Whilst you can’t ever cure a cold sore completely, there are some natural remedies and topical treatments that will help the healing process and prevent any further outbreaks
Anyone who suffers from cold sores will know only too well how discomforting they can be. Not only are they painful, they can also make you extremely self-conscious.
Cold sores are caused by a common form of virus, and once you’ve had it, it can rear its head again and again. Particularly if your immune system is running low.
What is a cold sore?
Cold sores are blisters around the mouth and nose caused by a common viral infection called Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). They appear as tiny fluid blisters on and around your lips. Often cold sores break out in patches, and when they burst, a scab will form as it heals. It can take up to two to three weeks for a cold sore to recover.
Are cold sores contagious?
Cold sores spread from person to person by close contact, such as kissing. They are usually caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), and less commonly herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both these viruses can affect your mouth or genitals and can be spread by oral sex. Cold sores are contagious even if you do not show any symptoms.
What cold sore treatments are there?
First and foremost, if you’re susceptible to the virus you’ll want to make sure your immune system is at its best, to help protect itself from any further outbreaks.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for a cold sore. However, there are a variety of cold sore treatments that will help manage blister patches, heal sores quicker as well as reduce the frequency, length and severity of future outbreaks.
We asked our pharmacist Daniel Zhou which immune-boosting supplements help protect against the virus, and to recommend some soothing ointments to speed up the healing process.
Best Cold Sore Creams
Zovirax's fast-acting formula delivers up to 5 times more of the available active ingredient aciclovir, cutting a cold sore’s healing time in half and reducing core symptoms in the process.
This hardworking cold sore cream is clinically proven to stop a sore from progressing into a painful blister. Its unique dual-active formula combines an anti-inflammatory and an anti-viral agent to help prevent blistering and to speed up its healing time.
This topical treatment contains three active ingredients that work as an anti-viral, antibacterial and anaesthetic, to relive the symptoms of cold sores. The anti-viral agent protects against the herpes simplex virus, while the anaesthetic and antibacterial agent provides pain relief and stops any further bacterial infections.
Blistex Antiviral contains acyclovir which stops the virus from replicating and reduces the severity of an outbreak.
Betadine’s cold sore relief formula contains an infection-fighting antiseptic and a pain-relieving ingredient that provides temporary relief from the discomfort of cold sores.
This fast-acting ointment requires just one application, and is clinically proven to heal symptoms within 24-48 hours. It works by eliminating the virus on direct contact, drying up the blister and providing quick pain relief in the process.
Cold Sore Remedies & Natural Supplements
Blackmores Lyp-Sine contains a powerful concoction of vitamin C and zinc, which helps to heal wounds and boost immune system health, plus a dose of the amino acid lysine, which relieves cold sore symptoms.
This best-selling immune-booster contains astragalus, zinc and vitamin C, to provide daily defence against cold sore outbreaks. Take two per day to increase your body’s natural defence system, and to reduce the frequency and severity of cold sores.
Thompson’s Lysine Lip Clear
Lysine is a well-known cold sore remedy, but this wonder formula also contains vitamin C, bioflavonoids and zinc — all supportive nutrients for skin health, wound healing and immune function.
A unique combination of micronutrients and herbs, Bioceuticals ViraGuard comes armed with echinacea, zinc amino acid chelate and lemon balm, all of which provide support for healthy immune function and to relieve the frequency, duration and severity of cold sores.