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12 Home Remedies for a Cold Sore

3. Ice It

Besides looking awful, cold sores can really be painful. To relieve the pain and reduce the swelling (and the resulting unsightliness), try icing the cold sore. Wrap an ice cube in a clean handkerchief and hold it on the sore for as long as possible. Alternatively, try using an ice pack, it has the advantage that it won’t melt. Keep re-applying the ice as often as needed to keep the pain under control. You can also apply a dab of petroleum jelly onto the sore, in between icings, to prevent it drying out. The jelly will also help to prevent bacteria from getting into the sore and prolonging its duration.