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Natural Cold Sore Cures

Last Modified on Mar 27, 2016

Treating cold sores involves avoiding common triggers, maintaining proper hygiene and applying or taking natural remedies to treat infection. Natural treatment options commonly function to treat sores from the inside out offering healing from the infection causing the sore. Additionally limiting stress, chocolate, artificial sweeteners and other exacerbating conditions may also prevent and treat cold sores.

What is a Cold Sore?

Cold sores can be described as small, blister-like lesions that occur around on the mouth and lips. The sores are typically filled with fluid, which eventually break and leave behind a rough crust.

The initial symptom of a cold sore most often involves a slight tingling or itching in a localized spot around the mouth. Once the sore has developed additional symptoms may occur including fever, sore throat and swollen glands. Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex 1 virus or herpes simplex 2.

Natural Remedies for Mouth Sores

Cold sores can often be treated by avoiding exacerbating conditions and allowing the lesion to heal on its own. Natural remedies can also be used to speed healing time and limit the negative effects of lesions. Some of the most effective treatments include vitamin C, l-lysine and myrrh oil.

Vitamin C

Applied as a topical treatment and taken orally, vitamin C can speed the rate of healing of cold sores. Vitamin C helps eradicate infection and boost immunity. Additionally, taken regularly vitamin C can prevent the further onset of sores.


L-lysine is an amino acid or an essential element of protein. Taken as a cold sore treatment, l-lysine helps eliminate the herpes simplex virus that causes the condition. The treatment may be taken by mouth or applied to the skin for effective treatment.

Myrrh Oil

Myrrh oil is another effective treatment for mouth sores and other skin ulcers. Myrrh helps to relieve agitation, soothe skin and eliminate infection. Dabbed on the lesion, myrrh oil shortens the duration of sores and relieves associated pain.

Cold sores can be painful and unsightly lesions found around the mouth. Natural treatments, however, relieve the pain of the ulcers, shorten healing time and prevent future development of the condition.

Additional Pages of Interest:
Genital Herpes Remedies
HPV Remedies

Remedies for Cold Sores

Cold Sores
Natural Cures

The Popularity of Cold Sores Remedies - Full List

Alphabetical Popularity Recent Post
Acetone, Aloe Vera12012-05-28
Acetone, Ice, Lysine12012-04-26
Alkalize, Coconut Oil, Trace Minerals02011-04-15
Aloe Vera62013-09-15
Amaranth Grain12012-03-02
Apple Cider Vinegar162015-05-12
Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic, Ice12011-05-10
Apple Slices, Aloe Vera Cream12011-07-06
Artificial Sweetener Link to Herpes02013-04-05
Aspirin, St. John's Wart, Tea Tree Oil12007-12-27
Astringent Toner12008-08-22
Avoid Arginine02011-10-05
Avoid Caffeine22010-04-01
Avoid Citric Acid12010-09-03
Avoid Orange, Grapefruit, and Cranberry Juices12013-09-04
Avoiding The Sun12013-04-19
Baking Soda42014-07-25
Bee Propolis12013-12-12
Bentonite Clay and Apple Cider Vinegar12010-06-17
Bitter Almonds12013-10-12
Bitter Melon12008-11-20
Blood Electrification and Colloidal Silver02011-02-18
Blue Glass and Sunlight Therapy12010-07-09
Blue Green Algae12012-01-27
Calamine Lotion12008-11-18
Cell Food12012-10-05
Cha De Bugre12011-09-27
Clove Oil12009-01-20
Coconut Oil62014-05-28
Coconut Oil, Tea Tree Oil12016-01-25
Cold Sore Prevention Tips12015-12-10
Colloidal Silver and Aloe Vera12016-03-27
Colloidal Silver, Coconut Oil22013-02-20
Dietary Recommendations92012-04-29
Ear Wax142015-07-02
Eliminating Mercury Fillings02015-03-05
Epsom Salt12009-08-18
Fresh Avocado12015-07-01
General Feedback02012-12-04
Geranium Oil12012-07-11
Gluten-Free Diet12016-02-01
Gluten-Free Diet, L-Lysine12013-08-06
Head and Shoulders Shampoo12007-11-25
Homeopathic Remedies32012-01-13
Hydrogen Peroxide242015-12-29
Hydrogen Peroxide and DMSO20000-00-00
Hydrogen Peroxide and Lysine22006-10-21
Hydrogen Peroxide Inhalation Method12008-06-23
Ketogenic Diet12013-03-06
L-Lysine and Diet12014-12-31
L-Lysine and Vitamin C12011-05-04
L-Lysine, Garlic12011-09-21
L-Lysine, Licorice Tincture12009-02-09
L-Lysine, Nail Polish Remover42011-01-31
Lavender Oil20000-00-00
Lemon Balm22012-10-24
Licorice and Peppermint Root Extract12013-03-19
Liquid Bandaid32011-02-03
Liquid Oxygen, DMSO12011-08-20
Lysine, Vitamin C and Coconut Oil12015-03-24
Mango Mask, Alum12010-09-20
Manuka Honey32015-10-07
Maria Treben's Recipe12008-04-10
Melissa, Aka Lemon Balm10000-00-00
Multiple Remedies92012-08-09
Neem Leaves or Oil32007-08-06
Oil Pulling12007-09-02
Olive Leaf Extract22015-05-19
Oregano Oil102014-01-29
Pine Pitch02009-04-12
Red Marine Algae22012-05-18
Red Marine Algae, L-Lysine02013-04-18
Royal Jelly12013-01-31
Rubbing Alcohol, Vitamin C12011-07-05
Sauerkraut Juice12008-12-30
Sweet Orange Oil12008-04-30
Tea Bag22009-03-24
Tea Tree Oil82015-03-17
Tea Tree Oil, Blended Green Smoothie12009-01-08
Ted's Remedy Feedback02010-09-17
The Rip-Em-Off Method for Cold Sores!12007-10-09
Tinactin (Foot Spray)22007-01-14
Tissues with Lotion02014-12-31
Tomato Juice12010-02-28
Transfer Factor02014-10-29
Vitamin A10000-00-00
Vitamin C22013-02-07
Vitamin C and DMSO12015-05-16
Vitamin E12008-05-07
Vitamin E and Gold Bond Medicated Powder12007-02-26
Vodka, Tea Tree Oil, Acne Cream12011-03-28
Witch Hazel22007-11-27

90 User Reviews | 50 YEA | 4 NAY | 3 WARNINGS!    Treatment

Posted by Concerned (Georgia ) on 01/12/2016

[YEA]  I have suffered from cold sores ever since I was in elementary school. I am currently 20 years old. I usually get cold sores once a year. But this past year (2015), I got two of them. To top that off, I got one at the beginning of the new year. These are the WORST. I have tried nearly everything. This past time I had a cold sore, I read on the internet that nail polish remover really works. And man was that right! I caught mine before it got too bad.

I put the acetone on it once every hour of the day. Hold it for 20 seconds, IT WILL BURN! But it works. The next morning, my cold sore was almost gone. It wasn't even noticeable! I continued the process of applying acetone every hour of the day until it was gone.

It also helps to take the vitamin L-lysine. I also drink plenty of milk when I have cold sores, because milk also contains lysine.

I hope this was helpful!

Posted by Annie (Providence, Ri) on 11/18/2015

[YEA]  Acetone worked very well for me. I get cold sores about once a year, usually in the Fall, when my lips start to chap from the cold. I didn't hear about Acetone soon enough to prevent the outbreak of my first cold sore this year - I was already on day 3 after the blisters had broken when I discovered this remedy. I started using it then - and it did speed healing greatly! In fact, it worked so well that I figured I didn't need to use it anymore, that my cold sore would be nearly gone by the next day or so, so I stopped using it. Unfortunately, when I stopped, it got worse the next day. I had to start using it again to see improvement. It made a huge difference in the speed of healing and that was with spotty/very late use!

Also - normally when I have a cold sore outbreak I get at least one or two, sometimes up to four in a row. Sure enough, I started getting not one but two more as the first began healing. I hit them with the Acetone on a cotton swab, pressing it into the newly forming bump/blisters, for at least 30 seconds, at least once every two hours for one day. By the next day - both were completely gone - they never continued forming!

A couple of days later, I started getting yet another, right next to where the first one was. I put Acetone on about every two hours or so, all day long. The next day - the swelling, bump and forming blisters are GONE! Completely! I feel confident that I will never have another cold sore again as long as I catch it in time and always have 100% pure Acetone on hand.

Replied by Ed
Seattle, Wa
[YEA]   My diet is somewhat acidic. I would experience cold sore attacks every other week. I stopped taking daily multivitamins due to high L-arinine content of solid multivitamin pills. I have been eating roman lettuce, green cabbage, carrots and other vegetables every day starting this summer.

I had only 1 instant of tingling and reddish color on my lower lip where cold sores would appear before. Tingling, inflammation and skin redness went away in minutes after applying acetone.

Posted by Anon (Anon) on 11/09/2015

[YEA]  Acetone is working really well. Had the worst cold sore of my life a month ago and now a month later another one. I felt the tingling and immediately started with Hydrogen peroxide. Later read on here that acetone works very well too so I started using that. It has dried out the cold sore better than the HP. The cold sore is barely visible and has not swollen huge or burst or anything. it is Just red and a little swollen, It is very dried out and seems to be going straight to scabbing, although you cant really see a real "scab" its just dried out and dry skin but you cant tell unless you look real close in the mirror. This sore is in the same spot as the really bad one a month ago but also spread down the lip even more than the really bad one. I feel that if I would not have used the acetone this sore would have been the worst one ever. The first day I felt the tingling I used HP. The next day no sign of a sore but still put HP on it for about 10 min twice that day. Day 3 I woke up and the sore started to pop up like normally, reddish and a glossy bump. It wasn't too big, yet! It was about the size of Lincolns head on a penny. Immediately started to soak with acetone. It went down in swelling and dried out quick. Still red though. Next day, day 4, which is today, I woke up and it looked really good. swelling down still, still dried out, still a little red. Soaking in Acetone again this morning. Worked all day and it barely noticeable, barley swollen, barely red. Applying again tonight. I'm hoping that it continues to go down and not have a brown scab. Hopefully just dry crusty skin scab that you can't really see like it is now. So it should be healed within a week hopefully. which is amazing because before it would be a week before it even scabbed and then at least another week with bleeding nasty huge scab on my lip.

This is a GOD send, helping soo much. I am truly grateful!

Posted by Rick (Des Plaines, Il) on 11/30/2014

[NAY]  Sorry, for me acetone didn't seem to help even least. The only thing that has shown any evidence of helping me reduce the growth of a cold sore (especially if started early) is Lactoferrin (taken orally).

Posted by Sabrina (Toronto, Canada) on 11/26/2014

[YEA]  OMG!!! God bless the founder of this miracle. I AM ABSOLUTELY GRATEFUL IT WORKS. I woke up yesterday to the most disturbing painful sore on my lip. I used a warm green tea bag every 3 hours and pressed it against the cold sore for about 20 minutes. Later in the evening using a cotton swab I applied 100% pure Tea Tree Oil. (Please dilute with equal drops of water if you have sensitive skin) I searched the web for another home remedy and stumbled across this blog. To my surprise using the acetone for 5 minutes every 30 minutes dried up the remainder of the sore almost immediately. I felt the burning sensation but it was worth it. Thank you for this magical remedy.

Posted by Ems (Uk) on 10/31/2014

[YEA]  Felt the tingling early and thought I had stopped it with Zovirax but woke up this morning and it was huge. I burst it with a disinfected needle and have been pressing a cotton bud with nail polish remover into it and in 3 hours it has gone down in size by a third.

Replied by Rachelle
Idaho, US
Wow I have never heard of using acetone! I will be incorporating this along with what I have found to be most beneficial today! I'm 51 and have suffered all my life with cold sores clear back to my grade school days! I have always considered myself as the cold sore queen! hahaha With age comes experience for what has worked best for me. At the first sign I always take a fever reducer. I take this through out the day and I even take it at night before bed. This by far has been the best way for me to attack the cold sores before they attack me at night! This has kept that god awful swelling from happening over night! Along with helping out with the pain! Thanks for the advice on the acetone can not wait to try it!
Replied by Kim
Ny, US
Hi, read your post and really curious to know if it worked for you. I thought like we all do I suppose that I was the cold soar queen, but I see you are too. LOL... Mine come specifically with stress. I always know when it is about to come and can usually stop it with the medicine. They gave me a larger dose than I have heard normally because of how large one got once, so I get 1000mg of Valtrex. When it first starts the tingle I take 2 and if I was early enough it won't come at all.

This past week though I was away from home, knew it was coming and forgot the medicine... sure enough, BANG! However this time it is worse than it has ever been and I've had them so bad that once my lip was swollen 3" more than normal. This one goes from the middle of my upper lip two the corner of my mouth and that has never happened. Usually its one on the lip or above but this is like 4 of them together and is horrible. So I wonder did the acetone work for you??????

Posted by Mia (Formerly Of Lyons, Now Syracuse) on 12/17/2013

[YEA]  I have been using Retin-A for wrinkles. Problem is that everytime I use it, I break out in a cold sore. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

I am sick of it and was driven to try the nail polish thing again so I bought some today because taking L-Lysine wasn't touching this one. My lip was so swollen it wasn't funny. Then, another started to pop out in a different after I started to use the nail polish.

I had to use it more than a couple times. I have been putting it on with a cotton bud every hour or so by dabbing it until the cotton ball dries out . I haven't just let it sit there for five minutes because I don't really want to breathe the fumes in. So I dab it, breathe, dab it, etcetera until it dries out and then I do it again a bit later when the thing tries to moisten back up.

It is working because I am diligently attacking it.

The thing is already crusting over after one day and normally it would take five days to get this stage. I will definitely keep putting the acetone on until it is all dried up and gone.

I am also taking L-Lysine, which wasn't really working that well, along with Vitamin C. I am planning to continue to do both as a daily preventative.

Replied by Thehandyman1947
Poland, Ohio
Cold sores, the virus is highly contagous, when the blister is present, also you have a viral shedding once a year, no sign, but contagious. try DMSO and lugol's solutition in a spray bottle, ( lugol's solutition is a mixture of potassium, and iodine) 50/50 mix, this will take care of just about any infection, iodine is very powerful antiseptic, also myrrh oil or oil of wild oregano. Also when you have a blister it's a clear sign that your immune system is down so try to build up your immune system (vit c).

Posted by Lisa H. (Santa Barbara, Ca) on 11/18/2013

[YEA]  Thank you - Earth Clinic folks. The acetone works miracles! I awoke with that dreaded tingling feeling and tried using an 11 month old tube zovirax to no effect for the first half a day the cold sore just kept growing - and getting redder and itchier.

Then I jumped on earth clinic - and remembered the acetone trick. Thank goodness, the tingling stopped, it dried out and started to recede within 48 hours. It is taking a while to heal but is continuing to get smaller and smaller.

Chocolate is my #1 cold sore trigger. Each outbreak I have had in the past few years can be traced back to the effect of an overindulgence. Well THIS time I have learnt my lesson for sure.

Replied by Clare
Thankyou thankyou for listing that Chocolate is your trigger. In my 46 years, I have never ever made that connection. I have the worse cold sore epidemic on my mouth and chin at the moment after eating kg's of chocolate & cupcakes this week. Yes I'm a little piggy but the kinder. I blame my son's birthday party & the kinder for all that chocolate I should have sold for fundraising as I know I'm just gonna gorge. Now to find a piggy anonymous thread on google. Hope the acetone works.

Posted by Josephine (Uk) on 10/20/2013

[YEA]  Just wanted to say that acetone for nose ulcers work very well. Just just a cotton bud dipped it into acetone and applied to the sore for one minute. I did this every moring and niht for two days.. The tinggling sensation went after the second application. Thank you Earth Clinic.

Posted by Fmb (Vancouver) on 08/09/2013

[YEA]  YEA Acetone really does work - it's amazing. I wanted to explain a few details I experienced with the acetone treatment.

I've been getting cold sore outbreaks for about 15 years now - I'm 39 - I found that taking 1000mg Lysine daily has kept me free of outbreaks for 4 years - I ran out, didn't take lysine for only 2 days and BAM my upper lip had the start of BIG nasty large vesicles - Couldn't believe it - no prodrome tingling, no warning. It was slightly obsured by my moustache so I didn't really notice it right away. This one just by the initial size was gonna be a major disaster.

I read all the miracle stories about it, so I tried the acetone on a cotton swab placed directly onto the sore for 5min at a time every 30min for the first day. To stop evaporation I used clear packing tape to press the swab right onto the sore. Don't be afraid to PRESS the acetone into the sore - it will burn bad but it's like you can also feel the acetone destroying the HSV inside.

The next morning I woke up and I thought Lisa Rinna's plastic surgeon had snuck into my bed and plumped up my lip with silicone - It was HUGE, I actually laughed in the mirror because it looked so ridiculous. However, the sore had gone directly to scab healing stage.

The following morning the swelling had almost completely gone and after my shower the scab had worn off and the final pink healing scab remained. So literally 48 hours from the start of what was to be a colossal large sore on my lip it's already to the point of what normally takes about 10 days to get to.

1000mg Lysine daily is the long-term cure you want to get on - but if you miss a Lysine and one pops up Acetone is what you need 100% - Do not even bother with anything else and start it as soon as you see or feel one coming on.

Acetone is also totally safe for your skin - read up about it on wikipedia - It's even used as a food additive!

Posted by Ed (Kent, Wa) on 06/16/2013

[YEA]  Acetone works. I am 59, and have suffered from cold sores all my life. The last 2 years were the worst. I get irritation in the right eye, then irritation around the nose as the early signs of a virus attack when my body immune system is week. One never knows the status of one's immune system, but sometimes there might be early signs.

I take Famciclovir when the irritation starts and apply apple cider vinegar to my lips at work, or Acetone with a cotton Q-tip at home. I figure the complicated use and smell of Acetone at work might draw the attention of co-workers.

Here is what I have learned,
1- Stress life is present all the time.
2- Acidic foods help virus activation.
3- Do not eat fruits or too much meat. Meats including fish and specially shell fish are very acidic. Fruits are acidic and have lots of sugar that contributes to virus activation and growth.
4- Do not drink coffee or tea. Do not eat chocolate.
5- Do not eat animal products more than 3 times a week.
6- Eat green leafy and root vegetables.
7- Lime or lime juice is the best. Include a lime in your daily diet.
8- Eat a cucumber and a tomato every day, or make a cucumber, tomato and onion salad with a fresh lime juice and some cayenne pepper part of you daily diet.

Posted by Lilli (Kenmore, Wa) on 03/15/2013

[YEA]  My thanks for another wonderful and effective remedy from the Earth Clinic forum.

Every time I have a cold I get a runny nose. From all the wiping and irritation I develop a cold sore... In my nose!!! They are always painful and last a long time. I tried all the OTC products, they only cover up the sore and keep it moist; the exact opposite of what I should have been doing.

A few days ago, I took a q-tip and swabbed all the small blisters in my nose with acetone. I did this once an hour for 3-4 hours. The first thing I noticed was that the throbbing pain went away. I continued to apply the acetone throughout the day. Before bedtime, most blisters had dried up. I applied it once more before I went to bed. Then next day there were no more blisters.

Three days later, the skin is a bit red and needs to heal. I am using a combination of 100% aloe covered with antibiotic salve because I still have the cold and want to protect the area.

Thanks again for the great advice!

Posted by Gracie (London, UK) on 12/02/2012

[YEA]  Acetone really works! I wanted to share all the info I have with cold sore sufferers as I know how detrimental they can be to the quality of life.

I have been suffering for years and years now from cold sores. My immune system is weak to them and I suspect my partner carries the cold sore virus without any symptoms and infects me every time he eats lots of chocolate and nuts. Sometimes these cold sores are around my nose, on my cheeks, on my chin or above my mouth and I have had some terrible scars in the past from cold sores that became huge and lasted for weeks. These scars sometimes took over 6 months to disappear.

This used to be the bane of my life. It really ruined my existence, to the point where I did not go out for weeks as my face was marred with huge weeping sores or large crusty scabs sometimes several nasty cold blisters would spread in a line across my cheek and they were so painful. It was one of the worst periods of my life and lasted over 2 years during which I felt ashamed and disgusting. People would look at me with horror and no amount of make up could conceal these terrible sores.

Thank goodness for acetone. I cannot believe this works but it really does! The minute I feel a sore coming on or itchiness I swab the area with acetone several times, often the skin turns a little red. Then on top of that I put some cream containing acyclovir like zovirax. I keep repeating every couple of hours. Usually the next day the sore is gone or on its way out.

Just to give advice to others out there, there is a link between foods and cold sores especially sugars, processed red meats (avoid these like the plague) and foods containing lysine and arginine to my break outs. If I eat foods high in arginine like nuts, seeds, chocolate, soya, shellfish etc. then often a cold sore will come up, it is important to balance this out with either foods containing lysine or a lysine supplement.

Foods highest in lysine are chicken, tuna, cod, grouper, pollock, haddock etc. Foods highest in Lysine and lowest in arginine are plain yogurt, most cheeses, milk, kefir and many fishes.

Sticking to a good ratio of more lysine than arginine in your diet plus the acetone trick should mean no more cold sores!

I wish everyone well and no more cold sores, ever!

Replied by Artemisia
London, UK
Gracie, that sounds more like shingles, a different type of herpes virus. It travels down the trigeminal nerve down the nose and across the cheek. It responds to Lysine and as you say, cheese, chocolate, nuts and red wine trigger and feed the virus. Counter this with Lysine (buy the powder from iHerb in Ca who ship to the UK for $6 per order). The ONLY way to dry them out (better even than acetone, is CAMPHOR SPIRITS OR in French l'alcool camphre). You used to be able to buy it in the UK, but now I have to get mine from the US yet again. You dab it on as soon as you get the tingle. Believe me, you will start keeping some in the larder. I use it now only once in a while as I know the signal tingle and start taking Lysine in juice. I was once told by a chief Medic in the Homeopathic Hospital, Tunbridge Wells "the herpes virus is a bitch". My friend in the US who gets shingles when run down, has had the vaccine and I believe you can now get it here.... It is with you for life I understand and I can locate exactly where mine resides; under the arachnoid around the skull on the left side which is where the blisters first appeared on my nose and cheek.... My nose is scarred but the cheeks are more resilient. Spirits of camphor.... As we know these cheap remedies are not endorsed by big pharma - too cheap and no profit margin for shareholders. We have to do the research for ourselves and take action.

Artemisia (purely coincidental that this is the latin for Wormwood! It was the name of an old horse of miine)

Replied by Kilgore
Jackson, Ms
Please try iodine for cold sores, 20 drops of the 5% solution in coffee or milk. Resolved my case in two months.
Replied by Lloyd
Charlotte, Nc
Wow Artemesia if you know the exact location "where the virus resides" or words to that effect, you're the perfect candidate for a topical application of colloidal silver to kill the infection. Apply the silver solution to a white paper towel and for good penetration add a few drops of DMSO (penetrant, solvent and carrier) and press onto the site for fifteen minutes. Do this three times over three days. The paper towel needs to be fairly wet... two tablespoons of the colloidal silver.

Posted by Jenny (Central, Nj) on 08/24/2012

[YEA]  At 33 years old I, for the first time developed a cold sore which started in the corner of my mouth but after a few days increased to the size of a silver dollar on my face. Desparate to make it go away I scoured the internet and found this page. Against my husbands wishes I tried the nail polish remover on a test section of the sore by applying twice within an hour to a small section of the sore. To my surprise I woke up the next morning and it was dried up and left a very small scab in that location. I was shocked so of course I did this to the whole sore by washing it with peroxide and then applying nail polish remover after with a cotton swab. Even though it stings, it was well worth it because the next morning it was all dried up and left small scabs. I followed it up with another treatment of nail polish remover that evening just to make sure the sucker was dead. The next morning I put first aid ointment on a few times and in two days later all scabs are gone and I am back to normal.

My best advice is to apply the nail polish remover instantly and not wait the five agonizing days that I did before I found this wonderful site!!!

Replied by Serina
Where do you get strait acetone though. I read the ingredients in my nail polish remover and it has SOOOOO MANY other ingredients I'm afraid to put that on the sore on my lip.
Replied by Mk
[YEA]   Straight Acetone is the best, and at night I use calamine lotion to aid in the drying, makes you look funny, but it works! Two to three days and gone! Completely!

Posted by Yessssss (Ft Lauderdale, Fl) on 04/20/2012

[YEA]  So started getting a tingle on my chin and I immediately started applying cream it did nothing by the morning my whole chin was covered I read this post around noon it is now 4 and holy crap they're almost gone!!! Got a needle gently pricked each lump then got the nail polish remover soaked them for 5 min since every hr I have been applying a bit and it's almost gone awesome thanks guys

Replied by Victorsfriend
Northeast, Florida, Us
I've had breakouts for about 10 years, and I've never found anything that really helps. Whatever I do or don't do, nothing seems to make a difference, and, when I get a cold sore, it lasts for about 10-14 days. I've tried almost everything I've heard of, and I was on Valtrex for awhile, but it didn't seem to make a difference, so I stopped that. No matter what, I still get a nasty breakout every so often (used to be about every 2 months, now about 2 times a year). The only thing that "helped" was being pregnant, where I didn't have one during the whole pregnancy, but that's not exactly a medication I want to take again. LOL.

When I got a breakout around January, it was BAD, and I had to go to work and have everyone make a big deal out of it, and I have a professional job where it just doesn't look good. I read about the acetone nail polish remover about 5 days into it, and it helped, but it didn't really shorten the time it lasted. Plus, my boyfriend thought I was crazy. He doesn't get cold sores, and I don't want him to start, nor does my son who is almost 2. So it really freaks me out when I get one.

Yesterday afternoon, I get home from work, start chatting with the boyfriend, and I feel it come on out of nowhere. Sure enough, I look in the mirror, and there's a huge blistery bump in the crease of my mouth. I can tell it's gonna be bad. I immediately grab the nail polish remover, figuring that I'll try it again in this early stage to see if it shortens the length any. I did a Q-tip for about 5 minutes, then another 5 minutes about 30 minutes later, then another 5 about 2 hours later.

The first thing I did when I was half awake this morning was open my mouth to see how sore I was... And I felt nothing. It actually made me hop out of bed and look in the bathroom mirror. This HUGE cluster of blisters was practically gone. It was just a little red mark, not even a little sore. I Q-tipped with acetone three times throughout the day, and I predict it will be 100% healed by tomorrow morning.

I know it's probably not the best thing for me, and maybe it's a little dangerous, and there are probably ways I can change my diet (I've tried, but I haven't found anything that kept breakouts away completely) but I'm in sales, and, if I can help it, I need to not have this on my face. If nothing else, I need to at least not be in horrific pain when I open my mouth to talk. I feel like this is a miracle solution, and I had to share.

Replied by Tunameat
Myrtle Beach, Sc
[NAY]   I just noriced a cold sore yesterday. It was barely noticeable so I ran out to CVS and got Abreva and Lysine , I spent about $30. I lathered that on and went to sleep. Wake up and its 2x bigger, red, swollen and has a white blistery area forming on my lip, sorta flat so far. I applied Nail Polish remover this morning since I was so pissed. I put it on a Q-tip and dabbed it on my lip for about 10 seconds. I did it again about an hour later, then 2 hours later. So far I see absolutely no change. Nothing. Looks exactly the same. I think this may be a placebo effect. Does not work.
Replied by Micah
Augusta, Ga
[YEA]   I've used the acetone nail polish remover method twice in the last year. The first time I used it I had already had the cold sore on my lip for three days so it was pretty gnarly looking but I went ahead and did the acetone treatment anyway and it was almost 100 % healed within a few days when normally it would have taken two weeks. This time, I used the acetone as soon as I felt the cold sore and two days later its almost completely healed. It never got huge and super red and scabby. I am definitely a huge fan of this method.