10 Causes and Treatments for Cold Sores

Treatment: Medication

Our final treatment is one many people would expect for an illness, but one that only works so well against viruses.

As we've said, cold sores are cause by HSV-1, a virus. Viruses typically stay with the host (that'd be the human) for the rest of their lives.

But thanks to advances in medicine, some antiviral medications can force a virus back into dormancy. For people suffering cold sores, those include acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir and penciclovir [source: Mayo Clinic].

For more on cold sores, see the next page for a host of information.

Related Articles


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Media Statement." Feb. 26, 2009. (Aug. 12, 2012) http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2009/s090226.htm
  • Mayo Clinic. "Cold sore: Causes." May 23, 2012. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://mayoclinic.com/health/cold-sore/DS00358/DSECTION=causes
  • Mayo Clinic. "Cold sore: Definition." May 23, 2012. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://mayoclinic.com/health/cold-sore/DS00358
  • Mayo Clinic. "Cold sore: Treatments and Drugs." May 23, 2012. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-sore/DS00358/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Genital herpes: Definition." May 21, 2011. (Aug. 11, 2012) http://mayoclinic.com/health/genital-herpes/DS00179
  • McKinley Health Center. "Herpes Simplex (cold sores)." July 23, 2010. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/herpes_simplex/herpes_simplex_kk.html
  • WebMD. "Canker Sores: Overview." May 12, 2010. (Aug. 9, 2012) http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/canker-sores
  • WebMD. "Cold Sores - Symptoms." May 20, 2010. (Aug. 11, 2012) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/cold-sores-symptoms
  • WebMD. "Cold Sores - Topic Overview." May 20, 2010. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/cold-sores-topic-overview
  • WebMD. "Cold Sores - Treatment Overview." May 20, 2010. (Aug. 10, 2012) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/cold-sores-treatment-overview


Quick Tips: Help for Acne

Quick Tips: Help for Acne

Acne isn't just for teenagers. Anyone can be affected! Learn acne basics plus easy ways to prevent and treat unwanted pimples.