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Cold sores, also known as oral herpes, are blisters that mostly occur on the lips but can also be found on the gums and the roof of the mouth. They're very common.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus and can be transmitted by taking a sip from someone's glass, trying someone's dinner with his or her fork, or sharing a towel-if that person has a cold sore or has just had one.

One of the worst things about cold sores is that once you get one on your lip, they're hard to hide. Find out how they are different from canker sores, and learn about natural remedies that can help to prevent and heal them.

What cold sore remedies have you tried? Share your experiences below in the comments.

photo credit: Marinela Sotoncic
April 30, 2006 at 3:50 am
(1) Jane says:

1 teaspoon of Benadry every 6 hours for 14 days.
1 teaspoon of Maalox every 6 hours for 14 days.
500 mg. Vitamin C everyday
Rinse with 1/2 peroxide and 1/2 warm water,every 6 hours, 14 days

May 1, 2006 at 3:18 am
(2) celestina says:

When you feel the cold sore coming up (the tingly feeling) put some methylated spirits on the cold sore. About 5 times through out the day. If the cold sore has already come out its a bit late for meths

May 1, 2006 at 3:19 am
(3) celestina says:

l-lysine is a great cold sore preventative also. and also helps clear them up

May 8, 2006 at 11:29 pm
(4) tawnya says:

I heard about the tannic acid in regular tea bags. Then I tried it on my son who used to get frequent cold sores. Hold a wet tea bag on the cold sore after every meal and at night. Then cover it with a dab of vaseline. But the tea bag, the more times a day you hold it on the better it gets. Always a fresh tea bag each time of course. But he goes years now without a sore and at the first sign, if he uses the tea bag enough, it never develops!!

May 21, 2006 at 12:31 am
(5) Chelsea says:

I am still trying various remedies, but just to let every one know I HIGHLY doubt using bleach is a safe remedy. I also doubt it works. Not that I’m going to try it.

May 31, 2006 at 8:49 pm
(6) Darcie says:

Alright, I’ve never actually tried this one, but my friend swears by it. As gross as it sounds, she insists that if you wet a q-tip with urine and dab it on the affected area it will go away within a week.

October 31, 2006 at 11:01 pm
(7) Rachel Downs says:

I like to rinse mine with alcohol and then apply neosporin

January 18, 2007 at 12:30 pm
(8) Jesse says:

I use abreva and it seems to work pretty good.

January 29, 2007 at 7:28 pm
(9) Lisa says:

put you ear wax on as soon as you feel it coming on

January 30, 2007 at 1:37 pm
(10) Maggie says:

I get cold sores frequently, at least 5 times a year. When I feel one coming, I hit it with herpecin chapstick, applied at least every 20 minutes, and about 2-4,000 mg of L-Lysine throughout the day. Usually I take 2 doses of 2,000 mg. I’ve never had any side effects from taking larger doses, and these two together usually stop the coldsore from every developing.

February 26, 2007 at 7:02 pm
(11) benny says:

i do it every time i feel that tingle i put a dab of white toothpaste on the sore and it helps dry it up quicker reapeat this step every 2-3 hours it really works!!!

August 20, 2007 at 9:05 pm
(12) Marie says:

I am using abreva right now. I am hoping it works. Its expensive. But this hidious thing on my mouth I swear I hate it.

December 20, 2007 at 5:02 am
(13) Rebecca says:

i recommend as soon as you feel the tingling sensation that means you’ve got one on the way.. put a few ice cubes in a plastic bag and apply to the tingly spot for at least 20 minutes a few times a day. i also use herpecin many times a day, as well as putting alcohol swabs on them. also once the cold sore pops up, piercing them with a needle and then applying alcohol to it really dries it out.

December 25, 2007 at 4:46 pm
(14) Kris says:

I agree with the toothpaste..soothing and drying. I also think that first popping the blister with a sterile pin and immediately applying an alchol soaked cottenball prior to the toothpaste, may help. ( I wouldnt do the “urine” idea, as urine is a way to exrete contaminents)!

January 13, 2008 at 11:47 am
(15) Gene says:

I stumbled over this 3 or 4 of years ago and it hasn’t failed me since. At the first sign of a developing cold sore (that little bump on the inner edge of your lip that you feel a day or so before it grows and erupts) I apply a little neosporin. I actually discovered this when I applied neosporin to a fully fledged cold sore and it was healed and gone within 10 to 12 hours… and since that day, I’ve used neosporin at the first sign and the sore never develops, never erupts and goes away within a day or two. I just, this week, went through this… and decided to see if there was a place tho share this info. As a matter of fact, I contacted Johnson & Johnson and told them of this alternative use and how happy I was with the results. Six months later I started seeing TV ads for Neosporin Lip Treatment… ha!

February 2, 2008 at 1:51 pm
(16) Jessica says:

I use Vicks VaboRub. IT WORKS!

July 22, 2008 at 3:24 pm
(17) Becky says:

Ive had cold sores all my life. Ive even used prescriptions. After a while perscriptions didnt work and I started using Abreva and after a while that didnt work. As of now I use a mixture of alcohal and boric acid and its seems to work the best out of all of the things Ive tried. Stupid cold sores!!

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