Despite repeated warnings against popping my cold sores, I found that popping worked better for me than any other treatment.
Cold sores, fever blisters, oral herpes, herpes labialis—whatever you call them, their appearance on your face can be disturbing, to say the least. Anyone who has suffered from cold sores—roughly 2/3 of the world population, according to WHO estimates in 2012—will tell you that besides being unsightly, they can also be quite painful.
Having dealt with them for over thirty years, I've tried every remedy under the sun, but none of them seemed to quicken the healing process. I've found that the only way I could get rid of my fever blisters quickly was by popping them—despite doctors' advice against it.
How to Pop a Cold Sore Safely
Things You Will Need
- Sterile gauze
- Nitrile or latex gloves
- Rubbing alcohol
- Safety pin or needle
- Lighter or candle and match
- Wash your hands and forearms thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap.
- Dry your hands and put on the gloves.
- Take a piece of gauze, soak it in rubbing alcohol, and wipe the sore and surrounding area.
- Take the needle and place it over an open flame for 5-10 seconds.
- Let it cool for another 10-15 seconds.
- With another piece of alcohol-soaked gauze held under the sore, apply the needle to the sore until it pops.
- Wipe up any fluid that flows out.
- Immediately apply salt and alcohol to the sore to dry it out.
My Experience With Popping Cold Sores
Like 20-40% of adults with herpes, I have recurrent cold sores. I was so frustrated with my frequent outbreaks; I tried every OTC medication on the market and every home remedy I could find online. After years of dealing with these blisters, I became desperate and tried popping them.
I was apprehensive at first, but none of the other remedies I tried worked for me, and I just couldn't stand having to put up with them on lips for more than a week. I found that popping and draining my cold sores early in their formation greatly reduced their healing time. They never entered the swelling and weeping stages. Maybe I was lucky, or maybe I was just careful enough with my popping technique.
Although this worked well for me, I have to remind you that this is not an advised treatment strategy, and it may not work similarly for you. It is also very painful and not for the faint of heart.
- In my experience, the best time to pop is early in the sore's formation (prodromal stage). I was able to avoid the swelling and weeping stages and go straight to the crusting phase. Applying salt and alcohol directly after popping will help this process along.
- Make sure to contain the fluid from the cold sore. Slow and careful is the key. Don't pop by squeezing since it will be harder to control where the fluids will go. That is why bursting it in the prodromal stage is best.
- Avoid squeezing the sore in an effort to get all of the fluid out. You risk damaging your skin and worsening your outbreak.
- Throw all materials away after using them to reduce the risk of infecting others. Wipe down your surroundings with alcohol.
Other Treatments for Cold Sores
Prescription Cold Sore Medications
- Acyclovir (Xerese, Zovirax): Available in oral, topical, or injectable forms.
- Famciclovir (Famvir): Only available as oral tablets.
- Penciclovir (Denavir): Only available as a 1% cream.
- Valacyclovir hydrochloride (Valtrex): Only available as oral caplets.
Antiviral medications are often prescribed to control outbreaks and reduce the healing time, and they are the only available medications that will address the viral infection. They are most effective when taken early (within 48 hours of the initial symptoms).
However, antivirals cannot cure your infection, meaning the virus will continue to live in you even if you show no symptoms. They won't do much for your symptoms either, so your blisters will likely remain be uncomfortable. If that's the case, your doctor may also prescribe numbing creams to reduce the pain.
After an especially bad outbreak caused by a sunburn, I went to the doctor, who prescribed Zovirax pills and ointment. Zovirax is an antiviral drug used to treat herpes and shingles.
This treatment did speed up the healing process and dry out the blisters more quickly. However, the medicine lost its potency after I used it for a few different outbreaks. It seemed like the virus became immune to it.
As I said before, everyone is different and what works for some people, may not work for others.
Over-the-Counter Cold Sore Medicine
- Abreva: Abreva is an FDA-approved topical remedy meant to reduce the healing time of cold sores but does not address the symptoms. Its active ingredient is docosanol, which supposedly has anti-viral properties (inhibits viruses from fusing with human cells to replicate), although the evidence for this isn't clear. When I tried Abreva, my cold sores actually got worse, and the cream didn't stop the progression of the sores at all.
- Releev: Releev's active ingredient is benzalkonium chloride, an organic salt that is used to reduce pain, tingling, and itchiness. It may also help clean and dry the blisters.
- Orajel for Cold Sores: Unlike Abreva and Releev, Orajel contains multiple active ingredients to reduce skin cracking, itchiness, burning sensations, and pain. Many users will say it does a good job of improving the symptoms, but it may not reduce healing time.
- Campho-Phenique: Campho-Phenique contains a local anesthetic compound (pramoxine) that is meant to help reduce itchiness and pain associated with cold sores and other skin conditions. When I used it on my blisters, more appeared and it took the usual week and a half to get rid of them completely.
- Virulite: Virulite isn't medicine, per say, but it is FDA-approved for use on cold sores. It emits 1072 nm infrared light that is meant to reduce the healing time even more than antiviral medications. It isn't as popular as many of the other OTC treatments, but a couple of studies have found evidence supporting its efficacy.
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen: OTC pain meds can help if you have extremely painful sores.
Natural Cold Sore Remedies:
- Toothpaste: This is one of the most popular home remedies. When applied during the prodomal stage, it is thought to numb the area while promoting blood flow to the area to encourage healing. Some people also recommend adding salt to the toothpaste to help the blister dry out. However, this remedy didn't work for me. The size of my blisters were smaller and less painful, but they still took over a week to heal completely.
- Fingernail polish remover. Others have even suggested applying acetone fingernail polish remover to the sore. I tried this method, which hurt like hell and didn't seem to be any more effective than the salt and alcohol method, just more painful.
- Ice: Free and simple, applying ice to the blister can temporarily numb the area, relieving pain and reducing inflammation. Just remember to not apply the ice directly on the skin because this can damage the skin further. Wrap the ice in some paper towels.
- Aloe vera: This is another popular natural remedy for skin irritations including sunburns, rashes, and cold sores. Although more studies are needed to determine its efficacy for healing blisters, applying aloe vera gel can help relieve burning and itching sensations while moisturizing the skin to promote skin repair.
- L-lysine: Lysine is an essential amino acid (your body doesn't make it) that is commonly used to prevent and reduce cold sores. It is generally taken orally, although it is also included in many OTC creams. The way it works is unclear, as is its efficacy, although many users believe that it does help reduce their healing time or prevent the frequency of their outbreaks.
- Zinc: Zinc oxide, when applied to the sores, may reduce the healing time and severity of symptoms. However, this remedy isn't without side effects, although they are generally reversible.
- Vitamin E: Taking the vitamin E supplements and/or applying vitamin E oil can also relieve some skin irritation and promote healing, although more studies are needed to confirm this.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C supplementation helps boost the immune system to fight against infections and may help reduce healing time.
What Is the Main Cause for Cold Sores?
Although they're called cold sores, they have little to do with the common cold. They are caused by the very common and highly infectious herpes simplex virus (HSV)—most commonly HSV-1 but sometimes HSV-2. It is estimated that 90% of adults have an HSV infection, regardless of the presence of symptoms.
Cold sores aren't necessarily a sexually transmitted disease because they can spread through sort of contact with infected persons or items (e.g. kissing, oral sex, and sharing common items like cups, utensils, chapstick, razors, towels, etc.). In fact, according to the CDC, most people are infected with the herpes during childhood or early adulthood.
What Can Trigger a Cold Sore Outbreak?
- Too much sunlight
- Weakened immune system
- Too much arginine in your diet
Stages of a Cold Sore
- Prodrome: Redness, tingling, burning, itching, and pain.
- Blister formation: Inflammation, blisters filled with clear, white, or yellow fluid.
- Ulceration or weeping: Blisters burst, oozing out the highly contagious fluid.
- Scabbing: Blisters dry out and skin starts to scab over and heal.
- Healing: Scab falls off, revealing new skin underneath.
Herpes is a highly infectious virus that can spread from one person to another regardless of the presence of blisters. However, cold sores are most contagious during the ulceration and weeping stage, when the virus-filled fluid is more easily spread around.
What Are Cold Sores?
Cold sores, or fever blisters, are fairly common viral infections. They typically present as small, fluid-filled blisters on and around your mouth.
They spread from person to person through close contact such as kissing. The virus responsible for them is called Herpes Simplex 1 or HSV1. It is different from, though related to, the virus that causes genital herpes, HSV2. However, both viruses can affect your mouth or genitals and can be transmitted through oral sex.
The herpes virus that causes cold sores lies dormant for long periods of time and attacks when the immune system lets its guard down a little bit. If you've had a fever blister in the past, a weakened immune system from fatigue, alcohol, dehydration or even stress can trigger an outbreak. Sunburned and chapped lips also leave an open invitation for an attack of cold sores.
There is, unfortunately, no cure for them, but there are ways to control the number of outbreaks you experience. There are also ways to speed up the healing process and make them disappear more quickly.
Knowing the stages of a typical herpes outbreak can help you speed up the healing process. There are also some very effective home remedies that took only four days to remove the unsightly blisters: sores, scabs, and all. Unfortunately, you can still pass on the virus even if the sores aren't visible.
Stages of a Cold Sore
In this first stage of herpes, the virus comes into contact with the skin, which may develop a tingling sensation and start to redden. After a day or two, the area may become irritated, itchy, or painful.
It is likely that the lip will be painful when touched. If you're experiencing an outbreak for the first time, you may also develop a fever and feel some flu-like symptoms.
2. Inflammation and Blisters
Next small vesicles or tiny bump-like blisters will form and swell up rapidly as they fill with watery liquid swell up rapidly. These blisters can be red, white, or clear and can form in clusters of blisters or on their own.
This is the most miserable stage of the outbreak because your lip can literally triple in size, and it can become hard to conceal that something is wrong with your lip. The blisters usually stay in place for around two days.
3. Ulceration and Weeping
Eventually, the blisters become so full of liquid that they burst or ooze. When this happens, you've entered into the "weeping" stage.
You are most contagious at this point in the outbreak, and the liquid can even cause more blisters to develop on your face. This is also the most painful stage of the outbreak. It's also thankfully the shortest, lasting only a day or so.
Shortly after the blisters burst, they will dry out and scab over. Underneath the scab, new skin will form over two to three days.
Like any other scab, the one over your blister will eventually fall off leaving fresh, virus-free skin underneath. You should definitely not speed up this process by pulling off the scab, as doing so before it's finished healing can lead to scarring.
What Works for You?
Alan R. Gaby, MD. (2006). Natural Remedies for Herpes Simplex. Alternative Medicine Review 11(2): 93-101.
Alana Biggers, MD, MPH. (22 Dec 2017). How to get rid of a cold sore. MedicalNewsToday.
Betsy B. Singh, PhD, et al. (2005). Safety and Effectiveness of an L-Lysine, Zinc, and Herbal Based Product on Treatment of Facial and Circumoral Herpes. Alternative Medicine Review 10(2): 123-127.
CDC. (1 Sept 2017). STD Facts - Genital Herpes.
Chi CC, Wang SH, Delamere FM, Wojnarowska F, Peters MC, Kanjirath PP. (2015). Interventions for prevention of herpes simplex labialis (cold sores on the lips). The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (8).
Godfrey, HR, Godfrey, NJ, Godfrey, JC, Riley, D. (2001). A randomized clinical trial on the treatment of oral herpes with topical zinc oxide/glycine. Altern Ther Health Med 7(3): 49-56.
Kojo Eshun & Qian He. (2010). Aloe Vera: A Valuable Ingredient for the Food, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Industries—A Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 44(2): 91-96.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (8 Jun 2018). Cold Sore: Diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clinic.
Robyn S Klein, MD, PhD. (29 Sept 2017). Treatment of herpes simplex virus type 1 infection in immunocompetent patients. UptoDate.
Tomblin FA and KH Lucas. (2001). Lysine for management of herpes labialis. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy 58(4): 298-300.
Wim Opstelten, MD PHD, Arie Knuistingh Neven, MD PHD, Just Eekhof, MD PhD. (2008). Treatment and prevention of herpes labialis. Can Fam Physician 54(12): 1683-1687.
DailyMed. (22 Jan 2017). Label: Releev Cold Sore Treatment - benzalkonium chloride liquid. NIH.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2012 crissytsu
MAC on June 15, 2019:
I am so happy today because I am free from herpes virus (HSV-2) . I have been having herpes since the past two years now, and I have passed through many different processes in getting rid of the diseases but nothing was working out. A friend of mine introduced me to a doctor (DR JOE ww w. besthealthherbalcentre. co m) who sent me herbal medicines which he prepared for me, and my life got transformed and everything was fine and okay with me. Till now I have been going to check up and it is now going to four months and I am still negative.
Marsha on April 18, 2019:
Wow I can't believe I found someone else that gets rid of cold sores the same way I do. People think I am crazy for breaking them open as soon as I can see it and I course sea salt on it then they go away!!!! My friends aay i am gross and stupid but it works!!!!!
Beverly Johnson on August 11, 2018:
Thinking about it now, I believe I had one cold sore at the side of my lip and thought it was a pimple and just popped or scratched it. Got a nice little red scar from that too for a long time. It's long since faded, but I really learned my lesson. I'm not a big fan of popping anything on my face, especially sores on lips or skin as it always leads to permanent scarring for me. I still have little red marks on my face from popping pimples. Not a pretty sight.
Da kid on April 20, 2018:
I woke up this morning with the red dry mark in the corner of my mouth was not happy...straight away i bought cold sore cream did do much but kept it mosit n spread a bit bigger then went back to the chemist n bought tea tree oil wow... later that night i decided to pop the blister with a tissue and applied the oil straight away and washed around the area with a alcohol wipe with in a hour it has reduce in size but sore n red but dried out very quickly... thank god for tea tree oil. Good luck
Precious on January 22, 2018:
Try apple cider vinegar. I applied it immediately after popping (3) tiny bubbles. Stung like H**L! I reapplied every hour w/ a clean qtip. I also used a cold sore gel afterwards. Gone in 3 days!!!!
jaketo on August 30, 2017:
acyclovir worked wonders for me. i was in the same boat as everyone else before - get outbreaks 2-3 times a year, for about 1-2 weeks at a time. since being on acyclovir - i take it in higher dosage during an outbreak and lower dosage if i feel the "tingle" or just feel stressed or rundown - i've only had 1 major outbreak in the past 6 years. but even this outbreak was only about half the severity of a normal outbreak (smaller and healed in about 5 days). i also had one minor outbreak, which maybe lasted 2 days and was barely noticeable (just 1 or 2 small blisters at most). if you can get your doctor to prescribe i highly recommend it. it's very safe low risk drug so shouldn't be a problem, but it may help if you just exaggerate your symptoms a bit to make sure your doctor thinks it's necessary.
crissytsu (author) from Texas on August 24, 2017:
Thanks for posting your results. I'm glad that you had success in popping them. After mine get scabby, I dab neosporin on them to help accelerate the rest of the healing process and I've found that by popping them and applying the salt and alcohol mixture for as long as possible will speed up the healing process and get rid of them in at least half the amount of time.
Carmen on August 11, 2017:
I get cold sores very often, I tried everything and nothing really works. I take acyclovir at first sign, but if sore appears, it is too late.
I get huge sores, i feel very self conscious and get very depressed.
I tried not popping them and tried popping them. No use.
i eventually have to peel the scab because it gets all bloody and black.
does anyone have any ideas on hoe to heal the open sore. it looks disgusting , bright red.
Thanks in advance for any adice
Diane on August 09, 2017:
Frequently icing the area (as soon as you feel the cold sore coming) works wonders. Do it 4 to 6 times a day - it somehow keeps the cold sore from getting worse.
Jay on August 07, 2017:
Amazing! I'm now a believer.
I had one big one when I read this post. I popped it very late in the game and kept reapplying the salt and Alcohol with a cue tip as often as possible. My crucial mistake was removing the salt residue on my face after treating it for 10-15 minutes because I didn't like the appearance. Several days later another one came in right next to the one I had. I did the same thing but left the salt on all day. The second one is crusty and I can tell its healing by same day this evening. The first one just looks like an open sore.
This is so important I think.
**BE SURE TO LEAVE THE SALT MIXTURE ON THE SORE.
I love and support all of you guys. It's not easy having visible sores. What I've noticed though is if I smile enough through the process, people are distracted from it. Don't surround yourself with anyone that would think it okay to comment on something beyond your control. Remember, they probably have the virus too, it's just dormant.
HS on August 01, 2017:
Thanks so much for writing this. I have been popping them reducing the duration of the sores for what some people say could be 10-15 days to just about 4 by really perfecting the timing of the pop and the drying out method (make up remover applied before bed and washing the sore a few times a day).
I searched everywhere on the internet for some validation for my method and nothing! People are so against this. But it totally works for me.
The cold sores not only heal faster but given the state they are in from my careful deliberate, popping - they are quite easy to conceal with makeup.
crissytsu (author) from Texas on July 29, 2017:
I agree 100%...what do u have to lose? Just pop it. It makes it go away so much faster and you're actually controlling what happens to the "juice"... Prior to popping them, I don't know how many times mine have busted on their own and spread all over my lips. Now I like to be in control of not letting them spread aby further.
Tc on July 07, 2017:
I realize this is a old post but I figured I would post just to thank the author.
Ive suffered from them since I was a child, 35 now.
I've used literally everything on over the counter and zorivax creme, including some medical stuff I got in Cuba )
(pretty well equivalent to zorivax), of course I got a big coldsore on vacation lol.
Anyway I get them fairly regularly, I would say once every 3-4 months sometimes more if stressed, sun, lots of argine/not enough lysine.
Even tried taking 1000mg lysine a day everyday and as others have started it seems to have lost its effectiveness although during a outbreak I still load up the mg, placebo or not they did work wonders at one point for me.
EVERYTHING you hear and read says DO NOT POP... so in 35 years I've always done everything in my power not to pop them in fear of the liquid spreading that &$$& everywhere and breaking out 10x worse. Not to mention when I get one it's usually not one but a cluster that eventually grows into one or several big ones.
I'll even wake up in the middle of the night During the tingling stages and even believe I have dreams about getting them even before the tingling stage (although this could be stressing about getting one... causing one lol)
Anyway from the tingling stage to completely healed stage it usually takes me about 7-15 days depending on how bad and where it was.
Corner of the mouth sucks cause your always cracking the scab, whereas one on the upper lip be protected fairly well.
Today I started to get a cluster on my upper lip and finally had enough and decided I was gonna try and pop it and use alcohol to kill the fluid before it spreads.
Did a quick search online and found this thread and decided wtf do I have to lose, this ones gonna be a record breaker anyways.
I've used alcohol and nail polish remover in the past to try and dry them out so the pain in nothing new to me and so I used lots.
The cluster probably had 8-10 tiny little blisters starting in a area the size of a finger nail
B on June 11, 2017:
I'm 16 and ive been getting cold sores since I was a little kid, which seems to be the case for most people who get them. Growing up I didn't know much about them and neither did anyone else so if they said anything about it, we would just shrug it off. Now that I'm older I've become more self conscious of them since the whole STI'S talk in middle school which just made people even quicker to judge. I don't want people to think I'm gross or anything of the sort so I've been doing a lot of research on what they are, what causes them, and how to prevent them and it turns out cold sores are VERY common. Finding this out made me feel a little bit better about it. I know my dad used to get them but I don't think anyone else in my family has and none of my friends do either so it can be hard for people to understand, especially if they're not educated about it. Everyone thinks they'll never have to deal with something like this but the truth is that more people contract it as we get older and research says that 8 out of 10 people will have it by the time we reach the age of 20. I gues my point is that I know it's hard to not be embarrassed by something like this BUT it's super common and some people just won't understand and there's nothing you can do to change their judgment besides tell them to get their facts straight. I always get super depressed and embarrassed about it (even though my symptoms aren't as bad as others) but you have to remember that this is just a small part of your life and there's so much more to everything than just a little cold sore. I hope I've managed to make someone feel even the slightest bit better. :)
Stephanie Duncan on June 02, 2017:
I get cold sores way too often if u ask me. And I have actually fund this before. Although never used the salt,
or anything of the sort afterwards. My question, or problem you could call it, isI get cold sores way too often if u ask me. And I have actually fund this before. Although never used the salt,
or anything of the sort afterwards. My question, or problem you could call it, is that the blisters pop, no problem. But it seems like sometimes within minutes, they have closed & refilled when liquid... Why is thisI get cold sores way too often if u ask me. And I have actually fund this before. Although never used the salt,
or anything of the sort afterwards. My question, or problem you could call it, is that the blisters pop, no problem. But it seems like sometimes within minutes, they have closed & refilled when liquid... Why is this that the blisters pop, no problem. But it seems like sometimes within minutes, they have closed & refilled when liquid... Why is this
Crystal Thomas on June 01, 2017:
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother). I clean skin with it as soon as I feel the tingle. It's helped. When I still get one I pop the blister and rub the ACV on it. It burns like 7,000 suns on a summer day but dries it up.
James on May 28, 2017:
Google Bactine for cold sores. I just tried it for the first time. Bactine numbs the cold sore greatly, but only for an hour or two. It allows me to then use peroxide and/or alcohol without as much pain.
Lynks on May 26, 2017:
I caught the cold sore late but still popped it. I believe i am in the scabbing stage. for the last two days what remains is minimal, but if i shine a light to it there is like a yellow colored soft scab. At least i assume its the scab. Is there anyway to bypass this? Should I remove the yellow with a Q Tip?
crissytsu (author) from Texas on May 15, 2017:
If you can prick the bump before it blisters and apply alcohol (without the salt) it will prevent it from ever even blistering up. The key is to get it as early as possible.
kmar on March 21, 2017:
I never write reviews but must on this one. I looked at my cold sore and thought why not pop it it looks like any other blister so I googled it and got this site. Followed the directions and so far so good. The blister is already shrinking and has a scab. Thanks for the advice and other posts. Will definitely try this again.
crissytsu (author) from Texas on February 20, 2017:
I haven't tried ice to reduce swelling initially but I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the tip
crissytsu (author) from Texas on February 20, 2017:
It's like fever blisters become immune to OTC remedies. Camphophenique (however you spell it) used to work on mine but then all of a sudden it started making them worse. I have been popping mine and using the salt and alcohol for over 10 yrs and it is still just as effective. Staying on top of it and continuously applying the salt mixture heals mine really fast but even if you get lazy and just pop it and apply the salt and alcohol once, it cuts the painful oozy stage out completely and heals it so much faster than just waiting for it to pop on its own. I'm glad it worked for you.
Wendy on February 20, 2017:
TCP it works great
Hannah on February 18, 2017:
I use ice as a first response and to keep the swelling down. Really helps! Can even prevent it if you catch it in the tingly stage. If I don't catch it though and a blister actually forms, I pop them with a sterilized needle and use an alcohol pad to clean the area and my entire mouth just in case. Then I apply abreva several times and day and keep icing 2-3 times a day until it scabs over. This keeps them to a very minimal size and they heal in a few days. Also, I bought a liposine lip balm on Amazon and I apply it every day morning and night. It was like 4 bucks and the best thing I've ever bought to help prevent cold sores! I think if one is coming it slows down the process so I can catch it and just apply ice. I was never able to catch them in that stage before, happened too fast.
AnneMarieheyhey on February 18, 2017:
I have to say it is so effective the needle and then salt and alcohol! Thank you! I am actually with the paste right now since an hour. I woke up yesterday having the most nasty ones ever...plurial because I have like 3 big of them, both sides of the bottom lips and the right upper side, and and it also feels like it has some little ones that wanted to merge with those 3. I have to say I had a major fever from a cold, ate chocolate, (very cheap one for saint-valentin) went walking outside 3 times in a day without protection and dry lips from the mouth breathing, and in the night i did rub my lips for them to be smooth with soda paste...well as you can read all the triggers to make a big, huge cracker sore....Damn! Usually the product with propolis (from bees) called ''Sore cold FX'' and it works marvellous, but not this time...thanks so much for this amazing trick...it is still very ugly but for now I don't look anymore as a failed lip surgery :)
Martine030561 on January 26, 2017:
One of my best home remedy is a salve made with olive oil infused with melissa officinalis and hot pepper. Work better than Abreva and all those OTC medecine.
Me on January 13, 2017:
Valtrex works great if I can get a script during the initial burning and itching phase.
Alisha on January 10, 2017:
The best thing that has worked for me is Oragel Single Dose!
Sandy on January 05, 2017:
For the first time ever I have cold sores all over my mouth and up by my nose. A couple large ones, and many small little pimple size clusters. The dr. Gave me Valtrex and an ointment,but it has been over a week already and not helping. I have been off from work all week cause I am so embarrassed. What do u do now that it has been so long? Thanks in advance!
A++++ REAd THIS!!! 100%% Thank You!! on December 25, 2016:
So many articles say worst thing u can do is pop. They worry about infection or spreadind instead of education u on safest way to do the most effective cost-effectice method which is to break it early on as explained in this article. I was gna wait it out til christmas day til it came out more but this article said earlier the better so after only one day i went for it and im so happy and relieved it worked!! I thought i would be stressed stayin in for christmas n hoping it was unnoticeable by new years!!! Now here i am one day later with no pain and with the guess it will be fully healed by one or 2 more days!! I wish i knew how to post a pic!!! Thanks again!!
A++++ REAd THIS!!! 100%% Thank You!! on December 25, 2016:
Im 31 yrs old. Ive had cold sores since a young teen. I mostly get them above my lip between my nose and lip. I confuse them with pimples but they definitely arent. I can tell the difference by how they come out when i use this method. I DO squeeze to get them all the way out (i dont know if its advised)... i woke up on christmas eve with a pain and tingle.. i knew what it was. I could barely see 2 other small blisters trying to form around what the otherwise would be pimple. I used abreva all day christmas eve. It grew and became more painful, unlike any pimple. I napped n it was bigger. By 2 am i used a LANCET (they are great) . I was conflicted between using abreva, the salt n alcohol as suggested, or Mario Badesco drying cream. I opted for the very strong mario badesco (it was a risk) ... I WOKE UP TODAY ONE DAY LATER WITH A COMPLETELY DRYED OUT TINY LITTLE SCAB THAT IS TOTALLY COVERABLE AND WILL PROBABLY BE COMPLETELY GONE TOMORROW!!. i am so thankful. This is not a joke or shill or represtative.. they sell these cremes and stuff i dont know why they urge u not to use lancet and break. It skips the most painful awful stages. This is great article.... (i did also take 2 lysine, 2 tablets valtrex, 2500 C vitamins, i take high dose D vitamins & multivitamin) but ive been doing lysine n valtrex for many years and i know the main reason for this great jump in symptons and healing is following directions here. Thank you!!
Susan Wuckowitsch on December 22, 2016:
I wanted to tell you thank you for posting this. I tried your suggestion and my cold sore was completely gone in 7 days, from the first tingle to no trace. And, because your remedy does such a great job of drying the sore out, it was easily maskable with make-up almost the entire time. This is huge for me, as I'm very self-conscious about having a cold sore! Thank you.
natalia on November 27, 2016:
best remedy for me has been applying a drop of bleach in the first stage. It immediately kills the virus....
SRL on November 15, 2016:
Update #1 - THIS WORKS. DO NOT GIVE UP!
Okay so at first I was pretty skeptical and really kind of gave up. Rolled my eyes and was like whatever....
First round, I put the paste on my brand new cold sore for 12 hours Sunday evening 8pm - 8am. The pain was minimal. I did pop it and had a little fluid. My cold sore first tingled on Sunday. Monday morning it was swollen and hurt. Felt as if I made it worse and was really discouraged.
It's now Tuesday evening, I put the paste on for a second time last night on Monday. This time only made it 3.5 hours because the pain was pretty intense. My cold sores usually take 10-14 days to heal! Makes my life miserable. I'm going to estimate this pastecand method has sped my healing up by about 50% - 75%. I'm on day 3 and expect this to be healed by day 5. I don't think I need anymore paste tonight as it is well into scabbing and healing.
Bottom line, this method ACTUALLY works. This saved my Thanksgiving holiday and my daughter's 21st birthday which falls on 11/24/16. I'll be able to take photos!!!
Beyond grateful and so glad I didn't give up and lose hope. Good luck to everyone out there! I will give one final update as to the final healing time.✌
SRL on November 13, 2016:
I just got a cold sore today. Following this procedure as of 8:00 p.m. PST. I will post results tomorrow. My healing time takes often times 7-10 days depending on size. I have never popped them before. This is painful but on a scale of 1-10. 10 being you can't stand it, about to faint, I'd give this a 4-5. Salt with alcohol in a wound never feels good but then again I caught mine pretty early (very little fluid came out). I will post tomorrow.
Susie Rich on November 02, 2016:
TEA TREE OIL, an essential oil, a miracle! Just one big drop before bed, and the next morning it was half gone, no sting, no pain. I used a drop in the morning too, and in 2 days it was so nearly gone I had to look hard to find it.
Sugar Magnolia Ma on October 31, 2016:
My lip seems to be more swollen than it was before..hopefully by morning i will have a scab..very depressed over this right now..confusionbecause my lip was swolken..pimple starting..blister...to form..no liquid..even just went in to prick it onemore time..same..just bloid droplet
Sugar Magnolia Ma on October 31, 2016:
I am doing this right now...fever blister started night before last around 6 pm..this morning tried tea tree o I l and coconut oil mixture..after work today was starting to swell..just woke up and found this...decided to try..amsitting here with the paste on my lip...how long do i keep this on??? after putting pin through..no liquid..little spot of blood..had my bf do it one more time..same result..is this normsl as ive only had it about 36 hours now...i am 48.....havent had one of these in like 20 years...im 48...its miserable...i also got 100 l-lysine mg..they say this helps and with continued use i will see less outbreaks if any..sny truth to this???? PLease..any help i can get i would appreciate.. My name is Marie...it was taken
Nay on October 22, 2016:
How long do you keep the salt mixture on
Dee on October 18, 2016:
I went from Day 1 to scabbing because of this!! Thank you so much! Absolutely try it!!
When I used the gauze I kind of pressed it down to get out as much liquid as possible, then used a different part of the gauze and did it again. I did this about four times, wiped my lip off with alcohol (avoiding the cold sore), then applied the salt-alcohol paste. The paste stayed on from 7pm until I fell asleep around 11pm. When I woke up I had some salt on me, but the cold sore was barely noticeable. Now it's about 11am and it's scabbed already. No pain, barely even swollen. I could go outside just like this and it'd barely be noticeable, but with lipstick there's no one someone could tell.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Kara on October 05, 2016:
Holy Shit that burned liked a mfer!!!!! But I can tell it's already working! I rarely get fever blisters and the lysin didn't do jack for me. I carried a bottle with me in my car and had 4 of them at home. I was always very committed to taking them as soon as I felt a tingle and taking the full dosage with a step down plan. Anyway, didn't help, I still went through the full nasty stages of the fever blister. I'm working hard on repairing my gut (immune system) and this alone has slowed then down from 2-3 times a year to 1 a year. Best of luck to all you suffers out there and a big middle finger to fever blisters.
Alysia on September 29, 2016:
Garlic kills it immediately but u have to apply it as soon as u get that tingly feeling or when u c one about to start coming out and it'll stop any outbreak from starting also best thing ever tea tree oil which u can buy at GNC tea tree oil is very effective in hsv1 ad well as hsv2 u can add olive oil to minimize the stinging this tea tree oil has a different type of burning feeling almost as if its cleansing your skin then the burning stops withing a few minutes it keeps your skin dry and actually helps form new skin herpes free the garlic stops and outbreak withing few hours and can c results withing the next day
crissytsu (author) from Texas on September 27, 2016:
Whenever someone around me has one I take like 5 echinachea so I don't get one ...this sounds like something i would do
crissytsu (author) from Texas on September 27, 2016:
Otc or prescription?
crissytsu (author) from Texas on September 27, 2016:
You're welcome...I've found popping them eliminates the word part of the fever blister...you just have to be extra careful to control the juice that comes out and alcohol and salt together seem to work better for me than just one or the other. My girlfriend just uses alcohol after popping hers and Ive found mine are always more contained and heal quicker.
Keisti on September 17, 2016:
I stopped using toothpaste with fluoride and SLS-sodium laurel sulfate and I stopped getting them. Yay!!!!
diane on September 15, 2016:
I take 2000 mg of L-Lysine each day and haven't had a fever blister for about 10 years. Recently this wasn't stopping one from coming. I read the best medication is real, Farmer's Market Honey (not store bought as store bought is not real honey once they've removed the pollen). This has been helping the fever blister not be as bad. It really works. (along with continuing 2000 to 3000 mg of L-Lysine. Google it. :)
Gigi on August 18, 2016:
Instead of rubbing alcohol can i use hydrogen peroxide??? Would it give the same results?!!!
Sloane on August 17, 2016:
I will tell you the trick to NEVER getting one again. Buy a big bottle of L-Lysine and keep in you medicine cabinet, I even keep a handful in my bag or car, just in case. The second you feel that tingle take 5 or 6 all at once (preferably on an empty stomach). Do it again the next morning just as a back up. You will NEVER EVER get one again. I do this this even if I am not positive that it is a cold sore forming. Lysine is just an amino acid protein that your body produces anyway, and it won't hurt you. I got them for years. The worst kind too...where your whole face swells up and you look like the elephant man. Since learning this trick I've never had another.
lara on August 11, 2016:
Thx for the post. Just trying out the method and will see in the morning what has happened. A small tip in preventing which helps for me. I get cold sores from the sun and mostly at high altitude. The only thing which prevents me from getting them is white (zinc) sunblock. Anything regular (even it is 50 pfs) won't work, however the white stuff does. It is difficult to find, sometimes surf shops sell it. To make it look okay, I apply a little bit of lipstick over it.
Michael on July 13, 2016:
Ive been a lifelong victim of these ugly things and I've found one medication that will completely get rid of a cold sore in a day. It's called releev and if out on the affected area right when you feel the tingling sensation it will dry up that portion of the lip and completely kill anything that's growing there. You can peel then dead skin off the affected area once it has dried completely and under will lie fresh new cold sore free skin. I apply this liberally once I feel the tingle and within a day I can peel it the dead skin off and have no sign of a cold sore. Unfortunately I didn't catch the one I'm suffering with now in time so I will have to pop it. I've done it before and it's worked great. Usually j just use the alcohol to dry it out but I will add in salt this time and some lysine to see what it does.
Karen on March 25, 2016:
I know this is an old post, but I wanted to say thank you! I only get a cold sore every few years, but when I do, they grow HUGE, spread, and take forever to heal. I did your treatment last night and slept with a crust of salt/alcohol on my lip and woke up with all of my cold sores dried up with little scabs over them. If you are curently suffering, it WORKS. Warning: it will sting like crazy but it's worth it
Joshdestardi on February 06, 2016:
1 - Pop the blisters
2 - Disinfect with Hydrogen Peroxide
3 - 'Dry' with a styptic stick (throw away after use or break a piece off)
4 - Apply Abreva VERY FREQUENTLY
Speeds up the healing process and causes the sore(s) to not be nearly as noticeable.
Key is getting it to dry out/scab over as quick as possible to accelerate the healing.
Michelle Brooks on September 24, 2015:
I had gotten a fever blister yesterday and I popped it but now my whole upper lips swelled up so now it looks like i have a fat lip What do i do?
NicoleL24 on July 03, 2015:
I have never had cold sores before but was told a few months ago when I thought that I had the flu, that it was actually Herpes Simplex. I have recently been under a lot of stress and almost a week ago noticed a small red bump in the corner of my top lip. I thought it was a pimple and didnt pay it much attention. yesterday I woke up and it was the size of a quarter and very difficult to talk and eat. Not to mention I work in a place where I am constantly on the phone or in contact with people face to face so its embarrassing. I put tons of alcohol on it and it seemed worse. I went to the doctor last night and was told that it was a cold sore. She gave me a script for Valtrex to take 3 times a day and the pharmacy actually didnt have the cream she called in so I bought Abreva. Ive been icing it all morning but it just wont go down or away. I was looking for a fast way to at least drastically reduce the swelling and dont see one. I have a family event this evening and dont even want to go. Im afraid to pop it since at this point it looks like a bug red blister and is causing my top lip to droop a little. I dont want it to spread or get infected.. anyone ever have this problem? Seems like a lot of people had several small bumps mine doesnt look that way.. thanks!
Anon on June 16, 2015:
My experience , I felt the tingle had abreva on hand but it didn't stop it it just slowed it down and kept it small.
I had about 4 bump form. I decided against my fears to pop them. I used the needle and alcohol and salt had no gauze or cotton balls so used paper towel. I popped all four but I guess cuz of the abreva or catching it early barely an liquid came out. It stung and burned like a bitch. Then my lip began to swell and I had no ice. So I put peroxide on a new paper towel and kept pressed on every 5 mins or so then I let cold water run on it in the shower until I got some ice. The peroxide and cold water brought the swelling down ALOT then I got the ice and applied it then kept using the abreava ( I don't the abreava had any effect at this point but it did keep it small from the start ) needless to say I was at the scanning stage by the next day and by day 4 the scabs ( small ones ) fell off and I was free !my whole ordeal without popping last about 7 days until it scabs then a almost a week and a half to 2 weeks before fully heaked
abe on June 14, 2015:
Honestly i have tried your method of popping a fever blister recently but instead of alcohol and salt i used witch hazel and salt...and im happy to say that it WORKED! Thanks for everything the swelling is almost completely down and the scab looks good ! I have tried many things but i have never had a result like this. Popping it early and going over it with the products just saved me so many days of hard ache and embarrassment! Im honestly really thankful!
crissytsu (author) from Texas on May 17, 2015:
Victor... When it scabs it's like any other scab, it gets hard and kinda crusty/flakes until it eventually gets knocked off accidentally or you pull them off (which I wouldn't recommend)... Use Neosporin to keep them soft til they go away
Victor09 on May 10, 2015:
So...I've really messed things up I think. This is the first time I've had a cold sore and didn't know what it was until i found this site. I tried the alcohol and salt but...well first I thought I had bit my lip then peeled the skin then just irritated it so i put a layer of aloe vera on it straight from the plant. It was still bothering me so i woke up every few hours and kept putting on another layer. then around 4am i saw this big blister thing on my top lip. i washed it with antibacterial soap and put abreava on it idk at some point it was all leaking and leaking and i didn't know what was going on. around 5 am i found this article online and tried the salt and alcohol but the "weeping" of it (now i know) wouldn't stop and i didn't know what to do. i kept putting alcohol on it then the salt then tried to sleep (it was still all leaking - gross!) then i woke up at 8am and my lip was as big as my nose! and apparently all the leaking had spread the blisters all over my top lip! I called a phone dr and he prescribed Valtrex - 2 1gram pills at noon and 2 1g pills at midnight. woke up today and it's still swollen but now it's all covered and hard - is that the scab part?! It looks like it's all tiny bubbles and infected underneath - is that how the scab looks? It doesn't hurt its just huge! What do i do now? I called dr again and he said that you have to catch it early for Valtrex to work and he prescribed an anti-inflammatory. idk if that is going to work. I think i did the alcohol thing wrong, can someone please advise if you think i'm at the scab stage - should i try alcohol again?! I really need to go to work in the morning but theres no way i can go like this, please help!
katie on April 13, 2015:
How long do you apply the salt past for??
crissytsu (author) from Texas on March 23, 2015:
Haha Sarah good idea. Thanks
Sarah on February 03, 2015:
I covered the outlying areas of my blisters with liquid bandage (I use Skin Shield) as an extra measure of protection against spread... it hurts, too, but I figure of you're already rubbing salt and alcohol into an open wound, might as well prevent at much infection as possible!
Lauren on January 23, 2015:
Thank you. Thank you. You have changed my life! This definitely works. Please try if you haven't yet.
Sierra Hollandsworth on January 17, 2015:
Hi everybody. echinacea in pill form works really good. I haven't had a break out in 6 months where before I had breakouts about every 2 weeks so yeah. Really helps. :)
April on January 10, 2015:
My Daughter has an cold sore this is her 2nd one she is 19, we have tried the Garlic thing, the creams nothing worked, this is her 2nd day, and i saw this post and started reading it, so we decided too try it, she is willing too try anything at this time, so we popped it and had a paper towel around it to catch the fluid, harely any came out, only a little dark spot to where i poked the blister with a needle was left, the lip does not look as swollen as it was, so far so good, praying that this works, from all the comments i have read, i'm looking forward to the outcome,
Jennifer P. on January 09, 2015:
I've been suffering from cold sores since I was a teenager. (My mom cursed me as she also gets them!) and every time I would run and get some abreva. For as much as it costs, it should get rid of the cold sore by the next day, but of course it doesn't! Once I got a cold sore and I couldn't afford the abreva so I turned to the Lysine ointment. It worked wonders! It never fully developed. No blister stage or anything. That was years ago and recently I got another one and I thought for sure the lysine would knock it out again especially since I caught it from the very beginning. Well this time it did absolutely nothing to stop it. The sore still developed and it stayed for a week. Idk. Maybe the success rate of the ointment depends on the severity of the sore. But anywho, unfortunatey my worst enemy returned on yesterday and needless to say I am distraught! Once again I caught it at the first stage with lysine and it did nothing because a few hours later, the sore had doubled in size. After reading about the l-lyine pills I got up and went to the store to grab some. I'm not quite sure if they're working or not but after reading this post I have been applying the salt/alcohol paste. I wasn't hesitant to pop the blister because I've done it in the past and it didn't spread but the blister did however come back, in the same spot. So I didn't lose or gain anything with that but I figured maybe the blister won't return if I put the paste on it after popping it. And sure enough the blister never returned. There was some swelling but after wearing the paste to bed, about 90% of the swelling had gone down by the next day. Now there is a scab there and it's still noticsble but it looks better than it would normally look on day #2. I'm currently wearing a paste that I made from the lysine pills, water, and vitamin E. I'm not sure how it will turn out but I will see in a couple of hours and if it doesn't seem to be working I will revert back to the salt/alcohol paste. Or possibly mix them all together. All in all this was a helpful post. Didn't work miracles or anything (though I probably didn't catch it in time) but it DID help. So thanks!!!
Justin on December 27, 2014:
I'm giving this method a try for the first time today. I'm usually fairly skeptical about any method requiring popping, but given the numerous positive comments, I'm starting to believe it might just work. Like many here, I'm a victim of this virus and have been since childhood. If able, could someone please indicate how often I should apply the salt-alcohol concoction? I was thinking every 2-3 hours, but not certain.
n d on December 23, 2014:
Thank you i woke up yesterday and missed the tingle stage but immediatley did the abreve which kept them small and then this mornibg i did the salt and alcohol and popped them and the results are amazibg thank you thank you
Shay on December 16, 2014:
Did this in the morning before bed and was ready for work in the evening. This us amazing. Thank you so much!
Anna on December 16, 2014:
I just wanted to say thank you for this posting this solution, it worked wonders. :) I've been getting a ton of cold sores during this year (grad school and all), so finding this has been a huge lifesaver. I was able to stop this one right as it began to enter the swelling stage and I have noticed a marked improvement. It still stings somewhat, but that's much better than being miserable for a week or more. Thank you so much again!
Erin on December 16, 2014:
Oh my goodness! I woke up this morning with the feeling of a bump on my bottom lip and instantly knew what was coming. I began putting witch hazel on it with a q-tip all morning and quickly had to run out to buy Lysine. I wasn't sure if I should pop this cold sore because it was bigger than the one's I've had in the past. I sterilized a needle and poked tiny holes in my sore and dabbed q-tips to remove excess liquid. I then put hydrogen peroxide on the sore and its fizzing up so I know it's working. The shiny white appearance of a bump on my lip went down. Now my bottom lip is just sore and tingling with the hydrogen peroxide, and it's a little swollen and red but not as noticeable as before!
Love on December 10, 2014:
THIS IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF! Please do not be skeptical or scared to try it. Start doing it NOW before your gets worse! It really, really, really works! I popped with a sterile needle 5-6 small blisters on my lip, lighted pushed on them with a qtip covered in 70 percent rubbing alcohol. Applied the alcohol/salt paste the whole day (every couple of hours for 8 hours). The next day it was still really puffy but a scab formed. I I then put A&D ointment (similar to neosprin) and another alcohol /salt patch over that again just to make sure it continued drying it out. That night I soaked my lips in tea tree oil (bought it at CVS where vitamins/supplements are) & then covered in A&D Ointment and slept with it on. This was an EXTREMELY helpful post (advice) & im just so thankful I stumbled across it! EXCELLENT HOME REMEDY!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this!!!!
Evelyn on December 05, 2014:
I popped my cold sores 3 nights ago. My top lip got very swollen and the sores have scabbed and today the scabs have started to come off and the swelling is significantly lower.
evelyn on December 03, 2014:
Hi everyone. So I popped my cold blisters last night and I put the alcohol and salt on. And when I woke up thos morning theres only swelling. Is that good? There no more watery substance at all. So is this a good sign? What else should I do for the swelling?
crissytsu (author) from Texas on November 30, 2014:
Awesome! Glad it worked and maybe the apple cider vinegar did something to help it heal even faster.
Jen W on November 27, 2014:
Incredible. I am a skeptical person and nothing ever works for my cold sores. I always get them right when something important is going to happen like a wedding, vacation, of course any event where lots of pictures are taken, etc. Today is thanksgiving and I'm having it with my boyfriends family for the first time ever. I followed your instructions (skeptical as I went) and also alternated using the paste with soaking my lip with apple cider vinegar. This was last night around midnight. Right before I laid down to sleep I out a tiny bit of neosporin on the opening and covered my lip again in the paste. Yep, I woke up a couple times tasting salt, but I don't care. I wouldn't even say I skipped to the scan phase, this thing is like GONE. There is a scab the size of a small dot, and very little swelling. With a little lip gloss no one will ever be able to see it. THANK YOU!!!
crissytsu (author) from Texas on October 08, 2014:
Yeah just don't let the juicy stuff spread when you pop it. If it doesn't have the watery stuff inside then just use the salt and alcohol
Robby on October 07, 2014:
Last night I was very stressed and perhaps caused my cold sore to arouse. When I felt the tingling I iced it as long as I could and grabbed the lysine (I forgot that I had Blistex and generic Valtrex). Later I applied Hydrogen Peroxide, Milk (basic substance), and alcohol. Then I coated the area in tea tree oil and lysine.
I woke up the next morning and it was still kind of puffy. I found my Valtrex but then saw this post.
Should I still attempt this method, even though the blister is puffy already?
crissytsu (author) from Texas on September 24, 2014:
I doubt sea salt matters as long as it's salt it should perform the same function which is to dry the blister out...I usually leave the paste on it as long as possible incase any of the water from the blister oozes out. I would leave the paste on it until you are sure it's dried up.
aria65 on September 23, 2014:
Just found this post. How long do you leave the paste on? A few minutes? Hours? And does it matter what kind of salt? All I have in the house is pink sea salt.
crissytsu (author) from Texas on July 09, 2014:
Brittney...since you say it is scabbed over then you managed to skip the worst part of the cold sore. Now you can just put like Neosporin on the scabbed part to make it heal faster...usually that weepy oozy stage lasts a few days so you managed to shorten the length of the fever blister already. The swelling should start to go down soon if it hasn't already. Also with this being your first cold sore, you know how to catch it earlier next time and reduce the life of the cold sore even faster. Glad to hear the salt and alcohol helped you skip the miserable oozy stage though.
Brittney on July 08, 2014:
First thank you for this information. I had my first cold sore yesterday and I wanted to die. I was under rested, in the sun and extremely stressed. I felt the tingling and burning but had no idea what it mean. Then extreme pain within a few hours. Once I realized what it was I rushed to Walmart for medicine. Spent $20 and made it worse. I was desperate so I called and left a message for my doctor asking for a prescription for help. Then I started searching for something faster. I tried the salt and alcohol mixture and it worked. It dried out the cold sore puss pockets. When I woke up the next morning my lip was swollen like a sausage. I've also noticed that it hurts and is hot to the touch. Is this normal? The cold sore itself is dried and scabbing.
comeasumyunguy on June 15, 2014:
AWESOME POST and method. I'm sick of this sh!t, I just feel like cutting it off my lip with a knife sometimes.
katie on May 31, 2014:
What if you have several tiny ones? Should you pop those too?
Heidi on May 22, 2014:
I tried your technique and so far so good! I woke up yesterday with the pain/tingling of the cold sure starting with small blisters starting to form. I started using abreva right away, but as the day progressed the blisters got larger. In the evening I tried your treatment. I didn't have rubbing alcohol so I used listerine and salt (since listerine is mostly alcohol). It stung a bit, but nothing terrible. Today the swelling is much less but still a little puffy, but the best part is there is only a small slightly dark scab. None of the weepy, crusty business I usually get with a cold sore. Even though it's not totally gone I feel like I skipped days 3-6 and it's really only day two. This is great!
la on May 09, 2014:
Earwax at the sign of tingling or the small bump will keep it from appearing. Just use a dry qtip if you have large wax build up. If not a slightly wet one if you don't like me. I have even dug in my kids ear for wax if mine are bare. It works if caught in time.
crissytsu (author) from Texas on May 07, 2014:
I'm glad it worked for you! This method has always reduced the number of days it takes to heal for me and reduces the humiliation by making it less noticeable.
amanda on April 28, 2014:
I have had cold sores for as long as I can remember. When I first took l-lysine for the first time it decreased healing time by a good deal (but has since stopped working). When I first tried rubbing raw garlic on my cold sore, it pretty much ended up a tiny scab the next day (it too has since stopped working miracles). But the other day I was so desperate. I usually get cold sores closer to my the inside of my mouth and can hide it pretty well, but this is the first time in a long time I had a HUGE cold sore right by the bottom of my lip. It was in its blister stage, white and a beacon for eyes. When they are in the scabbed phase I can just wear dark lipstick and it hides it pretty well but when it's a huge shiny sore or when it is weeping, it's so much harder to conceal. So I did this method and was pleasantly surprised with the immediate results. I used a sterilized needle to poke a small hole and then used 30 qtips (i bought the travel sized back with 30) to dab it away with the mixture. It was deflated and I couldn't tell if I had done it right due it the white color from the mixture/if i needed to drain it more but nothing else came out. I had a small red hole from where the liquid had come out, though no blood had come out. It was scabbing up 3 hours later. I woke up today and it's dry (my lips always get chapped when I have a cold sore) but it feels like a scab though it only looks purple/red where the hole was. I'll have to wait over the next few days to see how it progresses but skipping the weeping phase is a life saver! It didn't even really hurt to be honest. You can hardly tell anything is there (it seriously looks like I just have chapped lips). This was amazing and saved me a lot of humiliation, thanks so much!!
crissytsu (author) from Texas on April 17, 2014:
Glad you had great results! I wish more people knew they didn't have to suffer for a week or longer if they'd do this method.
alphadrive on April 15, 2014:
After a year of no symptoms, I woke up with a cold sore yesterday (Day 1). For context, I had a fever and other flu-like symptoms the day before yesterday (Day 0), I was stressed, and I exposed myself to UV radiation during the middle of the day (no sunscreen). The sore got worse throughout Day 1. In the evening of Day 1, I used Crissy's method and applied tea tree oil overnight. I am on Day 2 and the sore has scabbed. I have continued to apply tea tree oil. Thank you Crissy for your advice and everyone who shared their experiences.
On prevention, this has been my first time going over a year without an occurrence. The only major lifestyle change I made was to eat a diet of plant foods, including whole grains and whole-grain products, and vegetables and fruit. I excluded all animal foods, including red meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and fish, and all oils. If anyone is interested in this avenue, I suggest looking up Dr. John McDougall.
crissytsu (author) from Texas on April 03, 2014:
Never tried tea tree oil when I've been out of alcohol but I have tried nail polish remover since it dries it out just as good. Let me know how the tea tree oil works
Tessa on April 03, 2014:
I've just come across this post. Like many I've done EVERYTHING! I've just popped mine for the first time(was 2 really big blisters) I didn't have any alcohol so I've used tea tree oil and salt, I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow when I wake up : /
I take lysine tablets every day so I don't get them as often as I use to so I highly recommend them to anyone that doesn't take them already!
Hopefully I don't wake up with a fatter lip tomorrow!
crissytsu (author) from Texas on March 17, 2014:
Thanks! Glad it helped to speed it along. It's really the weepy blister stage that I aim to avoid because to me that's the worst part for me. The scabs are usually much smaller the earlier you catch them too so they don't bother me as bad as the bubbly sores and swollen lips. Thanks for posting.
justin on March 17, 2014:
yup I agree, I wish I would've started this process on day 1 rather than day2, my scabbing stage would probably be a little farther along, but its still 100 times better then what it would normally be at right now thanks to your technique.
I always seem to notice my blisters when they have formed a small bump, I rarely notice the tingling or red spots :(..
crissytsu (author) from Texas on March 17, 2014:
Oh and for the record...the earlier you catch the fever blister and pop it, the faster it heals. There have been times that I've been able to catch them early enough to get them completely to the scabbing stage in a day or two but I've never managed to completely get rid of any evidence it was ever there in two days time.
crissytsu (author) from Texas on March 17, 2014:
Speaking from personal experience, I think that once it has scabbed over that keeping the scab moist helps get rid of it faster and helps prevent scarring.
justin on March 17, 2014:
One thing I forgot to cover. I am a male, obviously. and sometimes you want to so badly conceal this coldsore. If you absolutely must conceal it because of a presentation or meeting or something. I recommend finding some makeup close to the color of your lips / skin. Yes I know, im a male and have a tube of makeup bla bla whatever get over it. I LIGHTLY put some around the edge of the sore to eliminate the "redness" of the edges... as soon as im done with whatever ill use a papertowel and remove the makeup and cover the spot back up with abreva.
My question is this: is it better to moisturize the scab? or leave it dry? I feel like when the scab is left dry it seems to heal faster.. when I keep it moisturized with carmex or others it seems like the scab is too soft and easily falls off...idk
Justin on March 17, 2014:
Hello, since around the age of 20, (im 25 now), ive been getting cold sores every 5-6 months or so, like clockwork. Right around march-may and oct-December ill get a cold sore. Like most people here, ive tried every damn thing in the book. First starting with abreva which never did much for me, then I moved to a qtip with acetone NPR, it burned, and yes it would dry up the sore but it left slight scarring. Next I read about Lysine and Arginine, I cut out foods high in arginine while taking 3000mg lysine a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) as a preventative measure. Taking the lysine may have helped but I still was getting the usual coldsore every 6 months still. Next I started using lip balm with SPF, so on so forth. At the end of the day, im still getting the coldsores every 6 months, doesn't seem to matter what I do. I obsess over it, I downright get depressed over it, I feel like a freak, I try to hide my face by avoiding eye contact and secluding myself any chance I get.
I stumbled across this page in search for yet another miracle to attack these things. My cold sore popped up Friday morning as I was taking a shower, I ran my tongue over my lip and hit that familiar soft bump and my heart sank, no tingly feeling, no warning, just bam. I turned the water off and rushed to the mirror, exactly what I had thought. coldsore. I popped 5000 mg of lysine right off the bat, followed with abreva (which never seems to do much anyway). I found this page and finally said screw it,im going to try this method. On day 2 I got a pack of safety pins, q tips, rubbing alc and peroxide. I dipped the needle in the peroxide and VERY carefully I SLIGHTLY poked into the blister JUST ENOUGH to see a droplet of liquid come out. I picked up a qtip and lightly soaked up the liquid. Then, using a fresh qtip, I dipped it in rubbing alc and lightly patted the spot just once, I mustve went through 50 qtips, I did not want to spread that crap anywhere else. Since my coldsore was quite large I had to repeat the process to get as much of the liquid out as I could until it was finally "flat" or "empty". next I got a bowl and mixed rubbing alcohol and table salt until it was a pasty mix. I used a fresh qtip to carefully apply the paste, it stung like hell but I didn't care.
Throughout the entire day (day 2) I re applied the paste as needed, usually about every 2 hours or so. towards the end of the day I was pleasantly surprised. The huge "bubble" of the blister was completely gone, it was just a flat dry spot that had slightly started to scab up.. In fact I didn't even feel paranoid going to the store that's how much better the sore looked. Day 3, the blister has started to scab. Day 4, the blister now has a hard scab crust where the bubble used to be and I am hoping that by day 5-6 the scab will slowly start to peel away on its own.
No, this method didn't clear my coldsore up in 2 days.
YES, this method skipped right to the scabbing stage of my coldsore, I didn't even have to deal with the liquid filled blister stage that usually lasts 2 days. My scabbing stage lasts, normally, around 3 days. so hopefully by day 6 the scab is gone.
One piece of advice my fellow cold sore getters, This virus is so damn common, most of the adult population is infected but only a small percent show symptoms (cold sores). And really, we stare at our coldsore in the mirror for hours just looking at it and saying gosh how gross is this. You are not alone, and it is NEVER as bad as we make it out too be, trust me, I used to be one of those people that would feel like crying. I think the main thing to remember is that, although you feel like a leapor & it seems to you that the only thing people can see is that damn scab on your face it really isn't as bad as that in real life.
As you grow up you will find that people around you ignore it, don't notice it or suffer themselves so they know exactly how you feel.
Im not sure if people still read thiswebsite but if you do. Were all here for you
tryce on February 24, 2014:
what do you use once it is at the scabbing stage? would petroleum jelly work? sorry I just came across this post. I know it's old but i thought I'd give it a shot to see if anybody would respond.
victoria on February 20, 2014:
Usually when my lip starts to tingle I apply Blistex (the white squeeze tube) and it stops it in its tracks. My grandma always said to take an aspirin