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RealSimple.com: Healing Tips for 8 Common Maladies

Cold Sore

Do:
  • Apply a petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) to keep the sore moist and to prevent cracking.
  • If you get cold sores regularly, ask your doctor about an oral antiviral prescription medication, such as Valtrex or Acyclovir. One or two doses taken as soon as you feel a cold sore coming on can reduce the duration of the sore and help prevent recurrences.
  • Be patient. A cold sore usually goes away in a few days. In the meantime, relieve pain with a topical cold-sore treatment that contains benzocaine (like Nexcare Cold Sore Treatment) .
RealSimple


Don’t:
  • Try to dry it out with peroxide, alcohol, or witch hazel.
  • Pick at it, share drinks (even with a straw), or kiss people. Cold sores are a type of herpes, a common and contagious virus.
  • Cover it with a thick layer of concealer, because removing the makeup can irritate the sore.




Call your doctor if:
  • The sore doesn’t go away in a week or two or the pain is severe. It could be an allergic reaction.


(Image: Jen Corace)

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