Seeking Home Remedies for Cold Sores.

Updated on August 26, 2010
E.Y. asks from Santa Fe, NM
34 answers

Does anyone have a good home remedy that speeds the healing of cold sores.
Thank you,
E.

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone for all their wonderful advice on cold sores. The L-Lysine tablets and ointment worked great. Thanks again!!

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Flagstaff on

rescue remedy works real good on cold sores. You can get it at Back To Basic or any health food store.

Edit My Answer
2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Phoenix on

I used to get cold sores all the time but I started taking L-Lysine every day and I have not had one in about a year. The L-Lysine ointment helps speed healing time on them when you do get them. I would suggest taking the pill and getting the ointment. You can get the vitamin anywhere even Walmart. The ointment I have found at The Vitamin Store. Hope it works for you!

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi, I get cold sores too and as soon as i feel one coming on I start taking Lysine pills, you can get them by the vitamins. It takes the swelling away and helps it heal faster! I just keep taking 1000 mg throughout the day when I have one. But if I remember to take a pill a day I wont get any. I also heard zinc helps!

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Flagstaff on

Hi E.,
You know that little bump/blister before the real ugly clod sore breaks...Well put a dab of PURE Lemon extract on it. It will sting a little but as soon as the alcohol dries it will just tingle a bit and will soon be gone. You might need to dab it on a couple of time a day but mine are usually gone by the next day, without ever coming to a full sore.
It tastes good too.
good luck Marlene

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.A.

answers from Phoenix on

My mother will upon noticing a cold sore is coming will go out and buy some yogurt with the fruit on the bottom. (the premixed will not work) There are natural active and living cultures in the unmixed yogurt that works to get rid of the cold sores.... It really works. HTH Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Dear E....as you probably already know cold sores is a virus. They are the herpes simplex virus 1...(hsv1). Usually brought on by stress or contact...the usual pharmacy remedies are fine, but just a small dab of tea tree oil on a Q-tip may hasten the healing. Also as a daily regiment use lysine to keep the immune system up so one doesn't have as many outbreaks, or even no outbreaks. Lysine is found pretty much anywhere. Remind children that sharing drinks, etc. will spread the virus. And, most important, as they age...avoid sexual contact in the sores areas during outbreaks! If you research you will find that 1 in 4 americans have either hsv1 or hsv2, due to not being educated on this virus. Most have it and do not even realize it. If you want to research this topic further, I recommend Kevin Trudeau's website.
Good luck!

S.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.C.

answers from Phoenix on

tea tree oil works wonders. dab a bit on the cold sore with a q-tip in the morning and at night. its not the best tasting as it absorbs into you skin but it is safe. Tea tree oil which is both antibactieral and antifungal can be purchased at sprouts or any health food store. Also zinc helps because it helps the immune system.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.M.

answers from Tucson on

I know that for canker sores lysine helps.... maybe worth a try for cold sores as well. :)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.F.

answers from Phoenix on

I used to get cold sores all the time and I talked to my Dr and he told me to take Lysine 1000mg/day. Its an over the counter vitamin. Since I have been taking this, I haven't had a cold sore since. :o). Hope this helps!!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.S.

answers from Phoenix on

I have had cold sores for years and someone finally recommended Lysine to me - it has been the best thing. The minute I feel the tingle coming or if I know one might come on due to a cold or stress, I begin taking them. To start, it was recommended to me to take two in the morning and two at night on the first day and then one each day after that. You may want to take them with food, they tend to upset my stomach if I don't. I did notice that some ladies suggested taking one once a day, but like anything else, your body can build up an immunity to the Lysine and it will not be as effective for you. You may still get the cold sore once you start the Lysine, but it will never be as bad as before.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.C.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi E.,

In my practice, I've found that patients respond best to L-lysine. I wish I could say that I've seen Melissa (an herb) work, but I have not. L-Lysine has to be dosed upon onset (tingling) and dosed at about 6-8 grams a day. Most lysine is sold at a 500mg dose, which would translate into 4 capsules four times a day. The suggestion for Abreva is a good one, I've seen that work really well. Of course, before you take anything, it is always good to check with your physician first (especially if you think you might be pregnant or are lactating). Do be cautious with the use of tea tree or camphor products - while they take the sting out of the sore, they can excessively dry out the tissue and leave a scar. Other things - if you get them frequently reduce your exposure to sun, stress and chicken. Chicken & chocolate have large amounts of arginine, an amino acid. When arginine is more dominant than lysine (think of a see-saw) you are more likely to have an outbreak. Fish has large amounts of lysine.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.A.

answers from Phoenix on

L-Lysine (a handfull in the a.m. and a handfull before bed) works well if you catch it early.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Phoenix on

looks like you've gotten more advice than you can use... But as a healthcare practitioner, I find that people who get them have an overly acid system and need to be more alkaline. The best way is to have a good green powder drink from the healthfood store. There is also this product called Willard's Water that helps get people alkaline. Decrease sugar and other junk in your diet, eat more veggies... also stress can make your body acidic. Also there are homeopathic formulas that work well too.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.R.

answers from Flagstaff on

1 drop Tea tree oil--1 drop Lavender

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.M.

answers from Tucson on

When I feel one coming on I take L-Lysine through out that day - about 2,000mg and take it through out the outbreak...

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.K.

answers from Phoenix on

I put a little vanilla extract (the real stuff not the fake) on a Q-tip and dab on the spot. It stings but the alcohol in the vanilla is good at drying up the spot within a day or two. I've tried mint as well and it works just as well and leaves a minty flavor in your mouth.

Good luck
A.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.D.

answers from Phoenix on

L-Lysine is definitely great. One way to get it into your system faster is to actually chew up the pills when you take them if you can handle it. I wouldn't necessarily do handfuls of them as I saw someone suggest since any vitamin in excess isn't good for you. I would also recommend taking a L-Lysine pill daily if you find that you get cold sores and canker sores on a regular basis. They really help keep them in check. I take one every night with my multi-vitamins and have been for years because I get canker sores really bad when I'm stressed.

A few other things to try:

A mixture of half liquid children's benadryl and half liquid Mylanta (I recommend getting the same flavor if you can) and dab it on the cold sore or swish it in your mouth if you have a canker sore. It really helps with the pain and helps healing. It's also good on acne. Weird I know but it works. Also, don't go and spend a ton on name brands. Just got to your local dollar store and get whatever they have. It works just as well.

Emergen-C (which can be found at Walgreens, Costco (at least for a while they had it, I'm not sure now) etc.) a couple of times a day. It will help boost your immune system to help heal the cold sore faster. I recommend the Super Orange (if you're a Tang lover) the Raspberry or Tangerine.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Tucson on

What a coincidence! I just read Dr. Andrew Weil's column that was in the paper two days ago! Someone asked him for the best treatment for cold sores/fever blisters (one and the same). His answer was informative but lengthy, so here's my edited version:

The cause, of course is the herpes simplex virus (type 1). Even when you don't have a sore, the virus lies dormant in nerve cells. Reactivation causes: stress, onset of a cold, sunburn, fatigue, emotional trauma... (My mother always gets one after a visit to the dentist from all the pulling/stretching stress of mouth/lip area). Don't confuse fever blisters with canker sores, which are inside the mouth and not connected to HSV at all.

Highly contagious, so you don't want to kiss or even shake hands with a person who has one. Don't share razors, towels, washcloths, utensils, etc. Wash hands, don't touch face, as with any virus. Throw your toothbrush away, then throw the new one away once healed, as the virus can easily re-infect. Don't let your brush touch the toothpaste tube while dispensing.

Like a cold, the healing process basically runs it's course - 10 days or so. To speed healing, take monolaurin, a heath food store anti-viral supplement (1 gram capsule, 3 times a day, before meal). Cream containing lysine may help as a topical treatment.

To prevent future outbreaks, take L-lysine daily - 500 to 1000 mg/day on empty stomach. Prescription anti-viral products may or may not help, and are expensive, as is the doctor visit. Avoid foods with the amino acid arginine - chocolate, cola, beer, grain cereals, chicken soup, gelatin, seeds, nuts and peas.

I have my own personal method, which has actually worked for me a number of times to prevent a cold sore, and even though there's no guarantee, it's worth a try: At THE VERY FIRST INSTANT you feel that terrible little tingle at the corner of your lip, RUN, DO NOT WALK to the nearest ice cube! Apply the cube immediately directly to the spot. I use a paper towel for drips, or sometimes pop the cube into a baggie. The colder the better, so don't wrap it in a washcloth or towel. Hold it there until you can't handle the intense freezing cold, then remove for a minute or so, but repeat the process several times for at least half an hour or longer if you can. The coldness is uncomfortable, but I get past it by imagining 10 days with an ugly, oogy eruption on my face! I have no explaination as to why this works, but I know the timing in catching it as soon as you feel it is of utmost importance.

Hope this info helped you and other cold sore sufferers. Much luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.J.

answers from Phoenix on

In the vitamin aisle at WalMart you can find an amino acid called Lysine.
I had cold sores that just wouldn't go away, but since I've been taking the the lysine, they are gone.
I know it's technically not a home remedy, but it is over the counter. Hope you find relief.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.

answers from Albuquerque on

I don't know of a home remedy but funny that you ask...I had one coming on last night with my lip itching and it started to puff up. I went to Walgreen's and bought some L-Lysine and took one tablet. By the time I went to bed it had gone down but I took another as I went to bed and this morning there are no signs of it. I hear it's great for acne as well.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Hi E. Y,
I have dwelt with cold sores most of my life, ugh! I did find out Tea Tree Oil dries up cold sore real fast and when you get the feeling the cold sore is coming on before it is full blown take the vitamin L-Lysine, you can get this vitamin in all major drug stores and any vitamin stores. The same with Tea Tree Oil you can get the Tea Tree Oil in most major drug stores and all vitamin stores. I do know CVS, Wal-Mart, and Fry's tend to have both. I hope this helps. I do feel for you, and I agree to go healthy if at all possible, your body will do a whole lot better that way.
Take care, and if you think of it, let me know how it works for you if you decide to go this route.
Thanks,
J. M

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.R.

answers from Phoenix on

I drink a lot of grape juice when I get an outbreak because of the antioxidants. And I put a dab of colloidial silver on it, which you can get at a health supply store.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Albuquerque on

The best thing I have ever used is L-Lyisine (sp?) it is a vitamin/mineral supplement that we keep in our cabinet for such things. Also, a thick past of a little water, a little baking soda, and coarse salt rubbed on several times a day will help to dry it up.

Good luck - those things are no fun!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.V.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi E.,

Cold sores are an indication your body is highly acidic. If you would like to stop getting them for good, it's best to change your diet to include more alkaline foods and fewer acidic ones. I am a Health & Nutritional Consultant and am happy to help if you would like assistance. Feel free to call my office at ###-###-####.

In the meantime, a drop of "tea tree" oil mixed with an emulsifier (like olive oil or bees wax) may do the trick. You could also mix it w/ a little honey -- sticky; but good. ;-)

Good luck! :)

Warm Regards,
G. Van Luven

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Phoenix on

I've found that at the first "tingle" or within an hour, if I mega-dose (at least 2000 mg) of vitamin C along with a B-complex vitamin, then follow up at least 2000 mg of vitamin C later in the day, knocks it out before it has a chance to grow. The next day repeat the C/B complex dose and it should be gone.

A little about me, I'm the Mom of 3 adult "children" (y youngest will be 28 in a few days) and the Grandma of 4, ranging in age from 7 to 12.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.R.

answers from Tucson on

Lysine capsules - purchase it at Trader Joe's or any health food store.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.M.

answers from Phoenix on

E.,
I don't know if you have heard of Arbonne or not, they have products that are bontanically based and get HUGE results.
One product that they specialize in is in Cold Sores.
We have an herbal complex suppliment and an oitment that heals them speedy quick!

I have several clients on the herbal suppliment for maintaince and they haven't had a breakout since!

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more :)
T.
www.tesabartell.myarbonne.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.E.

answers from Anchorage on

There are several herbal remedies but basically what you are looking for is something with antiviral qualities. Are you growing any plants, herbs or flowers? If so, let me know which ones and I will let you know if they have any antiviral qualities within them.

M. M. Ernsberger
Certified Herbalist
###-###-####

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.F.

answers from Phoenix on

I use "abreva". It works pretty fast.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.C.

answers from Phoenix on

if you dab a little bit of pine-sol on the area to will dry it up quickly....

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.L.

answers from Tucson on

Sangre de Drago is a sap from a tree in the rainforest. It has super-antioxidant properties plus has been scientifically shown to repair tissue. I recommend getting some of this and applying a drop to the cold sore continuously until it is gone. It is available on my website: shootingstarherbs.amazonherb.net - or you can call me for more info at ###-###-####.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Flagstaff on

If you are looking for a natural way in helping to cure cold sores, I would try tea tree oil....

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

as soon as i feel i'm about to get one i dab some toothpaste on it, that i end up not getting it at all. not sure if it burns the blister or what but i do it every time i feel one coming

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Seattle on

I use Carmex type products EVERY night, (even from the dollar store, keep them everywhere) religiously, before going to bed, after brushing my teeth and I haven't had one in decades. I think it kills everything before it has a chance to start.

Next question: Help with Cold Sores for My Son.