Lifestyle and home remedies

Cold sores generally clear up without treatment. In the meantime, the following steps may provide relief:

Use ointments. Over-the-counter (OTC) ointments, such as topical lidocaine or benzyl alcohol (Zilactin), can help ease discomfort.

Take an OTC pain reliever. These include aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others). But don't give aspirin to children. Aspirin may trigger a rare but potentially fatal disorder known as Reye's syndrome.

Use cold or heat. Try applying ice or warm compresses to the blisters to ease the pain.

Let it heal. Avoid squeezing, pinching or picking at any blister.
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