Cold Sores

Also indexed as:Fever Blisters, Herpes Simplex 1
As soon as a cold sore appears, you’re ready for it to disappear. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Cold Sores: Main Image
As soon as a cold sore appears, you’re ready for it to disappear. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Use an OTC remedy

    Try docosanol (Abreva) and allantoin (Herpecin-L) to help relieve pain and promote healing

  • Look into lysine

    1,000 mg a day of this amino acid supplement may reduce recurrences by suppressing the virus that causes sores

  • Eat fewer high-arginine foods

    Deprive the virus of this essential nutrient by limiting your intake of nuts, peanuts, and chocolate

  • Try on topicals

    Apply products containing lemon balm, zinc sulfate, vitamin E, or witch hazel several times a day to reduce pain and speed healing

  • Fight back with flavonoids and vitamin C

    Speed healing time by taking 200 mg of each of these healthful supplements several times a day

  • Talk to your doctor

    Ask about antiviral medicines that may reduce lesion duration, such as topical acyclovir (Zovirax) and penciclovir (Denavir), and oral acyclovir (Zovirax) and valacyclovir (Valtrex)

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.