Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To ease cold sore symptoms, you may want to try:

  • Docosanol (Abreva). An over-the-counter cream, docosanol is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use on cold sores. It must be applied frequently and may shorten an outbreak by a few hours or a day.
  • Other cold sore remedies. Some over-the-counter preparations contain a drying agent, such as alcohol, that may speed healing.
  • Ice or cold water. Applying ice or washcloths soaked in cold water to the blisters may help ease symptoms.
May 23, 2012

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