About Cold Sores

Cold sores are typically caused by the herpes simplex 1 virus. These sores are also known as fever blisters.

Common Cold Sore Symptoms

  • Tingling or itching
  • Reddening of skin around lips

Use the tips below to help reduce the recurrences and/or speed the healing of cold sores.

  • Put ice on the blisters if they are painful.
  • Reduce consumption of high-arginine foods like nuts, chocolate, peanuts, oatmeal, grains, peas, seeds, and whole wheat products.
  • Brewer’s yeast may be beneficial.
  • Coffee may increase the frequency of cold sore outbreaks in individuals who are already infected with the virus.
  • Cold sores may indicate a calcium deficiency.
  • Reduce exposure to the sun. Use a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF on your lips and other susceptible areas.
  • Stress has been known to trigger cold sores. Practice relaxation techniques.
  • Boosting your immune system has been known to be a preventative measure for those that get cold sores frequently.
  • Reducing the duration of cold sores may be done by taking vitamin C along with citrus bioflavonoids.
  • Zinc has been known to reduce the duration of cold sores.
  • A balanced diet, exercise, sleeping well and avoiding emotional stress may help in reducing cold sore outbreaks.
  • Taking lysine can help with cold sores. Lysine is found in yogurt. Make sure the yogurt you consume is gelatin free. Gelatin has been known to increase cold sore outbreaks. Nonfat yogurt and other nonfat dairy can be a healthful way to increase lysine intake.
  • Avoid using the same towels, razors or utensils as someone with cold sores. It is recommended to replace your toothbrush at the outbreak of an attack, after the blister breaks and after the sore is gone. Always wash your hands after touching the sores
  • Always keep your lips moisturized. Damage to your lips has been known to bring on a cold sore outbreak.


Self Help Tips (collected from a number of home remedies resources)