The People's Perspective on Medicine
Closeup of a common mouth cold sore
Cold Sores (herpes simplex 1 or HSV-1)

Can L-Lysine Prevent Painful Cold Sores?

Readers report that the supplement L-lysine can help prevent recurrent fever blisters caused by HSV-1.

Sun-dried vanilla pods with bottles of vanilla essence
Cold Sores (herpes simplex 1 or HSV-1)

Is Vanilla a Helpful Remedy for Cold Sores?

One reader swears by vanilla to speed healing of cold sores. Others apply ice at the first sign of a fever blister. Do these remedies work for you?

Young man with a cold sore (HSV1) on his lip
Cold Sores (herpes simplex 1 or HSV-1)

What Can You Do for Cold Sores?

Treating cold sores at the first hint of a tingle often results in quick healing. One reader combines medications with home remedies.

lemon balm plant (Melissa officinalis)
Alternative Health

Is There a Natural Remedy for Cold Sores?

You might want to try a natural remedy for cold sores to stop an outbreak at the first tingle. Lemon balm, stinging nettle and L-lysine are popular.

An illustration of the brain made up of rusty gears representing Alzheimer disease
Alzheimer’s Disease

Can You Prevent Alzheimer Disease with L-Lysine?

Data linking herpes virus infections (HSV-1) with a higher risk of dementia offer hope that taking L-lysine might prevent Alzheimer disease.

poison ivy plants in the underbrush
Acne (pimples)

How Aysa, an AI App, Helped a Mother with her Child’s Rash

Aysa, a new app for your tablet or smart phone, can help you determine what is wrong so you'll know whether you need to see the doctor.

a cold sore outbreak on someone's lip
Cold Sores (herpes simplex 1 or HSV-1)

Can Antiviral Herpes Drugs Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer Disease?

Decades-old research suggests that herpes virus infections might contribute to Alzheimer's disease. Could antiviral herpes drugs help prevent dementia?

stinging nettle on a cutting board
Alternative Health

Will Stinging Nettle Banish Your Cold Sores?

A British reader discovered that stinging the area of an incipient cold sore repeatedly with nettle prevented the sore from developing.

cold sore (herpes simplex) on woman's lip
Alzheimer’s Disease

Could an Antiviral Drug Help Control Alzheimer Disease?

Is it possible that viruses like herpes could contribute to Alzheimer's disease? If so, would drugs that speed healing from cold sores or genital herpes help control Alzheimer's disease?

lemon balm plant (Melissa officinalis)
Alternative Health

How to Stop a Cold Sore with an Herb

Applying an ointment containing an extract of lemon balm at the very first tingle may stop a cold sore from developing.

cashew nuts close up
Alternative Health

Can You Prevent Cold Sores by Avoiding Cashews?

A reader found that avoiding cashews and other trigger foods helps reduce recurrent cold sores. Taking L-lysine supplements also helps.

Dried licorice root fragments
Alternative Health

Licorice Oil Calms the Heat of Fire Ant Stings

Licorice oil applied to cold sores, stings, burns and bites helps ease the pain and speed healing.

cold sores, recurrent cold sores
Cold Sores (herpes simplex 1 or HSV-1)

How Good Is L-lysine Against Cold Sores?

The science is not very supportive when it comes to L-lysine against cold sores. But many readers say it works surprisingly well against outbreaks.

Young man with a cold sore (HSV1) on his lip
Cold Sores (herpes simplex 1 or HSV-1)

Can You Avoid Cold Sores by Taking L-Lysine?

Taking L-lysine at the first hint of a cold sore may disrupt the virus and keep the fever blister from developing further.

cold sore (herpes simplex) on woman's lip
Cold Sores (herpes simplex 1 or HSV-1)

Valtrex (Valacyclovir) Vanquished 30 Years of Cold Sore Misery

Antiviral drugs revolutionized the treatment of herpes infections whether on the lips or the genitals. Valacyclovir beat out L-lysine against cold sores.

garlic bulbs
cold sore (herpes simplex) on woman's lip
Cold Sores (herpes simplex 1 or HSV-1)

How Can You Forestall an Ugly Cold Sore?

Readers offer many different home remedies to ward off an ugly cold sore. Which one will work for you, or will you try medication?

cold sore (herpes simplex) on woman's lip
Alzheimer’s Disease

Will L-lysine for Cold Sores Protect the Brain from Alzheimer’s?

Harvard researchers have come up with a novel hypothesis about the cause of Alzheimer's disease. A reader wonders if L-Lysine for cold sores could help?

Young man is showing a cold sore (fever blister) on his lip
Cold Sores (herpes simplex 1 or HSV-1)

L-Lysine Remedy for Cold Sores Scorned By Scientists

Researchers have not been able to find good scientific support for the L-Lysine remedy for cold sores. What is your experience with this amino acid?

Young lady paddling a kayak in a calm bay
Cold Sores (herpes simplex 1 or HSV-1)

Sunglasses Rescue Kayaker from Recurring Cold Sores

On an opthalmologist's advice, this reader found that wearing strong sunglasses during outdoor sports could prevent recurring cold sores.