General Question

OpryLeigh's avatar

Apart from all the over the counter creams you can buy do you know any remedies for cold sores?

Asked by OpryLeigh (25265points) June 9th, 2009

My grandad swears that lemon works for getting rid of them quickly (although how painful does that sound?!) and I have also heard that holding teabags and icecubes on them can help. Do you know of any unconventional methods (that don’t cost too much money obviously!) that work?

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10 Answers

sandystrachan's avatar

Aloe Vera is what i think is the best thing , i would have thought Lemon would spread it rather than clear it

hearkat's avatar

Zinc and Lysine supplements can help reduce outbreaks and help them heal more quickly.

tinyfaery's avatar

I second the supplements. The only tip I have is when you have a cold sore, putting a wet tea bag on it will reduce the swelling.

This is what I do. Let the cold sore develop into a blister. Pop the blister and try to milk out as much of the fluid as possible, then apply alcohol. The tea bag us next. By doing this I think my cold sores don’t last as long. And, this routine makes the cold sore less noticeable.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@sandystrachan he reckons the lemon dries it out, I wouldn’t know though as I haven’t had the guts to try it yet. I have also heard salt water is good.

artificialard's avatar

A powder made from the watermelon rind is a Chinese natural remedy commercially available that’s been frequently used.

Plenty of sleep and salt water rinses have always helped more than anything.

shilolo's avatar

When you say over the counter creams, are you referring to ones containing acyclovir, because they do work well. There are several options including over the counter and prescription medications. The OTC options aren’t too expensive.

Dorkgirl's avatar

I take L-lysine pills and I use an L-lysine topical ointment/cream that has worked really well.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@shilolo I already use Zovirax which does work well providing you catch the coldsore in time. I do find it quite expensive though (I’m in the UK by the way). However, my coldsores often rear their ugly heads during the night and so by the time I wake up in the morning they are already quite vicious. I really want something that is effective and shortens the amount of time the coldsore is visible (and painful) even if I don’t catch it as early as I would like.

shilolo's avatar

Oral medications taken during the prodrome (the period before the cold sore erupts) do wonders to prevent them from appearing, but at least in the US, you need a prescription for those meds.

Supacase's avatar

I do exactly what @Dorkgirl does. I have found Lysine to work better than anything else. I do sometimes rub it with the liquid type of OTC remedies for numbing purposes and then apply the Lysine ointment.

Another thing I will do is dip a cotton swab in Cepacol and rub it into the sore pretty well (not enough to break the skin). I was part of a medical study and the active ingredient in Cepacol was the medication being tested for cold sores. Works pretty well, from my experience.

Also, a little tip: I put a bandaid over it after I have applied all medicines before getting in bed. (Sexy, I know.) I don’t want it to rub on my pillow and spread. I’m paranoid.

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