How to Get Rid of Cold Sores

You've got a big date tonight or an important meeting at work, and you woke up with a cold sore.  These unsightly blemishes are not only embarrassing, but they can also be very painful.  I only get them when I've been under a lot of stress for a few days or weeks, so they never come at a good time.  Luckily, I haven't had one in several years, but these are things that have worked for me in the past.  Learn how to get rid of cold sores with these home remedies.

How to Get Rid of Cold Sores

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What is a Cold Sore?

Also called fever blisters, cold sores are caused by a virus, specifically the herpes simplex virus type 1.  This virus can lie dormant for years in your body, and many people are infected during childhood.  Stress, a cold, sun exposure and anxiety can cause the virus to activate and cause a blemish.

Since a cold sore is caused by a virus, there is no cure.  However, you can learn how to get rid of cold sores with home remedies to lessen  your pain and discomfort and help it heal quicker.

How to Get Rid of Cold Sores?

Cover It

Avoid covering a cold sore with makeup because it can introduce bacteria to the blemish.  You can cover it with petroleum jelly to help protect it from bacteria in the air and in food or drinks.  Waxelene is a good natural alternative to petroleum jelly.  Abreva also makes a cold sore patch that can conceal your cold store, and you can use makeup over it.

Don't Squeeze It

You may be tempted to squeeze a cold sore to help it heal faster, but this can cause the virus to spread and cause more blemishes.


Hold a cold compress or an ice cube directly on the cold sore for 20 minutes at a time.  Repeat several times during the day.  This will help reduce pain, and the cold draws white blood cells to fight the infection.

Witch Hazel

Apply witch hazel to the cold sore.  It helps fight the infection and dry up the blemish.


You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation, but they will not heal a cold sore.  Currently, the only over-the-counter medication approved for cold sores is Abreva.  It has been proven to help reduce healing time, so it can help your blemish heal days earlier that without treatment.

Now you know how to get rid of cold sores!  Have you tried any of these remedies?

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