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How to make cold sore swelling go down?

Updated February 15, 2018

Cold sores are mildly painful, fluid-filled blisters usually caused by the herpes simplex virus. They are sometimes announced by a slight tingling but often appear with no warning. Healing time takes from a few days to a week. Many people believe that the amino acid lysine can speed healing, but this hasn't been proven. Topical treatments such as Zilactin will help ease the discomfort, but even prescription remedies won't speed the healing process in any appreciable way. The best you can do is ease the symptoms as the virus runs its course.

Wash your face with warm water and mild soap.

Gently pat your face dry, being careful not to rub the cold sore.

Wrap the crushed ice in the clean white cloth and press it to the cold sore for 10 minutes.

Apply the lip balm with sunblock, because over exposure to UV rays can slow healing.

Repeat as needed, but no more than three times a day.

Tip

Aspirin, paracetamol and other over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease your discomfort.

Warning

Do not pick at the cold sore, as you will slow the healing.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Mild soap
  • Plain white cloth
  • Crushed ice
  • Lip balm containing sunblock
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About the Author

Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.