scabbing begins, what do I do? When do I stop applying Aciclovir?
I’m in the same boat as you. I use campho phoenique (sp?) for the numbing effect… whole upper lip is swollen (right on Thanksgiving Day… great).. but i wonder the same thing about it making it worse. I do know it does make it dry out.. but i just want it to stop swelling.. I’m going to try a teabag next.
Hold a dry teabag on if it’s really swollen for as long as you can. Aloe vera, neat tea tree, propolis… whack that cold sore baby. If it’s thanksgiving try some whisky on it and drink some too! #coldsoressuck
Acyclovir is only useful when the virus is still growing – best to take the pill/ointment right when you feel the tingle and in the first day as it is getting bigger, if it does. It is of no use afterwards, especially when you are scabbing. This drug is designed to stop viral growth, but it cannot kill viruses already present. So once you have the cold sore already, you just have to tough it out and use other stuff, don’t bother with such drugs. Good luck!
Yeah I think you’re right about the acicolovir Jayy, problem is, mine seem to appear in the night so when I wake it’t too late for any zorirax of acyclovir. The cold sore has already taken root!
Hi. I was just reading what you wrote about petroleum products and you are in now way alone. I’ve not had a cold sore for about 12 months. I was given 2 free lip balms and without thinking, I put the balm on my lips. The next day, BAM!!! I am fuming. The first thing I did was throw both balms in the rubbish!!! I initially had one small CS on my bottom lip. I used Cymex (UK) then used an antiseptic called TCP. 2 days later, the initial CS was scabbing and the TCP was to keep the scab from infecting. However, on day 3, a new CS had appeared upon awakening on the morning. I am SO annoyed. I have been throwing everything at this evil thing. I just ordered L-Lystine as it seems to be the common tread among all CS research. I tried raw garlic, husbands after shave, TCP and now have a dollop of toothpaste on this sucker. I realized I have Propolis so once the toothpaste dries, I’ll use the Propolis. As I have 6 days off work, I am boarding this sucker with anything and everything. I’ll let you know how it goes and again, DON’T USE PETROLEUM products, ever!
Cold sores feed off of oil! You don’t want to use any oil based products on a cold sore. You want to dry them out
You might think so Kayla and yes the do need to dry out to die off but lots of these oils do help. By dry out I mean don’t get them wet with water and try not to lick them. But if you apply something like tea tree oil it will kill it quicker. And if it’s really sore, applying some salve or oil will really soothe it such as Herstat propolis, aloe vera, tea tree pure potions rescue salve.
Usually when I catch them are in the blister stage…. I sterilize a pin or something with a sharp point pop them clean the clear goo then apply Abreva they usually dry up in 7 to 8 hours then scab of if more blisters acure I pop immediately and they usually go away with in a day or 2
Sounds like a successful treatment. I just use propolis from Herstat at the first sign of tingling and now they don’t even appear. If I miss the tingling and do get one I use a combination of neat tea tree oil and propolis to soothe and heal and they usually miraculously never actually grow into proper nasty cold sores. A few days and only a slight blemish or red area to show. I also use Aloe vera if I ever do get a scab as it forms a seal over the sore and helps heal.
I’m now 18 and I’ve had cold sores since elementary school. Over the past few years I’ve developed a way that works EXTREMELY well for me, and I can usually make my cold sores disappear in a day or two.
1.) Immediately after you feel a cold sore coming along (a small pain in your lip, a little bump, an itch on your lip) put a cold sore ointment on the spot (I use Abreva)–whether or not it truly is a cold sore, this is prevention from a cold sore, or prevention from having the cold sore get really big!
2.) If the cold sore gets bigger, and is now filled with liquid–I know this sounds scary, but trust me it works–get a sewing needle, clean it with alcohol, clean your cold sore with alcohol and wash your hands. Pop the cold sore. Don’t put the needle directly into it, rather pop it by putting the needle through the first layer of skin parallel to your face, not sticking it straight in. **tighten your lips together so the liquid comes out** clean cold sore with alcohol again.
3.) After popping the cold sore the rest of the care is VERY IMPORTANT. Immediately put Neosporin on the popped cold sore. If it feels painful, hold an ice cube to the cold sore for a while, then put Neosporin on it. Continue to apply Neosporin to the cold sore for the rest of the day after you popped it. Apply cold sore ointment (I use Abreva) to the area once or twice a day, as well as the Neosporin throughout the day. Another great combination to apply to the popped cold sore is a combination of Vaseline and a few drops of tea tree oil mixed together. This helps to heal the cold sore faster! Apply Neosporin and the tea tree oil mixture throughout the day to ensure fastest healing time!
The morning after you popped the cold sore, there should no longer be any liquid (cold sore virus) inside the bump, but your lip may still feel sore and will be slightly raised and still slightly red. THIS IS NORMAL! It should continue to lessen in swelling, redness and pain.
When you don’t have cold sores, I suggest regularly using CARMEX lip Vaseline for Cold Sores, as a preventative procedure.
I know that popping the cold sore sounds scary!! As long as you clean the site of the cold sore and your needle is clean and new–you will be fine. I’ve been doing this process to my cold sores for almost five years now (Tea Tree Oil being the most recent addition, and it works very well). My cold sores are almost always gone within two days of the FIRST feeling of one coming.
Let me know if this works for you! Hope it helps.
Great advice from a fellow cold sore expert here. I find often that they get ‘broken’ anyway, especially once they’ve blistered. I have never actually got a needle and popped one before so if I get another I think I’ll try it just in the interest of science. Ha Ha. I did this with trying crushed garlic on a cold sore once – be warned – this is s horrible thing to do, I had the MOST horrendous cold sore after trying that.
Eimear mcdermott says
Ruth I’m ensure if I’m even posting in the right place or how I do this. I’m in the tingling phase of getting my first ever coldsore and I don’t no what to do. It’s Easter Sunday in Ireland here meaning every shop and chemist are pretty much closed so I need home remedies and fast. I’m hoping for a miracle that can chase it away without a big outbreak if it’s possible. I don’t have any of those gels or ointments and have no place to buy them today..! Help please guys..! ????
If you have some honey in the house you could try that.. Normally once the tingling starts though it’s often too late but the honey may help to minimize it and speed up healing. Once it blisters you may want to try some rubbing alcohol to dry it out but it will sting.
I get prescribed 500 mg of Valtrex thru my doctor. I try to take it immediately after feeling “the tingle” and it won’t even surface. If you aren’t able to take it immediately and, it has already surfaced it will still drastically shorten the duration. If you have health insurance that’s great. If you’re paying out of pocket it can get a little pricey. However, you can mark my words when I say it’s worth every penny and saves from lots of embarrassment!
I have one now and its on my upper lip on my left side and a small one that happen on my lower lip left side not usually the norm for me to get 2 but its a small one and all this COLD SORE CRAP happen after I went to the Orthodontist so for all you braces wearers or if you just go to the Dentist be careful they don’t manipulate your mouth to much this can cause to much stress on the lips and a recipe for a COLD SORE as I live and breath!!
So I have 50% Super Strength PROPOLIS this is very sticky and it stains so it seem like it would have work minus the hard work to get the brown goop off my lips and this only caused me to bleed and burst. I am trying to investigate if it would be just better to ingest it by drinking it through HOT TEA it need something hot to stop it from coagulating. I also have been using 100% organic RAW HONEY and this I think works and yes it is sticky but not to the point where its crazy as long as you apply a thin layer and more at night is fine. And its natural it goes on like any other ointment would and it protects it. I’ve also used Super LYSINE + and this has PROPOLIS in it as well it works good to. Its a green and white tube you can find it at “Vitamin World” store or your local drugstore or health & vitamin food stores.
The brand of honey I use is YS Organic Bee Farms RAW HONEY its in a 16 oz jar and it about $6-$7 bucks, just use a cotton swab to apply. You can use any other brand you like as long as its RAW thick honey in a jar not the liquid stuff. I also use Zovirax ointment and I take ACYCLOVIR in pill form 3-4 times daily and well I got this on Tuesday morning and I still have them. I get them pretty big and ugly well the one on my upper lip is the one on my lower not so much but it still noticeable.
My son who swears by his method and he used to get them a lot more when he was younger he keeps it dry and uses tissue constantly on it holding there as much as you can of course and his goes away pretty quickly now they used to not for him, but I tried this it didn’t work really for me where it went away in 2 days.
For those of you who’s go away in 2 days God Bless its not much of a cold sore if it goes away that quick not much to get upset about that’s for sure. I really wish this would work for me I would be pissed to have it but happy in 2 days. Right now I feel like crying!!
I’ve also heard that brands like Herstat online not sure at store, Cold Sore FX online not sure at store, Compeed Bandages (order online) and Quantum Health Lip Clear Invisible Cold Sore Bandage your local drugstore like Walgreens.
Great to hear what works for you. I swear by Llysine, tea tree and propolis too. Miracle stuff. Not had a cold sore since using herstat propolis cold sore ointment.
Cold Sore FX you can get at Walmart in Canada and London Drugs in Western Canada. It appears to be the same thing as Herstat. I’m going to try it next time!
You can buy propolis that is water based but it will have less propolis in it than ones with alcohol in them. (20% compared to 50%). It’s not sticky like regular propolis so won’t be hard to get off your sore and it doesn’t stain. I got mine at http://www.bee-pollen-buzz.com/ I have some now and I’m going to apply it to my sore!
Cinnamon – I bet your orthodontist’s cleaning equipment had some cold sore virus on it and you were infected when they worked on your mouth.. Not from the stress.
Problem is you can never ever prove where you caught them, but once you got them you’ve got the virus for life which sucks. But if you learn what triggers your outbreaks and find a solution to help prevent them you can almost get rid of them. I take Llysine and always apply Herstat propolis salve and also tea tree to heal and help dry out if one does advance too far before you realise. Aloe vera to cool and create a protective layer to aid healing. And get plenty of sleep.
I have always suffered from cold sores, i am 16 now. I cant stand them and they make me so grumpy and often makes me ill too. I have an immense fear of touching them though, i don’t even let them get wet in the shower. I am just so afraid of the pain. So the thought of popping them makes me want to cry. same goes for creams. I never use creams and instead i use an amazing device called virulite. it is a machine that you put on the cold sore and it uses ultra violet light to heal them super quick. it tends to work quite well, especially if you get it at the tingling stage. They dont work as well as some of these methods but they certainly speed up the healing time and they make them less frequent, so if you are like me and cant stand the thought of applying stuff to it then get this! its amazing.
New to Cold Sores says
Hello . I am relatively new to cold sores . Just had an oubreak about a week ago but still haven’t gone away . I’m pretty sure it’s cold sores as I felt all the symptoms like the tingling around my upper lips and a few days later , a bump appear on my upper lips . This is scaring me out cause , I am not sure if my life would still be the same . Haha . Anyway , I have a few questions bugging my mind but all the other websites doesn’t help much even the doctor chat whatever thing . So , here goes :
1) If after a few days , the blisters go away , how will I know the virus is no longer active ?
2) Can i ever kiss anyone or perform oral sex if I am not suffering any blistering ?
3) How would I know that essential oils are pure ?
4) Do the mixture of lemon balm essential oil + lavender essential oil + olive carrier oil help with the blisters ?
Thank you very much . Oh , and I’m from Malaysia and it seems that the treatment for herpes are not very wide here and that is making me much more struggling to cope . I’m 18 btw and I am in need of your help . Please .
1. Give it at least a week after the blister COMPLETELY dissappears.
2. As long as u don’t have a break out u can do what you want. Kinda rude to think ur sex life is over because of this. I’m 20 years old. Never had a problem with being with a guy because of it. People have it oh well. Most people like me have had it their whoLe life. Just born with it.
3. Shouls say right on the bottle. And if ur not sure use something like propolis or abreva.
4. Never done it myself so I don’t know. But I have a feeling anything lemon wouldn’t be too good.
Be careful giving someone oral sex when you have a blister because you will cause a blister on their genitals! I wouldn’t do oral sex until they’re completely healed! At least 2 weeks!
I completely agree! Very good advice. I would always wait until they’ve completely gone too. They don’t always appear at the best of times thought do they?
Well duh of course not lol. That’s the thing that a lot of people don’t realize. I explained it to my friends b4 and they had no idea and didn’t believe me. Cold sores ARE herpes type 1. It’s an STD. People do not get that! U kiss someone with it you risk giving them herpes type 1. And with oral sex u risk giving them herpes type 2. Which is way worse. It’s genital herpes! Breakouts are worse and it’s gross lol u risk them from limit in their sex lilives Bc no othe person would want genital herpes. No one wants cold sores either. But those are much easier to control
Been suffering cold sores since I was a teen . sharing a smoke when my friend had one. Next day guess what happen next day. Cold sore. .I have tried many things. Abreva. Never work for me. Made it worst. . Finally I found something. Wish I knew this b4. I only used Lysine. This does work. When u feel that tingling feel. Get the pills. Take 500 mg every four hours. . Today I had this tingling feel. So I start my diet. No chocolate. No salt. No peanuts. No red pasta. Only chicken red meat ice cream veg fruit.. I am confident that it will not appear. Lysine always my savior
I swear by lysine too. Works a treat.
My problem is I have 2 in the corner of my mouth on the letter side so when they scab over when my mouth is closed when I open my mouth all the way it rips off the scab bad streachs out the wound. Also when you have a cold sore dont drink citrus drinks. The burn your mouth.
hey everyone, this is actually such a good post thankyou so much has really helped since i woke up the other night with the tingling but u dudnt have a coldsore cream with me. Im 15 and ive been getting them since i can remember and i hate them so much! i actually go the chemist and i found these zivorax brand cold sore patches! the cream is good for the tingling stage but once youve got it you tend to want to itch scratch and pop! but that usually ends in spreasing it and causing it to grow! these little patches you place over the top of the coldsore theyre pretty much unvisible and no one will tell your wearing one! they make it so your coldsore isnt contagious and you can still go out and about. ive been using them for a year now and they really help to stop the coldsore. when i woke up monday morning i had one and didnt get anything for it till the afternoon since i had school and now this morning i woke up with another one growing beside it. i have 2 patches on and they seem to be working fine! hope this helps someone!
I’ve never used the patches because I thought it would be quite visible but I like the idea. I smooth on a layer of 99% aloe vera gel too when I get one, I think this works in a similar way, it dries into a layer which protects the sore, helps it heal AND stops it spreading. Thanks for sharing. Is the brand you use Compede?
Faranak Joecar says
hemoform serum fighting for cold sores trust me it’s really work awesome i am also using that serum for 1week really i got amazing result now my cold sores complete gone from my upper lips
I come up with a coldsore lastnight, didn’t really start to tingle till I spotted it in the mirror. And then it stated to hurt. Normally I get coldsores really bad and they don’t go for weeks! But I poped It & put dettol onit & perfume. &toothpaste. Normally I just leave them. And don’t put anything on them, just let nature take its cause! But I’ve got to go out on saturday with the husband. Really hope this goes down as I couldn’t bare people staring at me:(!!!!
I got one Thursday night, woke up Friday morning with two corkers, one on top lip and one on the bottom lip. Hoping they are gone by Wed, first xmas do. Giving them tea tree, aloe vera, llysine, propolis, everything I’ve got. Good luck getting rid of yours. This is the first one I’ve had in months and months.
I would recommend getting a prescription from your Dermatoligst for Valacyclovir (Valtrex) and a topical cream like Mucirpron. Don’t mess around with home remedies like tea oil and toothpaste, those will only cause scarring and prolong the misery
I haven’t heard of Valtrex, I will ask my doctor, but he has previously told me there isn’t anything that can be prescribed for cold sores, but then that is his stock answer to most things. I have found that by taking Llysine and using tea tree oil and propolis I hardly get any more cold sores now, except when I get really run down and wake up with one.
Hi, I’m 16 years old and I’ve only ever had 3 cold sores. The first two look so much different then the one I have now. The first two were so big it looked liked I got punched in the mouth. It looked like one big one. I would only ever use ice to help it. The one I have now is not that big. But it made up of these little yellow bumps. I have no idea what I should do to get rid of them. Do I pop them? Do I use a tea bag? Should I be worried about the small yellow bumps?
Can you visit your doctor if you’re not sure what the blisters are? If they are definitely cold sores, I use neat tea tree oil and propolis ointment. I also take llysine and echinacea. A tea bag can really help dry out the blisters, just hold the tea bag over the sore for as long as you can and throw it out afterwards… Hope it goes away soon.
I took Lysine for a bit before I went on a trip to Mexico as I was scared I’d break out in cold sores from the sun. It didn’t help! I got a bad one!
I’ve had cold sores my entire adult life. I get them on my upper lip. Usually triggered by shaving or trimming my mustache with anything other than totally clean, sterile razors and mini scissors. (too much direct sunlight can kick one off too). I use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect my scissors now. Took forever to learn this. However if you do get an outbreak there is one trick I’ve learned that absolutely works. Hydrocortisone cream 1%. Five dollars at a drug store. Apply it immediately at first sign of irritation or blister, and keep applying every hour…all day every day tip it goes away. It will be gone in three days. The key to this working is DONT GET IT WET. Don’t wash your face or rinse hair in shower (wear hats or caps for a few days to if needed). If you get it wet the blister will form a bloody scab, and you can add another three, four or even five days before that fades. Simple formula: HC cream…and don’t get it wet. Carry the HC around with you and apply it constantly. Throughout the day. Trust me this works.
I’ve heard others say not to do this. Bullshit. I’ve even heard some doctors say not to do this. Bullshit. It works so much better than ANY other remedy, especially all those “Abreva” type ointments that cost $20 or more. Even camphor. Not only do they cost a lot more, nothing works as well as simple HC cream.
Don’t believe me? Read the ingredients to the most expensive yet effective prescription anti-viral med on the market: Xerese. It is a combination of acyclovir and…you guessed it, hydrocortisone. Yet you don’t need the anti-viral part to get effective relief. I Promise Promise Promise HC 1% will knock your blister out so fast it will change your life.
P.S. Don’t get it wet.
Hi Dave, interesting tip, I’m not sure of the long term effects of using HC consistently on your skin…I only resort to HC in any cream as a last resort.
I’d be very cautious using any steroid creams on the face. I was treating eczema on my elbows and started using the cream on my chin when a patch seemed to appear (this was approved by my doctor). I then developed perioral dermatitis covering the skin from my mouth to chin, it pretty much ruined my life for 4 months until I finally stopped listening to my doctor and begged for an antibiotic cream.
Sorry to go so off topic, this won’t happen to the majority of people but it was such a horrible experience that I won’t ever touch steroid creams again for anything, and I just want to provide a bit of warning for what could possibly happen using this stuff on your face.
Bridgett Hendricks says
It says it can take up to a week but I always stop using HemoForm after just two days! Few things in life work so well yet also so easy to lose. I love it! I will definitely buy it again! Because I lost it… again.
Interesting site. A note of caution about using Llysine. I too believe it is somewhat effective. I started taking it as a routine supplement to try to prevent the cold sores. However, I had a routine blood test one day that showed my liver enzymes out of whack that caused my doctor great concern. I underwent a bunch tests for hepatitis, other liver disease, cancer, etc. and nothing seemed wrong. So after revisiting the mystery and going over habits, what I ate, the supplements. I stopped taking the Llysine and after a couple weeks everything was normal , and normal since. The Doctor was surprised but confirmed through literature research the connection. Obviously I was told, don’t take the supplements. Sorry I don’t recall the dose, it was not large. Probably OK on breakouts but routine supplements might not be good idea.
Thanks Kurth, that is a worry. I only take it when I have an outbreak so very good advice. Thanks for sharing.
Nuts belong is the Don’t section! Nuts and seeds have a lot of arginine and will make a coldsore much worse. If you are trying to avoid a coldsore, do not eat nuts. Walnuts and Brazil nuts have the highest amount.
This is probably not safe at all but i found the best thing to kill the little monsters is nail polish remover with acetone in it, yes you read correctly, acetone. Sounds painful and it is! BUT it kills it, i’ve had coldsores come and go in ONE day with this method.
Is it the best idea….probably not but we’ve all been there when we have a huge presentation or an important meeting the next day and a cold sore decides to jump out and say hello. so if you’re really desperate hit up this method. be warned tho it burns like holly hell!
I have suffered from cold sores on and off ever since I was a child. I agree they seem to come on when stressed and lack of sleep. I have found that most of the common ointments and creams only keep my cold sore moist and help it get even bigger so now I just take L-lysine supplements and leave it alone. Will have to try the alcohol or tea tree oil though and see if that helps. I have also noted that when I drool in my sleep, which is very rare, anywhere my salvia has touched is where the cold sores pop up. Weird. Anyone else had this happen?
The first time I remember getting a cold sore was when I was 15. I never knew what to do about them because they only happened like 1 time per year but this year is different. I’ve had 3 cold sores in the past 3 months and I’m starting to think that it is strictly related to the winter season because every cold sore i remember having was during this time of the year. I don’t know if it’s a combination of stress and the winter that has caused me to have multiple breakouts with in 3 months but the most recent one I had I held ice to it for about an hour and it really reduced the size of it to where it looks like just a pimple. I know that it sucks because you feel really self conscious and wish you could just disappear till it goes away that way no one else would see but as I do more research I am slowly figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I am 18 now and I feel like maybe just work, stress, school, and the winter season are starting to have a hard effect on how often I get these sores.
I’m having my first cold sore and it’s honestly the worst thing ever. It’s been five days and my lip is still completely disfigured but the blister (??) Is a huge yellow pustule above my lip. I am in so much pain, I have to keep taking aspirin and Tylenol. I’m also applying pain killing topical healing ointment.
Will all of this yellow pus come out on its own? Even though it’s not on my lip, is that why my lip is so big, or do I have another cold sore that I can’t see? I’m afraid to pop it because I thought it was a zit at first and I tried to pop it early on and I made it a million times more painful. My entire face hurts and I have no idea if that’s normal. I am told that your first cold sore is your worst and I’m 23. I stupidly used my boyfriend’s toothbrush.
David Morris says
Forget all these tips, I got InterceptCS a while ago and it totally prevents my cold sores from ever happening. http://www.interceptcoldsore.com is their new site if you wanna get a real cure.
So frustrated.. It started about five or six weeks ago. I got a cold sore right above my upper lip on the right side. It spread about one centimetre beside it so then I had two. About a week later I got number 3 on my lower lip but this time the left side. Then I caught a nasty cold two weeks later and got one on on my right nostril. That one hurts like hell. Just today less then 1 week later I might add I got yet another one on the top right corner of my lip. I was at work so I didn’t have my Lysine with me. By the time I got home it was already too late and it had already blistered. What is going on? I usually get two or three a year but 5 in the last 5-6 weeks! Has anyone else had this type of misfortune?
Annie Marie says
Thank you, very informative, I have a question – has anyone tried shungite water? One of my friends advised me to try it, in his case it helped. If anybody faced this situation and tried it please advise.
Nuts need to be removed from the Do’s section
A lot of good tips but I’ve just woken up with 2 cold sores on my top lip, one either side and one is starting to spread. I’ve put some cold sore cream on but I think it’s made it worse. I wouldn’t be too bothered normally because these things happen but I’ve got a first date Thursday and I would prefer not to have these ugly things on my lips. Does anyone know if there’s a faster way to get rid of them in 2 days?
Suffered from these all my adult life…has taken me a while to get the handle of them and to help minimize them
Been taking over the counter L-Lysine tabs (Sona brand) daily for the last few years, they certainly help reduce them appearing and to fight them off when they appear. Usually take one a day but when I feel one coming I up to 2/day and continue 2/day until its well cleared.
If it gets to a stage of blistering, then this is what I have been doing.
Some table salt in a cup of boiled water, let it cool and dab the area 3-4 times per day with the salty water using a cotton bud. It really helps to dry it out. You need to make sure you don’t over do it on this as the salted water can dry out the sore to the point where it starts to crack & bleed.
For the tingling effect, I use Viralief instead of Zovirax as a cheaper alternative and just as effective. I agree with many people that petroleum jelly was more causing them than preventing. So I use Vaseline Cocoa butter instead…just wish I had it with me last Monday when the sun came out and caught me off guard. But I find it great even when it tingles, the cocoa butter helps to fight it off before it erupts if you dont have any Zovirax or equivalent to hand. Plus its not as obvious as the white cream.
Hope this helps
Just to follow up, when I woke this morning into Day 2, the cold sore was still there and swollen. After reading some comments, I applied a tea bag for 5 mins and an ice cube wrapped in kitchen towel for 5 min. Swelling certainly reduced in less than 30 min and as we all know, once the swelling comes down we start to feel better in ourselves and this can reduce the stress levels
I have tried shungite water, I noticed the effect. However I suppose that it is still an additional remedy which need to be combined with common treatment of a disease. There is some information about it here: http://shungit-store.com/shungite-new.html
I’ve found and I know they say not to do this but rubbing alcohol and salt. When u feel the tingle take a cotton ball spray with alcohol put salt on it and rub the spot.. I also take about 2500 of lysine twice a day.. If u see the blister have a cotton ball with alcohol on it ready and take a pin and pop it and immediately dab with cotton. Then pour alcohol with salt into something use a q tip to make a salt and alcohol ball and dab it on your lip leave it on as long as you can. It stops the blister dead in its track. And begins to go away. Mine last about 4 days but never scab or get worse. I also use lysine lip balm !! I also wipe my face daily around the area that I get them with salt and alcohol it has helped with somewhat preventing them from coming back as often
So I’ve seen a new product, herpatch, and wondering if it’s worth getting? I’m a chronic sufferer, at least once a month for the past 20 years ( Boo hoo ) and they have a prevention lip balm. Would be great if it could help.
I just looked up Herpatch on the internet, and it’s a new one for me. Never heard of it before. It might work, but what I find most useful is Herstat Propolis ointment, which is incredible. I usually don’t get them any more using this stuff. There is an advert on this blog post I think to link to buy some. Good luck.
I use a combination of L-Lysine hte 1000 Mg version . I take two a day. I also use vapor rub combines with toothpaste on the wound. Within to to three days, the sores are almost gone and dried up. The secret is like everyone says, catch that thing before it gets started. Drinking green tea helps as well. Even after it has formed into a big blister.
2-3 days aint bad for a life span of a cold sore. I use Lysine too but don’t find toothpaste worked for me. I use a combination of TeaTree if there is a blister to heal and aloe vera to create a seal over the top and also aid healing. At tingle stage I use Herstat propolis ointment which almost always prevents them even growing. Amazing stuff. Try it! There is a link on this blog to get some. Keep fighting those blisters.
Rashid Ishaq says
I got severe blisters since I just had fever; this time they looks horrible but I am using Mycitracin Cream; it greatly helps as a pain killer; I don’t know if it will help me to remove the blisters but as long as cream is on lips I don’t feel blisters’ itch
I currently have a cold sore on the left corner of my bottom lip. My question is that I looked on Abriva’s website and it shows the life cycle in days of a cold sore. My lip started to tingle late Tuesday night. When I woke up the next day, it sure enough was there. However, it grew the blister, popped, leaked, and shrank all in the course of Wednesday. Then Thursday morning I woke up and it was scabbed over. On Abreva’s site it says that this usually takes about 5 days to go through this cycle. But mine took the entire day of Wednesday to go through this. Is this just due fast healing? I put Herpecin L on religiously. Along with some aloe vera gel just once. I am asking this because I have had cold sores when I was younger. Haven’t had one since middle school and am 22 now. However, I don’t remember them healing this quickly. They used to take almost 2 weeks to heal. Did I just get lucky this time? Just wanted to know everyone’s thoughts and comments.
Hi. I’ve had CS’s that go quickly and have had CS’s from the depths of hell. I think it’s all about catch it immediately!! I’ve stopped CS’s dead in their tracks when they came along when I was awake however, if I wake with one, it’s a bit more of a battle. I got a CS’s 3 days ago, treated it and it is now a scab. (gross) but when I awoke today, I had blisters next to the existing scab. I know in no way did I spread the initial CS. I am so careful. I use q-tips, wash my hands frequently and always, always, use anti-bacterial wipes to clean any surface I may have touched. I also took my toothbrush and placed it in boiling water to kill any germs. (There is no way I am going shopping for a toothbrush with this disgusting evil on my face.) My Husband says he can barely see it but I am stupidly using a mirror magnified by 5 to treat it. Like everyone else, when I have a CS, I know everyone is looking at it and thinking how nasty I look!!!! Luckily, I am off work for about 6 more days so I am hoping to get this nastiness sorted in the time off I have left. Yes, you got lucky with a short CS life span…but good on ya.
Dimea Patro says
People I was saddened to read the ‘genital’ comments on here. Oral ‘sex’ should always be avoided it is unhealthy and unsanitary and serves no purpose other then silly hedonism. I caught my cold sore after being intimate with a person of the opposite sex (not my spouse), which I really regret. Abusing our sexuality has consequences.
Never had a cold sore develop to the blister stage since I discovered ice! A simple ice cube applied as long as you can stand never fails.
Also: I have a theory that blowing your nose with kitchen roll (paper kitchen towel) caused cold sore. Not sure of the science, but seems too much of a coincidence somehow.
Aida Carina says
The instructions say that you need to catch the sore at the absolute beginning of the attack. In my case Herpes simplex had been partying in my lip for a whole day before I applied Hemoform Serum. I still got noticeable results. I would imagine if you catch it early enough it could stop the outbreak all together.
I’ve been suffering from cold sores for as long as I can remember.
I woke up in the middle of the night last night with that definite tingling – and I knew a cold sore was coming! I put Zovirax on it and went to sleep.
I’ve woken up today with 4 blisters on my lips and they seemed to have tripled in size!
I’m very confused (and upset!). I thought that applying Zovirax at the tingling stage keeps the virus at bay. The older I get the less and less this actually works.
Now it is huge and swollen and sore, I really don’t see what the point was of putting Zovirax on at all.
It is really swollen and sore.
Hi Juliet, I too have found that over time zovirax no longer works. Do you live in the US or UK? You should try Herstat propolis, works wonders for me, and PurePotions tea tree salve. Should be links on this page for these products so can buy them. I would put neat tea tree on it now. Get some ice on it too now it’s big and blistered. Take some pain killers, these babies are painful. If you can get to a health food store, ask them for advice. They should have LLysine, I take these capsules straight away when I feel one coming and use Herstat propolis ointment. Not had a bad cold sore for nearly a year now. Used to get them all the time. I feel for you. I know how horrid they are. There are blister patches you can get but I’ve never tried them myself. Aloe vera 99% gel can help cool and also creates a barrier of the sore to help it heal. Hope it goes away soon. Nasty thing.
Hi Ruth, thank you for your swift reply! I live in the UK.
I’ll definitely look in to trying new products – but its so daunting how many different possibilities there are. I am always worried to try something new in case it makes it worse.
I have tried the patches before and they are very good at stopping the cold sore from getting too big.
The interesting thing is, last night when I felt the tingle in two places last night, I put the cream on one part, and the patch on the other. When I woke up, the cream places were larger, but the part with the patch was the same. It turned out I didn’t have enough patches left so I removed it and applied the cream instead. It is now the most noticeable blister and has grown considerably since taking the patch off!
I think keeping the patch on constantly is good and keeping it small, but it may last longer than applying the cream. So I guess it depends if you can put up with it looking horrid – or if you’d rather have a slower but “prettier” healing process.
I will try the ice for now.
My lips were cracked and sore and I kept licking them and then i felt a little bump which inkwpt licking then stupid coldsore popped up. Half is inside my lip where it is not drying out. 🙁 but i have been putting zovirax on it AND spirulina powder and it is healing so much faster and leas pain!!!! yay spirulina
Brilliant! I also find that Herstat propolis ointment works really well and Pure Potions Tea tree salve. Not tried spirunlina but I have heard of it as one of those amazing less well understood super foods. I’ll have to get some and try it. Thanks for sharing.
I’m a long time sufferer of these nasty sores and I’ve tried absolutely everything I could think of. I’m 20&have regularly had cold sores since I was in elementary school and my last bout, about 6 months ago I used a new product that dried it out in record time; coconut oil! I’m so relieved, yesterday I woke up with a huge sore above my lip (after being really sick this week :/) so I applied some coconut oil on before work&while at work ANOTHER popped up below my bottom lip ): I’ve been applying coconut oil to both every few hours religiously and they dried up&have scabbed in the matter of a day! I’m not sure if anyone else uses this method but it works great for me. I’ve heard some people take coconut oil by mouth and are able to ‘rid’ themselves of the herpes simplex virus. Hope someone will find this helpful!!
Brilliant! That is an amazing recovery! Thanks for sharing
41 year old male here, who has suffered from severe coldsores since I was 15.
About 5 years ago I finally figured out that wet shaving was triggering them and haven’t had one since. So I would suggest any other male sufferers to grow a light beard and see if it helps.
My dad was also a sufferer, and would tell me to dry them out like mentioned here by Ruth. I found the opposite worked, keep the scab moist. What I found was that by drying out the sore, it would crack more and seep, prolonging the outbreak.
Keep it moist with Vaseline, to prevent it from cracking and it should heal faster.
Hi Jason, I agree with you. The old keep it dry, keep it moist thing gets confusing. When I say let it dry out I mean don’t get it wet if you can when washing as it seems to destroy any scab there is. BUT I am with on the salve front. I use PurePotions tea tree salve which also heals the sore and also use Herstat Propolis salve for the same reason. They can be so sore when they start cracking. I find these both help prevent an attack too so worth having around for the tingle stage too.
Sorry Ruth, my mistake. I meant drying out as in putting alcohol, toothpaste or something to that effect, in the hope to starve it of moisture. My father believed this was the best solution.
But I have found it makes it last longer.
I agree with you, maybe those drying things work but they don’t half hurt. I’m all for less pain so ice helps too and pain killers 🙂
I am currently trying a treatment I found on another online forum.
Saturday (with no tingling warning) BAM. Big red bump on my lip. I instantly went to my abreva, applying it religiously. Yesterday (Tuesday) I was fed up because this big ugly thing was on my lip and itched like the dickens (it was mostly popped and I think starting to scab) and I have a very upscale dinner party on Thursday and my birthday on Sunday. This thing has gotta go!
I found a forum where someone suggested a mix of 1 tsp of 91% rubbing alcohol & 1 tsp of Bactine (yes the antiseptic your grandma used when you scraped your knee as a kid)
I got home, mixed up the concoction and applied with qtips. Rubbing hard enough to get it in the wound but not to the point where I caused any bleeding/weeping/etc. It burned like heck at first but it soon the burning stopped and so did the itching! I heard angels singing. I did it 2 more times that evening (after a shower and before bed) and I woke up today to find it getting a little bit smaller! I was amazed! Now, I have been told this works better if you do it when you feel the tingle so I am not sure on that one but I am sure as heck keeping up with this regimen and hopefully by Thursday this little bugger will be small enough to hide (or pass it off as a bug bite or something!) If you guys have any luck with this, let me know! Good luck with slaying the beast!
I have a wedding im going to in 2 days and am in the healing process of my latest cold sore. I used a combination of Releev (which worked great btw) and Blistex nedicated lip medex.
My main question is…now that the Releev dried it out and and got me to the healing stage where the scab is already gone and I only have a reddish spot on my upper lip–do I use the Blistex ointment to moisturize or continue to use the Releev to dry it out???
I would say now moisturise or use something extra healing like tea tree or propolis ointment or salve. Good luck and enjoy the wedding.
I’m 17 and I’ve been having fever blisters ever since I learned to walk. A couple days ago was the first time I’ve had a fever blister on years. I always denied it was the herpes virus because I’m not “active” like tht but asking my mother about it she told me I’ve had them since I was young due to drink in after the wrong people.
Currently I have a fever blister currently in the blister stage. It has popped and has been drained, considering Christmas is tomorrow I was wondering if applying a cotton ball or cutip of rubbing alcohol to the site would dry it out further and speed up the healing process. I don’t want to go around family with this disgusting vermin on my mouth
I personally didn’t pop it. I woke up to that this morning. But hopefully the rubbing alcohol will work
I got braces for the first time. Literally two days later, sores on the right side of my upper lip(braces themselves hurt too). I haven’t had a sore in five years, and I’m worried.
Well it could be stress of having braces. I’m sure they aren’t comfortable or nice to wear at first. But if the braces contain nickel or something could this be triggering a cold sore outbreak? I find when I have the cold sore virus in my system my whole mouth and teeth hurt at well. I think the nerves around the mouth carry the virus to the lips.
One should not take aspirin products during or following a HSV outbreak. This is because a rare, but life threatening condition (Reyes syndrome)is linked to recovering from a viral infection or who have a metabolic disorder are most at risk, especially if they’ve been taking aspirin. Thanks for the blog though I recently wanted a refresher on some tips on dealing these little buggers.
Oh I never knew that about aspirin. Would ibrupfen be OK
bob hunter says
there are a few common mistakes here.
1. A person cannot spread the virus to himself after primary infection. During primary infection it can spread anywhere so at that point it’s important to be very careful. After primary infection people have antibodies built up so they cannot spread it to a different location. If one has HSV-1 on their lips, they still can get HSV-2 on their lips or genitals from a partner, but not HSV-1 again. Numerous recent peer reviewed studies have shown this, so after primary infection touching the sore doesn’t risk spreading it around your body, and your toothbrush can’t reinfect yourself.
2. I’d mention valocyclovir as the best medicine for cold sores. It’s a level up from Zovirax and far more effective.
It’s a good article. I’m sure some of those other methods can help, but in general for making it heal faster valocyclovir (valtrex) or zovirax, or abreva, outside of those nothing is clinically proven to work.
That maybe but I don’t find Zovirax very effective for me at all. Either it doesn’t work or it’s stopped being effective so I now use tea tree, propolis and llysine. Work much better. For me anyway. And yes I totally agree about stopping the spread of this horrible virus. Very important.
Any advice for when they’re in the scabbing stage? This is my first one and it’s resulted in a nasty looking scab on my bottom lip (HUGE). I’ve been applying the abreva, but I’ve noticed that the scab sometimes starts to slough off/move. Is it okay to remove the scab at this stage if you continue to apply the abreva religiously? Desperate to have my face back. Thanks
Hello. This is my first time posting here, but definitely not my first cold sore. My first one was eleven years ago in my late 20’s. I freaked out. I felt sorry for myself. I was in total disbelief. I had NEVER had it happen before. Well. I confess, after all this time, my reactions haven’t improved much, lol. Oh I’ve accepted the fact that I will have this virus til the end of my days, but, man, it hasn’t gotten easier with time. I obsess when they appear, cancel all social appointments, and wish I could take two weeks off of work and hide in a cave and die. (Not realistic, nor incredibly mature, I know).
When a outbreak does happen, I throw everything I’ve collected in my arsenal over the years. Can’t say I’m too ahead of the curve. I do know that I’m very careful/considerate when I have one. (Wish I wasn’t as ashamed, but, what can I say? They’re just horrible, evil things. I do not go to restaurants to eat and in the rare case I do, I take plastic ware to eat with). I never touch them. Always use cotton swabs to apply any ointments. I spray Lysol on my office phone when I have one. Do not underestimate how contagious these things are, and never touch them and touch another part of your body, even when they’re “almost gone”. Doesn’t matter. (Especially your eyes). Scary stuff. Anyway…these are some of the things I’ve tried over the years to varying degrees of success. As always, the best idea is PREVENTION (nutrition/sleep/diet/exercise). After that, when the virus rears its head (it’s a clever one, really) ATTACK IT AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. THE VERY EARLIER, THE BETTER.
– ICE. (Ice, Baby). This tip is a keeper. It’s great and inexpensive. A bit messy, but hey. Grab a washcloth, wrap it up and keep holding a bit of ice on the blister til you can’t stand it. And just reapply and reapply over the course of a few hours. You’ll reduce swelling and with any luck shock that virus to retreat back to remission. (It likes moist, warm environments not chilly, icy dry lips). Now, it doesn’t always work, but it’s definitely worth a shot.
– LYSINE. I take daily Lysine tablets. I have the 1000 mg tabs. I take one first thing in the morning, every day, on an empty stomach. When I have an active outbreak [like now, mine started on Dec 6th 🙁 ] I increase it to 3 x a day. Lysine tabs are inexpensive, so, go to town.
– Acyclovir 400 mg – I keep these *always* on hand. Take one at the very first sign. I do not get the tale-tell tingle. I’m one of those that wakes up and finds that the damn herpes fairy visited me during the night. HOWEVER….I did find a lip balm that I apply every night before I go to bed for that purpose and I’ve had good luck with not waking up with one in a while now. It’s called ColdSoresBeGone. You can buy it on their website or Health Food Stores like Sprouts.
I also have Acylovir Cream. It’s very thick. When you first apply it, it doesn’t spread/dissipate very well (like say, Abreva), but after being on the warmth of your skin, it begins to dissolve and not look so white (after say about five minutes). I wouldn’t use it alone, as I’ve had next to zero results from just that. But I don’t mind using a combo of the two. If I had to pick between having either the pills or the cream though, it’s the pills hands-down.
– A 9 Volt Battery – Okay. I know this one sounds weird. But when you’re desperate, you’ll try anything. I saw a YouTube tutorial about this one. You get a 9 Volt (has to be that one cause it has the prongs). You wet your lip where the sore is at. Then you take the battery (I know, sounds scary) and you put the battery at the site of the sore and keep zapping it. Flip the battery around and just keep going at it. Check out the video. This worked for me last time! Not soooo much this time. I only stuck with it the first day or so this time.
– Tea Tree Oil. So last time the battery worked better and not so much the tea tree. This time, the tea tree worked to dry the buggers out. It’s very potent. With a strong smell. So be careful and depending on where your lesions are located, take good care to not get any in your mouth. So, yes, Tea Tree or Campho-Phenique does a good job of drying them out. But now…
I’m at that strange stage where I have to decide “Do I keep drying these dudes out? Or, do I now apply my Acyclovir cream/Vitamin E oil/lysine ointment from a OTC tube to moisten them?”
I’ve always been a fan of completely drying/starving these things.
This time around, I’ve dried them and am going to moisten them as they’re getting to that scab stage. I’m on day 6.
Things that I’ve tried that haven’t really helped: Abreva/Zovirax Cream/Toothpaste/mixed results with placing a Tea Bag on the sores. I was desperate enough to try the needle bit, but I think it just made it worse. So, I didn’t try it again. If there’s anything else that’s out there I’ve probably done it.
Each outbreak is a bit different than the last. Similar but subtle differences. Like what it responds to/healing time. Last year, the sores didn’t take long to heal but by golly, the redness on the skin from where it was located took FOREVERRR to heal. 🙁
My current boyfriend says he accepts me even with these things. I’ve only had one outbreak this year (this current one). And that’s nice that he does – – although, I think he’s really just trying to be polite. I’ve had other partners who uh…wanted no part of that. 🙁 It hurts, but, there’s little we can do. Once we’re infected with this mess, that’s that. I worry that I’m like a Komodo Dragon, shedding asymptomatically throughout the year. When I’m kissing, it’s always in the back of my mind. 🙁 Bummer, I know. But I guess life goes on….
I don’t have a real-life support group. Wish I did. These message boards will have to do and I hope I imparted some wisdom for any first-time sufferers.
Next Up: I’m going to try to purchase the Virulite Device. Heck, i’ve done just about everything else.
Good Luck and Good Health to All of My Fellow Sufferers…. You Are Not Alone!
Hugs and Holiday Health,
Thanks for the comment. I’ve just got rid of a nasty one and I hope yours heals up soon.
Mine started Christmas morning. By Monday it was huge, my entire bottom lip and part of my chin were swollen. Went to the doctor and started on Acylovir pills. A week later and still have it. The doctor said to take 2 pills 3x a day for 5 days and save the rest if the pills for next time. But since it’s still there, should I just take the rest of the pills?
Okay I’m a little confused maybe someone can help me it says keep moisturising it but it also says dry it out with toothpaste???????
What I mean is try not to get it wet if you can. But many healing ointments can help reduce the life span, like llysine paste, tea tree, aloe vera, propolis etc.
I’ve read some of you guy’s tips and I have one. I learned that bleach helps to dry it. I know, weird- but I was desperate to have it gone! I just take a tissue, dip it in bleach and dab the cold sore. It automatically starts drying the cold sore, but it does have a little burning sensations. When I wake up the next day, I find it a scab.
Valtrex, in pill form. Ask your doctor for a prescription. Take one when you feel the cold sore coming on, then a second pill 12 hours later. It will stop it in it’s tracks.
I just became aware of Compeed cold sore patches. Oh. My. God! Like…I cannot believe t took me so long! I have suffered from cold sores since childhood as have tried LITERALLY everything. I always thought that letting the cold sore “dry out” was always the best/quickest…until Compeed patches. They are just so wonderful! I can also go out and not feel like a total monster. Of course you can see the plastic looking covering…but that’s SO much better than a hideous cold sore! Plus it’s much more hygienic! They can be a little rough to get used to putting on initially…but after a couple tries it’s easy enough! The only sell them on Amazon (from out of state) so did NOT wait until you have one to buy them! Buy them NOW…it may take a little while to get to you. I finally found them in amazon prime and got them in two days. I LOVE them. Will never, ever go back to messy creams again.
**I do dab tea tree oil in between twice a day changing of patches.
Ruth Holroyd says
I know of them but never tried them. You say you change them, doesn’t that rip off the scab… eeeek
Fun thing: I’m having my very first cold sore.
my cold sore is in the inner lining of my lip. No way of keeping it out, if keeping it dry, creams don’t stay much because i have to lick it (or stay the mouth open and drool… i last 3 min).
I can’t say if it’s blister or scab anymore because it’s wet.
Is it bad that i lick it? Can it spread to the other area of the mouth? On my tongue?
It’s a bit unnerving as most advice don’t fit my case. Any help? Thanks!
Ruth Holroyd says
Gosh yes it’s the worst place to have one as you can’t really treat it with any leave on products. You could try taking L-Lysine supplements as these attack the way cold sores feed. Also do whatever you can to boost your immune system. If it’s painful, you could try holding an ice cube over it to numb the pain. Don’t worry to much about licking it, you won’t be able to avoid this if it’s inside your mouth! Hope it goes soon.