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

What treatment has been effective for your cold sores?

Comment from: Srb, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

L-Lysine has worked wonders for me for cold sores! It's available in the supplement section of just about any grocery store and inexpensive. I take 1000 mg 3 to 5 times per day if I develop a cold sore or blisters. It keeps them from getting worse. Apple cider vinegar (raw/with the 'mother' in it) on a cotton swab a few times a day for 20 minutes or Abreva work for me to quickly get rid of what is there. If I'm able to take my first dose immediately when I feel the itch it usually doesn't even morph into anything. Lysine works by blocking the virus from traveling along the nerve, stopping it in its place so it doesn't reach the skin.

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Comment from: RichK, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 12

I have been getting cold sores since 8th grade, some 47 years ago, so I have a lot of experience treating this tenacious and insidious virus. The two keys are prevention and immediate action. I take (2) Valacyclovir (Valtrex) 500MG tablets twice a day along with at least 500MG of Lysine. (I have done this for years and unfortunately, it does not eliminate the virus forever.) I also use a 15 SPF sunscreen lip balm every time I go out during daylight. As soon as I feel the tingle of a new outbreak, I immediately apply Abreva, which you can buy over the counter, or Denavir (penciclovir), which requires a prescription, every two hours. I always have a tube in my pocket because if I catch it in the first few minutes, I am usually successful in preventing a full scale outbreak. If I feel that I have not caught it in time, I bring out the big guns and take 2,000MG (2 grams) of Valtrex and another 2 grams twelve hours later. Once an eruption has occurred, it is usually too late and the above treatments will reduce the duration, but not by much. Hope this helps.

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Comment from: ACE, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

I have had cold sores for 11 years now. I find that L-lysine vitamins either 1,000mg or 500mg are the most effective treatment when you can't always afford to go to the doctor or get a prescription. I try to take at least one tablet which is 1,000mg every day and usually that prevents an outbreak. If I do get an outbreak I will take 4 to 5 tablets a day and it usually clears up 80 percent faster. There is also an over the counter L-lysine lip ointment that works wonders in preventing and healing this annoying virus. I have dealt with this for almost 12 years now and I only take the vitamins and never have to get the prescription medications. I suggest this to anyone that is dealing with an outbreak or just as a preventative measure. You can get the vitamins at any store. I prefer the GNC 1,000mg L-Lysine vitamins and the Lip Ointment.

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Comment from: beeper37, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

Yesterday I realized that I felt like I was getting a cold sore on my lip. I woke up this morning and I had four rather large cold sores. I went to the doctor and he told me it was stress causing the cold sores. I was given Zovirax and I hope it works. It looks awful and I do not even want to leave the house. How long do they ask to go away. They are painful for sure. Was supposed to go out tonight but not looking like this.

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Published: February 17

I have been getting cold sores since I was about 20. I do not get them very often sometimes i can go a year without one and sometimes I get a few throughout the year. I haven't had any luck with any of the medical treatments available, however I have found that applying ice to the first sign of the blister will reduce the swelling that occurs. Coupling regular applications of ice to the blister with drinking as much water as I can stomach greatly reduces the size of the blister that ensues to a barely noticeable size and reduces the duration of them to approx. 5 days. Prior to this regiment I would use otc medications this only proved to increase the amount of time the blister would be evident as well as increase the noticeability of the blister. I found that doing nothing at all has worked better than using the topical creams one can get otc. I am currently experiencing having a sore on my upper lip I have been applying ice and drinking as much water as possible and nobody at work or home has asked that dreaded question, ''what's that on your lip?'' I can barely noticed it myself if it weren't for that I can feel it there.

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Comment from: sb, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 15

There is a new treatment for cold sores named Sitavig containing acyclovir. You can ask your dermatologist about it.

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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).
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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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