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How to Get Rid of Cold Sores Naturally – My Cold Sore Treatment

This post was most recently updated on April 26th, 2018

Want to get rid of cold sores? Keep reading…

You know how you get that bump by your lip and you think maybe it’s acne but then you realize that it’s not – it’s a cold sore??? It usually has a burning or tingling sensation and there’s a cluster of small blisters. If you’re like me you as soon as you realize you have a cold sore you start to freak out. At this point I declare all out war on my cold sore. Because who likes getting a cold sore?? Especially once they break and spread. No kissing, they sting when you eat and they look awful. At this point you must switch your tactics to preventing the blisters from breaking.

I’ve been fighting cold sores for years. Once you get the virus it’s yours forever. The virus lives on and you can get a cold sore at any time you get stressed or the right conditions are present. I can usually prevent a cold sore very easily with the tactics outlined below, but once they actually become blisters then it’s more contagious and will take longer to heal.

Cold sores are a symptom of:
  • not enough sleep
  • too much stress
  • being physically run down
  • ignoring your health
  • eating too much sugar/high carb diet


Ok, you have blisters (this seems to happen when I have a big meeting or event where I will be speaking or meeting VIPs). Now what?? This is part two of the war, after L-Lysine. You have to use medicine. Abreva works really well. It’s a creme that you apply to your cold sore. I much prefer the pump over the tube – it’s so much easier to get out. Put it on all day, several times a day. At night really cake it on thick.

Abreva was $17.99 at my local grocery store and it’s actually cheaper on Amazon (get it here). Abreva is FDA approved and it’s available over the counter. No other brand had the active ingredient docosanol. I tried comparing all of the less expensive brand and they didn’t have the same ingredients.


1. To prevent cold sores, as soon as you get signs of a cold sore, take the supplement l-lysine immediately, double dose.
Do not wait a second longer than you have to. If you’re prone to cold sores keep l-lysine in your purse or car so you’ll never be without it. Keep taking it regularly for at least a week. Apply it several times a day. L-lysine is cheap and readily available. It’s natural. And it works. However, after taking l-lysine for years I always get a capsule because they’re easiest to swallow. The pills are too big. Bring l-lysine on vacation and take it to prevent getting sick.

L-lysine was the best thing that I discovered to help prevent cold sores. I get them far less now, maybe once every year or two. You can also take l-Lysine for maintenance during cold and flu season. It’s a natural product and is very inexpensive and effective at prevention.

Nature’s Sunshine is a great brand, although all have worked great for me. This is recommended by a commenter on my blog (thank you).

Here’s what it looks like (click to purchase on Amazon):

Naturessunshine l-Lysine Structural Circulatory and Immune System Support 100 Capsules (Pack of 2)Nature’s Sunshine l-Lysine Capsules

cold sore day 1

2. Make your own l-lysine paste to coat your cold sore. Crush the pill or use the inside of a capsule inside a small medicine cup. Add water and make a paste. Put a few drops of tea tree oil, and a few drops of peroxide, and some sea salt. Cake this onto your cold sore. Leave it on all night or for an hour or so. Keep doing this, several times a day. This is the only thing that has actually brought my cold sore down dramatically.

Most of the time this is adequate and will dramatically reduce how often you get cold sores. However, if you’re under increased stress sometimes even l-lysine won’t prevent a cold sore from forming. L-lysine also helped me fight shingles because shingles is related to cold sores. So if you ever get shingles be sure to treat it ASAP and take L-lysine in addition to what you’re prescribed. I did that and my shingles never spread and went away within a few days. They were only ever a small quarter size outbreak and I haven’t had them since.

Has anyone tried lysine ointment?

Basic Organics L-Lysine Lip Ointment, 0.875 ozBasic Organics L-Lysine Lip Ointment

3. Stay out of the sun and protect your lips. Your skin is damaged by the sun. It’s weakened and more dried out. This can make it more vulnerable to cold sores. Summer or winter, wear protective lip gloss or lip balm with sunscreen in it.

cold sore day 2

4. Immediately change your diet. Eliminate sugar and simple carbs. Eat alkaline food such as green veggies, like green bell pepper which is high in vitamin C and can help with cold sores. So can spinach. Make a smoothie that has red berries and spinach in it. If you struggle to eliminate sugar, adding extra protein in this recipe can help curb carb cravings.

5. Get more rest and try to lessen the amount of stress in your life. There are many YouTube videos with meditations. Taking a walk, getting exercise, being in nature, talking with someone you love, learning to set appropriate boundaries (this is my favorite book on Boundaries) and other things can help.

Another remedy I’ve heard is to ice a cold sore, but I haven’t tried it so I can’t tell you how effective it is.

cold sore day 3

How to Cover Up a Cold Sore Once you Get One

It’s too late. You have a cold sore. Now what? In all of these selfies I’m wearing a neutral color of LipSense to camouflage my cold sore. LipSense has alcohol in it to remove bacteria. It also has natural sunscreen properties to protect your lips from the damage of the sun. Plus it camouflages the cold sore. A color like beige champagne is a good choice so it looks like your natural lip. Since LipSense is long wearing it should last all day as long as you keep it moist with the gloss. I know it won’t cover the part of your cold sore that’s outside of your lip line, but it will help the rest of it blend in.

Despite all of this my cold sore lasted about 6 days where you could really see it. I didn’t document every day. Today as I type this, there’s still a tiny scab. Thankfully I skipped the blister stage and just got scabs.
Still, getting a cold sore is a signal that I need to watch my health.

The last thing that I want to try but haven’t yet is called monolaurin – I’ve heard a lot of good things about it for preventing colds and flu. It helps strengthen your immune system.

Some people swear by this device that is supposed to get rid of cold sores, but I’ve never tried it:Virulite FDA Approved Invisible Light Electronic Cold Sore Treatment DeviceVirulite FDA Approved Invisible Light Electronic Cold Sore Treatment Device

How about you? What has worked for you to cure a cold sore? 

 how to get rid of cold sores

5 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Cold Sores Naturally – My Cold Sore Treatment”

  • Thank you so much for talking about L-Lysine in relation to cold sores! Do you know how hard it is to find info about natural treatments for cold sores – or herpes of any kind??

    I went to a naturopathic doctor when I had the first outbreak. He put me on a serious detox that was very potent and put me on the sofa for a week. I was too compromised to move. This was no joke! I had no experience with this stuff and was totally unprepared for how it would impact me. While it was very effective, I learned other ways to navigate the challenges that didn’t involve sofa time!

    To be fair, my life was like living on a Richter scale needle! On a scale of 1-10 stress-wise, it was about a 65. These were issues relating to my teenaged children, a mentally deranged ex-spouse, financial challenges, marrying my wonderful husband, relocation to a different city…those are just a few headlines.

    Then the outbreak.

    Ultimately, I learned about L-lysine. I did not know to keep a regular maintenance dose of it to *prevent* future outbreaks, but I sure do now! Through trial and error, I have learned that my body prefers 2-3 times a week dose of pharmaceutical grade L-lysine. Originally I bought the cheap stuff and saw some results. But after learning about Nature’s Sunshine products (available in most health food stores), I learned that cheaper was not really cheaper! Nature’s Sunshine costs more but still only about $10/bottle. One capsule does what five cheap ones can’t do.

    It’s been five years since I’ve had an outbreak. Prior to that I was having serious battles every few weeks. When I began having the earliest symptoms, I would take an L-lysine capsule about every 3-4 hours. Within a day or so, the symptoms were gone, energy returned, and the outbreak put down!

    L-lysine is an anti-viral supplement. This works for any kind of virus, not just herpes – stomach viruses, colds, etc.

    Tea tree oil is really great to treat an outbreak after the fact, in addition to L-lysine. However, tea tree smells very strong and can taste bitter. Lavender essential oil of a high grade is just as effective, but much gentler than tea tree, in my experience. My preferred brand is DoTerra, but there may be other brands that are also effective.

    Before I was menopausal, every month brought canker sores in my mouth as part of PMS. The pH of my system always shifted, setting me up for canker sores. Using peroxide as a rinse was the most effective means of taking the sting out and hastening the healing.

    I would now also encourage women to be mindful of consuming alkaline foods before they get clobbered with PMS, especially if herpes outbreaks like canker sores are a problem. Keeping the body in a more alkaline state helps boost immunity and shores up emotional stability, too. Pinterest can offer some fairly reliable tips on which foods are more alkaline.

    These are all things I wish someone had told me when I was younger. Hopefully they will be helpful to others who struggle in areas where they really don’t have to!

    What a great, informative and helpful comment, thank you! I feel the same way as you do – so grateful to have found l-lysine. I didn’t think to write about it until this last cold sore that was really bad. It’s the worst I’ve had in a long time! I need to look into alkaline foods too. I agree that tea tree is pretty potent and smells. I also like DoTerra.

    This reminds me of being on a maintenance dose, especially during cold and flu season.

    Thanks again, everyone needs to know about these cheap, natural and effective ways to prevent cold sores/viruses, etc.

  • Thank you for the tips on how to prevent cold sores. I have noticed I have been getting a lot of them recently, and didn’t know what to do. That is great that taking l-lysine can help with the prevention. I’m glad that you can apply it or take it in a pill form. That makes it really easy to keep around.

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