-- Apply a cold sore ointment. Docosanol (Abreva) is an over-the-counter cream for cold sores. It must be applied frequently and may shorten an outbreak by a few hours or a day.
-- Try other cold sore remedies. Some over-the-counter preparations contain a drying agent, such as alcohol, that may speed healing.
-- Use lip balms and cream. Protect your lips from the sun with a zinc oxide cream or lip balm with sunblock. If your lips become dry, apply a moisturizing cream.
-- Apply a cool compress. A cool, damp cloth may reduce redness, help remove crusting and promote healing.
-- Apply pain-relieving creams. Over-the-counter creams with lidocaine or benzocaine may offer some pain relief.
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