Cold sores can be painful and unattractive, lasting at times for weeks. Blisters and scabs often form with the potential of spreading infection to other parts of one's body and to others with kissing, the sharing of towels and utensils, and by touching.

These blister and cold sores are caused by the herpes virus, which lays dormant in the body and reawakens with stress, illness, immune disorders, menstruation and hormonal changes, fatigue, sunburn and poor diet. Here are 11 home remedies to treat an outbreak.

1. B Vitamins to Lessen the Outbreak

Home remedies for cold sores can offer great benefits and relief. Because B Vitamins support the immune system where viruses often hide, they may help to get rid of cold sores.

Medical studies show that individuals who have cold sores often have a deficiency of Vitamin B12. Reports show that when 250 mcg of Vitamin B12 with folic acid of supplementation is introduced, cold sores may quickly diminish.

2. Vitamin C, Zinc and Bioflavonoids to Destroy Free Radicals

Vitamin C helps to create and build connective tissue and collagen, and both Vitamin C and zinc are known to have amazing healing properties. Bioflavonoids are immune boosters with natural antioxidants to destroy free radicals (unpaired and unstable electrons that can damage healthy body cells). Vitamin C, zinc and bioflavonoids can lessen the time of an outbreak.

3. Whole Milk to Kill the Herpes Virus and Cold Sores Quickly

Whole milk contains a fat called "monocaprin" that has antiviral effects. Many find that by applying the whole milk, the cold sores will almost immediately disappear, often in less than one day.

4. Vitamin E Oil to Speed Recovery

Some studies indicate that the Vitamin E oil from a capsule can speed up the recovery time and diminish cold sores within a few days to one week.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar to Help Diminish Cold Sores

Apple cider vinegar is one of the oldest cold sores home remedies. Just a few drops are needed to help to get rid of the sores quickly. This can be applied with a sterile cotton ball. Caution must be used when applying apple cider vinegar on open sores, as extreme stinging can occur.

6. Andrographis to Increase the Killer T-Helper Cells

Andrographis increases the killer T-helper cells (in conjunction with B cells, permits antibody formation).

7. Lysine to Block Arginine

Lysine blocks arginine (an amino acid that helps the virus to grow). Lysine can be found in yogurt, cheese, eggs, milk, red meats, fruits, poultry and sardines.

8. Olive Leaf to Prevent Future Outbreaks

Olive leaf is considered to prevent herpes and is an alternative for many of the suppressing drugs.

9. Lemon or Lemon Balm for a Speedy Recovery

Lemon or lemon balm can be applied to the cold sores at the beginning of an outbreak. For best results and a speedy recovery, apply a slice of lemon to the sores when itching and redness begins.

10. Echinacea to Block Virus Proteins

Echinacea assists the body to produce interferon (blocks virus proteins) and boosts the immune system, lessening the time of an outbreak.

11. Garlic to Ward off Virus

It is a known fact that garlic kills viruses and bacteria. Garlic and garlic extract may ward off cold sores and cold sore outbreaks.