Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are painful and unsightly outbreaks caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). While there is no cure for HSV, several ingredients can help alleviate the symptoms and promote faster healing of cold sores. Here are the top 10 ingredients commonly used to treat cold sores, along with brief descriptions of their benefits:

Antiviral Medications (Acyclovir, Valacyclovir)

These prescription medications can help reduce the severity and duration of cold sore outbreaks by inhibiting the replication of the herpes simplex virus.

Docosanol (Abreva)

Docosanol is an over-the-counter topical medication that can shorten the healing time of cold sores by interfering with the virus's ability to enter healthy skin cells.


Lysine is an amino acid that may help prevent cold sore outbreaks and reduce their frequency when taken as a supplement. It may work by inhibiting arginine, another amino acid that supports the herpes virus.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil possesses antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve the pain and discomfort of cold sores while promoting healing.


Propolis, a resin-like substance from bees, has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a natural remedy that may help reduce cold sore symptoms and speed up healing.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera's soothing and moisturizing properties can alleviate the discomfort of cold sores and support the healing process.

Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide can help protect and heal cold sores by forming a protective barrier and promoting skin regeneration.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm is an herb known for its antiviral properties and can be applied topically or consumed as a tea to help reduce cold sore symptoms.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil contains compounds like menthol that can provide a cooling sensation and pain relief when applied topically to cold sores.


Honey has natural antiviral properties and can be applied topically to cold sores to promote healing and soothe discomfort.

While these ingredients can be beneficial in managing cold sores, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional, especially for recurring or severe outbreaks. Additionally, maintaining good hygiene, avoiding triggers like stress or excessive sun exposure, and practicing safe sex can help prevent cold sore recurrences.