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How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores Fast At Home

How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores Fast At Home
Kevin Cleary

Key Takeaways:

  • Cold sores or fever blisters are caused by viruses.
  • They have no cure and typically take 2-4 weeks to disappear.
  • As the sore appears, it gets red, and a few days later, it can break open and crust over.
  • Cold sores typically don’t require the attention of your physician.
  • They often can be treated at home with OTC products and HPFY has everything you need to get rid of cold sores fast at home.


Who hasn’t, at one time or another, experienced a cold sore? Yes, they are embarrassing and a nuisance, but typically aren’t a cause for great concern. The virus that causes cold sores does not have a cure, so it’s a matter of managing symptoms to allow the virus to clear itself, typically in a few weeks while the cold sore heals. Cold sores can be triggered by illnesses, sunshine, and even a woman’s period. Let me shine a light on these little nuisances and see if I can give you some guidance on healing cold sores fast at home.

Symptoms of Cold Sores

So, what exactly are cold sores, and how do they affect you? Cold sores are caused typically by the herpes simplex virus type I or, to a lesser degree, herpes simplex virus type II. Are cold sores contagious? Cold sores are contagious and spread by contact, like kissing, and can be spread even without the presence of sores. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but treatments can manage outbreaks. Symptoms of cold sores include:

  • Tingling & Itching: Often, people who are developing cold sores feel itching, burning, or tingling around the lips before the sores appear.
  • Blisters: Along the border of the lips, small fluid-filled blisters can develop. They can also develop around the nose, cheeks, or even inside the mouth.
  • Oozing & Crusting: These small blisters may emerge and then possibly burst, leaving shallow open sores that can crust over and ooze.

These symptoms can vary and may not start or appear for up to 20 days after you have been exposed to the virus. These sores may last several days, and the associated blisters can last from 2 to 3 weeks. If you have a recurrence, it is typical for any new sore to appear in the spot you had your last outbreak. If you are experiencing a first-time occurrence, you may encounter:

How to Get Rid of Cold Sores Fast at Home?

Yes, typically, cold sores are treated at home with OTC products that you can get at the local pharmacy. Many of these can lessen the symptoms and expedite healing. Your physician may prescribe antiviral medication to shorten healing time. If you develop cold sores, you may try:

  1. Topical Creams and Ointments

    These over-the-counter creams and ointments can reduce the pain of cold sores while keeping your skin soft and moisturized while it heals. Lip balms can also be applied to keep your lips soft during healing.
  2. Oral Medications or Painkillers

    If your cold sore becomes painful, OTC medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with the pain.
  3. Vitamins C and E

    These two vitamins have shown a propensity to help heal cold sores. Vitamin C can inactivate the herpes virus, and Vitamin E is also good for healing cold sores.
  4. Ice/Cold Compresses

    Apply ice or cold compresses to numb the affected area, but be sure not to apply them directly to the skin, as this could damage the skin.
  5. Aloe vera

    Much like treating a sunburn, aloe vera can help expedite the healing of cold sores. Lab research shows that aloe vera may help fight viruses, including the herpes simplex virus.
  6. Prescription Drugs

    Cold sores are caused by viruses, so your physician may prescribe an antiviral medication such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, or penciclovir.

Besides OTC products you can apply, you can try home treatments to expedite the healing of cold sores, which can include essential oils and herbal remedies such as licorice root, lemon balm, and echinacea. There are even some preventative measures you can take to avoid cold sores. They include:

  • Good hygiene
  • Strengthening your immune system
  • Avoiding triggers
  • Use sunblock

Products To Help with Cold Sores Treatment

When to Seek Medical Attention

Typically, cold sores clear by themselves without any medical intervention. You should see your physician or doctor if you experience lingering/recurring symptoms or have underlying conditions such as:

  • Compromised immune system
  • Cold sores don’t heal within two weeks
  • Severe symptoms
  • Cold sores return often
  • Your cold sore is very large or painful



Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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