Cold sores heal without
treatment in 7-10 days. Antiviral medicines help reduce the severity and
frequency of cold sores.
Products containing docosanol-
Docosanol is a compound that is capable
of inhibiting the herpes virus and therefore can help to limit both the
duration and severity of cold sores.
Ithas the capability of interfering with the
herpes simplex virus' ability to replicate (produce more virus particles) and
therefore is a true antiviral medication. If applied early enough this product
has been demonstrated to significantly limit both the severity and duration of
cold sores. Denavir is an antiviral cream that has been specifically developed
as a medication for the treatment of cold sores. It is the first and only
prescription cold sore medication to be approved by the FDA. Studies have shown
that Denavir can both lessen the pain from cold sores and speed up their
Numbing agents for cold sores-
When numbing agents are applied to cold
sores, they can help alleviate a cold sore's burning, itching and pain. Some of
the active ingredients found in these types of products are: tetracaine,
benzocaine, lidocaine, benzyl alcohol, camphor and phenol.
Medications that moisturize and soften cold sores-
Lip balms or moisturizing agents such as petroleum
jelly can help to prevent the cold sore scabs from cracking and bleeding.
Common ingredients found in this type of product are petrolatum and allantoin.
Medications that provide sunscreen protection-
Exposure to excessive
amounts of sunlight can trigger the formation of cold sores. Many lip balm
medications that contain zinc oxide or some other compound that provides
sunscreen protection can be helpful.
Products that limit cold sore formation or promote their healing-
compounds zinc, lysine, phenol and tannic acid have each been suggested as
having antiviral properties, and thus are thought to have an inhibitory effect
on the herpes virus particles' ability to form cold sore lesions. Antibacterial
agents will not affect herpes virus particles but medications that contain
these types of compounds can help to provide an environment that will promote the
prompt healing of cold sores by way of preventing a secondary bacterial
Over the counter (OTC)
can be used to relieve the pain caused by the blisters.
ice or cold compression to the blisters can ease the pain. Application of ice
for 5-10 minutes each hour during the day will reduce the temperature of the
area where the cold sore is forming. This temperature reduction will lower the
area's metabolic rate and, in turn, hamper the cold sore's development.
Intermittent application of ice to cold sores can act as a numbing agent, which
can lessen their pain and itching.
Apply Tea Bag-
Tea contains tannic acid and it has been suggested
that tannic acid possesses antiviral properties. Placing a tea bag on cold
sores when they begin to form especially during the tingle stage can possibly
minimize the extent to which they will develop. One should position the
moistened tea bag on the area where the cold sore is forming for a few minutes
L-lysine an amino acid, has been reported to reduce outbreaks of cold sores but
this fact has not been conclusively proven by medical research. Lysine
supplements should only be taken only with the recommendation of a health care
- The herbal antiseptics Sage and Tea Tree Oil and the
herbal sedative Violet have each been suggested as treatments for cold sores.
Herbal treatments must be used appropriately, and therefore should only be used
with the recommendation of a health care professional.
Let the cold sores heal by themselves. Avoid squeezing, pinching or picking at any blister.