Treating Cold Sores: Fast Facts

  1. To speed healing and prevent infection, cover your cold sore with a protective petroleum-based product. Learn more about protecting cold sores.
  1. Cold sores can be pretty painful, but over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to relieve discomfort. Learn more about treating cold sore pain.
  1. Avoid salty and acidic foods, which can irritate cold sores and add to the pain. Learn more about foods to avoid with cold sores.
  1. If painkillers are not doing the trick, apply an over-the-counter antiseptic containing benzocaine to help numb the pain. Learn more about antiseptics for cold sores.
  1. If you have frequent, severe cold sores, you may want to talk to your doctor. He or she may prescribe an antiviral medication that can help to manage breakouts. Learn more about antiviral medication for cold sores.
  1. Apply sunscreen to your lips to help prevent cold sores -- exposure to the sun can trigger a cold sore outbreak. Learn more about protecting your lips from the sun.
  1. Cold sores are contagious, so to prevent spreading, avoid kissing and sharing cups, towels and other personal items. Learn more about avoiding the spread of cold sores.

Here are some helpful links: