The People's Perspective on Medicine

Desperate for Help With Recurrent Cold Sores

We've been flooded with letters from people who swear that the supplement lysine is their go-to solution for getting rid of recurrent cold sores fast.

Have you been troubled with recurrent cold sores? The herpes simplex virus (HSV1) that causes cold sores, aka fever blisters, never really goes away, but it can go into hiding for months or longer. If the immune system lets down its guard, the result can be painful lesions on or near the lips. Presumably, we call them cold sores or fever blisters because they tend to occur when you have a cold or a fever due to infection. Somehow, the immune system was not able to ward off the pathogen and also allowed HSV1 to manifest itself.

What Can You Do about Recurrent Cold Sores?

Q. I have always suffered from recurrent cold sores as far back as I can remember. I am especially vulnerable in the summer when I spend a lot of time outdoors. Even with lip balm that has a sunblock, I am frequently in pain.

These sores are incredibly ugly and people always stare. That makes me even more self-conscious about them. What can you recommend to prevent cold sores or speed healing once they occur? I have heard that lysine might be good but I know nothing about this stuff. What is it and how well does it work?

A. Cold sores, also called fever blisters, can be painful and look yucky. Some people have outbreaks once or twice a year. Others seem to have recurrent cold sores every few weeks. Once our bodies are infected with this herpes virus it remains forever. Why some people are more vulnerable to attacks than others remains mysterious. Clearly our immune systems play an important role in this process. Sun exposure can bring on an outbreak. So can a trip to the dentist (presumably because of mild trauma associated with such procedures).

Although we are enthusiastic about lysine (more about this supplement in a minute) we would be remiss if we did not mention that there are effective anti-viral agents for type 1 (HSV-1) herpes infections that cause cold sores. Zovirax (acyclovir) and Denavir (penciclovir) are available in cream form. In addition, your doctor could prescribe oral anti-virals as Famvir (famciclovir), Valtrex (valacyclovir), and Zovirax.

L-Lysine for Cold Sores:

If you prefer a more natural and affordable approach, you may want to seriously consider l-lysine. The arginine/lysine theory of cold sore management remains somewhat controversial within the medical community. It goes something like this. The amino acid arginine is essential for herpes viruses to replicate and multiply. Arginine is found in good quantities in nuts (such as almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, walnuts, etc), pumpkin and squash seeds, sesame seeds, red meat and some cereals (oatmeal for example). People are advised to cut back on high arginine-containing foods and add lysine supplements to their regimen (1000 to 1500 mg total daily dose). Lysine is supposed to make it harder for the herpes virus to replicate.

The Science of L-Lysine for Recurrent Cold Sores:

We were somewhat skeptical of this approach as there have been both negative as well as positive studies with lysine. Most of the research was with small numbers of patients and seemed inconclusive to us. Nevertheless, some of the double-blind, placebo-controlled trials lasted from 12 to 52 weeks and reported significant reductions in cold sore outbreaks among the lysine groups.

A review of the published research concluded that people need to take at least 3 grams (3,000 mg) of l-lysine daily to see benefit against cold sores (Integrative Medicine, June 2017). As a precaution, the authors suggest that people with gallbladder disease should avoid l-lysine. 

L-Lysine Testimonials:

What has convinced us that something positive was happening with lysine has been the outpouring of letters from dental professionals and our readers. We have received so many anecdotal reports of success that we are convinced something is going on here. Below, we share just some of the lysine success stories with you:

One oral surgeon wrote to say his patients do well on a preventive regimen of one 500 mg tablet of l-lysine daily. If they develop a sore, increasing to four tablets a day seems to help it heal faster.

A reader said,

“I suffered from cold sores since I was a little boy. My doctor prescribed acyclovir, which wasn’t any help. My pharmacist suggested lysine, and I have been taking 500 mg of this amino acid for two years now. I am free of fever blisters and that’s a great relief.”

Q. When you wrote recently about home remedies for cold sores, why in heavens name didn’t you tell people about l-lysine?

For 50 years, I would develop fever blisters every time I went out in the sun. About four years ago a pharmacist told me about l-lysine. Since then I have taken it for a week before I know I’ll be exposed to sunshine. I have not had a cold sore since.

A. We were flooded with letters like yours praising the power of l-lysine.

One young woman wrote,

“my boyfriend got these sores constantly, and as a last resort we went to the health food store to see if there was anything that could help. He was told to take lysine and the sores have never returned.”

Another reader reports suffering from nasty fever blisters that lasted 3 or 4 weeks. She was told by a friend to take lysine, and when she was skeptical the friend said, “then live with them, if you’re stubborn.”

She now takes l-lysine whenever she feels a cold sore coming on or if she is in the sun more than usual.

She says,

“it quickly nips them in the bud. Doctors and druggists don’t seem to believe this, but I know it works.”

Judging from our mail bag, l-lysine does help many people. Though it may not work for everyone, this amino acid may be worth a try.

We would love to hear your story (positive or negative). Share your experience with l-lysine below in the comment section.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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Citations
  • Mailoo VJ et al, "Lysine for Herpes Simplex Prophylaxis: A Review of the Evidence." Integrative Medicine, June 2017.
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You mentioned that gall bladder sufferers should avoid L-Lysine. What if you had gall bladder REMOVED due to gall stones? Does L-Lysine then stress some other organ?

I get cold sores frequently and have received rapid relief by applying a cotton ball saturated with hydrogen peroxide to the sore(s) for a minute or two.

I’ve battled cold sores since childhood, dreading going to school with these ugly sores by my mouth.

I don’t recall exactly what prompted me to finally try L-lysine, but I do know that it works!!!

I take a 500 mg supplement every day with dinner, and if I happened to overdo on nuts or sweets and feel a sore starting, I take one or two extra at other meals. Even if I don’t catch it at the very beginning of the sore, it still works, and if it doesn’t seem to, I just take more.

Have been using l-lysine for 20 years. I have outbreaks only if I neglect dosage for a few days (1000mg daily). If an outbreak occurs, the lysine stops it before it blisters, especially if combined with 1-2000 mg vitamin c.

My dermatologist recommended that I take 500 mg. of L-Lysine daily prophylacticaly to prevent outbreaks. And to increase it to three times a day if an outbreak occurs. Has worked pretty well for me.

But what works best for me is to take 1 gram of Valtrex the minute I feel the prodrome and one 12 hours later. It only takes the two doses to kick it if I begin the regimen as soon as I begin to feel the symptoms.

Have never used lysine but use a dab of oil of oregano on a cold sore as soon as I feel it coming, inside or outside of my mouth. I use a dab a few times a day, and it’s usually nipped in the bud completely.

I had a smallpox booster and experienced no cold sores for years!

Lysine works for me. But recently I’ve become a BIG fan of Abreva which is OTC. It’s pricey but you only need a miniscule amount.

What triggers cold sores for me is certain foods. Corn is a problem. Also I can’t eat apples, especially dried apples.

I have had cold sores since a young child. OTC stuff worked till my cardiac cath 11 years ago. At the time it got out of control and popped up in unusual places. Docs thought I had MRSA but biopsy showed it was a systemic herpes zoster virus. I gave up and started taking Acylovir 400 mg 2 X a day. I have been on this now 6 or 7 years with no outbreak since. A bonus has been no flu or colds since.

It has been a lifesaver for me when all the Lysine and other supplements offered no relief. I hate drugs and drug companies but will gladly take this one till I die.

Absolutely! My mom knew this 40 years ago, and L-lysine works. Helps with chickenpox too, as I gave it to my children. Other benefits: shortens Bell’s Palsy duration. I wonder if it would help shingles sufferers?

I occasionally get a cold sore, especially when I am under more acute stress than usual. While L-lysine does seem to help reduce the eruption, I find that after a few days I get heart palpitations if I also decrease my consumption nuts, seeds, and oatmeal to decrease arginine. I guess that’s because I’m getting less magnesium, so maybe the lesson is to eat normally while taking the L-Lysine. I also find that Valtrex works great and wonder if it’s not better in the long run because it attacks the virus.

Lysine works! I was plagued with cold sores several times a year until I tried lysine. I take 1000 mgs per day and have had no outbreaks in 4 years! It is a miracle.

Several years ago I worked in a local pharmacy. I had a cold sore, and when I went to work that day the pharmacist told me to get some l-lysine, and take it every day. I did that for a very long time. I have not had a cold sore in so many years, I can’t remember the last time I had one. My son-in-law suffers from shingles, and when he starts feeling like an attack is coming on he takes the l-lysine for a few weeks and does not have an outbreak. L-Lysine is not expensive and sure works better than anything that I have tried!

I had heard about L-Lysine also and tried it a few times. Then I heard about lemon balm. I use the salve. I heard about this on another medical show also. It definitely works. I just apply it before an outbreak, and it stops the sore from coming out. It is definitely the best remedy I have tried!

Thanks so much about the L-Lysine. I am going to pick up some!

I’m do glad to see I’m not the only one with this much trouble, but also sorry were all in the same boat.

I’ve gotten cold sores since I was a kid, thanks to my dad spreading it to me. I use to have constant breakouts as a teenager but thanks to a low carb diet, a reduction in stress, and stable hormones I only saw one out two breakouts a month in my 20s.

Now I’m in my late 30s and after one of the worst years of my life I developed rosacea (both ocular and facial – at the same time) and the cold sores would show up with it. It went from being a one week month, to two weeks, and now it’s non-stop daily outbreaks, both the rosacea and cold sores.

I’ve been taking 3000mg lysine every day for months but it’s only made them smaller. I’m going through a tube of Avreva every month, and the antivirals aren’t doing anything. It all started with the rosacea last August and not one doctor (I’ve been to 3) has any clue what to do, how they’re connected, or what to try next.

After talking to a nice lady who experience something similar, I’m wondering if the stress messed up with my body and hormones to the point it sent me into peri-menopause. I have PCOS so that system has always been touchy. I guess if that’s it then this is life until everything settles back down. Is anyone else going through something similar?

I take Zovirax and L-lysine and Abreva and essential oils for the lesions I regularly get in my right nostril (a couple times per month depending on stress levels and sun exposure). When I get them my glands swell up on that side of my jaw and neck. I am exhausted and achy, and I often get migraines on that side of my head, and my vision on that side gets blurry. It’s an ongoing struggle for my health. I wish I had more answers but even doctors do not have answers so I continue to stay on an anti-inflammatory diet and work hard to get plenty of sleep. However, one thing that I have discovered that helps the lesions go away faster and helps the pain is Calamine Lotion. When I looked up the ingredients I realized why. It contains Zinc oxide and and Ferric Oxide that dry out the blisters and reduce pain and itching. Also zinc has many healing properties. So just an fyi – maybe it can help you too.

Hi: I feel for you. I’ve had to deal with the same pesky thing for years. The most terrible news is that it’s a virus called herpes SIMPLEX. Note the difference with plain herpes. That stays with you for life and is contagious. You can get it by drinking from an infected person’s glass. I love straws! and always ask for them.

I’ve heard that one contracts it as a child, and there are millions of kids in that situation. It remains dormant until certain things awaken it: stress, stomach ailments, cold weather. I’ve been able to control mine when I’m in the sun by applying generous layers of high UV protection chap stick. In addition, I extend the application to all areas around my mouth (like a clown). I don’t see why it wouldn’t work in cold weather as well. There is medication that really expedites healing and relieves pain. It’s available in cream or pill presentation I can’t mention names here. I prefer the cream.

Good luck, and be brave! Accept the fact that you’ll have to live with it for life. Help yourself by avoiding the above causes. Go see your Dr. to consult on the matter. He or she might even prescribe the cream for you.

Wonderful chance here for discussion. Thank you. I have had cold sores and sties in my eyes since age 3. I’m 59 now. They says it’s a form of herpes, but I have never ever had them in the nether regions.

Back when my sisters and I were young we had the same doctor who delivered us. He even came over once in a while. I remember a picture of me with a patch over my eye and some sort of salve on it. My cold sores didn’t have to be directly on my lips or in my mouth. They could be above my top lip, even over to the side. Unfortunately Doctor Lawther retired. The new doctor simply said it a virus and was environmental. Why on Earth can’t doctors ever tell you where it derived from? They continue to simply place a bandage on a problem that’s probably some kind of warning of something bigger about to happen.

I’m all about healthy habits and healthy food. Was it the vaccines they gave us, the fluoride, the metal, Mercury, lead, that we breathe everyday with the pollution and pesticides on our crops? I need straight answers. I think we all do. I think we have a right to know.

I too suffer from this dreadful ailment can I take antiviral meds WITH they Lysine tabs? Anyone know if it’s a waste of should I take the lysine AFTER the sore has cleared up
Thanks

Dang, I got the stress, dry climate, am nut addict (smoked almonds are droooool bacon for almost all vegetarians). Am 36 too. It seems that coffee, for many, is an addiction at this age. Less energy? Perhaps. I find that an acyclovir l-lysine combo at the first tingle stage turns it into a scab before a McMassive blister on the face. I only ever get them at festivals, sharing ciggies and drinks. No, I don’t smoke or drink, and I get them every month.
So am:
– cutting almonds.
– reducing coffee

I’m 44 now and have been getting cold sores since a child. used to get them every 6 months or so but recently I’ve been getting them every month since I started a new job with terrible hours. having to wake up at 5am 3 days a week and its taking a toll on my sleep cycle. I’m assuming that’s a big trigger because I wake up half the night and are very sleepy at work. I’ve tried everything, acyclovir and abreva and lysine 500mg daily and still get them. I wonder if there are any clinical trials for a cure going on? I wonder if the 40 minutes of aerobics I do daily worsens it? because I’m assuming exercise helps the immune system. also my white blood count is always one point under the range, does that mean my immune system is weak?

I’m only saying this because nobody knows me. When I feel one coming on, and I get the tingling which I thought everyone got (but just learned that not everyone does), I have no idea who told me to do it but I have put ear wax on the cold sore. I don’t get the ear wax in my mouth at all. I normally just lightly dampen my finger, put it in my ear then right on the cold sore, and like I said it never has a chance. When I know I have it on the sore I don’t touch it and let the ear wax do its work.

I’ve been getting a cold sore one after another,for the past 2 months. Nothing really works for me, not even lysine or any other creme. My last resort is to burst them and dry them out with acetone. That’s my only cure cause nothing really works for me. I’m 38 years old, and I’ve been getting these nasty things since I was a kid. I’m getting them more often now that I’m older, twice a month. It sucks that nothing seems to work for me.

Zovirax or acyclovir works best for me. In addition a drop of campho phonique (sp? in a small green bottle, sold over the counter) that does heal at the start, during and after the outbreak. The thing is to avoid the triggers and attack it as soon as one feels one coming.

OMG, Osca! Don’t DO that! ‘Bursting’ a cold sore causes pain right in the area where the virus resides which makes it worse, the virus digs its heels in increasing the healing time, and can easily cause additional eruptions elsewhere around the mouth. And think about the toxicity of the acetone, in an open lesion, no less. Just buy Cold Sores Begone Stick, looks like chapstick, has lysine and other herbal ammunition that kills the infection when you feel the early symptom, for me, a tingle. I apply it then, the tingle stops, the sore doesn’t develop, and you’re good to go. Testimonials all over Amazon and on product website, http://www.coldsoresbegone.com

I definitely feel the pain! I have been a coldsore sufferer since I was a child, and its an awful thing to go through. I don’t get them as badly as I used to, but triggers for me are dry lips, sunburn and windburn. If I am feeling a little run down I can also get them. Interestingly enough, I came across this feed as I just had a coldsore go away, only to find myself traveling for work, and two starting to appear in its place. I have two days of intense meetings. I am stressed out for fear that these are going to get out of control. In preparation for the onslaught (I couldn’t find lysine this late at night), I have dolloped on Zovirax (which doesn’t usually work), taken ibuprofen, taken turmeric tablets (3x the dose), Exectuive Stress B tablets (2 x the dose) and garlic oil tablets (2 x the dose). Will keep you posted, feeling the tingle and have a little swelling but hoping my concoction will help me out.

Vitamin B12 causes cold sores for me, have to avoid it.

When I feel that tale-tale tingling that almost always comes just prior to the cold sore I immediately begin taking L-lysine in megadoses, I also apply Campho Phenique gel many, many times a day which drys the lips, so I follow those applications with Carmex. Since I began this regimen, I rarely get them.
btw – if my lips get very chapped, a cold sore usually follows, or tries to!

Nothing works..believe me. When I catch a virus or a cold, i get huge cold sores all over my face…multiple ones too. I have tried everything and nothing has worked.

Hi Les

I feel your pain. I tried everything and after a couple of years I just stopped and dealt with the cold sores as they came. I stumbled across this particular lysine. I tried lysine before and it never worked but this one did it. As long as I take this I am fine and it clears of my skin. I hope it helps.

Sorry it’s so long but just copy and past it. The reviews were great

https://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Super-Lysine-180-Count/dp/B012T9A8DS/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=frh02-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=e383803116ae25fc424f04c228a9b397&creativeASIN=B012T9A8DS&th=1

I’d like to add something bizarre. Ha. So… I’ve had cold sores since I can remember. I’m 29. And I get them multiple times a year, religiously. However, I thought it was interesting that during my pregnancy, and the 2 years after that I breastfed, I did not get ONE outbreak. Once I stopped breastfeeding, they began to return in the usual frequency. I’m curious if it was related to my hormones/immunity.

That’s interesting. I know one of the most common triggers for a cold sore (and canker sores) are hormonal changes – menstruation, pregnancy, menopause.

I use L-lysine the second I can tell one is coming, and it doesn’t seem to help with me. I still use it, though. Ha. Hoping to ask for an anti-viral oral medication soon. I seem to hear that those work well. None of the over the counter topicals ever work for me. But, again, I still use them. So who knows, maybe they lessen my symptoms.

Did you stop drinking during that time? Maybe alcohol or something you do when only not pregnant.

I started suffering from them as a little child and I think it was due to the big sloppy kisses my mother and grandma used to give me even when they had cold sores. I do wish people wouldn’t kiss children on the lips as they do not know if they are carriers or not. For some reason I hadn’t had an outbreak for 5 years then last year whilst on holiday in the sun I didn’t protect myself properly on the first day and got 2 on my lips, I had to bear these unsightly things for my holiday and yes people are rude enough to stare, if I had known I would have taken a bell and rang it and shouted clear the beach the infected monster is here.

Anyway, I had no more until the past month then 2 and now another 2 and what did I do to deserve them? eat nuts! Thanks to all the people on the internet that bought my attention to that, otherwise I would have never known that they were the cause. I will look into the cold sore machine from Boots chemist it is said to be very effective and as a five year guarantee if its prescribed by your GP.

You guys all need to look up the electronic cold sore healing machine. It is sold here in Boots in the UK.

If I feel a cold sore coming on, I zap it with the machine, and 70% of the time it won’t appear. If it does appear, they only last a few days if I use the machine, and don’t leave me with the yucky feeling.

I have had these aggravating cold sores or fever blisers for years. Yes, I did have chicken pox as a child and I understand this makes you vulnerable. Once, I had one that would not go away and I do believe it got infected. It lasted a month and I was extremely depressed, couldn’t go anywhere. Never had one that bad since.

A friend told me to get Llisine and never forget to take it. Everytime I do forget or go out in the sun, I’m sure to get one! Anyone recomment a good sun block for lips or the fever blisters, bring it on! I hate these things!

I have been suffering from recurrent cold sores for the past 10 years. Over the years, I have tried many things to either prevent or minimise the symptoms. Personally speaking, I found Acyclovir 200mg capsules to be very effective. In fact, since taking the capsules I experience less and less cold sore attacks per year. In addition, I noticed that electric dry shaving increases my chances of developing cold sores. I now only wet shave. Hope this helps. Andreas

Lysine is the only thing that can stop a coldsore for me. I start taking it every 4 hours once I feel one. Never thought to continually take it but now I may add it to my daily vitamin regimen!

What lysine brand do you recommend??

I am desperate for recommendations or if anyone suffers from cold sores as badly as I do. This fall i started getting them on and around my mouth. I started taking valtrex and went without one for about a month. However, Since November I have literally suffered with a cold sore EVERY WEEK. I have tried 4 different anti-virals in pill form, zovirax cream, abreva, campho, and when all of those stopped working I started taking 1000 mg of lysine 3 times a day but I am still suffering. It is a mystery. My doctor said I likely have a compromised immune system as she and my dermatologist have never heard of anything like it..I try taking vitamins, milk, but nothing is stopping these awful things. Not only are they embarrassing but painful! If anyone has any sort of idea or recommendation please let me know.

Megan, I’m having the same issues. I’ve had cold sores (fever blisters) for 30 years. I’ve been taking Acyclovir for about 7 years, and it helped for the little bit, and now has stopped. I have tried campho, abreva, lysine, home remedies (online), but haven’t tried the electronic cold sore device – have you? I have had 3 in the last month and once one ends, another starts (and in all different places – bottom lip, lower left; then bottom lip lower right; then top). I feel your pain – so ugly, annoying, and super super painful at times. If you have had any luck – would love to know. Thanks, Laura

If you eat nuts you should give them up for a couple of weeks and see if it helps.

Hi Megan, I know you seem to be getting these more regularly than every month, but please make sure that you try to avoid any medication containing naproxen, which is used in some period pain medicines . I can’t explain explain the link but I used to experience terrible coldsores every month and eventually found that for some reason the naprogesic I was taking was triggering attacks. I stopped taking it and didn’t have a cold sore for more than 15 years. It may not be of any help but, just in case I thought best to share this

Have you found something that has worked for you? I am in the exact same scenerio. I have had them my whole life but it was usually just 1-2 times a year. Now it is more like once a week. Even started taking valtrex once an day and still got them.

I am with everyone on this board. I have been suffering with fever blisters(herpes 1 virus) my whole life. I am 42 year old female. I have shingles (herpes 3 virus) 1 month now they are going away but very very slow. Now I just woke up today and have fever blisters under my nose. This is where I usually get them every time on right side and the right side of my neck gland swells. My lymph node swelled under my armpit on left side where I have these shingles. Take lysine everyday. Watch what I eat nuts,chocolate,grains etc.. I get stressed easily and I know this contributes to these fever/shingles virus! I hate the fact there is nothing that can be done to rid these forever? The prescribed valcyclovir pills & denavir creams just don’t work for me. I have started taking oil of oregano and using that on the blisters it’s an antiviral & antibacterial supplement. I am just at my wits end. It seems I am riddled with this virus inside me? It’s just so frustrating

I have been getting cold sores irregularly since I was infected about 7 years ago. In the last 2 and a half years I’ve had less than five outbreaks except the last week I’ve had 6 cold sores. I am attributing this to taking olive leaf extract (it destroys viruses within the body and temporarily worsens symptoms) so my body is working over time.

Triggers for me include extreme stress and being run down/ill although I had a recent infection and never got a cold sore. My daily regime is: 1000mg vitamin c and zinc, copper, vitamin b and 1000mg l-lysine, an olive leaf in the morning then another one in the evening with my meal then a garlic oil before bed. I sometimes take reishi mushroom extract too 1 a day just during my current outbreak.

I also follow a relatively balance/low arginine diet and balance meals, however these last few weeks I’ve crept up to 3 coffees a day from my usual 2 which seems to have had an impact and triggered my cold sores. I treat with sudacrem (zinc oxide) and lysine ointment works a charm. My 6 cold sores never came up and blistered just remained flat and are almost healed (2 at the start of the previous week that quickly went and the last 4 about 36 hours of having them so far)

I had 1 fever blister when I was 15 after getting a sunburn on my face and apparently my lips, 1 fever blister at age 24. Now I’m 36 and in the last 2 years I have started getting them regularly. It started every couple months and now every month.

I read on another site to try Lysine and it said to take 1000 mg every 6 hrs during an outbreak. It said it only takes 5 hours for the pill to go from your stomach to your lip tissue to stop the replication of the virus and it was right. I found that article at 8am with a small cluster of new blisters and by the next morning it was completely flat and didn’t hurt, on the 2nd day it was completely gone.

It was about 32 hrs from the first sign to gone, it had erased it completely. I went from the 4 pills a day to 3 pills a day and then 2, 1000mg pills a day within 4 days of starting. Now this morning I awoke to a new cluster on a different place on my lip.

My new strategy is to start the 4 pills a day and keep taking the 4 pills for a full week this time before weening down to 3 and then 2 and then hopefully some day just one a day. If anyone else first this be aware that one site said large doses for long periods (they said long periods being 5 years) can cause kidney inflammation and to cut back on dairy because lysine can make you absorb too much and cause gallstones. I don’t know if it’s true just thought I would mention it so if you try this and all of a sudden get kidney pain or discomfort you can stop taking it.

I will say that the only thing I have changed since starting to get fever blisters often is I started DRINKING COFFEE. I never made the connection until reading this thread. All of the other triggers that were mentioned I don’t believe trigger mine because I gave not increased the eating of nuts or chocolate BUT coffee I started drinking lots more of after I had my son because having a baby is exhausting. I will stop drinking coffee and see what happens.

I don’t think it’s the coffee at all. I never drank coffee up until about 6 years ago. I had them long before that so I don’t see a connection there.

Vitamin C will give me a cold sore. For some reason if I take 1000mg of C I get a cold sore. So try taking less vit C to see if it will help. I just do not take vitamin C.

Milk. Something about the amino acids or proteins. No chocolate or peanuts (I still eat other nuts and it doesnt seem to make the outbreak worse). Lots of milk and lysine. And milk.

This virus is highly contagious, be very careful not to spread it to the rest of your body, especially into your eyes. I got infected 8 months ago by taking a sip from my friend’s bottle at a summer festival. We both forgot she had a small cold sore on her lip when she passed me her cider. I developed a cold sore almost the next day and the virus has been torturing me ever since. I’m 29, healthy and athletic, with a pretty strong immune system, I used to think. From having 4 outbreaks in the past 8 months, I’ve learned my triggers are stress, menstruation, and alcohol.

After the first two outbreaks, one right after the other, I started taking Trilex supplement from Natural Wellbeing with lysine (+other natural extracts) and it worked!! I didn’t have another outbreak in 5 months until I decided to take a break from lysine. Going through my second cold sore this month, I’ve realized I absolutely have to:
-take lysine for the next few months
-alternate it with elderberry extract
-start coconut oil pulling
-try immediate icing at the first signs of a cold sore (it seems to work for many people)

It could be just me, but Abreva or acyclovir cream do not help at all.
To speed up healing this new cream Aubio works for me, it’s a little overpriced though. After applying it every 2 hours to a freshly developed cold sore, I have a brown scab the next day. Then I apply tea tree oil so that the scab dries out and falls off over the next couple of days.

Before using Aubio, my healing period was 7-10 days, which is now cut in half. Hopefully, the right diet (NO coffee, almond milk, nuts, and seeds), lysine and elderberry supplements, oil pulling, and vitamin C will keep me cold sore-free. It’s also very important to relax, and try not to stress out. Good luck to all of us!

I got cold sores from sharing drink too..my question is how you maintain daily hygiene and routine..thanks for any comment

I have gotten cold sores since I was a child…am now 40 and getting the a lot…I never knew that nuts could contribute! I have been eating tons of nuts lately…that might be the reason. It’s a bummer to stop eating them, but I will try and am going to add lysine.

I am 66 and am getting a cold sore about every couple of months.I use to get one once or twice a year.
I thought cold sores lessened as you got older.Any answers as to why it has increased for me? I am a very healthy woman, but wondering it could be a suppressed immune system.

I get terrible fever blisters every 4 months, about 3 or 4 at a time. It’s awful! I work in dental too, so my patients often give me weird looks. Maybe I’ll try the I Iysine thing. I’ll try Anything at this point.

Nothing has really worked for me either. This year has been the worst year for me. I actually did a lot of detoxifying treatments such as iodized foot baths and 2 colonics and I got outbreaks right after treatments. My guess was that my body was doing just that…detoxifying…but, unfortunately in the form of herpes. I’ve been getting them since early childhood. So does my sister mom aunts and uncle. They have all pretty much found what works for them and me…I get them the worst and most frequently of everybody. Triggers are definitely stress, disrupted sleep routine, SUN, dry climate, chapped lips, thinking about them( just kidding) I apply ice right away and that has works a few times, but I swear these things have their own agenda. I have had a very bad hot rash up my back the first time I ever started taking prescription acyclovir with l-lysine supplements . At the same time while taking vitamin B. I like the method of drying them out. Alcohol, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, carmex, l-lysine ointment (which used to work great, but now just doesn’t like abreva) when I was a kid living by the ocean, the sea water used to do wonders…now I live in the dessert and I swear the dry climate is killin me….well anyway..good luck to all. Hope you find what works for you.

I have also suffered from cold sores or fever blisters as we call them in my country. A few things I have learned.
Never overheat at night, I have found I wake up with one if I get too hot (heated blankets are a big no)
Overeating oranges
Stress
Lack of sleep
sunshine
Overexertion. I run marathons and can almost guarantee a coldsore after a race.
extreme cold and dry weather.
I have found Lysine works but I usually go against recommendations and pop the blisters immediately then apply listerine. It stings like mad but does seem to lessen the severity. I usually take a pain killer with an anti inflammatory. All this while applying zovirax almost all the time and leave a blob on my lip for as long as it takes to absorb.

Any helpful tips would be appreciated.

I’m in my 30’s now and have had cold sores ever since I was a teenager. They were severe and affected both lips making it very difficult to eat. Once I figured out that the sun was the main trigger, I started applying lip sunscreen SPF 60 on my lips everytime I go outdoors. I would still get an outbreak maybe once a year or so and it would take about 1 week to heal. The regimen that was magical for me was start 2g Valtrex twice daily for 1 day as soon as I feel the tingling, 1g of lysine three times a day for 5 days, apply ice cube to both lips 3-4 times a day, apply Abreva 4-5 times a day for 5 days. This worked great for me and by day 7 it was completely healed. But for some reason this year I’ve had 9 outbreaks in a period of 8 months and currently nothing seems to work. I’ve been to dermatologist and infectious disease doctor and now thinking of going to an immunologist. I don’t know if giving birth a year ago messed up my immune system or there is some hormonal imbalances. Whatever it is I am so desperate for an answer because it’s interfering with my social life, career, mental health, and most importantly my ability to care for my 1 year old.

Manuka honey and bicarbonate of soda.

No help here for women, but I have had cold sores my whole life, and ever since I grew a beard and moustache, I have been less self conscious about them. People do not notice them anymore, and the fact that I am less self conscious about it has made me not touch them so much anymore as they go through their week or two cycle to scab and heal. The fact I don’t mentally obsess and touch to see how bad they are significantly impacts the severity and size of them in a good way.

I’m only 19 and I started getting cold sore break outs when I was about 7. I do not know what caused them, I’m guessing when I was a baby someone who had a cold sore must have kissed me or something but my mom couldn’t breastfeed me because I would cause her to break out. Anyway, I had my first cold sore when I was about 7 and I used abreva but as the years have gone by, Abreva does not work. I’ve tried other cold sore treatments that can be bought over the counter. Nothing seems to really work. I usually get about 2 a year, maybe 3. This summer alone, in the past 2 months I have gotten 4, 3 of which have been back to back. When one is almost healed, another one comes out. I went to a dermatologist and I believe he prescribed valacyclovir but I had to stop taking it because I began having back problems due to my kidneys and wasn’t going to risk a kidney infection. I’ve been reading this forum(?) and I’m hoping some of the treatments y’all have used will work for me. If anyone has any other suggestions, or similar experience to mine and found something that has helped, please let me know. Thank you.

Was your mom breaking out with cold sores while breastfeeding? This is currently happening to me! I haven’t had an outbreak in years but have had multiple the past 6 months since having my daughter.

I used to get many breakouts, started using Lysine, and didn’t get a cold sore for 10 years!! It was a miracle vitamin. However, you should not take it for more than 6 months straight or it can cause other severe side effects, so I used to take it about 2x a month just to keep it in my system. Well sad to say, the Lysine no longer works. I am now back to outbreaks. It has to be a lack of vitamin I think – especially since the lysine worked for such a long time.

Hi,
For the past few months I have seen my mother suffer in silence. She has been getting recurring fever blisters inside her mouth. The lysine, multivitamin and super b complex are not helping. She has tried valtrex & acyclovir along with nystatin because she’ll occasionally get a white tongue. Blood work is fine, HIV test is negative, Hep is negative. We can’t seem to figure out why. I can only imagine the discomfort of pushing through clusters of throbbing blisters in your mouth. Any other remedies that have not been mentioned would be greatly appreciated.

I have the same problem I find an answer that helps then after a year or so it stops. I have been using Elderberry supplements they are GREAT and helped for 3 years, now it seems to being not so much. I will probably go back to lysine and keep switching back and forth and see if that will help. Thought I would mention Elderberry supplements for you to try if you hadn’t heard of it.

My cold sore experience:
1. They started about 5 years ago when I started eating almonds daily. I hadn’t realized until I read the article above that this feeds the virus!
2. The cone on every several weeks, and stress definitely contributes to the onset.
3. Lysine hasn’t worked for me to prevent or reduce the severity.
4. Vitamin C has been my lysine. It doesn’t seem to prevent them, even at 6,000 mg per day. But there is no question that heavier vitamin C either prevents an oncoming cold sore from blistering, or I’ll get a minor scab without any puss. My MD (more alternative than most) had recommended this and the lysine, but only the vitamin C really has worked for me.

Oh, the vitamin C dosing I use is 10,000 to 15,000 mg each 3x/day

I have had fever blisters every since I can remember. My sisters and dad also get them a lot. I know sun and any acidic food brings them on. Also if I go to the dentist I always get one or two. A while back I took acyclovor 800 mg for about 3 months straight. I didn’t have a fever blister for about 3 years after that. But for the last year I get one or two and before they even heal I get another one! I have been drinking sugar free energy drinks. One a day or so. I wander if this could be my problem. At this time I’m using acyclovor ointment with 500 mg valtrex. I just think I need a few months of valtrex or acyclovor oral medz! I would like to know what some of the other triggers are though! Thanks!! Janelle

I am the exact same way!! I take 500mg of valtrex daily and the second I stop a cold sore forms and I will get them non stop until I start the valtrex again! It’s so frustrating! I sometimes still get cold sores while on the valtrex but just not as much or as bad!

Ok ladies, have any of you experience traumatic cold sore break outs right before that terrible time of the month??? I have been suffering these crazy break outs for a couple of years now, but they are now so bad that the cover most of my nose, a whole lip (either top or bottom but never both at once) plus now down half of one side of my face! The oral medication makes a huge difference but I feel like I am almost constantly on it now. Not so cool at the age of 33…

going through LITERALLY the exact same thing! I have never had it so bad before. I am humiliated and don’t want to leave. And, they just leave me feeling unwell.

Yes- and it seems like they have been happening more often recently:( so frustrating- but the only thing I can link it to this winter is my time of the month. I am going to try the lysine right away! This is terrible!

Lysine has always worked for me and has prevented outbreaks when I took it on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it always gives me a headache as well so I do not take it daily. I have also found that applying vaseline at the first sign of tingling drastically limits progression and most importantly eliminates the pain plus, quite often, there is no visible eruption.
Interestingly, I started an oral care regimen using coconut oil for oil pulling (swishing with coconut oil for 10-20 minutes) about a year and a half ago and a few days after that my mouth broke out inside (not on the lips) with hundreds of small blisters. I was not sure what to think but I kept oil pulling and in a couple of days the blisters were all gone and since then I have had one or two outbreaks that were very short-lived, and much less severe and not noticeable (unless you use bifocals maybe). I think if I was more regular with the oil pulling they would not occur at all.

I recommend you check out the article posted on this at Patient.info it goes in to much more detail on how cold sore started and different ways they can be triggered.

Lysine for me has been a horrible experience – a friend has had a great experience with it but for me it has only made the coldsores worse and I have had constant coldsores all over my face for the last couple of months.

I have an allergy to nuts and I think the lysine triggers this – avoid at all costs is my advice!

I was suffering from reoccurring cold sores pretty badly over the past 2 years or so. And I mean REOCCURRING. As soon as the outbreak would heal, I had one or two days, then I would have another outbreak. Sometimes I would get a two week break or so. But still that’s crazy! L-lysine in my experience does help. And the sooner you take it, the better. It was the end-all-be-all cure for me because I would have to take such high dosages of it, and had weird side effects (serious constipation). So I didn’t want to take it every day as a preemptive measure when the virus was in remission.

My doctor prescribed me acyclovir cream. Which helps a lot, and is way more effective than abreva. Super cheap too! My insurance didn’t cover the name brand that came in the tiny, tiny abreva size tube. So I got the generic for ten bucks in a HUGE tube. Seriously it will last forever.

However I am pleased to say I finally figured out what was causing my outbreaks, freaking ALMOND MILK. You know, the stuff I was drinking because I thought it was “better” for me. I always thought my cold sores were a byproduct of what I wasn’t putting into my body, I.e. Vitamins, eating enough fruits and veggies. Or that my immune system was somehow seriously compromised. Why else would this be happening?

Nope, just the almond milk turning on me. I only drank the Kroger brand almond milk, and have since gone back to drinking regular milk. Not sure if those factors exclusively mean anything, but I’m not going to find out. my cold sores are gone, and that’s brilliant. I’m sort of kicking myself for not realizing it sooner. Though I did learn a few tricks on how to handle out breaks.

I got the entire thing down to only a three day heal time. the second you think you have a cold sore, PUT ICE ON IT. seriously, I always read this, and ignored it, chalking it up to just being for the pain. But it will take the severity out of your out break if not sending it into remission. I’ve had a pulsing spot dodge becoming a gross blister into a hardly noticeable scab. Completely skipping the stages of the blister forming, weeping, and crusting. The acyclovir ointment helps when you can’t ice (I will sit around my apartment for thirty minutes at a time with ice wrapped in a paper towel on my face to ensure nothing would continue to blister). Taking l-lysine while icing and using the acyclovir ointment is a big help as well. Any way. Sorry for such a long post! Some some things I’ve learned.

I’ve had cold sores all my life. Very bad cold sores. Right now I have one on my bottom lip and two huge ones inside my mouth – only the second time that’s happened. They are horribly painful and my glands are sore and swollen. In the past few years I have had more and more breakouts. I know the sun is the worst offender for me and I don’t leave the house without a hat in summer. The dryness of the city I live in doesn’t help either. It’s interesting that the article said a trip to the dentist could cause an outbreak because I just had a root canal done (more fun) and then I got these lovely sores.
Something that does work for me is camphor spirits. If I can put that on my lips the minute I feel the tingling, it usually stops a breakout, or at least I break out with fewer and smaller ones. You have to keep putting it on until you are sure you aren’t going to break out. It does smell and it does dry out your lips, so you have to put a lip balm on as well. Occasionally though, the cold sores are just determined to come out and nothing can stop them. The camphor spirits help to dry them out once you have a breakout. It also stings, which for me, actually reduced the pain of the cold sore.
I am going to try L-lysine though, because I used to get them maybe once a year and now it seems like once a month.

 I have had cold sores since I was a small child when our grandmother kissed me and my four sisters. I’m a PT and golf instructor and I am outside for 8 months a season and used to get several outbreaks per season. I spent hundreds on Abreva and Valtrex. What a waste of money. I take L-Lysine every night and haven’t had a breakout in over two years. Knock on wood. I use a 60 lip balm religiously and 60 sunscreen. L-Lysine is rather cheap compared to all the prescription meds. It works for me.

I suffered from 2-3 horrible cold sores a year for 10 years, they were huge and very painful/embarrassing. Nothing would help them and I’d have to wait two weeks for them to clear up. I started putting a bit of abreva on the spots they would occur about once a week or every two weeks and have not had an outbreak in 2 years. Don’t know why it works but I’m sure glad it does.

My young son would get recurrent cold sores. He would heal up and then a new one would come on within a few days. I think for every school picture from 1st grade through 5th he had a cold sore. Finally I decided to see if going with a gluten-free diet would help at all. It was just a shot in the dark and occurred to me only because I myself had gone to a gluten-free diet (for a different reason) and felt so much better. Well, it did the trick — no more gluten, no more cold sores. By now, at age 15, he is well aware of how much gluten he can get away with eating (a few non-gf chicken tenders once a week, for example). I suspect that his system had been sensitive to gluten and therefore was constantly in a state of immunodeficiency and just couldn’t suppress the virus. For someone else, it might be a different food(s) that causes the same. His pediatrician tells me no way did gluten have anything to do with his cold sores… I just give a half smile and remind myself that we see her only for purposes of school physicals and immunizations. (Sorry to say that even though I have been eating gluten free for 10 years now, I ‘ve been suffering for at least a year with recurrent cold sores. Interestingly, I’ve just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia… I know my immune system is just not right.)

Some people say you will have fewer outbreaks when you grow older. It wasn’t the case for me. Maybe the stress from work and poor sleeping schedule, I had frequent outbreaks. It was totally embarrassing. I tried almost all of medications that my doctor could prescribe for me. I read every site I could find, hoping for magical remedies. Some of them seemed helpful, but nothing worked for long. The next one came out sooner and sooner. Side effects of medicine started to show on me: itchy skin and constantly itchy lips. Last May, I made a purchase from homemedlab for something else, and surprisingly got a free sample of cold sore control, which was actually not listed on their website. I was ready to try anything at that time, so I used it right away. It says vegetable and fruit based, and does smell like fruits. This sample stopped the itch on my lips within a few days. In the following months, I just applied a little on my lip, whenever I felt the monster was coming again. Every time, it stopped it, mostly overnight. I am feeling cold-sore-free now. The sample is not listed in their website, but if you have tried everything else and are desperate like I was, it is worthy to ask for a sample from the site.

Hi Adam, please cut a fresh ginger root and use it like lipstick on your kids lips every day if he has the cold sore or not —Every day you will see a miracle …. Good luck and Shalom!

For a year and a half, I was getting at least one cold sore every month. I tried EVERYTHING: zovirax, lysine, red marine algae and every “get rid of it fast” remedy I could try. It was starting to depress me. Especially when I got 3 IN ONE MONTH. I thought long and hard about what changed in my diet over the past 1.5 years and the only thing was my caffeine intake. I never used to drink coffee and I started almost every day, plus I was drinking pre-workout drinks that had a lot of it. I cut caffeine out of my diet and I haven’t had one in almost 5 months. Try it!!! It’s so worth it.

Some people say you will have fewer outbreaks when you grow older. It wasn’t the case for me. Maybe the stress from work and poor sleeping schedule, I had frequent outbreaks. It was totally embarrassing. I tried almost all of medications that my doctor could prescribe for me. I read every site I could find, hoping for magical remedies. Some of them seemed helpful, but nothing worked for long. The next one came out sooner and sooner. Side effects of medicine started to show on me: itchy skin and constantly itchy lips. Last May, I made a purchase from homemedlab for something else, and surprisingly got a free sample of cold sore control, which was actually not listed on their website. I was ready to try anything at that time, so I used it right away. It says vegetable and fruit based, and does smell like fruits. This sample stopped the itch on my lips within a few days. In the following months, I just applied a little on my lip, whenever I felt the monster was coming again. Every time, it stopped it, mostly overnight. I am feeling cold-sore-free now. The sample is not listed in their website, but if you have tried everything else and are desperate like I was, it is worthy to ask for a sample from the site.

I suffer with coldsores a lot I av just gone and bought l-lysine I really hope they work fingers crossed .

Ive dealt with them my whole life – usually 1-2 a year, but they would be really bad when i got them. Like 2 weeks to heal. Lysine never worked for me personally. Doc gave me a Valtrex prescription about 10 years ago and its made a world of a difference. As long as i take 2 1gm pills twice a day right when i see it, it never gets bad, and is gone in 3 days or so. I make sure to have a few on me at all times.

However, just recently, im dealing with a bout of back to back breakouts – like 4 straight weeks now. The prescription is still preventing them from becoming bad, but the recurrence is frustrating. Im wondering if my immune system is down or something. My diet and stress has caused problems in the past, but never this many. In the last 4 weeks, I’ve gotten more than i had in the previous 4 years.

Hi John. I too have never found lysine to be helpful but i was also taking Valtrex which was a godsend! I kept getting frequent outbreaks however so went to a new doctor for help. He prescribed me with aciclovir tablets which I now take daily. I have only had 2 coldsores in the 8 months I’ve been taking this medication. I was getting multiple coldsores every week beforehand. Much cheaper than Valtrex and I’m a new person. Hope this helps you!

I used to get cold sores about twice a year. Then someone told me about L-Lysine-I started taking it and it seemed to work well for a while. I take L-Lysine every day and for the past 8 months I have been getting cold sores about every 6-8 weeks! I am so tired of this…

L-Lysine does work great, BUT, you don’t take it everyday or the effects will fade overtime. What you do is take it as soon as you feel the tingling of the sore under the skin. I take 400-600mg in capsules with a glass of water. Then place an ice cube in a paper towel and place the exposed side against the skin at the location of the sore and hold it there until the skin is numb. Wait until after the burning cold feeling goes away. I have been doing this for the past 3 years now and have not had 1 cold sore since! Not one. Stay out of the sun mostly and if you live somewhere with cold winters, cover your lips with a scarf/windbreaker when you go out to reduce stress to the skin that can trigger the sore.

I used to get cold sores twice a year, one when it got hot outside, and one when I got cold outside. They were often big and ugly, but since starting lysine tablets, I havent had one! I don’t even have to take them every day. Only when I feel “the tingle” or when the area I normally get them starts to look red. I also couple that with an application of abreva, and viola, no cold sores for a year now. I’m a believer!

Same here! It works great. I am living proof. Just take when the tingling comes.

I’ve noticed when I eat/drink oranges, OJ, grapefruit I break out. I don’t know if it’s just coincidence but I love these foods especially in the summer but try to avoid them as much as possible. I’m going to try icing it and I’ve heard garlic works too. Has anyone tried garlic directly on a cold sore?

After reading this chain and seeing all the comments about icing early cold sores gave it a go this morning. Have been getting them for 3 years now and lately they have been continuous, its awful. Zovirax, aciclovir tablets and lysine have not worked. Happy to say that after icing my lip for 2min this morning (followed by zovirax ointment) the 2 new sores have completely disappeared!!! Will repeat this afternoon, fingers crossed they stay away.

I regularly get cold sores. I have been using compeed cold sore patches. These are great, but can be noticeable when I am wearing foundation & make up. I always get them when exposed to the sun. I need a quick remedy to get rid asap.

In the beginning stages of getting a zit under my nose, I thought it was a cold sore. I started taking an antiviral once to twice a day, and taking lysine twice a day, as well as rubbing abreva on the spot. Even though it just turned out to be a blemish, I was continually doing everything you can do to prevent and treat a cold sore when I woke up with a cold sore on my lip. It made me want to cry. Not that I’m going to give up, but it seriously makes me doubt there is anyway to actually control this. I will say since I discovered antivirals I at least don’t get cold sores as giant and scarring as the ones I got in childhood when no one was looking how to really take care of this for me. But even with the time and money I’ve put into trying EVERYTHING as an adult, I’ve been 100% unsuccessful at actually preventing an outbreak.

I first had a cold sore in the middle of my first pregnancy. I have no idea how I go them. I struggled for over two years with constant reoccurring breakouts. I started dealing with it by taking lysine. At first it seemed to help but soon seemed to be little help and I was still having frequent outbreaks, at least once a month. So I asked my doctor for a prescription of Valtrex. Since on valtrex, one year now, I have had three minor outbreaks, I think mainly due to missing a dose. It has been very effective for me. I take just 500mg a day. I hope to go back to something more natural but this is all that works for me currently. Lysine wasn’t effective enough for me

For me, lysine definitely worked. I started taking lysine and didn’t have a breakout for a year and a half. When I did sense a breakout, I pumped up the dosage and the cold sore wouldnt be that noticeable. But, now the problem is, I just moved to Colorado and I’ve been getting chronic cold sores. I’m not sure if it’s just my body acclimating to the dry environment or if my body has become immune to the lysine. Hopefully, it is just me adjusting.

I grew up in Southern CA and used to get frequent cold aores. I moved to CO when I was in my let 20’s and the frequency seemed to decrease significantly. After 20 years in CO I moved to Northern CA and have been having out breaks every 3-4 weeks. I was thinking that it might be tied to my severe pollen alergies.

I was doing well in Florida. I was going to the beach and the sun for a change wasn’t bothering me at all. Now that I have moved to Colorado, been here a month, I am already on my second outbreak! I am starting to think it has something to do with Colorado also.

I use l-lysine- tea tree oil – garlic fresh- vanilla extract- alcohol- coconut oil-honey to no avail as soon as the first one started to heal up under my nose I got 3 more pumps on my lip I never eat nuts or bread put I just started eating fresh pineapple and the next day they started and I have been eating it everyday for the vitamin c I wonder if that’s what causing it?

So this may sound extremely out there, but I’m almost certain the Gummy prenatal gummy vitamins from Target keep my cold sores dormant. It could just be taking any multivitamin will do the trick of a lack of nutrients is causing your cold sores. The prenatal ones are just the ones I’ve always taken (for the extra benefits they provide for your skin and hair). But before I figured this out, I was suffering from persistent, reoccurring cold sores in the year and a half I stopped taking the vitamins. I would get one, it would heal, two days later a new one would sprout up on the other side.

That being said, I figured out a pretty solid regiment for getting a cold sore gone fast. It’s even kept them from blistering. The second I feel a tingle I take a lysine. After I know for sure its a cold sore, I take two more. And then continue taking two every 4-6 hours. I also take extra vitamin c and zinc to boost my immune system. (Always take with a meal, or you may get sick, and drink LOTS of water.) I also ice the spot as much as possible, especially after a nice warm shower. I used to never do this, but gave it a shot and found it to truly be a game changer. I also put on abreva just for peace of mind when I’m out and about.
Hope this helps!

I religiously take multivitamins (very specifically the prenatal a from target as well) and can tell you they don’t work, unfortunately. Though boosting your immune system can only be helpful.

Pineapples, especially fresh, tends to really (tear up) your mouth. The acid causes tiny abrasions in your mouth, and then cold sores take advantage of your immune system being diverted taking care of that to set up shop else where around your mouth.

Hi guys,
I use to get cold sores all the time. It was horrible. At one point I was getting one about every 4-6 weeks. I’ve tried everything under the sun to avoid, prevent, lessen, and cure the little buggers. Including most of the remedies below. Nothing ever worked. Occasionally I’d have success with prescription meds, or l-lysine supplements. But it would would work once and then the next time would be ineffective. Anyhow, about a year ago i really took a look at my diet. I didn’t have as many outbreaks when i was very young. Maybe once or twice a year. The only food that I could think of that I was consuming more of as an adult was dairy. I consumed a lot of milk, yogurt, and cheese etc since moving away from home and living on my own.

I never thought in a million years that dramatically reducing my intake of those foods would help. But it has. Last year i virtually eliminated milk and yogurt from my diet. I don’t want to temp the gods, but i haven’t had an outbreak in over 6 months. For me, that’s a small miracle. Nothing else in my life, food, job, relationship, exercise, stress, sunlight, etc etc has changed. I just find it strange that many home remedies, if you want to call it that, recommend a diet rich in the amino acid l-Lysine which means lots of dairy. I’ve gone the opposite, and I still enjoy chocolate, nuts, whole wheat bread etc type foods (low in l-lysine) without any troubles. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced lower outbreaks after cutting milk from their diets?

What worked for me was applying a paste made of pressed garlic. I only leave it on the lip for a few minutes, because it really starts to sting after 30 seconds, or so. I suspect only one application will do the job, but I really want to ward off the cold sore, so I do about six applications, more or less. Applying the garlic as soon as I get the tingle, works the best. Garlic paste seems to pretty much stop the herpes virus in its tracks.

My daughter gets them constantly. I have tried everything and read once real vanilla extract worked well. She started with one and I thought i’d try. It works just as well and quickly as the other stuff we had tried, plus it tastes good. I dab it on many times in a day. I also read to soak a cottonball in milk and press it on the sore often, we do this too. I no longer buy any of the creams as I have found this to be equally as effective and costs much less!

I’ve suffered from cold sores all my life. They come out when I’m run down/sick or experiencing high levels of stress. I use lysine and Zovirax and a little something extra that is the nail in the coffin for my cold sores. The moment I get the tingling sensation or the beginning of a lump, I put an ice pack on it and I’ll do this a couple times a day, especially after a hot shower. After making the little devil numb, I put on the Zovirax. Along with taking two lysine in the morning and two at night during an outbreak, I can cut the healing time down to 1-3 days, depending on how quickly I can get to the outbreak. Back when I was only using Zovirax, healing time was 2.5 weeks.

Good idea, if I put ice on for about 20 minutes at the first tingle, it often stops it in its track.
I just woke with one and found I must be eating too many almonds and peanut butter,

cpmt, what vitamins and herbs are you taking?
My first outbreak was about 2 and a half years ago, and I’ve only had a few cold sores each year and they are mild, but this year I have had continual trouble with red spots coming up without tingling or warning. they do not turn into blisters, but they are still annoying. I don’t know what to do. I use lysine, hl30, oils, and take some other vitamins to help my immune system. also valacyclovir. I have been dealing with the red spots (that I believe can still be contagious) for too long. It’s taking a toll on me. I know I am lucky that they aren’t worse, but I fear I can’t be close with anyone or kiss as I might transmit it to them. Also, it has prevented me from eating lots of foods I used to because anything remotely spicy causes a red spot, as well as other food. Does anyone have the same problem? This has become a daily disturbance and I can’t figure out what to do besides stop eating, like I want to.

TO DJM In my opinion YOU SHOULD stop everything you are taking. you’re probably allergic to something, also check if you are allergic to gluten or lactose etc…
your immune system is low or damage probably from all the things/meds you are taking. Something similar happened to me. Doctor prescribed 5 medicines to stop ONE illness… I got so sick I ended in the ER I guess I am allergic to some of the medication OR one medicine doesn’t go with another.
I feel better now that I stopped everything. I went to an acupuncturist (who is treating me) and she gave me a special formula vitamins + herbs to improve my immune system. I am feeling better and the original illness is very much improving. Good luck.

I have been plagued by cold sores for 20 years. I take 1000mg l lysine everyday, I take a 200mg maintenance dose of Zovirax everyday. I use 50 SPF lip balm every second I am in the sun. I have been suffering since the first of June 2014 with outbreak after outbreak. When they break out I use 2 grams of valacyclovir every 12 hours for two days, two tubes of those newer Oragel vials, and almost an entire tube of Abreva every outbreak along with every single hint from Heloise I can find but they keep coming back.
What the heck is going on with me? I don’t even get a sting or a pulsing anymore, they just show up like the unwanted guests they are.
This crap is costing me a fortune and short of cutting my upper lip off, I am at the end of my rope. Any help or hope other than the slew of information those of us that suffer from them already know? I feel it is stupid there is no cure for this….. Come on science, how about a cure for something that afflicts millions of people instead of all the focus going to just a few.

I just purchased some 1000mg L Lysine. Does it really work?

Aside from prevention methods such as avoiding stress and fatigue, as well as exercising and eating appropriately (getting all your vitamins, proteins, upping lysine intake and avoiding arginine-rich foods), there is a winning formula of 4 treatments that will fight any outbreak (provided you catch it in time). When you feel the dreaded tingle:
-Take 3 L-Lysine supplement pills daily (can be found at any GNC)
-Take 2 Valacyclovir pills every 12 hours for 2 days (need a prescription from your Dr.)
-Put Zovirax cream on the sore every 3 hours
-Put Abreva cream at the same time as Zovirax (mix both together and apply generously)
Until they find a cure, this is your best bet. Has been working for me for 8 years (since I started it).
Good luck!

Thanks for sharing all the tips everyone. I’ve been getting coldsores since I was kid and as I get older they get worse. The past few months I’ve had one every few weeks. I’m going to get some Lysine asap and take it daily. Have the icepack on now.

How many mg of Lysine daily?

I too am a firm believer in L-Lysine, at the very first tingle I will take anywhere from 2-5 1000mg pills, if I know I will have lots of sun exposure, or that I am stressed out, or run down, I will take a couple in the morning and a couple before sleep; preemptively. I keep lysine in my glove box, in my day bag, golf bag, gym bag, and at home. I literally will not go anywhere without it, so that I can take it immediately if i feel a cold sore coming on, or if I am consciously stressed, tired, sick, etc. I also have learned to avoid caffeine, chocolate, most nuts, and other foods that are rich in L-Arginine. There are tons of articles explaining how food and diet can assist in preventing and limiting the extent of breakouts. With this current approach, I usually do not get any sores that are visible, and am able to keep them in check..

My dentist told me many years ago to use Lysine as soon my lip starts to sting. I take three Lysine immediately and the sore will not go on and develop. The second and third days, I take three more. No blisters for me.

I have been plagued with cold sores for 45 years. They come and go – sometimes lapses have been months. But recently I have been getting them every week! I bought a Vitamix and have been making fruit/veggie drinks with Vanilla Almond milk. I just noticed almonds are rich in arginine which contain little lysine, they are rich in another amino acid, l-arginine, which is thought to trigger activation of the herpes simplex. So, I will stop using almond milk and try vanilla soy milk. I hope they makes a difference.

Did you get any help? As I seem to get one after another and nothing helps it. My self esteem is shot. :(

2 years ago I started putting extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil on and all around the area when I feel the tingle, it prevented the cold sore. If I miss the tingle and end up with the Beginnings of a cold sore I put some on and it heals very fast.

I take 3,000 mg of lysine every day and still get them.
Doesn’t work for everyone unfortunately.

I have suffered with cold sores all my life and have found that the only thing that helps is tea tree oil and aciclovir 400mg tablets which can also be used as a preventor. The pills are given to people whose immune system is weakened by having chemo or radiation therapy and people who suffer bad breakouts frequently.
I also find if I take care of my lips during winter and summer with Blistex that I’m far less likely to have an outbreak. If you have a bad breakout I found that the treatments via your gp for impetigo (which is bacterial) also work.

ah, I forgot to mention, stop eating gluten – flour – for a few weeks, and then do the same with milk products for a few weeks and see if that helps. Some people are sensitive to gluten and/or lactose /casein etc… and have different reactions.

TO LEW I think you should check out if you are lacking some lack of a mineral, vitamin or enzyme or … something your body is not assimilating well. When this happens in a family is because genetics and something is missing. Try to boost your immune system with superfoods. Also, it is possible you are allergic to something/or food. I get blisters in my mouth and lips when I eat fresh pineapple (which I love).

Wow, interesting forum. I haven’t read an experience quite like mine though – I had the herpes first when I was 6 months – throughout my mouth and down my throat – nasty. I’m from Swedish stock and all the Swedes in my family get’em. I always got them every so often on my lips only when I was stressed or sick. I met my husband during veterinary school and I believe he carries a wicked strain of which he is asymptomatic.
Ever since the first kiss I started with an evil bloom on my bottom lip and now will get them not only on my lips but now sores IN my mouth – on the roof, on my gums, inside of lips even UP MY NOSE! GAHH! Lysine doesn’t work, Valtrex did for awhile but now doesn’t work anymore. I think now I have to change my diet to shortcut arginine – don’t know what else to do.
My husband makes fun of me when I have food on my lips. Well, I think so many cold sores for so many years has led to friggin nerve damage. I have to be really careful with my kids. I think this virus wants them too, argh.

The cure with urine is a very old remedy used in the orient China, India etc… used for many skin problems like eczemas, ..toenail & athlete’s foot etc.

As I have put in here before: When I was young, an old farmer, believe he was part American Indian, told me to put a dab of my own urine on it! Works 100% every time!

Sauerkraut and the juice can help.

Ok, I’ve been getting coldsores for about 20 years, and like all of you I HATE THEM! I’ve tried alcohol, abreva, silver, camphor, and even zapping it with a 9-v battery! Nothing seemed to help once I had one and would have a hideous scabby, oozy, swelled up lip for about a week… I have had some relief with Lysine, if I catch it fast enough! But now when one sneaks up on me (sometimes I wake up to one) I apply frankincense essential oil several times a day and it heals it so quickly! I don’t have any oozing or scabbing, or swelling. It seems to dry it up. Within a few days it’s gone! Thank goodness! Hope this helps….(I also continue to take Lysine along with it, but I have noticed a remarkable improvement with the Frankincense)

Be careful with the Lysine. I had been taking them for about 6 months and my back started hurting. I thought I had hurt it somehow. I have pulled it our before. I hurt so bad I could not get out of bed for a week. Finally, after starting to get a fever…I knew back aches did not cause fevers…
I went to the Dr. Turns out my kidneys were about to shut down. I had to take 2 rounds of antibiotics and it still took several weeks to get over it. I, not realizing it was the Lysine causing this, continued to take it. A month later I was back at the Dr. with the same problem. I knew it had to be something I was taking and the only thing different was the Lysine. I stopped it immediately and haven’t had any more problems with my kidneys. It’s been over 2 years! Just be careful. A fever blister is better than kidney damage.

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