I haven’t had a cold sore now for nearly a year, not a proper throbbing mess of a one, so maybe it was karma, time I had some pain. But when I got the tingle recently, instead of doing what I normally do, which has kept me cold sore free, I tried some of the remedies people have shared here.
I tried lots of different attacks on the cold sore. His name is Winston, and he has a wife and kids now.
Firstly I would like to advise against the use of garlic. I am pretty sure my lip went from being slightly sore and swollen with no blisters to massive blisters almost immediatly after applying the garlic.
My usual treatment of tea tree, bergamot oil and aloe vera is so very much kinder, does not hurt at all and nearly always avoids the blister stage entirely. But here begins the sorry tale of the most painful cold sore I have EVER HAD.
Woke up with this cold sore
This is how my top lip looked when I woke up. Not too pretty and the obvious signs of a small family of cold sores waiting to party.
They got bombarded with lots of different things from ear wax and garlic to tea tree oil and aloe vera.
Read Cold Sore Diary – waking up with one to find out what methods of attack I used.
Cold sore after garlic…
Almost as soon as the garlic went on we had blisters.
Could have been on the way anyway and maybe this garlic just speeds up the process dramatically.
Whatever it does it was very, very, very painful. It stung – a lot!
Would I recommend it? NO way. I’m a wuss when it comes to pain and I didn’t like the garlic treatment at all. It was really, really painful and seemed to inflame the blisters so much and I’ve never had such a horrendous cold sore in my life.
Day two, after a nights sleep, lots of tea tree and more Llysine
I was feeling smug, hadn’t it got smaller? The cold sore didn’t feel half as bad.
The blisters had begun to look scabby. But these are not just any old scab, these are wet, soggy cold sore scabs which rip off at the slightest touch and turn to goo when wet.
I managed to shower without getting them wet and ripping off the new and fragile scabs.
Now I just need to heal, heal, heal Winston and his family into a quick submission.
When it was first brewing and I was very conscious of it, I went out to a prearranged night at the theatre. My lip felt painful, tight and itching but I was determined not to miss out. Winston and his family enjoyed an amazing night of tango at my local theatre with Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacaci. My lovely friends said, “Oh you can hardly see it.” meaning my cold sore(s). They were very kind and the show was so amazing. Sitting in the front row on the edge of my seat totally mesmerised by the kicks, flicks and whirling bodies on stage. Awesome. Totally took my mind off my swollen lip. No time to feel sorry for myself.
Day two of the cold sore I had a meeting in London for a Focus Group so the poor unsuspecting people had to stare at my swollen cold sore lip.
Generally getting out and about, if you can bear it, will take your mind off the offending cold sore and good friends will not tease you or comment on it. However, cold sores also need lots of rest to heal. Early nights and taking it easy are the general rule I follow when I have them, if I can.
Day 3 and 4 – the horrible bit where it’s healing, hurting and looks gross
I have been applying tea tree oil, holding a tea bag onto the blisters and applying thin layers of aloe vera, as well as lots of multi vits and Llysine. All it seems, to no avail.
This cold sore has been a complete pest. I really didn’t want to go anywhere once it really got blistered and sore over the weekend.
I also tried a warm, wet tea bag, which I found didn’t help at all. It just made the blister grow and the scab soggy. I recommend a dry tea bag as this aids in drawing out the venom of the sore.
I was in hell. It was throbbing and nothing seemed to help.
I think that burning it with garlic at the start was such a bad idea it just escalated into the cold sore from hell in revenge. At least I tried it, and can now advise everyone I meet to never try that at home, ever!
Worst cold sore ever – still here after 7 days
The husband has taken to calling me little hitler because it’s right where the moustache should be, I so hope it doesn’t scar there or I will be mighty unimpressed.
However it is healing, and taking these photos has proved this to me, so I mustn’t feel so miserable. It isn’t hurting any more, and is only slightly tight. It is much, much smaller and is now a proper hard scab which is still a little fragile.
Towards the end of a cold sores life if you knock the scab or break it while eating it bleeds, a lot, which can be a little embarassing if it happens when you’re out. But when this is happening it is finally forming a proper scab instead of the crust coming off to reveal a damp, weeping open wound.
Cold sores really are quite gross.
So what I learnt from all this experimentation? Actually, be kinder to cold sores. If you burn them with garlic or something else harsh like that they really don’t like it and neither will you. I’m all for less painful, kinder and quicker treatment.
And finally, what I normally do…
I will be reverting back to my original cold sore regime which has meant I’ve not had a really bad one for months and months. Probably years. Basically I don’t burn or pick or attack it in any way unless you count taking supplements, immune boosting, tea tree oil etc. as attacking.
I throw everything I’ve got at it but I don’t want to be in any more pain than I have to. Please don’t rub raw garlic on your cold sore. Do eat lots of garlic though, I’m sure that will only help.
Very quick, avoid cold sores regime…
- Straight away take Llysine at first sign or tingle, Take about 1500 mg a day.
- Apply zorivax or over the counter cold sore cream (I find these don’t work on their own now but they may help a little so if you have them, apply at first sign of tingle.) Always wash hands and have a separate face cloth and towel
- Take echinacea or other immune boosting supplements and foods. I also take vitamin C, D and E in a multi-vitamin
- As soon as the lip feels like a blister may be forming or there is any redness or swelling, hold an earl grey tea bag on the sore, as soon as you feel it making it’s mark, preferably before the blisters really take hold, but it will work on blisters. The tea bag should be dry. Hold it still, on the cold sore for as long as you can
- Dab tea tree oil neat onto the sore and repeat the tea bag trick as often as you can
- I also have a tea tree and Llysine lip balm which I apply when I’m out and about
- At night, after applying tea tree oil, apply a thin layer of aloe vera to aid healing
- Get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water and herbal tea
Drink lots of herbal healing teas such as nettle, rooibosh, green tea and fennel. Avoid coffee and alcohol.
For more information on getting rid of cold sores read my pretty concise list of Do’s and Don’ts for getting rid of cold sores, which includes the types of foods to avoid and which could aid healing and absolutely hundreds of comments from other cold sore experts with tips, moans and stories of what they’ve tried.
So tomorrow will be a better day. I reckon we’re looking at seeing the back of this cold sore in a few more days? What’s your record time at getting rid of one? I have reduced the blister with the tea bag treatment so that the sore never even formed and it just flattened and went away, back to where it came from. Probably about two days is my record, from tingle to attack with tea tree, Llysine etc.
This has been a hard lesson for me and I’m sticking to my original plan of cold sore attack thank you!