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This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Orajel.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on January 22, 2016


American Academy of Dermatology. Herpes Simplex. Tips for Managing. Lip and Mouth Care. Jamie Weisman, MD. Director of Research. Peachtree Dermatology Associates. National Institutes of Health. Cold Sores.

© 2013 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

  1. 1Watch for the early signs. You’ll know you’re getting another cold sore when you have a tingling, itchy feeling -- and maybe a little swelling -- on your lip or around your mouth.
  2. 2Call the doctor. Ask about treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor can prescribe drugs to treat the virus from the inside and a cream or gel to fight the cold sore on the outside.
  3. 3Start treatment right away. Take antiviral drugs as soon as you can. If you wait, your cold sore is more likely to become a painful -- and longer-lasting -- blister.
  4. 4Soothe your symptoms. Over-the-counter pain-relievers can lessen pain and swelling. You can also try holding an ice cube to your lip.
  5. 5Keep it moist. A cold sore will heal better if the area around it doesn’t dry out.
  6. 6Don't panic if it's a special day. Your doctor may be able to give you a cortisone shot for the swelling. But don’t forget to treat the virus, too.
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