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Stop a cold sore before it surfaces

Updated on July 29, 2012

How to stop a cold sore from surfacing

Every now and then I, unfortunately, get a cold sore. Anyone else who has experienced one of these things would agree that they are irritating, embarrassing, and take way too long to go away.

But after doing some research and some trials, I have a way to stop it in its tracks! Now, this only works if you can feel it coming before it actually starts to form near your lip. When you get this sensitive, tingly, sometimes itchy feeling on a spot near or on your lip, it's most likely a sign that a cold sore is coming.

When you're able to tell if one is going to surface, here's what you do:
Hurry and grab a used green tea bag and freeze it. Once it's frozen, press it against the soon to be infected area, and I can guarantee you the cold sore won't come to. I didn't think it would really work, but I can honestly say it did. I was so surprised that, the next day, there wasn't a cold sore in sight; even the sensitivity in that area was gone.

Now, I'm not a big tea drinker and so I don't have used green tea bags hanging around somewhere in my kitchen. So what I'll actually do is take one of my dad's green tea bags, run some water over it and then freeze it. So, lucky you, the tea bag doesn't actually have to be used - used like it came straight from your cup of hot tea.

The downside is, if the cold sore has already surfaced, the green tea won't make your cold sore go away overnight, but it will help the discomfort and process.

According to (since I don't know the scientific reason as to why this remedy helps), "Tea contains flavonoids that quench unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals that cause tissue damage.... flavonoids also inhibit the growth of the herpes simplex virus. Tea also contains caffeine which also inhibits the growth of the herpes simplex virus in test tubes...."

If cold sores embarrass you and you absolutely hate getting them like I imagine anyone who has ever had one feels, what do you have to lose? This remedy is inexpensive and probably even free, if you already have green tea in your cupboard.

It's the only efficient way I've personally tried to prevent cold sores from surfacing that actually works. Also, since I never know when a cold sore is coming, I always keep a frozen tea bag in my freezer so it's there when I need it.

Hope this helps!

Has this home remedy ever worked for you?

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    • profile image

      Leelee 3 years ago

      OMG thank you!!!! was feeling a cold sore coming on and followed your directions, it shrunk almost completely disappearing within 30 mins!! Amazing preventative treatment! I've tried a lot but this beats them all!

    • leah0928 profile image

      leah0928 5 years ago

      Sure, glad I could help!

      Word of advice... I found that if the tea bag is in the freezer for a long period of time (I didn't take note, but maybe a month), it'll dry out. So what I'll do is just take that bag, run some water over it, and either use it like that or re-freeze it for at least half an hour, depending on how fast your freezer freezes.

    • Rosie2010 profile image

      Rosie Rose 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Great advice, Leah. I don't get cold sore that often, but I know when I'm getting one. I drink green tea, so I'll go freeze one now... just in case. Thanks for the advice. Voted up and definitely useful. Cheers!

      Have a nice day,


    • leah0928 profile image

      leah0928 5 years ago

      Yes, same here, I love how versatile green tea's uses are! I hope it works out for your mom like it works for me!

    • Saloca profile image

      Saloca 5 years ago from Liverpool, UK

      Green tea has so many uses - and tastes amazing too! Good for both the inside and the out! I'm not prone to cold sores by my Mum is so I'll be getting her to try this!