ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Prevent And Treat Cold Sores

Updated on April 21, 2012

Do you get cold sores regularly?

You know that the familiar tingling and itchy feeling you get before it appears means a painful, ugly blister on your face for a week to ten days. There are things you can do to decrease the occurrence of a cold sore. This hub will give you tips on how to prevent and treat cold sores.

Preventing the spread of these nasty cold sores is important. You don't want to expose your family to the discomfort and pain of a cold sore. They are very contagious. So no kissing! Also be sure to disinfect all cups and cutlery the person with the virus has used. Use bleach when washing dishes or use the dishwasher.

But how do you get cold sores in the first place?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simples virus. Once you have been exposed to it you will have it for the rest of your life. It may present itself at different times, usually during times of illness or stress.

In fact stress is a major cause of cold sores. Not stress itself, but how you deal with it. If you run into a problem, instead of freaking out, try to lower your stress level. Having friends and family you can lean on, practicing meditation and relaxation, and exercising are all positive ways to combat stress and reduce its negative effects. This will reduce the occurrence of cold sores.

Exposure to sunshine can trigger the virus. Be sure to use sunscreen on your face and lips everyday. And limit the time you spend out in the sun in the summertime, especially between 10-4, when the sun is at it's hottest.

Cold sores can pop up if you have been sick with a cold or flu because your immune system has been run down.

And some women experience outbreaks a week before they get their period. Take steps to reduce PMS symptoms by watching your diet and getting enough rest if you need it during this time.

Preventitive Diet

Did you know that your diet could be causing your cold sores? It can help to improve your eating habits. Sugar intake must be reduced to prevent the herpes simplex virus form rearing its ugly head.

Reducing arginine rich foods and from your diet is the key. The herpes virus needs this amino acid for its metabolism. Arginine is found in chocolate, nuts, corn, wheat products and alcohol. Lysine inhibits the herpes virus by blocking arginine. Eat lysine rich foods like poultry, eggs, meat, potatoes, fish, beans and eggs. You can also take lysine supplements: 500mg three times a day at the first sign of a cold sore.

Vitamin C speeds up the healing of cold sores. Strawberries, citrus fruits, peppers, kiwis and mangoes are excellent sources. Zinc lozenges will boost your immune system to fight off the virus.

Herbal Help

The herb melissa, or lemon balm has been shown to have antiviral activity against the herpes simplex virus. Drink the tea for its antiviral properties. Or use lemon balm cream to ease cold sore symptoms, reduce the size of the outbreak and help to heal it faster.

Garlic has antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Load up on garlic in times of stress to prevent a cold sore outbreak. Or use it from the first sign of an outbreak until it is healed. You can buy garlic in odor free capsules.

Strengthen your immune system with antiviral herbs like echinacea and astragalus.

Medicinal Help

Abreva is the only cold sore cream proven to shorten the healing time of a cold sore. Applied at that first tingle, it will keep the virus from spreading into other cells so your sore will stay small and heal faster.

How it works

I also find Blistex to be helpful. They have a variety with sunscreen for everyday use to prevent cold sores in the first place. Use the medicated lip ointment to relieve the pain and itchiness of your cold sore and to help it dry out and fall off faster.

And finally you can go to your doctor and get a prescription. There is a prescription cream called Zovirax which works to shorten duration of the cold sore. It will prevent an outbreak altogether if it is applied at the very first sign. There is also a prescription drugs called Valtrex. These medications have been proven to work but they are the most expensive remedies.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • daisyjae profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Canada

      You are welcome, hyphenbird. I appreciate your comments.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I get these sores when in the sun or stressed so your information is right on. I will try your ideas and thank you for the help.

    • daisyjae profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Canada

      I am glad you found it useful, chris.

    • profile image

      Chris McGowan 

      7 years ago

      I get cold sores all the time and this was very useful. I've just got a new excuse to eat as many eggs as I please :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)