Pharmacy Corner
Cold Sores: What You Need to Know What treatments are available? (continued)

My friend told me about some home remedies. Do they work?

Home remedies like using rubbing alcohol, witch hazel or excessive cleaning/scrubbing of the sore are NOT RECOMMENDED because they dry out the cold sore and cause more cracking and pain.

Applying ice may help with pain and swelling but will not make the cold sore heal faster.

I have had the cold sore for 3 days… what do I do now?

Without treatment, cold sores typically last anywhere from 7-14 days. All current products only work when started as soon as you feel your symptoms. After a few days, most medications will not help. Consider protecting the area with some petroleum jelly or using ice to help the pain. Let your doctor or pharmacist know if it does not seem to be getting better or is getting worse.