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How Do I Choose the Best Vitamins for Cold Sores?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Jan 20, 2024
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Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, can be uncomfortable as well as embarrassing. There are several vitamins which can be used to help prevent or treat this condition. Some of the most commonly used vitamins for cold sores include lysine, zinc oxide, and Vitamins A, B, C, and E. There are various ways of using vitamins for cold sores, including oral medications, foods, or topical preparations. Any questions or concerns about the appropriate dosages of the various vitamins for cold sores should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Lysine is one of the most commonly recommended vitamins for cold sores. This vitamin helps to prevent cold sore outbreaks and may also help to reduce growth of existent cold sores. Some foods which contain lysine include potatoes, beans, and brewer's yeast. This nutrient may also be added to topical ointments designed to be applied directly to the fever blister.

Zinc oxide can be found without a prescription at most drug stores and is among the popular vitamins for cold sores. Zinc oxide is available in the form of an ointment and is applied directly to the cold sore. This treatment method provides a soothing feeling while helping to dry out the fever blister.

Vitamin A can be used to help prevent the infections which are sometimes caused by the presence of cold sores. Some foods which contain high levels of Vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach. Vitamin B, especially Vitamin B6, helps to strengthen the immune system and prevent infection. Foods containing this vitamin include bananas, garlic, and mushrooms.

Another of the important vitamins for cold sores is Vitamin C. This vitamin has natural antiviral properties and assists in the healing process. Citrus fruits, nuts, and dark green vegetables are high in Vitamin C. There are also nutritional supplements available for those who do not receive enough of this vitamin from the diet.

Vitamin E can be particularly useful in treating cold sores, as it promotes healing and stimulates production of white blood cells. This supplement may be taken in the form of an oral tablet, although the topical form may be more beneficial. Vitamin E oil can be applied directly to the cold sore for added soothing effects. For those who wish to add this vitamin to the diet, foods such as almonds, sunflower seeds, and broccoli contain significant amounts of Vitamin E.

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Discussion Comments

By donasmrs — On Dec 25, 2013

Unfortunately, vitamin E doesn't prevent cold sores. But it does help prevent scarring. I wait until my cold sore has scabbed over and then apply vitamin E oil on it. It heals quickly without a scar.

By ysmina — On Dec 25, 2013

I only get cold sores in winter. I think it's because of the cold and my immune system getting weaker during winter. I always get the flu during this time of the year. This winter, I decided to take a vitamin C supplement every other day to keep my immune system strong. My goal was to avoid getting the flu. I didn't even know that vitamin C fights cold sores.

Winter is almost over and so far I have not gotten any cold sores. I didn't get the flu either. It has to be because of the vitamin C. I highly recommend it to those who get cold sores in cold weather.

By ZipLine — On Dec 25, 2013

Technically, lysine is not a vitamin, it's an amino acid. But it's the most effective supplement against cold sores.

When I feel a cold sore developing, I start taking lysine capsules immediately. If I take it on time, it prevents the cold sore altogether. If it's too late for that, it's still beneficial and helps the cold sore heal more quickly. This is the only over-the-counter cold sore remedy that my doctor recommended for me.

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