Cold Sores
Natural Remedies

Cold Sore Relief: Top Natural Remedies


71 User Reviews
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Posted by Ads (Atlanta, Ga) on 12/18/2011

I had a cold sore pop up on Friday and I had a Christmas party that night so I started freaking out! I read about acetone so I started putting it on that day and it never got swollen at all. The next day the blisters had dried almost completely. And on Sunday it had completely dissolved. Acetone is amazing!

Replied by Hb
(Santa Fe, New Mexico Usa)

This past week I had been stressed out. Yesterday I noticed some itching at the edge of my bottom lip. Oh great! A cold sore is coming. I get these all the time, recently not so much, but ever since I was a yonug child (I'm in high school now). It's horrible! People make fun of you, it's so embarrasing. I kept searching on the internet of ways to make the damn thing go away. All of them said: you can prevent them, but once you have them you have to wait 7-10 days for it to go away. I kept searching on yahoo answers, and found something that didn't involve me going out to buy abreva or any other expensive products that only shorten healing time.

You take a sterilized needle and poke into the sore. You will see clear liquid ooze out of the sore now. Immediately take a cotton ball with acetone and press onto the sore, but after about 5 minutes change the cotton ball and do it again, because if you take it off and put it back on again an infection may form. It worked perfectly! It was gone instantly. I put [again] a new cotton ball with acetone on, and kept it on for an hour and a half. Please try this! But be careful because sensitive skin may have a chemical reaction from the acetone.

Replied by Laurilyn
(Priest River, Idaho)

It WORKS like magic! I have fought this virus since my college days. I have tried oral L-lysine, topical L-lysine, ice, 3%H2O2, 70% Isopropyl alcohol, and every other idea. Acetone nail polish remover on a Q-tip right on the cancker sore dried it up right away. Thanks so much, I have an interview on Tuesday. I was so worried I would NOT get it cleared up in the next 4 days. NOW. No worries!

Replied by Mark
(Las Vegas, Nv)

A canker sore is not the same thing as a cold sore. Nor does it have the same cause.

Replied by Kathleen Gridley

I have terrible cold sores and hemoform serum works wonders. When applied everyday, the sores never get those ugly huge scabs. And the best part is they don't hurt. I would highly recommend this to anyone who suffers with cold sores

Posted by Taylor (Albany, Ny) on 10/12/2011

Okay, I don't think I have ever written a comment on any of these sites before but I know how awful cold sores are and I wanted to tell you all that nail polish remover with acetone in it WORKED! I was so upset because I am a freshman at college, just got here a month ago, and already got a cold sore. I was too embarrassed to leave my room other than to get food. Thankfully (kind of... ) I have strep throat too, so not leaving the room wasn't that ridiculous. I got cotton swabs and Q-tips and put the nail polish remover on my sore for 5 hours and its all dried up! Its still not completely healed, but I only started when I woke up at 11, and it is 5:00 now. I haven't put any on in an hour but I will again soon. Thank you soooooooooo so soooooo much

Replied by Jessica
(Denver, Co/usa)

So I had my first GH outbreak in quite a while and this one was waaaay worse then they normally are. I decided to search around a bit and found this thread. I bought some nail polish remover with acetone last night, applied it to "the bump" which was easily the size of the marble (with no signs of giving up any time soon), let it dry and then put clear nail polish on it over night. The itching and pain was gone within 10 min. Woke up, showered, applied more acetone and then more clear nail polish, and now two hours later.... The skin is still not healed but the bump is GONE!!!! I would guess this event will be a nightmare of the past by tomorrow morning at the latest!! Absolutely recommend giving this method a try!!!

Replied by Anjoyla
(Cincinnati, Ohio)

Have to say after trying over the counter things, muipricin, benzoil peroxide, peroxide, alcohol, salt water, and over the counter cold sore treatments for the past week nothing has worked. I came on line this morning and I saw people trying nail polish remover. I was willing to try it anything to get rid of this. I have had to take pain relievers where the pain of this was outrageous and even they didn't work. I have covered the sore with a bandaid it didn't work. This is the first sign of relief in over a week.

I get these cold sores everytime I try to wear lipstick or lip balm if it's not made of lysine never again. For my birthday for pictures I put lipstick on not thinking it would create a huge problem- it did. So now I am trying to get rid of this before Christmas. These are miserable and embarrassing so I am giving this a try and if it works then I am sticking to it.

Posted by Lulu (Cork, Ireland) on 07/20/2011

I felt a cold sore coming out & then another & another, all on the SAME day!

Dabbed acetone on them, gave about 1 hour & 30 mins & then did it again, twice with 1 hour 30 mins intervals, then the next morning again. Dried them out & now they're almost gone, just slight little scabs. Thanks so much for this guys, it really helped!

Replied by Rod
(Portland, Maine)

I woke up a couple days ago with that dreaded familier itch on my bottom lip.... I get these cold sores a couple times a year and know I'm in for a red, sore lip for about 7 days. Not this time... Treated it with the nail poslisher remover a couple times and this morning (ALL GONE)

Posted by Jlrc (Buffalo, New York) on 01/02/2011

Opened my eyes on New Year's Day 2011 to find a large cold sore forming under my nose. AHHH, the horror. It was already bubbling up and the size of a dime. Over the years I have found when there is a serious temperature shift, from 15 degrees to 55 degrees in a day, that's when I get a break out. So yes, it was a balmy New Year's Eve and I get rewarded with a break out. For years I would get a sore and immediately apply ammonia to the tingling spot. Sometime it would deactivate a break out, sometimes not. Given the bubbles had already erupted I knew I needed an alternative solution because ammonia at this point would still allow for a 1 week heal time.

I read on Earth Clinic about acetone therapy. WOW!! It's working. I applied acetone to the sore via Q-tip several times that day and allowed it to evaporate. When I awoke this morning, the sore had dried up considerably and is hardly red. It appears the acetone has shorted the 2 week herpes life cycle to 1-2 days. I am so thankful this remedy works. I plan to apply acetone several times today for good measure. Acetone works far better than ammonia on killing this virus. Give it a try, you will be shocked.

Replied by Girlie Girl
(Unknown, Pa)

Yes, it works! I had a fever blister pop out last week and I stayed in the house for 5 days. I missed work 3 of those days. I read about the acetone at that time, but was a little afraid to try it out. Soon as my blister was healed and I was ready to get back to my life again.... Another very small one started to appear. I was very upset because I missed so much time from work already, I felt I had to try the acetone treatment. I applied with a Q-tip, held it on for 10-30 sec's. I did that for most of the day and this morning it is completely dried out.

To help avoid them take lysine & Vitamin C. Go to Herpe Nutrution website to find out what things are good to eat and have Lysine in them. I hadn't had one in 4 years until I ate Pumkin Seeds... Stay away from these... I hope this helps...

Replied by Lisa
(Congers, Ny)

I've had herpes since I was 20. I though my life was going to end. I started on Valtrex and soon realized that when I would take it, I seemed to have an outbreak every other month. When I didn't take it, I would have an outbreak maybe once a year. I found staying healthy, eating plenty of foods rich in antioxidents and staying away from stress is the best therapy for me.

Replied by Melissa
(New Brunswick, Nj)

IT WORKS! It's a miracle cure, I got a cold sore yesterday, used the nailpolish remover in the morning and by 5 or 6 pm is was almost gone, and this morning you can barely see anything! ONE DAY and I can leave the house! AMAZING

Posted by Coopbkc (Kansas City, Mo, Usa) on 10/08/2010

Thanks everybody on here so much. Earth clinic is amazing; I always check it first and have managed to avoid getting a prescription for anything for over 3 years (funny because I am applying to med school but avoid doctors at all costs). I have had only a few cold sores my entire life, but a few days ago I felt tingling in my lip and went to the bathroom and saw my lip was a little red and slightly swollen. I freaked out. I have a big weekend planned visiting my friends and a guy I just met. Having a cold sore was out of the question. I got on here and saw the acetone remedy. I am finishing my degree in Chemistry and have had quite a bit of contact with acetone and knew that it would work as a powerful disinfectant/drying agent. Also, to everybody that was shocked/worried about acetone, it is produced naturally in very small quantities in the body. Certainly don't make a martini with it, but a couple q-tip's full over a few days shouldn't be harmful assuming you're not allergic. By the time I got home, I had a small sore on my upper lip and my bottom lip had a swollen area the size of a marble (ahh! ). I used a q-tip and applied acetone a few times an hour all night. The next morning the top sore had dried out and scabbed and the bottom was less swollen but still showing signs of blistering. I continued with the acetone in the morning and abreva/acetone throughout the day. I did not use any moisturizer/chapstick because I wanted the infection to dry out. Its now only two days into the outbreak, my bottom lip is normal sized and has scabbed below the surface, the top lip has no scab and is pink and healing well. I am so happy. Its hardly noticeable. By tomorrow, I anticipate I will be back to normal. I have started using Vaseline to moisturize and speed up healing. A little acetone is sooooooo much better than the two week embarrassment I faced last time I had a cold sore. This has almost cleared up in 48 hours and this was the worst (biggest) outbreak I have had. Thank you again.

Posted by Jazzy103 (Yardley, Pa) on 07/31/2010

I applied 100% acetone on onset of my oral herpes and much to my surprise it worked!! I suffer from breakouts 1-2 times per month and have tried many things with no success of stopping a full blown blister. I kept applying acetone about every half hour on the first day and about every hour on the second day, then a few times per day until I was sure it was gone. I only experienced some redness and dryness but no ugly yellow blisters!!!! I hope this can help someone who is suffering from this agressive and ugly virus!!

Replied by Mike
(Denver Area, Colorado)

I just wanted to thank you guys for giving me this tip on acetone. I was extremely skeptical but my last breakout terrible. When I saw a situation developing on my lip this time I freaked out and knew drastic action was gonna be required or I was gonna be out of commission for a month like last year. No good. Usually what happens is I get one herpes and then all h*ll breaks loose. My entire chin and lips get covered within 3 days. And inside my mouth as well... It's very bad. This time I read this thread and took immediate action. I took a cotton (make up remover disc) and put acetone on it. I then held it directly on the infected area. I did this several times per day (5 to 10 times) until it was gone. Here's the thing. My chin and lips were "ready" to have a major breakout but I kept dabbing the acetone anywhere I thought something was about to happen throughout the day... I highly recommend that because it saved me MUCH embarassment. Inside my mouth was terrible but the more vitamin C I took the more relief I got. Not a noticeable difference with Lysine. One note, as soon as you even think you have something developing on your face, dab it with acetone. And you know a difference between a pimple and a "cold sore". Thanks again everyone!

Replied by Thenewguyintown
(Westwood, New Jersey, Usa)

Glad to hear that the Acetone worked out for you and many others on this site, I did have a concern though... Has anyone considered the toxic effects that acetone may have on you longterm ? Granted you only get outbreaks once a year or so, but for some others whom may tend to use it more often, this may be a concern. Either way, glad it worked for you and keep that diet in check and you should be fine.

Replied by Piper
(Toronto, On)

I usually apply hydrogen peroxide, but I thought I would check out what other people do for cold sores. Mine look like monster pimples on my face. Tried nail polish and it does work slightly better than peroxide for me. I also put zinc cream (diaper rash cream) on at night which speeds the healing. I use the brand that has the highest zinc content (37%).

Replied by Anita

Acetone and oil of oregeno (I guess I didn't dilute enough) burnt my skin. Though I did stop two different sores (about two weeks apart in two different locations) with Ice (2 cubes in baggie), then swabbed with h2o2, pat excess off with tp, applied ear wax (I have little inside the ear but rubbed my finger in the crease behind ear where it attaches to head) 3 times a day. Also took Lysine and Vit. C (1 g each) 3-5 times a day. The two small blisters never multiplied or grew. They just dried into little scabs the size of a pinhead. I also have been taking about 1-2 Tbps of soy lecithin with breakfast for about 3 months so I don't know if this has been helping as well. Good Luck!

Posted by Dan (Denver, Colorado) on 02/09/2010


I dabbed acetone on my face before going to bed one night and I woke up with chemical burns on my tongue and it triggered Bell's Palsy. Don't do it!

Replied by Den
(Katy, Texas, Usa)

First of all I love this website!

I recently had a GV outbreak after going almost 1 year without. I immediately came to this website. Looking at the last days before I felt the terrible tingling. I tried a new sweetener. Didn't like and only drank half the cup, but it was enough!!! I have been working on getting off of sugar. So I knew the only change was the artificial sweetener! NEVER AGAIN! So it was the very next day I woke up with the tingling. I dabbed a cotton ball with Acetone Polish Remover and held it to the area. OMG!! It burned!!! After the initial shock, it felt better. For the next 3 days I did this 2 times a day. I never had a full outbreak. By day 4 it was gone!!!! Thanks Earth Clinic!!

Replied by Katylady82
(Katy, Tx, Usa)

I'm from Katy, too :) i'll definitely try this next time i feel like i'm going to get a cold sore!

Posted by P. A. (Galloway, NJ) on 12/09/2008

Acetone cured my cold sore! Stressing about Thanksgiving arrangements, pleasing family memebers,etc. which triggered a cold sore on my lower lip about the size of a nickel. So the day before thanksgiving I checked earthclinic and saw the acetone remedy for clod sores..I figured what the heck...I had already tried the over-the-counter remedies in the past without much luck so I applied the nail polish remover with a q-tip about four times that day then applied an anti-bacterial cream to clear up any infection. Overnight I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had reduced the cold sore to about 1/4 its original size! Flat, not sore, tingly or anything.Applied a small dab of makeup for Thanksgiving dinner and it wasn't even visible! Yea! Thanks Earthclinic!!

Replied by Linda
(Des Moines, Iowa)

Acetone nail polish diminishes cold sores

You have to keep using it, though, for at least an hour or two. I'm in my 50s and have had cold sores ever since I was a little kid. I have found that if you can attack them quickly and aggressively, you can diminish them.

First, get a bottle of acetone nail polish remover and an over-the-counter strong cold sore ointment. First put the ointment on and let it sit there for a few minutes, then swab the sore with nail polish remover until the swab isn't cold anymore. Apply the ointment, and swab again. This takes two or three hours, but it's worth it. If you catch it early enough, the swelling will go down quite a bit and may be almost unnoticeable in the morning. I'm usually able to conceal it with a cover stick and a little powder the next day.

Replied by Bright Eyed Girl
(Oyster Bay, Ny, Usa)

Hi Everyone, Just wanted to pop in and comment as I usually don't give feedback, but I realize how important it is for people to see the success or failure of a certain recommendation. I know I have found earth clinic's posters to be informative and helpful so I figure I should add on to possibly be helpful to a new sufferer.

When I first read about Acetone, I thought, humm that's strange. Then I said oh well if I use it on my nails then it's seeping into my body anyhow. Maybe not the best attitude, but it always marvels me when I hear people say they can't use something on their skin, but they use it other ways.

Anyhow, I found this info after I had an attack and it pretty much resolved itself. I told myself I have to remember this Acetone method and use it the next time I have an episode. So pow, another episode on Thursday, about 3 days ago. I ran for the Acetone instead of the common brand I use and started to apply it. The particular brand I buy at my local pharmacy did work, but never quickly, never stopped the sore from becoming a sore and I would spend about $22.00 bucks for a small tube which I would use only until the sore was gone and then put it away. By the time I would get another flare-up the cream would have expired - URGH--and then off to spend another $22 bucks!!! So I decided, what the heck, let me try this while praying and see if it works. Well surprise, surprise, IT WORKED!!!!!!!

I was so amazed and excited! The first tingle was in the a.m. on Tursday so I used a Q-tip and kept applying the Acetone after the Acetone evaporated (using a new Q-tip each time of course). I did that for a bit. It got swollen and red, but that's it and yes it burned, but that was fine as long as it would work. Next morning I started again with the same process, but fewer applications because of schedule. By Saturday morning it was still a bit red, the swelling wnt down and a tiny bump remained. I didn't apply anymore and then today it scabbed over! Yup that was it. All gone now.

I couldn't believe my eyes! My friend was also amazed and said she's gonna try it when she has an outbreak. Thanks everyone for the suggestion. ACETONE WORKS!!!

Replied by Susan
(Bklyn, Ny)

Eat flounder and you will never have an OB again. In the mean time work on finding a cure. Flounder, like cod and some other fish is loaded with lysine and the body knows the difference with it and the lysine pills. Look at my post that say "flounder" so u can prepare it. Do not settle there, while you treat, focus on getting a cure and change your diet. You do not want to live this way for the rest of your life. Also read my post on onion/garlic drink where two people got cured. The followed a strict diet, ate organic and only food from the land. Nothing processed, no meat etc.

Posted by Michelle (Buffalo, United States) on 06/01/2008

On Monday I woke up and felt a tingling feeling in and around my nose. I immediately jumped up and cleaned my face. After washing I put novitra and abreva around the area that was tingling. This method use to work for me however it seems like with any remedy that works my system eventually become immune to the concoction or remedy and I have to find something else. Well that is exactly what happened to me this time around. I ended up with a full blown cold sore, starting in one nostril and traveling around to the other one with a cluster all on the bridge of my nose ending on the very brim of my right nostril. Very big and very embarrassing! Needless to say there went my entire week. I took off two days of work and it ruined my weekend. Just when I thought the worst was over, I was going to bed on Saturday and prepared to go through my nightly routine of washing my face etc, and low and behold there was a small tingling feeling on my upper lip. I'm screaming to myself this can't be happening. I can't afford to take off anymore work and expect to have a job when I come back but I can't endure another week of having an embarrassing cold sore at work. I put some Abreva and novitra on it and when I went back approximately 5 minutes later, it appeared to be forming a cluster. I immediately jump on line to see if I can find any type of alternative treatment and I came across this website. After reading all the comment I realized it was extremely late and I had to work with what I had. So I immediately went to work. I ran to the sink and dabbed a Q-tip in Acetone nail polish remover. I left it on the cluster for about 2-3 minutes. I then grabbed an ice cube from the freezer and compressed it against the sore blister until it had completely melted. I then dipped another Q-tip into the nail polish remover and left it on for 2-3 minutes. I put some more Abreva and Novitra on it and went to bed. When I woke up the thing was completely gone. Just to be sure I repeated all of these steps again and plane to do it again before I go to bed. But so far so good. I just wanted thank everyone for posting their remedies. If they hadn't, I'd probably be out of a job right now.

Replied by Jen
(Portland , Oregon)

YEP!!! This seems to be a miracle solution for herpes, both oral and genital. I get both but if I take a cotton swab and dip it in acetone and hold it on the sores for several seconds (or as long as I can) they go away super fast. I keep putting the acetone on the sores throughout the day to dry them up and both oral and genital last only a few days at the most!! My friend's boyfriend tried the acetone on his genital herpes on his last breakout and they never became sores and disappeared in two days. Outbreaks don't seem to be as often either. I also take L-Lysine too but its the acetone that really does that trick.

Replied by V
(Thousand Oaks, CA)

Can you put the acetone/polish remover on the sore if you've already had it for about 5 days? Or do you have to do it when you get the first tingle? I have a sore on my lip for about 5 days that won't go away but it's already blistered. I've been putting ACV on it but it's not working. I also put another over the counter med on it, but it's not helping either. I am worried that with the stage it's at now, that putting the polish remover on it will damage my lip and make it bleed or scar... plus, we are going on a cruise in 2 days! Help!

Replied by Suzy
(Houston, Tx)

As far as the warning in reference to Acetone mentioned below, getting cancer is the least of my worries. It would seem that there are several things out there that cause cancer these days!!! As far as Acetone coming in contact with your skin, it does the same when you use it to remove nail polish! So what's the difference? We come in contact with cleaning solutions, dyes, pollution everyday. I personally do not worry about that, but rather have faith over the situation and I am thankful people have discovered and shared this remedy with others. I am more concerned with consuming artificial sweeteners than applying a dab of nail polish (remover) on my skin which is already doing something due to a *virus (Herpes)! * It would seem that treating the virus (cold sore) is the main thing as it has already formed or is about too. It's like treating a mole; the treatment would first interact or come into contact with the mole before it gets to the layer of your skin. That layer of skin is already going through something, and I have been through many trial periods using many different products and I have to say that CLEAR NAIL POLISH and ACETONE combined worked best for me! Sometimes you don't get the tingling feeling; you just start to see it coming. So as soon as I see or felt it, I washed the area with antibacterial soap, dabbed some *astringent* (which works wonderfully as well because it dries it out! ), the painted over the area with clear nail polish. I left it on overnight. The next morning I removed the clear nail polish with nail polish remover. It freaked me out at first because I thought maybe I burned my skin as I was removing the clear layer, but in reality it dried the blister out completely and prevented it from growing! So I didn't have to apply nail polish remover repeatedly like many others have suggested. I suppose if you are in a situation where you are not home, applying clear nail polish does dry up and is noticeable so perhaps continuously applying remover throughout the day until you are alone might be your solution. I also use the Lysine cream, but it doesn't always work for me. My friend says as soon as she feels the tingling she applies the Lysine cream and it goes away. That isn't 'always' the case for me, but I know it does work at times. The main thing is to DRY OUT the cold sore blister until it scabs or goes away! AVOID creams (except lysine for some), Peanuts, caffeine, cigarette (smoke! ), AND SUGAR!!! YES, it is correct that sugar (including chocolate) can cause a breakout. I was going through a period where I was craving and eating alot of sugar/sweets which I normally don't do, and I was getting blisters back to back. So I had to cut that out. Also I have noticed that tanning beds can trigger a breakout! If you must go like me, clean the pillow and bed with a disinfectant before lying down. Avoid putting lotion on your face and avoid higher level tanning beds with harsh face tanners. Better to just stick with the "level 1. " I also buy this realllly thick chapstick and cover my nose and once affected areas with it to avoid blisters. Then when I get out, I wipe my face with sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is another thing that helps dry out cold sores. Taking vitamins and supplements such as L-Lysine, Selenium, Milk Thistle, Grape Seed (Resveratrol), Echinacea, Honey (contains anti-viral properties), Coconut Oil, etc. Also helps prevent cold sores. Anything containing (bio)flavanoids or things which help your nervous system, (maintain) cell growth, or contain anti-viral agents (since cold sores are apparently caused by the Herpes "virus") I have learned are very beneficial. Exercise is important too, as a stress reliever, it helps calm your nerves and prevent cold sores. I eat a 1-2 spoons full of honey a day and it appears to be working for me, along with exercise, vitamins, and cut out sugar. They say to buy local honey, as it helps ur immune system build a tolerance against the things in your local area (pollen, etc. ). So you could check online for local honey in your area.

With this being said, everyone is different and it took some experimentation, trial periods, and research in order for me to find what works best with my body. I have read that some have gotten chemical burns (inside mouth). I do not recommend putting anything in your mouth except vitamins, garlic, honey, or coconut oil. I think perhaps even cayenne pepper may work for internal sores which I do not and have not ever had. Although cayenne pepper does treat strep throat I have learned, so it's worth a try! Also, if you have sensitive skin, then try not to apply too much of anything to prevent burn.

Posted by Christine (Virginia Beach, USA) on 04/09/2008


While I am sure that acetone will work against cold sores, you should never use acetone or put it on your skin and nails. There's a reason that acetone smells nasty - because it actually IS nasty. It can cause cancer and is poisonous. NEVER put on your skin what you cannot put in your mouth. Poisons can enter your body through your skin, and many cosmetics are, unfotunately, poisonous.

Replied by Karen
(Lindenhurst, NY)


I just want to say Dont use nail polish remover~!!! I tried this remedy and gave myself a bad chemical burn on my face. :-( Now I wish it was just a cold sore. I'll stick to L-Lysine in the future!

Replied by Tom

Even if it has poison, the Acetone, a few q-tip strokes won't kill anyone. The trick though is to have the virus controlled.

Been reading a lot about foods containing arginine, which is pro herpes virus, and lysine if not mistaken, which works against the virus. If the food balance if maintained you can naturally keep the virus away. Also, I use Valtr ex 500ml 1 day, wait 1 or two more days, and have anotherone. This combination of steps food/medicine if you want to use it, has helped me stay months without even small wart coming; at the same tiem keeping me fro taking too much chemical drugs.

You may try using the food balance method and IT will work I tried it for two three months but it has it's ups and downs, that's why Im combining it with the medication and have gotten very lasting results.

Stress is a main factor also, good sleep and excersice.

You may find information about foods with argine vs lysine in diverse web sites. ( IF you have not seen this comparison already)

Sorry if I wrote too much hope it is useful to all!

Love the Acetone and Apple Vinagger methods will test them when the nasty friend comes by to visit!

Blessings to all.

Replied by Lee
(Phoenix, Az Usa)

Not only is acetone produced by the body naturally in small amounts, it breaks down and is metabolized as fuel.

Acetone works well!!! If you are burned, you are either too wimpy or have some odd allergy.

If the smell bothers you, get the real stuff from HomeDepot. The nail polish smell and bitters is to deter winos from drinking it.

This is the first technique that I've found that actually helps. I get them from too much sun or windburn.

Replied by Lee
(Phoenix, Az)

FOLLOWUP: this has been amazing! After 40 years of this: I've been using Acetone after activities that would normally guarantee cold-sores, ie hard outside work and getting windburn/sun exposure combined, and I have not had any coldsores since using this method.

Found in the Journol of Virology:
1% acetone to have a 97% reduction of replication:

Replied by Suzy
(Houston, Tx)

I have tried prescirption creams and cold sore over the counter drugs which have NOT worked for me at all. Also the ice cube thing made a blister I had worse, so that's out of the picture as well.

I hear that vinegar is GREAT! Like a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips =)

Once more, clear nail polish and nail polish remover worked best for me. After I slept over ight with clear nail polish, then cleaned it off the next morning with nail polish remover, I also repeatedly applied a pimple cream which consists of a gel: 10% benzoyl peroxide gel that helps keep it dried up and moisturized at the same time.

I also used a scar cream after the blister dried up to help it heal nicely without scar or redness.

Replied by Art
(Victoria Bc, Canada)

Why would anyone want to control something they can get rid of? You are not informed if you are using chemicals to treat cold sores. Cold sores is a form of Herpes like it or not. Herpes is a lipid coated virus. Now Butylated HydroxyToluene (BHT) is a food preservative that kills these viruses. Don't take my word for it, do your own research. The BHT is available ay Vitamin Reseach Products online. My cold sore or spot that usualy breaks out every year is now gone after 2 months of taking one 350mg capsule every day on an empty stomach with a gulp of fruit juice. Pamper your pet cold sore or kill it, the choice is your. Knowledge is power. Art.

Posted by Randy (Arizona City, Az) on 03/29/2008

This may sound strange, but when I feel a sore spot beginning to come on my lip, I take fingernail polish remover and dab it on the spot with my finger, 3-4 times a day. In many instances the eruption never happens... and if it does, it immediately starts drying up. I've taken care of my blisters for about 25 years this way with no adverse side effects. Works better than anything you can buy at the Drug Store!

Replied by Neeya
(Norfolk, VA)

Nail polish, really??? Is that safe? Also, has anyone experienced cold sores moving from one end of the mouth to the other? I have, and it's a pain. I read that these sores usually last up to three weeks in some cases! I am ready for this to be done.

Replied by Lewis
(Circleville, Ohio)

Oreganol oil and DMSO will get rid of a cold sore fast. I make a little paste, and use a Q-tip to apply.

Posted by Jane (Boston, MA) on 11/21/2006

Acetone nail polish remover is fabulous for cold sores! If you can catch it just when there is the tingle but not quite a blister yet, it often never gets any bigger than a tiny blister and it disappears without ever reaching the scab or the even worse, 'scab off' stage. Sometimes I can tell it's going to be a doozy but I dab it whenever I think of it and it 's just so much better than I have ever experienced and each stage lasts only half the time.

Posted by Maryann (Detroit) on 05/18/2006

I read on another site that nail polish remover works on cold sores so I tried it. With in two days it was gone. I put on the cold sore twice a day. I didn't have any of the usual scabbing either. So it was really great. Another thing that works really well is the amino acid L-Lysine. Before I found out about the nail polish remover I used to take L-Lysine alone which helped the reduce outbreak time. Next time I get a cold sore I probably will use both.

Replied by Anonymous Birthday Girl
(Newark, Nj)

Hi everyone, I got a cold sore today without tingling, just kind of burning and a bit of itching, and then all of a sudden a bunch of small bumps on my mouth. I have been taking Lysine for over a year since my last outbreak, so I have a feeling it will not be as bad as it was in the past. BUT, my birthday is in 2 days and its a milestone age, so desperate for solutions, I found this site. I just bought the acetone nail polish remover... I'm skeptical about its use but willing to try anything! Just have one question, this may sound kinda dumb, but are you supposed to wash it off a few minutes after you use it, or just let it stay on your skin? If you eat or drink throughout the day, couldn't drops of it get in your mouth if the area gets wet? Thanks!

Posted by Mysti (USA)

This was for oral herpes - I simply put acetone polish remover on it at night. When I wake up it's usually gone. It burns incredibly bad but hey, the sore is gone.

Replied by Frosty
(Atlanta, GA)

I fully agree. This actually works. Thanks everyone for their remedies.. im surprised they work but very thankful!

Replied by Nina
(Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada)

Just had an GH outbreak after going 9 years without one! It was a small cluster on the outside labia (not on the mucous membrane) I was devastated and didnt want to have to go through weeks of pain. I was willing to try anything, and i did! I tried the acetone remover trick and IT WORKED. I pressed a q tip to the small cluster of sores that had not broken open yet, about 10 times yesterday and kept the area VERY DRY with cornstarch all day and night. Today, they are healing over and almost gone! they didnt break open, they didnt scab over, they didnt get any bigger...they are healing and almost gone. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Replied by David
(New York City, Ny)

Acetone Nail Polish Remover is now my best friend. It works wonders! As soon as you start getting that tingly feeling, put some on with a q-tip or some cotton swab. It burns a bit. But you can really feel it work. I kept doing this for about 5 minutes every couple of hours and what used to be a cold sore from hell that lasted at least two weeks is now a tiny mark that lasted only a couple of days. This really works! Thank you SO much!

Acetone, Aloe Vera

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Posted by Grace (London, Uk) on 05/28/2012

I get shingles or facial herpes on my cheeks and chin.

I do not get it on my lips but either next to my eyes or around my nose or below my lips. The doctors have never determined which form of herpes it is. Valtrex has not helped.

Two things have really helped me. I want to share them with people so they can hopefully really improve this painful and unpleasant condition keeping the suffering to a minimum and the scars to next to nothing. The aloe vera also works for boils so I am going to post there too.

I am so grateful for having found these amazing solutions.

Acetone for the early stages, if you feel a tingling and you manage to get it on soon enough, it can stop the sore(s) dead in its tracks. I find putting it on an ear-bud (Q-tip) and applying every hour or so, is the best. Then overnight put a glob of Abreva cream on the sore(s) and by morning it is gone or on its way out.

If the sore does develop I find Fresh Aloe Vera straight from the plant is the most amazing thing for drying it up. I often end up popping the blisters, as I find the swelling so painful. Once the sore(s) is gross and oozing you want to dry it up as fast as possible, avoid wetting the sore or taking long showers and baths.

You should apply fresh aloe vera- the juicy part- straight from the plant every half an hour or so until the sore turns into a scab and then keep on applying as often as you can. Only fresh aloe vera from the plant works, I have tried the bottled stuff and it just does not work the same. I always have an aloe vera plant in the house for these needs and have been known when travelling to bring parts of leaves with me in a ziplock bag!

The best thing is to slice a small amount off the plant and keep it in the bathroom and just keep on applying the juicy liquid as often as you can. Eventually you'll need a fresh piece as the juicy part will dry out.

I have found I can 'cure' a sore in 3 days if I am lucky, with only a minor red mark at the end that is easy to cover with concealer. Usually on the 3rd day of applying the aloe vera the scab is so tight and dry it easily falls off or peels off. I advise you: do NOT pull it off if it is still stuck on too tight or shows no signs of peeling off as you will have a scar and the sore may not be healed properly underneath yet. If this is the case just keep on applying aloe vera until the sore is completely dried out and has no bump underneath or swelling at all. The aloe vera really stops inflammation as well as drying out the sore.

If you are sure the sore is really dead and dried out and all scabbed up, another thing that helps the healing is to apply -only when you are 100% sure it is all dried up! Or else you will reactive it- some neosporin. This will help humidify the skin underneath so it heals nicely without leaving a big scar.

Aloe vera, straight from mother nature, from the fresh plant is heaven sent and I thank beautiful nature and mother earth for giving us this wonderful miracle!

I really advise you try this; I have tried everything over the course of 4 years of suffering from these sores now, baking soda, salt, vinegar, various creams, lotions, to dry out a sore but nothing works like fresh aloe vera.

I have not yet found a preventative measure yet despite trying nearly all the remedies suggested here but when I do I will post about it.

Replied by Merrin
(Perth, West Australia)

G'day! After suffering from unsightly coldsores due to stress a friend recommended Lysine, an amino acid. I take a 500mg tablet every day or two. If I feel the "tingle" I increase the dose and that seems to do the trick, stopping the nasty beast in its tracks.

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