The best way to combat cold sores is treating the condition as soon as the tingling sensation occurs.
Over the Counter Medications
Although there is no cure for cold sores, there are many over-the-counter topical creams as well as oral prescription medications that can help shorten the healing period of cold sores and help alleviate irritation. Many of these medications also contain moisturizers and anesthetics that can assist with pain and prevent the lips from becoming cracked and dried out. The most popular over-the-counter treatments include Abreva, Lipactin, Zovirax, and Denavir, to name a few. These ointments are generally applied to the cold sore every two hours for the first 3 or 4 days, or longer if needed.
Some skin care professionals may prescribe oral medications such as Valtrex to treat more severe, chronic outbreaks. Patients who experience more than normal amounts of outbreaks may be required to take oral medications daily to help keep the virus dormant.
There are also some natural, herbal products including Super Lysine + that are designed with specific ingredients to target cold sores. The Super Lysine + tablets contain L-Lysine, Vitamins A & C and Garlic with herbal boosters including Echinacea, Propolis, Licorice and Golden Seal. Tablets are taken daily in a minimal dosage and whenever cold sore symptoms begin, the dosage is increased to help quickly clear the outbreak.
If you are not sure about which treatment is right for you consult with your skin care professional who can advise you on the best course of treatment for your specific level of outbreaks.