Natural, home remedies for cold sores have been written about and discussed for as long as I can remember.
There are also dozens of ‘over the counter’ and prescribed cold sore treatments.
I know this because it is a ‘god awful’ virus I’m very familiar with and have been suffering with for years.
I say ‘suffering with’ because up until recently the only option I had, was to treat a cold sore as soon as I felt it coming on.
This meant applying a cream such as Zovirax, onto the affected area of my lip every few hours.
Applying Zovirax as soon as I felt a slight tingling in my lips, meant the severity of the cold sore would be reduced slightly.
It did not stop the development and spread of the cold sore, and it still took around 7 to 10 days to heal.
I’ve tried other brands, and chemist’s own products, but all were pretty much identical in results.
A cold sore is a real shitty thing to have.
It is painful and it looks disgusting.
It also makes you feel very self-conscious.
Apparently the severity of a cold sore, from each break-out, lessons over time.
However, my Mother (who probably gave it to me in the past) still gets them, and they are still painful and unsightly.
Causes and Spread of Cold Sores
Cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1), otherwise known as oral herpes – nice!
The virus can be spread from one person to another via saliva (either directly, through kissing) or by skin contact.
It is also spread through oral sex from one person’s mouth to another person’s genitals (genital herpes) – or vice versa.
You cannot be infected by drinking from the same glass or cup – despite a lot of false claims on the internet. See https://herpes.org.uk/cold-sores
You cannot give cold sores to someone who already has the virus.
A Common Problem
Although figures vary from country to country, it is estimated that between 7-8 out of 10 adults have the virus.
Most people won’t know they have the cold sore virus as only around 1 in 3 will show any signs or symptoms.
This still indicates that a lot of people suffer from regular outbreaks of cold sores.
How Often Do You Get Cold Sores?
The frequency of getting a cold sore varies from one person to the next.
I used to get one every few months.
Apparently 3 to 4 outbreaks a year is the ‘norm’ although it can happen a lot more frequently in some people.
Three to four a year doesn’t sound like much, but when it’s you that gets them, it is a real issue.
Cold sores can ruin social occasions, be an embarrassment at work, and halt any intimacy for a week or two.
What Causes Cold Sores To Come Back?
We know that the HS virus stays with us for life, but what triggers future cold sores?
Common causes include:
• Too much alcohol
• Too much sun or UV light from sunbeds
• Illness such as a cold or fever
• Dental treatment
My outbreaks definitely happened as a result of too much sunlight.
I always used to get one after approx 5 days into a sunny holiday.
You can clearly see my cold sore. I used to get them in almost exactly the same place on my lower lip every time!
Although not listed as a known trigger, another one for me was seasonal.
For some reason, the changing of the seasons used to trigger an outbreak, but especially during the start of summer and winter.
The Best Treatment For Cold Sores
Let’s face it, if you get cold sores, all you want to know is:
“What’s the best and quickest way to treat it?”
“How do you prevent them from recurring in the future?”
The problem with the HS virus is that once you contract it, it stays in your skin for life.
You will always need to take some form of medication or treatment to stop a recurrence.
The only medication I took, was to treat a cold sore, not to prevent one.
Sure the cream I applied helped a little, but not nearly as much as I would have hoped for.
Then I discovered something that was a complete ‘game changer’ – Lysine.
Lysine and Cold Sores
To cut a long story short – my wife was talking to a guy at her work, and they happen to mention the subject of cold sores.
He said that he used to get them frequently but hadn’t suffered from one in over 2 years.
He told my wife that he simply took a Lysine tablet once a day and it was the best discovery he had made for preventing his cold sores.
My wife told me his story and so I decided to order some tablets to see if it worked for me as well.
That was at the beginning of August 2016. I remember the time well because it was coming up to my wedding day.
I was concerned because we were getting married in Crete at the end of August and it would be very hot then.
I knew from past holidays, a cold sore outbreak would be highly likely.
I ordered a 180 day supply of 1,000mgs of L-Lysine per tablet, from Amazon, and began taking them daily.
To my absolute delight, I didn’t get a cold sore before, during or after the wedding (including our 2-week honeymoon).
In fact, since that day I have only had 1 outbreak, and that’s because I experimented in reducing the frequency of taking the Lysine from once a day, to every third/fourth day etc.
I now take one every other day or every 3 days.
If we go on holiday I take one every day.
These tablets really have been a life-changer for me, and I couldn’t be happier knowing that an outbreak won’t occur as long as I keep taking them.
What Is Lysine?
I normally do anything I can, not to take supplements or medication in order to treat something.
So I wasn’t sure about taking Lysine long-term.
The good news is lysine is a natural protein found in foods.
The supplements are gluten, wheat, and GMO-free, as well as being vegetarian and vegan friendly.
I certainly haven’t suffered any side effects and it may actually be beneficial to the body in other areas.
Check out https://www.drugs.com/npc/lysine.html for more information on lysine.
Other Natural Cold Sore Cures
My ears always prick up when I hear about other cold sore cures in the media.
Over the weekend there was a report published in the Metro of a girl who has discovered a cheap, ‘near cure’ for her cold sores.
Indigo Faulkner is an 18-year-old student from Shropshire in the UK.
She has suffered from cold sores since she was 5 and says she develops a cold sore on her lip every six to eight weeks.
Despite previous preventative measures and treatments such as creams, ice cubs, and even anti-viral medication from her doctor – nothing had kept her cold sores under control.
Fortunately, someone recommended a Liquorice Balm. Basically a lip balm with liquorice extract.
It did the trick!
Using the balm daily helps to reduce the frequency of Indigo’s cold sores, and whenever she feels one coming, she’ll use the stronger Liquorice Rescue Lip Gel.
She’s keen to share her story in case what she describes as a ‘near cure’ could help other people suffering from cold sores.
You can read the full article here.
The £7.95 liquorice balm Indigo uses is from the SkinShop.co.uk and like the Lysine tablets, it has lots of positive reviews.
Amazon also sell a liquorice balm that is getting rave reviews for its cold sore protection properties.
This alternative ‘treatment’ could certainly be another ‘life-changer’ or an addition to the lysine – especially if you don’t like to, or can’t swallow large pills.
If you suffer from cold sores there could very well be a cheap solution to your problem.
Lysine has certainly worked for me and if you read the reviews on Amazon from others who have bought Lysine, it seems to be working for a lot of other people too.
I can’t comment on the effectiveness of the liquorice balm, but it sounds like it could also be very effective.
You certainly don’t need to spend money on expensive pharmaceutical creams or unnecessary anti-viral medication from your doctor.