Patient Comments: Herpes Simplex Infections (Cold Sores) - Treatments

What treatment has been effective for your cold sores?

Comment from: Mpete, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

I've gotten coldsores since I was in high school, and I'm not sixty-four. I get them most often on my lip. Sometimes they're as big as a ping pong ball in which case I miss work, as my upper lip hangs over my lower. Yes, I'm a site to see. The only thing that works for me is to catch them early, right at the first tingle. I prefer Zovirax blue capsules. I usually take two right away and then take them on schedule but for just two or three days. This regimen works for me. As well, I have to avoid hot sauces, lemons, red wine and coffee. Yogurt, even rubbed on the cold sore, seems to help, as does the Zovirax ointment. I also heard that holding an ice cube to my sore helped so I tried it, and it did reduce the swelling. Ointments and over-the-counter products only seem to make my cold sores worse, as does lysine. My most recent outbreak occurred after eating very hot mustard at a chinese restaurant.

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Comment from: outrageous, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I find the Zovirax ointment works well. I did try Acyclovir 200mg, but find the ointment works best for me.

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Comment from: higrob1, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 03

I heard a medical doctor on Chicago News Radio say that taking a small dose of acyclovir once a day for a year might prevent having a cold sore for the rest of your life. I used to get terrible outbreaks about four times a year. My personal physician said that she saw no problem with prescribing the acyclovir and did. Guess what? I am overjoyed that I haven't had a cold sore in 15 years!

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Comment from: 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: June 29

I am 17 and have gotten horrid canker sores on my tongue every two months for more than eight years. In the fourth grade I started getting them, which made it almost impossible to want to eat, talk, or play my trumpet. They last for more than two weeks usually and are only on my tongue. I suffer as I write this.

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Comment from: 25-34 Published: June 29

I first began to suffer from cold sores when I was in my early 20's. I suffered from a horrible fever and my lower lip broke out in blisters. It spread to my upper lip, and I felt so disgusted by it. It was a horrible feeling. Ever since then, I have two or three episodes per year. However, as soon as I feel the tingly feeling, I take Valtrex (yes, the genital herpes medicine). I take that for about five days. The cold sore still appears; however, it is small in size, and it goes away between three to four days. You can barely see it once you put makeup over it.

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Comment from: buny21, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I came home as a baby with a bad scratch across my nose from a nurse. Later as I was growing up every time I had a cold or sun burn my nose would flare up with these blisters and they would hurt. We never really knew what to call them. I was always safe about cleaning my hands and staying clear of others when they appeared. A doctor once gave me this cream that was to help "dry them up" when I broke out but all I ever noticed was that it spread them when the cream melted on my face. Now they sometimes rarely surface on my upper lip or even inside my nose. I honestly HATE calling it "herpes!" Seriously I'd rather just say "skin condition" because to me when I think herpes, I think genital herpes. I wish they'd name it something else since it has to do with the face.

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Comment from: higrob1, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 11

Another poster mentioned acyclovir tablets and I will say that they were the only solution for me. Nothing else worked, but then my doctor told me that if I took a small dosage of acyclovir every day for a year I might never get another cold sore. And he said that he didn't see any problem with prescribing acyclovir. He did. That was about 17 years ago and I haven't gotten a cold sore since. I truly hope that this information helps others and am certain that it will.

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Comment from: Koala, 45-54 Female Published: March 07

I have been getting cold sores on my lip for over 35 years. I used to use carmex, which did not do much good. Now I use Campho-Phenique. If I apply this to the cold sore at first sign the cold sore will last only a couple of days. I now get cold sores maybe once a year!! Big improvement!!! I also drink lots of water and keep my hands clean and away from my face. Since I have been drinking plenty of water and washing my hands several times a day I have not gotten sick within the last 2 1/2 years.

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Herpes Simplex Infections (Cold Sores) - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with herpes simplex infections (cold sores, non-genital).
Herpes Simplex Infections (Cold Sores) - Symptoms Question: What were your cold sore symptoms?
Herpes Simplex Infections (Cold Sores) - Diagnosis Question: Describe the symptoms and events that resulted in a doctor's diagnosis of a herpes simplex infection.

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