Although study results have been mixed, alternative medicine treatments for cold sores include:
May 15, 2015
- Lysine. An amino acid, lysine is available as an oral supplement and as a cream.
- Propolis. Also known as synthetic beeswax, this is available as a 3 percent ointment. When applied early and often, it may shorten the duration of the breakout.
- Rhubarb and sage. A cream combining rhubarb and sage may be about as effective as acyclovir (Zovirax) cream.
- Stress reduction. If your cold sores are triggered by stress, you might want to try relaxation techniques, such as deep-breathing exercises and meditation.
- AskMayoExpert. Cold sores. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
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- Wolff K, et al. Viral diseases of skin and mucosa. In: Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 23, 2015.
- Rakel RE. Dermatology. In: Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 23, 2015.
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- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 6, 2015.
- Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: W.B. Saunders; 2011. http://dorlands.com/index.jsp. Accessed March 25, 2015.
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