Seven tips against or with a cold sore

A cold sore is a difficult phenomenon that many people have to deal with regularly. The moment when blisters have formed on the lips is particularly unpleasant and then the contagiousness is very high. Good hygiene is therefore very important. One of the biggest causes of cold sores is stress. Stress weakens the immune system, which means that viruses have a greater chance of making life more unpleasant. But there are tips for protection, treatment and strengthening.

Take quick measures against cold sores

Once infected, the herpes virus always remains in the body, but this does not necessarily lead to a return of a cold sore. However, many suffer from it again every few months. For those where this is the case, the warning of a tingling sensation on the lip will soon ring a bell. It is then wise to take measures as quickly as possible before the tingling turns into a burning sensation or itchy spot.

Seven tips for protection, treatment and strengthening

Some of the following tips concern the very important hygiene in connection with the risk of infection and other tips concern the methods of treatment with remedies or medicines and strengthening the immune system.

1. Increase lysine levels

Lysine cannot be produced by the body itself. The only way to get this valuable substance is through food. The substance is especially valuable because it prevents the growth of herpes. Lysine is found in foods such as eggs, fish, dairy products and red meat. A kind of counterpart to lysine is arginine, which is found in foods such as nuts, peanuts, crustaceans, soy, spinach and seeds. Normally lysine and arginine are in balance, but if the balance tips towards arginine, a herpes outbreak can occur. At that time it is wise to increase the amount of lysine through the right food.

2. Avoid touching

Cold sores are highly contagious and can easily be transmitted to someone else. Therefore, avoid contact and wash your hands well if it does happen. Never touch the eyes or genitals with hands that have touched the cold sore. Other measures to prevent infection are not kissing and not using a glass or coffee cup or the like from someone with a cold sore. Kissing newborn babies with cold sores in particular should be avoided because infection with the herpes virus in newborns is very dangerous.

3. Avoid too much sun rays

Too much sun rays can be the cause of cold sores. Avoidance or taking measures is therefore recommended. A good measure is to apply a balm to the lips with at least factor 15 as protection.

4. Replace toothbrush

Traces of the herpes virus can remain in a toothbrush when used for cold sores. Good hygiene is very important, so it is highly advisable to replace the toothbrush after the lip has healed.

5. Use aids


Licorice is said to have an anti-viral effect, according to research. The substance can be applied by rubbing it over the cold sore. Tea can also be made from it. However, consuming too much licorice can cause high blood pressure in the long term. So take in moderation.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, like licorice, has a beneficial effect against cold sores. The vinegar is best applied with a cotton swab that is always thrown away because the liquid that has come into contact with the cold sore is highly contagious.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil, like licorice, has an anti-viral effect. The oil can be processed in the same way as apple cider vinegar.


Instead of apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil, alcohol (suitable for wounds) can be dabbed on the area with a cotton swab. The alcohol will dry out the blisters, causing the virus on the skin to die.

6. Treat with cold or warm

Ice cubes

Immediately after the first symptoms occur, an ice cube can be pressed against the area. The low temperature can slow down the herpes virus and can sometimes even prevent further outbreaks.

Hot kiss device

This device can burn away the blisters by means of a warm blow.

7. Take medications


This medicine has aciclover as an active ingredient, which inhibits the virus so that the cold sore will heal faster.

Zinc sulfate

This substance ensures that the blisters dry out faster. Zinc sulfate is available under the brand names Akolip, Herpevir and Zinolium Zinc Sulfate.


This drug is used less often and is not available everywhere (but in Germany and Switzerland). However, many people do benefit from the drug.

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  • Medicines or medications for cold sores