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3-Day Cold Sore

Submitted by Wampum2020

I usually get 2 different types of cold sores. The first type is the small annoying manageable kind. These I can usually treat with constant Abreva smearing and popping Advils (to reduce swelling). They're not such a big deal. I noticed these types when I eat a lot of strawberries, citrus fruits, BBQ sauce, or other acidic stuff. Also, over-exposure to the sun or chapped lips will give me these types or cold sores.

The second type is the full blown whopper of a cold sore (and the reason we're all online looking this stuff up!!). I tend to get these after a sickness or stressful times. When my body's defenses are down these little buggers come out in full force, laughing all the way... they're the most painful and most embarassing types. They cause your lip to double in size, glands to swell in your neck, and of course that hot painful throbbing feeling. Not fun, and did I mention they are horrendously ugly!! Anyway, I found the usual Abreva smearing doesn't cut it in these cases (I have to pull out the big guns). Here is the plan I follow. Remember the disclaimer, I am not a doctor, blah blah...this is just what works for me. I hope it works for you too!! 

Day 1-- The tingles...the redness....and finally the dreaded little blisters:
1. At the first tingle, rub on Abreva (or your OTC ointment of choice).
2. Take 3000mg of L-lycine tablets (space them out before meals) and also take Advil as needed throughout the day to reduce the swelling and pain. 
3. When the little blisters finally appear and the lip starts to swell, pop them with a sterile needle and drain as much fluid out as possible.
4. Then apply a home-made salt paste: 1 tablespoon regular table salt and 1 tablespoon of warm water (just enough to dissolve the salt). Spread the mixture on the sore with a Q-tip and let it dry until it gets nice and crusty. 
5. Rinse off and repeat a couple more times. It will sting and feel itchy. That's fine. It's doing it's thing! 
6. When you're done, put the Abreva back on and just wait. Don't play with it because the skin is very sensitive now. 

Day 2-- The swelling should be reduced by half (or more) by now: 
1. Take another 3000mg of L-lycine and Advil throughout the day as needed. 
2. When you get out of the shower the lip is usually soft and "opened" up. Take a Q-tip and blot some peroxide onto the sore. You don't want all that playing with it the day before to lead to infection. The peroxide should prevent that from happening. 
3. When that dries, put the Abreva back on and maintain it throughout the day. 

Day 3-- Back to normal size and hardly any pain, yeah! (If you aren't at this stage then repeat Day 2 activities, sorry.)
1. Do the "peroxide Q-tip blot" after the shower again.
2. Pat it dry this time and take a look at it. Can you see the new flesh poking through? Is the old flesh white or yellow? Is it separating and starting to peel off? DON'T PEEL IT OFF! This will make it bleed, and it slows the healing, and worst of all it will SCAR!! 
3. Apply hydrocortisone 1% gel (or ointment) throughout the day and keep it moist. This will speed up the healing time.

Day 4, 5, and so on -- Continue with the hydrocortisone until completely healed. Good luck!!

Visitors comments

Thanks Comments By: Anon on 2006-07-13
I picked up some good tips from this one. Thank you.
THANKS SOOO MUCH Comments By: Amy on 2006-07-25
It really works!!!
oh so good Comments By: Scott on 2006-09-20
If you hate taking pills because you just can't remember. Go to GNC and buy the 100% whey protein. It has 1770mg of lysine per serving. Take it in the morning, before lunch, and before bed time. I started doing this when I got into the army, stress and no sleep would kill me, and I would get fever blisters all the time. Doctor told me to do this and drink more water. I have not had a fever blister yet and its been almost a year!!
Up Your L-Lycine as a Preventative Comments By: tracy on 2007-01-18
When I've had a high fever, the horrendous fever blisters are about 3 days around the corner. As soon after the fever's over as I can stand, I start pounding in the L-lycine as a preventative. I try to get at least 6,000 mg in per day for the next five days or so. When I do this, I've been really successful in preventing a breakout.
You saved my weekend! Comments By: Tos on 2007-05-17
This is my 2nd time of getting this horrid cold sore. When it popped up, I thought, there goes my well-planned out weekend. I decided to research and see if I could salvage my w/end and magically make the sore go away. I started your routine after day 2 of the cold sore and it REALLY WORKS. I swear. Now, the sore is reduced to half its size in 1 day and it does not hurt anymore, It also does not look ugly and all swollen up!!! thanks man.
OMG it's working Comments By: ANON on 2007-10-10
I'm on day two of my cold sore and a sufferer for many years. I have to say by far this really works. I have saved this page to my favorites for future reference.
dude it works! Comments By: KP on 2008-08-02
this really works my cold sore was unnoticeable in 3 days it ussusaly takes 10 - 12 days.
No to hydrocortisone! Comments By: Louisa on 2008-10-27
Hi there, I liked all the comments right until the last bit about the hydrocortisone. Never apply this to the Herpes virus, because it actually feeds it and will make it flare up again or take longer to heal. This is direct from my doc.
Coldsore Comments By: Hiba on 2008-11-13
It works really well, its my 2nd time using this advice and its been working well as i get coldsores VERY often :( .
However myn does'nt clear up in 3 days it takes about 4-5 days to heal which is a shame as i go to school and its just embaressing. Thankyou for the advice! x

OH MY GOD HOW SOAR !!!!! Comments By: carina Duke on 2008-12-09
I have just followed your plan as i have my christmas part in less than 2 days! and oh my god what pain!! when i added the salt water mix to my cold soars i was in agony, that was the most painful experience of my life!!! i just hope it works after that :(
Thanks!!! Comments By: Jessica on 2008-12-28
I am on day three and it has really worked. Thanks so much!! I will pass this on to family and friends.
good but.. Comments By: bree on 2009-01-26
I would proceed with caution with the peroxide...I found when I applied it after my cold sore was looking less swollen...the peroxide would make it sting and throb and go up in size again...so I would use something less strong...diluted antiseptic...also bepanthen is good for healing wounds...
I managed to get my l-lysine and I stocked up on 1000mg vitamin C which is also helpful with wound healing...I take about 3 a day...also I do find it heals a lot quicker for me if I do wipe some of the scab that is easy to remove then leaving it there...cause it's a thinner layer to heal rather a chunk of old skin/sore...

Cannot believe it Comments By: c on 2009-01-08
I have been getting them my whole life about one or two a year, I started this on day two almost instantly starting i could notice it getting better, day three swelling gone and pain is gone just gotta let it heal up
THANKS!!!!! Comments By: chelsea on 2009-05-26
I tried this out, and it worked!! I am on my 3rd day, and all I have is a tiny scab!!! Yay Yay Yay!!! Normally when I get coldsores they stay for the full 2 weeks :(!!!! omg I am sharing this with everyone!! Thanks again!!!
Open To Suggestions Comments By: Anon on 2009-05-26
I have been suffering with cold sores for as long as I can remember and this one I have now seems to be the worst one yet so I did what anybody who worries about how they look and surfed the internet for ideas . I ran across this one and I must say it feels really good to know that I'm not alone.I haven't tried it yet but I plan on getting right on it although I've tried the salt paste and it burned like hell fifteen times over but it really helped and I just want to say thank you so much.
what if the scab rips off!? Comments By: anon on 2009-07-27
so i tried my hardest not to rip off the scab, but i scratched it in my sleep. now it hurts and peroxide is KILLING it! i don't mind if it's the proper thing to do, but i don't know! anyone know?
I tore off my scab in my sleep!! Comments By: Anon on 2009-07-29
Ok, so I scratched my lip in my sleep and tore off the scab. Now what?!?!
This totally works Comments By: rh on 2009-10-19

This was really a lifesaver. For me, I omitted the salt and fluid drain steps and just kept re-applying the Abreva and hydrogen peroxide every hour along with the 3,000 MG L-Lysine, and it worked wonders. Total time from a swollen sore about the size of dime to a minor scab, about three days. Total time to fully healed, about five days.

I've had this same process take up to two weeks. This is really great information. Best of luck all.

common sense Comments By: D on 2009-11-11
Cold sores are fed by an acidic ph, so avoid using salt. Also salt should never be applied to an open wound. Also like stated above do no apply antibiotic to the virus. It feeds it. A simple petroulem based product works best to speed healing time...such as carmex
o rly? Comments By: Anon:) on 2010-01-03
I put hydrocortisone on a cold sore constantly throughout one day and the little nasty dissapeared. It was weird.
The real cure Comments By: dd10 on 2010-01-20
I feel sorry for all of you people who don't actually know about prescription medicine for your cold soars. It is called "Acyclovir". It is the golden pill that keeps your cold soars from ever getting too big or coming at all. I use to just take them once a day whenever I felt like i might get a cold soar (if i was in the sun all day, during and after being sick, or just stressfull times) This would work for the most part, but there were still some cold soars that would slip through the cracks (even though they were never full blown disasters), they were still annoying. Now I just take a pill every day, just like a vitamin. There is no side affects and I have never gotten a cold soar since I've been taking one every day(even if I did get one, i'm sure it would be very mild and would go away quickly and not be noticable). I have a cool dentist who prescribes these pills for me and my insurance makes them very cheap. $15 for 50 pills (well worth it). Even taking them every other day would work perfectly and the pills would last much longer. Just tell your dentist to prescribe the pills in a way that you would get as many as possible. The bottle says to take 5 pills twice a day for 10 days, hence 50 pills (even though i only take one a day). I'm telling you, this is the only way to go. It keeps you from ever having to deal with these little monsters, just imgagine that.
ahh! Comments By: Lea on 2010-02-02
Im going to try this!! Im scared to use the salt and water mixture though!!
Umm, im scared! Comments By: Cortney Boutte' on 2010-04-07
I just completed day 1, i just popped the blisters and i put the salt paste on it, it was a little painful, but nothing i couldn't handle. Now i will be going to bed soon, and im trying not to talk, freaking my fiance out cause i usually talk his head off! but i will def take a shower in the morning and i will try the peroxide thing. I sure hiope this works. I work at a doctors office! Imagine going to a doc office seeing someone who looks like they have a DISEASE! lol thank god that we arent seeing patients this week! thanks for who ever posted this remedy ! i will deff update tomorrow!
My solution Comments By: Mee on 2010-04-14
I tried this, but when I used the salt water paste, that just irritated my cold sore and actually made it worst...I use to use abreva for my cold sores and I felt like it didn't heal it fast enough. One day I made a bold move and grabbed Campho-Phenique instead of Abreva. It works wonderfully. It pretty much does everything. It dries up your cold sore, it prevents infections, it takes away pain and itchiness, and your cold sore starts healing right away. Moreover, it's a gel, so it's very easy to apply. To give a clearer picture of how well it works...This morning I woke up with a cold sore and a swollen lip, I put campho-phenique on, and went to class. I returned from class and tried popping the blisters and using the salt paste... it was a terrible idea. from using campho in the morning the scab was already starting to form (turning yellow). I removed the salt, and applied campho-phenique instead. then I took a nap (to reduce my stress) and then I went back to class. It hasn't been a full day yet. And my cold sore is already drying up. I've had cold sores dry-up complelty in as little as 3 days with campho-phenique. You really won't regret using it. I just went online on their website (campho.com) and realized that they also have a scab relief gel, I'm definately trying that. In addition, it's true that you cna take prescription drugs for cold sores, and that works great when you have a warning tingling before you get blisters. If you take a pill (I forgot the name of it) when you feel the tingling and haven't had blisters appear. The pill will completely prevent the cold sore, and I mean completely, no blisters, no next day surprise, no nothing. I used the pill for a while and I eventually stopped getting cold sore, I didn't get a cold sore until yesterday (It's been almost 2 years), and the on I started getting wasn't itchy, which is why I didn't realize the redness was a cold sore until today. well good luck to all, I understand your pain :(. You should most definately try campho-phenique, it works super fast.
Cold Sores the size of Plums Comments By: Lisa on 2010-05-12
I never used to get cold sores until I developed Crohns Disease (auto immune). Now, I suffer from horrendous ones. They start off innocently enough, little pimplelike spot, then trick me into thinking its is going to be a normal sized one. Two days later they swell up like a plum and cover about an inch or so of my lip, chin or whatever part of my face it is attached to. The scab forms over a few days an weeps. It looks nasty. But, the best course of action I have found, is to leave it be. Zovirax or Acyclovir do not work, and in my opinion, made it worse. I have one now, nice! It is going but the scab nearly attached itself to my top lip. It feels like something is pulling my lip and chin. Fortunately, I only get them every year or so, and they have tapered a tad, since coming off of Steroids for my condition. I also get ulcers in my mouth and on and under my tongue. But I think mine are linked to the Crohns.
Different Remedy Comments By: Anon on 2010-06-14
I put cold sore cream on, doesnt matter what one, after about 15-30 minutes get a needle, sterilise it and put the coldsore by pushing the needle in from the left. If you dont understand what I mean then just plunge right into that bad boy. This will reduce the pain by going in from the left, not as sensitive to pain. When the coldsore has popped, put more cold sore cream on straight away. This will minimise the abillity of the cold sore of coming infected. You can see the cold sore reduce in size 20-30 minutes! If it hasn't gone down, try this remedy again for how many times you feel its needed.
Blistex Comments By: Liz on 2010-10-27
I've tried several of things for my cold sores. (except draining it, that wigs me out)They have all work at some time or another. L-Lycine made one sore go blood shot. However, I did buy Abreve once. It didn't do much. But Blistex usually does the trick if I get it on early.
Abreva, Peroxide, and GARLIC (instead of salt) Comments By: Anon on 2010-11-29
In addition to the usual peroxide, abreva, Lysine supplements/ointment, I tried rubbing garlic oil on my cold sore. It reduced in size right away and stung like *@#$. Just crush a clove of fresh garlic and rub the juice directly onto the cold sore. Garlic is an virus-killer. That, and keeping it moist with a lysine ointment has helped mine recover within 5 days.
Been suffering from these since I was a teen. I found that BURT'S BEES BEESWAX LIP BALM (the one that says) SOOTHING.COOLING.REFRESHING applied often will prevent a cold sore from popping up once you feel tingly on your lip. TRUST ME. I get them about once a year now.
External treatment Comments By: Lloyd Hudgens on 2011-02-14
First I must say, Hydro-cortisone does not "feed" herpes,ie, cold sore.If the kind Doctor has complete research and AMA articles, I'd have to see to believe.OK,a cold sore feeds on living tissue(fluids or solids?). It spreads by invading to weakened tissue,it causes inflammation which weakens adjacent tissue allowing the virus to spread. There is no cure for cold sores, but there is an effective treatment. Hydro-cortisone is an anti inflammatory, if the margins of the infected area do not become inflamed the healthy surrounding is less affected and the virus cannot spead as effectly. The Herpes virus(cold sore)has a limited life span, if it can't spread it has less to feed upon and will soon multiply itself out of house and home.The cream base of the hydro-cortisone keeps the injected area moist so it will not dry out and crack open and spread by that means. Some people have atypical reactions to the hydro-cortisone and get no useful effects from the cream(do not use salve,it may keep healing oxygen from the infected area.In cases like that keep it moist and topically reduce swelling, oral medication may take too long to be effective; treat early and effectively and you will see positive effects in 24 to 48 hours. Not effective for internal infections(they hurt the worst, go to a Dermitologist).I've been using this method for 40 years with no splitting,bleeding and gone in a week.
day 2 Comments By: amber on 2011-02-24
Mine started with a small blister and now my whole lip is swollen I'm trying the toothpaste and salt and abreva and hope its better by the time I go to work today
Bull!!! Comments By: Anon on 2011-03-14
Okay so I gave this "amazing" salt paste thing a try and my lip looks like an inflamed balloon I guess I'm the unlucky one :(
Great Tip! Comments By: Anna on 2011-03-16
I will try this and let u know the results. I'm on day one!
HATE cold sores Comments By: Anon on 2011-03-16
I've had problems with cold sores since I was a little kid. Back then they were so bad that I could get four at one time, on each corner of my mouth. Now that I'm older and in college I get them about once a month, due to stress. The only thing that helps mine is Herpecin L, and even using it I still have sores for about a week. The ones I've gotten lately have been on the inside of my top lip, and they make my lip swell up like a balloon! I hate it!! I woke up with that tingly feeling today, and within three hours my entire top lip was so swollen it felt like it was going to pop. And I was supposed to go on vacation for spring break this weekend :( what a drag.
ive never had a cold sore before Comments By: Rosie on 2011-03-21
ive never had a cold sore before and i think i have one now its horrible nd kind of looks like a spot in the side of my mouth ive got cream but dont think its doing much and reading that made me want to try it ? but is it better to get a pill to permantly keep them away if so what pill would be the best ?
Seriously no joke- it works- against Doctor's advice! Comments By: Karen on 2011-04-06
My best friend is a MD.
She gave me a prescription for a cold sore medicine, but I caught it too late!
I stopped taking my Acai immune booster for just a week, through pure accidental fault!
I researched a quick remedy and through this website I saw sooo many positive responses!
I went into the sun for three days straight and caught a nasty sunburn, two days later- not one- but two horrendous coldsores popped up.
I did exactly as follows, and to my co-workers amazement it totally worked!
Two days into it it is almost totally gone.
I normally never comment on a website but I have to give credit when credit is due. Try this, and I swear it will work!
Good luck!!

IT WORKS!!!! Comments By: ASerr on 2011-05-04
thanks... this is AMAZING!!
3 days gone method Comments By: Anonymous on 2011-06-07
This is my 3rd outbreak and I noticed it when I woke up on Sunday, that little white bump on my upper lip. Here's what I did and as I'm writing this now, it's almost completely gone and totally un-noticeable. As I noticed it on Sunday morning I immediately took 6000mg of Lysine (although that was probably too much to take all at once on an empty stomach as I had major stomach pains for about 3 hours after). I also immediately took some Q-tips and dabbed them in Nail Polish remover and held them on the cold sore for about 30seconds, I did this 4 times in a row, leaving time for the cold sore to dry for a few minutes in between. Then I put on a Compeed cold sore patch (which is great as it totally concealed the cold sore so that for the first time ever I went out in public while having an outbreak as it was not noticeable at all...I applied ladies makeup powder on top of the Compeed patch to blend in my skin color). Before bed that night I took off the patch, and re-applied the nail polish removed in the same manner as before and then applied a new patch. I also took 100mg of zinc that day and another 3000mg of Lysine (this time my stomach didn't hurt again as I took them not all at once and after meals. Day 2 morning, took of patch, re-applied Nail polish remover, and started with 50mg zinc and 2000mg Lysine. Throughout the day I took another 100mg zing and 4000mg Lysine. Day 2 before bed, changed patch again and re-applied mail polish remover. Day 3, today, had a busy morning so just took 50mg zinc and 2000mg Lysine. Around 1pm I finally got around to taking off the Compeed patch and it was still there, re-applied nail polish removed BUT DID NOT apply a new patch as I wanted to see if it might heal better without a patch. WITHIN 30minutes it reduced by 75%! I re-applied the nail polish and 15 minutes later, which is now, it's barely noticeable. Just a tiny tiny dark yellow piece that only I can see if u look super close. It's 95% gone! I don't know if the Compeed patches helped in this or slowed hurt as maybe if I didn't use patched it would have been gone on day 2. But I do know that my last outbreak was 5 months ago and I didn't have Compeed patches. Instead I too Valtrex, Lysine, and nail polish remover and it took a full 7 days. This time only took 3 days. Plus the Compeed conceals so well that I could go out! I used to NEVER step foot outside my house for the full 7 days till it was completely gone! I hope this can help others!
tried everythink Comments By: jess on 2011-06-22
I have tied every creams and many tablets.
But nothing seemed to work, i tried the over night compeed patches but that slows the process down, they only work when you first feel one coming up. Although i have tried vinegar, tea bags tooth paste, ect.... it drys it up. But what really seemed to work for me was perfume or alchol, it dried it out & then i tried this website. it didnt work. it seems nothing works for me, i have then repeated this & it was gone by day 4. i have had a few days off school because it has been to shame, as i get bagged out alot. thank you so much.

I've tried it all! But this is the magic bullet; read on! Comments By: T. M. on 2011-07-26
Do yourself a favor and skip all the creams, peroxide, abreva, L-Lysine blah, blah, blah. I've tried it all and the thing still scabs over and lasts 10 days regardless. Want a 3 day remedy? Go to your doctor and ask for Acyclovir 200 mg pills. Once you get the "tingling" feeling pop the pill (one pill 5 times a day;every 4 hours). The bubble/blister will not advance beyond the blister stage and will begin to disappear on the second day...but only if you take it once you feel the tingling feeling. If you are past the tingling and the blister appears, Acyclovir will still work its magic; don't worry. Never, never, never, touch/rub/pat/scratch the blister as it will advance its. I get them on or around my lips from too much sun exposure, chocolate, cafine, (sometimes peanuts) or if my system is down. This is when your most susceptable to fever blisters. Get 8 hours of sleep and drink lots of water. E-mail me in the morning to tell me I was absolutely right!!!

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