Cold sores are caused by Herpes simplex virus 1, also referred to as HSV1. There is no cure for cold sores, but flare-ups can be treated. Cold sores appear as single or multiple clusters of tiny blisters that are filled with a clear liquid. The area surrounding a cold sore is usually reddened. According to "Healing With Vitamins" it can take 7 to 10 days for an untreated case of cold sores to clear up without medication or some form of treatment.
Take 500 mg of both vitamin C and bioflavanoid supplements three times a day for one or two days as soon as the tingling sensation of a cold sore starts. "Healing With Vitamins" suggests this can help prevent the cold sore from forming.
Add zinc to your regular diet. Zinc may be able to help lessen the frequency of cold sore outbreaks. Roughly 50 mg a day are recommended for this treatment, which can be done before, during and even after a breakout.
Dab some vitamin E on a painful cold sore to help take the sting out of it. This treatment can be done every eight hours with a cotton swab, until the cold sore subsides or the pain stops.
Change your regular diet to include whole, unprocessed foods. Also, drink at least 48 oz. of water every day and avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugar. It is suggested by the "Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements" that if you suffer from cold sores frequently you should get plenty of exercise -- and take time for relaxation exercises such meditation and yoga.