I worked part time for a pediatrician who had a phenomenal memory for all sorts of trivia. I came to work one morning with the tingle of a beginning cold sore and was not happy about it. He told me not to bother buying expensive medications for it, just to get an ice cube and hold it to the sore spot for a few seconds, till it got too cold. Then, when it warmed again, repeat on and off for about 5-10 minutes. He promised it wouldn't get any worse.
He was absolutely right. Ever since then, on the rare occasion when I get one, it never grows any bigger than it was when I first started treating it with the ice. I used to get huge old sores that took forever to heal but not any more. My friends have had the same results.
Be careful to take the ice off every few seconds so as not to damage your skin. Keep it on for about 10-15 seconds, then allow your skin to warm before applying the ice again and never longer than 5-10 minutes all told.
By Tina from Ventura, CA
There is a medical white paper on using tagamet (do not substitute) at the first sign of a cold sore. I have used tagamet for over 20 years, long before the white paper came out, and it works! Dakota
I have used ice several times. It really does work. I didn't know you were supposed to take the cube off every 10-15 seconds and have been holding it on continuously for 20-30 minutes! (No harm done, just extremely cold skin.)
Another good remedy to use for those times when you never get the tingle but wake up in the morning well on your way to a full-blown blister is Vyroxin. I used to have to order it over the Internet, but I think I've seen it in CVS recently.
I use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball when I feel the tingle of a cold sore starting. Just rub the spot with the cotton ball every now and then when I walk by the container and it usually dries up very quickly (might be a bit tender, but it works). This is the only thing that works for me, but I am going to try the ice cube one if and when I get another one.
I am so relieved to hear of so many other people with cold sores on this page, not that they are good things. But it's nice to know that I am not the only one that gets these horrible things. I've gotten them since I was little and they seem to just run in my family, out of three kids, I got to be the only lucky one who gets them, however my dad, grandma, and uncle get them as well. The thing I hate the most about them is that I feel like everyone looks at me like I'm so disgusting for getting them, but there really isn't much I can do about it :/ and there really is no great way of hiding them. Hopefully some of these will work, I just put alcohol on it and although it stung a little, I think it will help dry it up. Thanks for the tips.
I have used this technique too but I learned that you should keep the ice in a bag, so that the sore spot doesn't get wet. There is something about moisture that is helpful.
One trick that I have used is to take isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball and place it right on the tingling spot. After awhile, like the ice, the spot gets numb. From my research on this, it seems that the virus lives deep in the nerve and the tingle is it reactivating it. Anything you can do to make it go dormant again is good.
For prevention, I make sure to keep my lips and skin as whole as possible. I find that I often have breakouts on a cracked lip or a sore nose from a cold. I use lip balm or even oragel or neosporin + pain and try to leave it alone as much as possible. I also try to not be stressed out as it seems that this can bring on an outbreak as well.
Good luck! I hope that they will someday find a vaccine for this painful and embarrassing condition.
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