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How can I Prevent Cold Sores?

Cold sore on lip.
People in relationships should avoid kissing each other if one of them has a cold sore outbreak.
Sleep can relieve the stress that can increase cold sore breakouts.
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  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
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  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2014
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Cold sores, also referred to as fever blisters or oral herpes, are small fluid-filled sores that are caused when a person becomes infected with the herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) virus, which is not the same as the form of herpes responsible for genital herpes. Rather, genital herpes are caused by the herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) virus. Cold sores can be painful and itchy. In addition, they typically appear on the nose or on the mouth, which is quite unattractive.

Once your body has been infected with the cold sores virus, there is nothing you can do to prevent outbreaks. While researchers believe that stress and illness, particularly the flu and the common cold, increase the likelihood of an outbreak, there is still no definitive answer as to what causes outbreaks. Furthermore, a particular event may trigger an outbreak at one time in your life and fail to trigger an outbreak at another time.

Nonetheless, individuals who have been infected with the HSV-1 virus can take preventative measures by living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a proper diet. Those who take steps to reduce stress, such as getting proper amounts of sleep and using relaxation techniques, are less likely to experience an outbreak of cold sores. In addition, outbreaks can sometimes be prevented when early signs, such as tingling, are recognized and topical creams or medications are used right away.

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Unfortunately for those who become infected with the virus, there is no absolute cure for cold sores. Rather, outbreaks come and go throughout the remainder of a person’s life. While there are medications to help shorten the length of time an outbreak lasts, there are no medications to completely prevent cold sore outbreaks. Furthermore, there are no medications or vaccines to cure cold sores or to protect a person from acquiring them. Therefore, the best preventative measure with cold sores is to avoid getting them in the first place.

Cold sores are highly contagious, which makes them rather easy to catch from someone else. To prevent catching cold sores, however, you should follow the same precautions you would to avoid catching any viral infection. When around someone with cold sores, be sure to wash your hands and to avoid touching your face. You should also avoid sharing utensils, towels, and cups with a person with cold sores. It is best to avoid these practices at all times, because a person with the cold sores virus may be contagious even if he or she is not currently be experiencing an obvious outbreak.

If you are in a relationship with a person with cold sores, avoid kissing him or her during an outbreak. Wait until the cold sores have completely healed before getting romantic. Otherwise, you risk the possibility of catching the virus and simply passing it back and forth between each other.

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jdelgadi1
Post 71

I get cold sores about once a month if I don't take medicine and usually my triggers are sun, stress, not eating, flu and not sleeping. Whenever my body defenses get weak, the virus attacks and usually takes two weeks to heal or maybe 10 days with medicine (acyclovir, valacyclovir or famcyclovir). I have noticed after I get a cold sore, if I sleep, eat or even shower, my cold sore will thrive and get much worse and bigger. If I starve, don't sleep and stay in the sun for a long time (playing golf) my cold sore will get weaker.

The last two cold sores that I have gotten, I've treated them by starving as much as I could, minimum sleep and playing golf in the sun (letting my body defenses get weaker) and then whacking that virus with Acyclovir 800. The virus did not have anywhere to hide and it has seemed to work wonders. The cold sores gone in two or three days. It seems that the virus will attack when my body gets weak, then two or three days after when I'm recovering the cold sore comes out and since my defenses are almost back to normal the medicine will do very little to exterminate the herpes virus. From now on, every time my body gets weak, I will take some acyclovir, 400 or 800, to prevent the cold sore. If the cold sore starts sticking its ugly head up then I will starve, stay out in the sun, purposely lower my body defenses and whack that virus with a heavy dose of viral antibiotics (acyclovir, Famcyclovir or Valacyclovir). I hope this really helps somebody. Please post back results (positive or negative) or if you have any questions.

anon937926
Post 70

Here's how I prevent cold sores. I used to get them every year around summer time. Now I avoid sun on my face. I always wear a hat, so that discounts sunburn, which is one cause.

But here's the real breakthrough: cold sores are also caused by acidic foods, burning the lining of your lips. So acidic fruit is one cause. The solution? Wash your lips with water, after every meal. It costs you nothing and it works. Try it and you will see.

anon356287
Post 68

I got my cold sore from a teacher who spits when he talks. He had frequent cold sore outbreaks and one time he stood right in front of me as he lectured and I felt his salvia on my face. Next thing I knew, I started getting cold sores -- mainly when I'm stressing, like before tests.

I use lemon juice. I don't even feel the itchiness after, although the lemon juice does sting sometimes when applying during the pus stage, but it only stings for few seconds. It speeds up the healing time. And its way cheaper than Abreva. I read that lemon balm is better but I find lemon juice easier.

anon352599
Post 67

I have been getting cold sores for about five or six years now and I'm 19 and it stinks!

I have two big ones right now, one on my top lip and one on my bottom lip. I just started taking L-lysine today and used abreva, ice and nail polish remover so I'm hoping I will wake up tomorrow with relief. I want to go out and or hang out with a guy and I'm like, embarrassed about it!

I found putting nail polish remover on the sores as soon as I feel the tinging helped, along with ice. I just started taking L-lysine so I'm hoping this helps a lot because I get them every couple of weeks, which is getting ridiculous. I don't know my triggers yet. They just kind of pop up. Can anyone help?

anon352170
Post 66

I used to get cold sores at least twice a year and I also constantly had sores in my mouth. I've cut out spicy foods with peppers in them as they always make my lips tingle insanely and seem to be linked to triggering cold sores ( I got six at one time after eating pepperoni pizza). I can have ginger and curry with no trouble though. I've also cut out yellow and red food colooring (I mostly suspect tartrazine and Red 2). I don't get sores in my mouth any more and cold sores are now a rare occurrence.

anon330505
Post 65

I had gotten cold sores my whole life. A year and a half ago I started a new job working overnight. Where I once got a cold sore every few months, it was now happening monthly like clockwork.

I started taking lysine pills daily and since I started last March, I have not had one outbreak. Wish I had known about this when I was in high school. Anyway, I wanted to pass this along to everyone that gets them, lysine works! I went from one outbreak a month, to none in the past 13 months!

anon328799
Post 64

I started getting cold sores in junior high. I believe it was from sharing lip gloss with other girls my age. I take 1000 MG of l-lysine tablets everyday, and if I'm eating brown rice, chocolate or any foods that trigger cold sores, I take 3000 mg of l-lysine.

Also, If I feel an outbreak coming I take 500g of Valtrex along with application of abreva. Its been nine months since my last ob

anon328412
Post 63

I have been getting cold sores since I was a kid. My outbreaks have been random, but always are worse with stress as is the case with most people. One indirect (or direct?) cause for me has been caffeine. Though I seem to be more sensitive to caffeine than most, I know when I consume higher amounts (2+ large cups of coffee) a day for an extended period of time it effects the quality of my sleep, causes me to be depressed, effects my ability to concentrate and oh yeah, my cold sore breakouts are much more frequent and intense.

I am sure that my sensitivity to caffeine causes a lack of sleep and therefore increases my stress levels, but I figure there may be some people out there that do not realize the effects that caffeine can indirectly cause you stress. When consuming large amounts of caffeine, I get break outs from a few a month to a few in the same day!

When I consume no caffeine, I have gone over a year without an outbreak and they tend to be small and heal within a few days. Just something to think about!

anon324725
Post 62

I've been getting cold sores since I was little. I've tried absolutely everything and have found that as soon as I feel a dry patch or tingle, I get paranoid I'm going to get a cold sore. If I dab on some cymex ultra cream and relax, they generally don't get to the horrid blister stage (which has actually resulted in permanently scarring my upper lip so I have an extra red bit where they usually pop up). Also I take 1000mg of l-lysine every single day and have tried to lower my intake of chocolate and raise my intake of fruit, vegetables and healthier foods and haven't had a cold sore since before Christmas (touch wood).

I currently have a cold which is when I generally get them, but I've found if you try and avoid rubbing your lips with the tissue, etc., then you're less likely to have an outbreak.

Also it sounds strange but my ex's beard used to set me off. The stubble used to give me a dry patch which then turned into a cold sore.

When I have them, I find that ice cubes followed by cymex ultra cream and lots of extra lysine in food, as well as the capsules and also putting a bit of milk onto a cloth and dabbing it on works to speed up healing.

anon299119
Post 60

I've noticed a surge of resentment and anger when I have cold sores. How does that help in anything? Last summer I did a test and found herpes1. So, that's the reason. Well, I pretty much knew it before the test results, the reason for my cold sores, which just about did it, thinking, 'Ooh, I could have infected others without my knowing'. But now, knowing the reason and after a couple of days of feeling moody, I found I could do something. I religiously wash my face with daily facial cleanser, which makes my lips red and hot. I had to find the one which didn't crust my skin with dry flakes, and since it's astringent, to apply them to just the area of the lips, or the whole face, if you prefer. I've been breakout free ever since, but not from occasional throbbing in spots, which is fine, so long as the lips are “sealed,” so to speak. Anyway, I theorize from this experiment of mine that the HSV1 gets activated/wakes up in the lip nerves and travels to the skin surface, or very close, so it can inhale the air, so washing it off seems to do the trick. Unless, of course, I'm somehow between symptoms for about five months, even while shaving, though not as much as before.

Expecting them to break out is like having an abusive guest in my temple, which is my body. As for my cold sores, and I don't know where I got them, I just know people liked to kiss me, I've learned to embrace for what they are: a lesson pointing me toward what is valuable to me in my life. I communicate and embrace them as spiritual beings of a different level of thinking, co-inhabitants on this earth, each to teach one another.

What are they here to tell me? What do they want to tell me? To teach me, I ask them, without arguing with them or berating them. And I pay attention to the images they create on my screen without judgement. I say, “Thank you, now I release you through dimensional portals, go to your own homes. go in peace,” that sort of thing.

Through this meditation, moving away from hate and self-loathing became much easier. They are not my enemies, hated creatures, or more hate in my life. No, in a way, I've grown to appreciate them for the lesson in humility, in identifying with the problems of others, the challenges of others. Perhaps, by this thinking there will be one less viral being to go around without ever being heard, feeding on humanity's resentment and suppressed anger as its food, mutating and impacting another me some lifetimes into the future to be dealt with at some point down the road.

anon295393
Post 59

I also suffer from cold sores and have since I was a child. I'm 25, so yeah, I've tried everything possible, and trying not to stress yourself out is easier said than done, but I lately found that compeed cold sore patches work a treat. Not only do they hide the cold sore, but also help heal it, and you can put your makeup on too -- win-win.

anon293897
Post 58

I started having cold sores 10 years ago. Every time I have flu or stress, I do get cold sores. Two weeks ago, I tried lysine 1000mg, three times a day for three or four days. It is OK, but now after everything is OK, in the same place where I had cold sore, I feel something is inside moving now. I wonder what it is?

anon279902
Post 57

L-Lysine works for me, and it is available from most health stores. If used in the first stages then it dramatically helps.

anon279041
Post 56

I found that using Bactine cleansing spray at the first tingle prevents the sore. I would not call this safe because the spray is to be used only externally, but I get sores on my lips. I just avoid opening my lips until the spray is absorbed, then I reapply until I feel the tingle disappear. It does irritate my skin if I let it drip, but I've learned to wipe away any excess. Since there is no cure, you've got to do what you've got to do!

anon275719
Post 55

I used to get cold sores, and started treating with zovirax at the tingle and kept at it and it seems to have put the virus into dormant mode as I don't seem to get them often now.

anon227651
Post 54

I was on the pill forever and never had any acne or cold sores. My husband had cold sores so I guess I got the virus from him. I got off the pill onto Implanon (which was horrible) and then had strep throat. While I had strep throat I had two cold sores (about april) and ever since then I get them at least twice a month or more.

I started back on the pill and I'm hoping they will go away. As for chocolate, I've heard that was a myth from way back (especially for acne). I'm definitely not going to quit eating that!

anon208647
Post 53

I have been getting cold sores since I was like 20 years old. I have tried a number of creams and lotions and nothing has worked as well as lysine cold sore treatment. I get them on the same spot on my nose every time, one to three times per year.

I only recently discovered that nuts, chocolate and sunlight are my triggers, I will definitely be staying away from nuts and chocolate and using sun screen if I am going to stay out in the sun.

I started my prevention plan three weeks ago with a daily 500mg intake of lysine and 1000mg vitamin C. Hopefully I will be able to starve and suppress this nasty virus over the next year. I will share with you my results if successful. Wish me luck.

anon186434
Post 52

an ex boyfriend gave me cold sores. The last few yars i get one about every one or tow months. I found out about a light thereapy machine called Virulite. It kills it before it turns into a blister and even when you have the blister it will scab and heals quick. I got mine from ebay for about 60.00.

kauczok2751
Post 51

Just been in the sun in Turkey for two weeks and got cold sores in week one, so i guess the sun caused mine.

I've suffered for years but this time it's bad. It seems the scabs are the worst looking. Please tell me how to prevent the scabbing and the continued outburst. I have noted the different things above and hope my local chemist can help. Why oh why do these things look so so bad? Hope there is a cure one day.

anon177376
Post 50

After suffering since I was a kid with these horrendous painful blisters, and after trying *everything* you all have mentioned above, I have found Valtrex and Zilactin are what work best for me.

I've been very blessed to have insurance which covers Valacyclovir tabs. The doc recommended one-half tab a day (500gm) for prevention, but then I found I built up an immunity to it and when they did come back, they came with a monstrous untreatable vengeance.

So now I take 2 (1gm) tabs the instant I fell the monsters tingling, as well as generously applying Zilactin, and I can get rid of them.

We have this discussion every three weeks, me and my monsters, every menstrual cycle. Usually, I win.

I hate them and wouldn't hesitate to take a series of antiviral shots to get rid of them. Please! Can't we just do that? Arrgh! Off to the doctor today to get a refill of Valacyclovir.

anon176353
Post 49

the best thing for cold sores is zilactin. every time when you feel it coming apply it fast and then you won't get it. first when you apply it it will sting a bit but it will dry the cold sore in an hour to one day(depends how bad it is)

P.S. Also my doctor told me that abreva is useless. so there is no point of using it because it is expensive and doesn't work.

anon175069
Post 48

One of the little devils appeared on my lip on Sunday, and while they usually last about nine days, it dried up and the scab fell of already after applying the preparation h. I'm now on to neosporin to finish up the job. And I just ordered L-Lysine 1000mg that I plan on taking every day forever. I freaking hate these things. I thought I was done with them, as I used to get them a lot as a kid and teenager, but haven't had an outbreak in years. Them BAM! At least the preparation h, neosporin and l-lysine can help make it go away fast.

anon172910
Post 47

I have the worst cold sore outbreak ever. I take Lysine, I watch what I eat,i don't share any drinks. I feel that when your immune system gets run down there is nothing you can do. I have six sores right now and want to die. I do feel tea tree oil helps, but i can't do ice because I can't touch my lips!

Hope some day they come out with a cure, vaccine or whatever. I have been dealing with this since i was an infant and it really stinks.

anon172378
Post 46

Has anyone noticed a hormonal relationship to when they get cold sores? I used to get them all the time, but I didn't get any while I was pregnant with my daughter, and rarely got them while on the pill. Now that I have been off the pill for a couple of months I have had four in the last three weeks; three for no apparent reason, the last from the sun.

anon170333
Post 45

I'm a middle aged nutritionist and used to get nasty cold sores on my lip or on or in my nose (ouch!) but now they're not so bad because of what I do. I use a three-pronged approach to help: I apply something topically, take an herbal supplement, and change my diet. Read on.

As soon as I notice I'm getting one, I put ice (or a cold can of something) on a towel and hold it on it to relieve swelling, then I use Releev (I get it at CVS) several times a day. It's a bit more expensive than Abreva but I find it works faster and better.

I also take some potent herbs called Viola clear Fire Formula and the manufacturer is Golden Flower Chinese Herbs. I personally take three every three or four hours the first few days (they're herbs and don't have side effects.) It's best to take it as close to when you first notice a symptom as possible (taking with food unnecessary.) Since I've been doing this, my sores never ooze anymore, and it works better for me than lysine tablets, which I keep around in case I eat something that I really shouldn't.

As for lysine/arginine in foods, I typically avoid (only when I have an outbreak) lentils, chocolate, nuts, citrus, alcohol (I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner but not when I have a cold sore) and anything with added sugar. Strange, but I usually crave chocolate, peanut butter and lentils before an outbreak--all low in lysine, high arginine. I include foods with lysine such as eggs, chicken, and even potatoes. I usually make myself a pot of chicken vegetable soup made with lots of veggies, garlic, strong onions, even ginger root.

I'll also eat fish, avocado, eggs, apples, pears, lots of veggies, and plain regular yogurt with fruit. I also take Viola clear Fire formula as a preventive when I remember. Lack of sleep stemming from too much stress is the biggest culprit for me.

anon169036
Post 44

Fenistil cream is also very good. It contains the same ingredient (Acyclovir) as Zovirax but seems to clear the blisters up in less time, then I use Blistex to clear the scabbing. The only problem is a lot of chemists have stopped stocking the Fenistil.

I have had about seven cold sores in the past three weeks and it is really getting me down.

Thanks for the above advice about some of the causes. I will be getting some SFP lip balm and start taking Lysine regularly. Anon - South Wales, UK

anon166894
Post 43

If you get cold sores and don't have insurance for the antiviral pills, there are a few things you can do to prevent the sores from coming back.

i found that Lysine pills worked well (1000 mg a day) also with taking in food with high amounts of lysine. milk, cheese, chicken, pork are all high in lysine. yogurt is essential because it has lysine and defensive bacteria (ex. acidophilus) which helps a lot.

Stay away from nuts and chocolate and wheat unless taking with lysine to balance. Licorice root has properties that prevent cold sores, but research before taking. Always wear SPF lip balm! I have surfed my whole life, and if i go out and get my lips sunburned, it means instant cold sore.

Take B vitamins! They calm the nerves that the virus breeds in. East fruit! Fruit helps the immune system which is very important in preventing sores. Get enough sleep. It helps your body's defenses. i have also heard zinc and vitamin e help a lot. If you take all of these measures every day, i swear it will help lessen your outbreaks.

anon164622
Post 42

I have had the herpes virus since I was born. I mainly get it on my nose chin and sides of mouth sometimes so bad that it would reach my cheeks. I also have a scar left by a really bad outbreak on the tip of my nose.

I'm now 23 and I have learned that stress does make a big difference to my outbreaks. Sometimes if i feel a tingle coming I try to relax and concentrate on my breathing and ignore the tingle. Doing that sometimes helped to avoid getting a cold sore. I also avoid using harsh face creams or rubbing my face too much as that can also trigger it.

anon163015
Post 41

I have only had one outbreak so I don't claim to be an expert, but I thought I would post something that worked for me. You have to combat these things like they are the plague. Resistance is futile. Kill them. Overdose on lysine I took like 5000 mg a day for seven days straight, and put not only abreva but vitamin E directly on the sore. The vitamin E dried it up nicely. It stinks. I'm 27 and feel like a total freak and think everyone is judging me. I feel dirty! I guess I just have to live with it.

anon162375
Post 40

acyclovir tablets 100 percent work!

I used to get several cold sores (bad ones) a month. i tried everything; creams, l-lysine, even nails polish remover! (The nail polish remover did work in reducing the size and length, I must say!).

But the winner is 400mg of acyclovir-- one in the morning and one at night and i haven't had a cold sore since, and it's been almost a year.

I've never been so happy, so i thought i would share this with you all.

anon158835
Post 39

After reading all of the above, seems some people have it real bad. I have them appear twice a year since childhood and found the following causes it.

Sun: If you go to the beach or out on a hot day, put sunscreen around your lips. Been surfing in 40 degree celsius heat no problem, forgot to do it the other day and bang -- cold sore. The worse the heat the worse it gets.

Stress/Illness: Straight forward.

anon158089
Post 38

I've been suffering with cold sores since my 20s. Have tried just about everything. My doctor finally prescribed Valtrex tablets and that has helped a lot.

For a long time, they stopped coming, but more recently started up again. Wonder if my body is addicted to the Valtrex now; but it does lessen the sore. I get more stressed every time I have a breakout. I can't win!!

anon155577
Post 37

I only had three outbreaks, but the first time I ever had an outbreak was mid November. It's only been about three and a half months since my first-ever breakout, which was the worst. I got about 13 at one time and had them for about 9 days. The past two times, I've only had one or two cold sores.

My dentist prescribed my Zovirax, but I haven't tried it yet due to the price. I don't know what triggers them either. I seem to get a new breakout every other week. It's miserable. I was told to pop them with a sterile needle and hold peroxide or alcohol on them to dry them out. This makes them go straight to the scab stage, but you still have to wait for that to heal.

I also used Carmex for a while. I loved it while I used it, but I could never go more than a day without it-it's addictive. If anybody has any remedies or suggestions for keeping them away for longer than a week, I would be very grateful. Also, some recommendations on medicines such as Zovirax, Abreva, or OTC (over the counter) medicines would be wonderful! Thanks!

anon153816
Post 36

I am currently in the healing stage of one of the worst cold sores I've had since childhood. there is a small scab formed and the area around the scab is still very pink. I've had it for 10 days - which seems rather long to me! I'm currently taking tons of L-lysine tablets, Zinc tablets, as well as drinking green tea and lots of water (which I always do).

I've been dabbing it with Tee Tree Oil every hour or so to make it go away faster and have been putting polysporin on it at night. My question is this: are there any suggestions once it has reached this stage to speed up healing? Once the scab is gone I'm going to continue to use Tea Tree Oil and add vitamin E oil as well. I just want this hellish past two weeks to be over! Any suggestion is appreciated.

anon152981
Post 35

I usually get a cold sore a couple of times per year. I get them on my chin too and they are the "bad" ones. I started using Abreva and it helps a lot. I don't know what triggers them with me, could be too much sun or stress. I know I just hate them.

anon152540
Post 34

I feel anyone who is using ice cubes has never had a bad outbreak. The L-lysine definitely works. I find that whatever medicine I have switched to over the years will work two or three times then the body seems to build immunity.

CVS pharmacy makes a one time cold sore treatment. I have used this my last four outbreaks and it has worked amazingly well. Most times preventing them from surfacing. Abreva worked for me and then stopped. Campho phenique will work, but really leaves a scabby mess. This single application cold sore treatment from CVS can help a lot of people.

This site has been helpful. I have got them from the sun and also anytime I drink from someone else's glass or smoke with someone will almost guarantee an outbreak.

The stress of having a bad one just seems to intensify the outbreak as well. Please try this medicine, take your l-lysine and use sunblock and moisturizer.

anon152316
Post 33

I suffer with cold sores but only very rarely get them (as in years). However, I got an outbreak in late January and am still suffering with cold sores and it's been two weeks and I have about nine cold sores in total. the first one was the biggest but the others thankfully never reached the blister stage as I found a great treatment that eliminates all stages: Compeed Cold Sore Patches. Try them. They are marvelous and you won't look ugly or feel embarrassed as this patch gets rid of them asap if you put them on at the tingle stage.

Anyway, even though I've been using the patches, it hasn't stopped me getting more cold sores so I was put on Acyclovir antiviral tablets but after finishing the first course, I still got more and am now on another course of antivirals, this time at the max strength of 800mg but another cold sore came up yesterday.

I cannot understand why I am getting them whilst taking antiviral tablets? and the more I get the more stressed it makes me feel. Unfortunately now I've developed a neuropathic pain in the mouth area due to the virus affecting the nerves and giving me constant pain, which I may have to now have pain killers for. Also, my gp says my immune system may be compromised and needs investigating. feels like this outbreak is never ending. anyone else get prolonged and a lot of cold sores? getting desperate now.

anon151609
Post 32

I take vitamin C, zinc, and L-lyzine every day as recommended by a doctor and I *still* get cold sores!

In fact, I have one now and looked up this site to try to find ways to prevent more outbreaks. I guess I'm out of luck.

anon150115
Post 31

My partner uses a salt rich mixture on her cold sores. Mix plenty of salt into a small about of water and dab it on your cold sores a few times a day. The salt tends to draw out the liquid and dry the blister out. Don't apply too often as the salt can burn your skin!

anon140638
Post 30

I have gotten cold sores my entire life ever since I was a baby. Stopped getting them a few years in my teens and started getting them again now I'm in my early 20s. I'm generally a happy person and I don't get sick very often anymore since I got my tonsils taken out.

When you see a cold sore coming on or feel it, it's from something you did three days prior, like sharing a drink, etc. My method of getting rid of them is a bit extreme but I don't mind pain. Before they burst on their own I open them with a scrubby pad until it bleeds then put abreva directly in the source of it when it's done bleeding.

Using L-lysine does work and I've recently found that out so taking one a daily definitely won't kill you. But avoid sharing drinks or anything with people because it seems to me that no matter if the person has a cold sore or not if I share anything with anyone three days later I'm kicking myself in the butt for sharing something.

anon139663
Post 29

I have suffered with cold sores my whole life. In fact, when I was 18 months old, i was admitted to hospital where the sores were so bad they got into my eyes and scarred my cornea which has left me with very poor vision in my left eye. Over the years I have tried many things. In recent years, I have found Zovirax the best, but it doesn't stop them, only reduce the healing and spreading.

A few years ago, I did have another serious bout where I was given the Zovirax tablets which worked very well. However when I asked the doctor if I could have some for standby I was told A. they are too expensive and B my body would become immune over time. However early last year I was told about L-Lysine tablets, and after much research decided to give it a try.

I have been taking the 1000mg tablets once every two to three days and I have not had one cold sore. It is a massive relief as usually come xmas time I will always get one but this year - no. I cannot believe that doctors are not advising people to take this tablet. i think it truly amazing and would recommend it to everyone who suffers. this is coming from someone who used to get, on average, six to eight bouts of cold sores a year, on the lip up the nose and sometime even getting back into my weak eye. So go to Holland and Barrett and get yourself a tub immediately and hopefully you can remove this horrible affliction from your life. Oh and stay away from things like vicks vapour!

anon138499
Post 28

A very easy way to prevent cold sores from appearing is this: Once you feel them coming on, as in the initial lip sensitivity/bumpiness, take a generous amount (4 tablets) of L-Lysine tablets. Preferably 500 mg. tablets will do. The L-Lysine will stop the cold sore from coming to the surface of the lips guaranteed! Its that simple.

I've been taking L-Lysine tablets for over 30 years. As long as you take the L-Lysine tablets with water the instant you feel the cold sore sensitivity coming on in your lips, the cold sore will not come through onto the lip's surface. Also, continue to take the tablets throughout the day until the lip sensitivity has stopped. You cannot take too many L-Lysine tablets and damage your body.

Simply look up L-Lysine tablets for cold sores and find out for yourself. I hope I was able to help you.

anon137263
Post 27

I too have suffered badly with cold sores since childhood. In my mid 20's I would get six or seven cold sores per year! My doctor prescribed Acyclovir 400mg and I take one daily, and now, I only get two or maybe three a year. I also agree with an earlier post - ice cubes work!

When you get that tingle, hold an ice cube over the area and it either stops it coming out, or drastically reduces the size of the cold sore.

Cold sores are nerves and the ice cold ice cube kills the nerve. Repeat this every hour or two.

anon136342
Post 26

Zovirax cuts the healing time in half, or better, and toothpaste works wonders. Just dab a bit on the lip and leave it there all day.

anon136121
Post 24

I use Lip Clear Lysine+ Cold Sore Treatment by Quantum. It's usually near Abreva or lip balm, and is less than half the price for a much bigger tube. Abreva doesn't seem to heal anything for me, just makes the area overly dry - and then it splits, the infection seeps out and starts all over again. Lysine heals the sore without drying it out, and actually soothes the pain. I love it.

anon133648
Post 23

I am another sufferer since childhood. My parents used to slather Carmex on the sores, which never helped. Many childhood pictures show me with a huge, scabby sore. Hate them with a passion.

Before I ever read other folk's ideas on triggers, I figured out mine - dramatic changes in temperatures, too many peanuts, and lack of sleep + stress. This was before the internet.

My only remedy so far is Abreva. I found it, used it, and told my family members about it. Like me, they do not leave their houses without it anymore. I'd guess it prevents 50 percent of the sores from forming, and shortens my "recovery" time in at least half. I hate spending $14 on a tiny tube, but I would gladly hand someone $20 every time I had a sore to make it go away.

Mine were really bad from 12-20 years old. From 28-32 ish, they seemed to reside a little. I also notice them more often after visiting with my family during a holiday.

Good luck everyone. Hopefully, by the time my kids get their first sore, this damn disease will have a cure!

anon133491
Post 22

Mine are weirder! These past two months, I have had them week after week a total of seven times. What does that mean? Is it just stress or something worse? can anybody help because i can just predict that when one leaves it comes right back in like three days later. this is weird! Help!

anon132838
Post 21

i get an outbreak of cold sores at least every two months. each outbreak gets worse. they are on my bottom lip and spread down my chin! i hate going to school with them as other pupils constantly point, stare and always say "err. What's that? It makes you look ugly. don't come near me. don't touch my stuff." i wish i could take something that could help me to prevent an outbreak! it's horrible! help.

anon132616
Post 20

I have dealt with cold sores since childhood, and am now a senior. I am still trying to gather the facts about cold sores. I currently use zovirax cream, and it is just not enough.

I was wondering: is it really a good idea to dry the sore out? Should I use rubbing alcohol to dry it out or something different? Also does anyone have any suggestions on preventing cold sores due to harsh cold wind.

I think that might be the cause, but am not completely sure.

anon117158
Post 19

During my lifetime, I've been plagued with cold sores. They seem to have subsided some now that I'm older, 65, a long to to wait for relief, LOL! Over the years I've noticed nuts, chocolate, change of seasons, particularly summer to fall, vitamin C supplements, a diet high in acids from fruit, tomatoes, wine, and yes, the sun, triggers them. I also take L-lysine which has been beneficial.

anon112749
Post 18

My outbreaks are a little strange, usually once a year, but this year (2010), I've had two outbreaks. In January, I had an outbreak which lasted 10 days, cleared for three days, then returned even worse for 13 days.

Now, it's September, and another outbreak. Same thing this time: a small outbreak that lasted eight days, cleared up, and returned five days later. I'm going on day six, and it appears to be healing. probably another four days before it's gone. Man, I hate these things!

anon107170
Post 17

After having cold sores for many years month after month, I was told by a pharmacist in Turkey to take Asiviral 400mg three times a day. Since doing this I only get very small cold sores maybe once a year, if that. Its changed my life. Please consult your doctor prior to taking this medication. Good luck.

SCG UK

anon88513
Post 16

Once you have an outbreak, when it is beyond using the creams, dab the raw skin with camphor oil to dry it out and take loads of folic acid to help your body heal it up quickly. This is what my doc taught me and it works!

If I don't catch my cold sores really early they get super bad and travel up to my nose. Also very painful. Apparently taking folic acid on a regular basis helps prevent them. I'm still testing that theory.

anon85356
Post 14

Use ice. I've had good success just holding an ice cube on the blister area at its early stage of development. Do this a few times a day and hold it there as it melts. Often will prevent the blister from ever appearing.

mendocino
Post 13

To post number 11

I have found three, or possibly four reasons for my cold sores.

Not enough sleep, exposure to too much sun, onset of a flu or cold, and the last one, I am not so sure of completely but I would say would be too much stress.

These are all reasons when the body's immune system is down and can not fight off the virus that resides in those who get cold sores.

I always carry with me Abreva. The minute I start feeling tingling, or even before tingling when I start noticing the onset of the cold sore coming, a little dab of the cream on the lip or nose will stop the cold sore from flaring up.

Continual healthy diet is good not just for prevention of cold sores but for many other reasons, so is enough sleep and staying out of strong sun for prolonged period of time.

These steps should if not completely eliminate but cut down on the frequency of cold sores.

It is probably very prudent to pay a visit to a doctor for a check up. The doctor will give you his recommendation and make sure that you are otherwise healthy.

anon84070
Post 12

The sun was my trigger. Ever since i figured it out and started putting suncream on and around my lips i maybe get them once a year! Changed my life.

anon77273
Post 11

I have had cold sores ever since I was a little kid. I get them twice a month. Yeah. it stinks. I mean, they are embarrassing.

I feel like I'm the only one in my school with them because no one else gets them. But mine are really bad. I get them on the chin sometimes and down my neck, on my right top of my lip and it will go to my nose. It's gross. I eat healthy, I think. And I don't get too stressed out.

I need help. I have a question: is there a type of food that can cause a breakout?

anon75754
Post 10

I've found that taking the Airborne tablets every three to four hours when I first feel an outbreak will prevent the blister from forming *most* of the time.

anon75683
Post 9

I'm not quite sure why, but i seem to have had a cold sore that comes and goes for four months now. it's pretty much a constant.

I've used creams that the doctor prescribed more than five times a day. I've used sudocrem, savlon and many more.

I've had the condition for years but never like this. I'm desperate for a cure, at least for a few months.

I feel and look awful because of it. It started on my top lip, and today appeared on my bottom lip. all the usual cures aren't helping. i need help!

anon62423
Post 8

After discussing with the issue with several dermatologists I was under the assumption that Genital herpes can be either a herpes simplex type (HSV-1) or the (HSV-2) virus.

I wonder if this is correct?

anon54544
Post 7

This guy anon47344 is correct. The only way

to prevent it is to keep yourself hydrated - and apply lip balm twice. Taking acylovir - definitely prevents it - but it's good to avoid taking this kind of medicine (i however went on a six months' prescription for it).

anon47344
Post 6

I have had this annoying affliction since childhood but have found ways to almost eliminate them to once every other year or so. 1) never go outdoors without sunscreen on your lips and surrounding area. Waterproof stick works best. 2) keep lips moist with lip balm at all time - never let them get dry (don't lick your lips!) 3) I found lysine does help 4)Take zovirax RX at first signs and throughout breakout. Also zovirax cream is very effective in the healing process. One Dermatologist advised one 200 mg tablet per day as a preventative if you get them regularly - which I did and then stopped taking them after about 1 year when I decreased breakouts 5) avoid foods as mentioned above. Nuts are bad for me in particular. 6) Do try to keep stress to a minimum. I'm so lucky I rarely get one anymore and I had up to one every eight weeks for many years - several left bad scars around my lips. I follow this regime religiously with excellent results and I'm now 49. Be diligent with these tips and I feel confident you'll reduce your breakouts.

anon39340
Post 5

i have found out that astringent(sea Breeze)takes the sore away very fast

anon35554
Post 4

I have found that Purel hand sanitizer works wonders. As soon as I feel the tingle I start putting purel on that area atleast 5-6 times a day and everytime the cold sore does not form!

anon29585
Post 3

I have had really good luck taking L-Lysine

(an amino acid) as soon as I think I'm getting a cold sore. Many times I can stop it from ever blistering, and the times I can't get to it soon enough, the healing time is shortened. I also avoid argenine-rich foods like colas, peanuts, and chocolate, as cold sores feed on argenine (another amino acid).

somerset
Post 2

I started getting cold sores when I was very young. It took a few visits to the doctor before I knew what they were. Finally a dermatologist explained to me what was actually happening. The virus, Herpes Simplex, is dormant in the nose/mouth area of those unfortunate enough to have been infected. Whenever immunity is lowered by poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, or combination of those, the body can not fight the virus, and an outbreak occurs. There is a cream that speeds up the healing process. In United States, it is prescribed by a doctor, to the best of my knowledge. In Europe it can be purchased in a pharmacy without a prescription. It is good to dab a little of the cream on the area as soon as the tingling starts. The cold sore would eventually dry up on its own, but the cream does cut down the healing time.

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