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How to Pop a Fever Blister and Other Cold Sore Remedies

Updated on May 05, 2016

Joined: 4 years agoFollowers: 73Articles: 27

Anyone who suffers from cold sores knows that in addition to being unsightly they can also be quite painful. At best, they're an irritating hassle that you want to go away as quickly as possible.

Having dealt with them for over thirty years, I've tried every remedy under the sun. I've found that the only treatment that speeds up the healing process is popping them.

Before getting to the best way to pop a cold sore, I'll go over some basic information since being informed about them is crucial to being able to treat them yourself. Knowledge, as they say, is power.

Painful fever blister
Painful fever blister

What Are They?

Cold sores, or fever blisters, are fairly common viral infections. They typically present as small, fluid-filled blisters on and around your mouth.

They spread from person to person through close contact such as kissing. The virus responsible for them is called Herpes Simplex 1 or HSV1. It is different from, though related to, the virus that causes genital herpes, HSV2. However, both viruses can affect your mouth or genitals and can be transmitted through oral sex.

The herpes virus that causes cold sores lies dormant for long periods of time and attacks when the immune system lets its guard down a little bit. If you've had a fever blister in the past, a weakened immune system from fatigue, alcohol, dehydration or even stress can trigger an outbreak. Sunburned and chapped lips also leave an open invitation for an attack of cold sores.

There is, unfortunately, no cure for them, but there are ways to control the number of outbreaks you experience. There are also ways to speed up the healing process and make them disappear more quickly.

Knowing the stages of a typical herpes outbreak can help you speed up the healing process. There are also some very effective home remedies that took only four days to remove the unsightly blisters: sores, scabs, and all. Unfortunately, you can still pass on the virus even if the sores aren't visible.

Cold Sore Stages

1. Prodrome

In this first stage of herpes, the virus comes into contact with the skin, which may develop a tingling sensation and start to redden. After a day or two, the area may become irritated, itchy, or painful.

It is likely that the lip will be painful when touched. If you're experiencing an outbreak for the first time, you may also develop a fever and feel some flu-like symptoms.

2. Inflammation and Blisters

Next small vesicles or tiny bump-like blisters will form and swell up rapidly as they fill with watery liquid swell up rapidly. These blisters can be red, white, or clear and can form in clusters of blisters or on their own.

This is the most miserable stage of the outbreak because your lip can literally triple in size, and it can become hard to conceal that something is wrong with your lip. The blisters usually stay in place for around two days.

3. Ulceration or "Weeping"

Eventually, the blisters become so full of liquid that they burst or ooze. When this happens, you've entered into the "weeping" stage.

You are most contagious at this point in the outbreak, and the liquid can even cause more blisters to develop on your face. This is also the most painful stage of the outbreak. It's also thankfully the shortest, lasting only a day or so.

4. Scabbing

Shortly after the blisters burst, they will dry out and scab over. Underneath the scab, new skin will form over two to three days.

5. Healing

Like any other scab, the one over your blister will eventually fall off leaving fresh, virus-free skin underneath. You should definitely not speed up this process by pulling off the scab, as doing so before it's finished healing can lead to scarring.


Should you pop it?

Some people are against popping the blisters, and warn against it. I too was apprehensive about popping the blisters at first.

I was concerned that it would make the problem worse and that I'd end up with 20 cold sores. But, I figured it couldn't be worse than some of the over-the-counter treatments I tried.

What You'll Need

Gauze, salt, a safety pin or needle, a lighter or candle and match.
Gauze, salt, a safety pin or needle, a lighter or candle and match.

How to Pop It

I was so frustrated with my frequent cold sore outbreaks that I did some research on the web to see what home remedies other people were using.

I was desperate enough to try anything that would clear up cold sores in less than a week's time. I experimented over the years with different methods and found one that completely stopped them in their tracks.

It's not a method for the faint of heart or for those with a low threshold for pain, but it eliminates the swelling and weeping stages completely, which can make them last 3-4 days or longer.

Materials Needed:

  • Sterile Gauze
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Safety pin or needle
  • Lighter or candle and match


  1. Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap. You want to avoid infecting yourself!
  2. Unwrap the gauze and set it aside, trying to handle only the edges.
  3. Hold the needle under a flame until it glows. Then set it on the gauze to use for later.
  4. Clean the blister and the surrounding area and pat dry with a towel.
  5. Apply the needle to your blister until it bursts. Use the gauze to sop up the liquid.

Covering the spot with a paste of salt and alcohol prevents any of the contagious liquid from spreading and immediately dries out the "would be" blister before it forms and swells up in size.

If you time it just right and keep the spot covered with this mixture of salt and alcohol, it will scab over the next day. Then, once it scabs over, you will have avoided the most painful and miserable portion of the outbreak.


The earlier you use this remedy, the better. If you attack the virus during the prodromal stage, at the very first indication that there is a cold sore about to emerge, you can eliminate the swelling and weeping and skip straight to the drying out phase.

When popping the blister, you want to make sure to contain the liquid from the blister. That is why bursting it in the prodromal stage is best. At that point, there isn't much, if any, liquid to worry about. If you miss this window of opportunity and end up with watery blisters, this method will still dry out the sores and reduce the healing time.

The only downside is that popping bigger blisters means that there is more contagious liquid that could potentially cause other blisters to form.

So you'll have to be especially vigilant in your efforts to contain them by immediately applying the gauze. This method stings pretty bad, but it isn't nearly as bad as dealing with the swelling and weeping stages of misery caused by the cold sores.

Home Remedies

  • Toothpaste. This is the most frequently recommended home remedy for cold sores. When applied during the prodomal stage, it will numb the infected area and allow for better blood flow, promoting healing. Some recommend adding salt to the toothpaste to speed up the drying-out process. But these methods didn't work for me. The size of the blisters were smaller and less painful, but they took just as long to heal.
  • Fingernail polish remover. Others have even suggested applying acetone fingernail polish remover to the sore. I tried this method, which hurt like hell and didn't seem to be any more effective than the salt and alcohol method, just more painful.

Over-The-Counter Treatments

It is hard to say what remedy will work each individual. I've had outbreaks at least once a year for 30 years, so I've tried just about every remedy known to man. I've found that most products available on the market don't actually speed up the healing process at all, at least not for me.

Most of the medications contain numbing agents, such as menthol or phenol to reduce the pain.

  • Abreva is one over-the-counter cream that helps a lot of people get rid of their cold sores. It works to contain outbreaks by blocking the virus from coming into contact with healthy skin. When I tried, my cold sores actually got worse and the cream didn't stop the progression of the sores at all.
  • Lysine is another popular remedy. It is an amino acid that, when taken orally or applied topically as a cream, reduces cold sores.
  • Campho Phenique is supposed to help dry out the sores, but when I used it on my cold sores, more appeared and it took the usual week and a half to get rid of them completely.

Prescription Treatments

After an especially bad outbreak caused by a sunburn, I went to the doctor, who prescribed Zovirax pills and ointment. Zovirax is an antiviral drug used to treat herpes and shingles.

This treatment did speed up the healing process and dry out the blisters more quickly. However, the medicine lost its potency after I used it for a few different outbreaks. It seemed like the virus became immune to it.

As I said before, everyone is different and what works for some people, may not work for others. What ways have you found for getting rid of cold sores faster?

What Works for You?

What's your method of treating cold sores?

See results

© 2012 crissytsu


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    • Me 7 days ago

      Valtrex works great if I can get a script during the initial burning and itching phase.

    • Alisha 11 days ago

      The best thing that has worked for me is Oragel Single Dose!

    • Sandy 2 weeks ago

      For the first time ever I have cold sores all over my mouth and up by my nose. A couple large ones, and many small little pimple size clusters. The dr. Gave me Valtrex and an ointment,but it has been over a week already and not helping. I have been off from work all week cause I am so embarrassed. What do u do now that it has been so long? Thanks in advance!

    • A++++ REAd THIS!!! 100%% Thank You!! 3 weeks ago

      So many articles say worst thing u can do is pop. They worry about infection or spreadind instead of education u on safest way to do the most effective cost-effectice method which is to break it early on as explained in this article. I was gna wait it out til christmas day til it came out more but this article said earlier the better so after only one day i went for it and im so happy and relieved it worked!! I thought i would be stressed stayin in for christmas n hoping it was unnoticeable by new years!!! Now here i am one day later with no pain and with the guess it will be fully healed by one or 2 more days!! I wish i knew how to post a pic!!! Thanks again!!

    • A++++ REAd THIS!!! 100%% Thank You!! 3 weeks ago

      Im 31 yrs old. Ive had cold sores since a young teen. I mostly get them above my lip between my nose and lip. I confuse them with pimples but they definitely arent. I can tell the difference by how they come out when i use this method. I DO squeeze to get them all the way out (i dont know if its advised)... i woke up on christmas eve with a pain and tingle.. i knew what it was. I could barely see 2 other small blisters trying to form around what the otherwise would be pimple. I used abreva all day christmas eve. It grew and became more painful, unlike any pimple. I napped n it was bigger. By 2 am i used a LANCET (they are great) . I was conflicted between using abreva, the salt n alcohol as suggested, or Mario Badesco drying cream. I opted for the very strong mario badesco (it was a risk) ... I WOKE UP TODAY ONE DAY LATER WITH A COMPLETELY DRYED OUT TINY LITTLE SCAB THAT IS TOTALLY COVERABLE AND WILL PROBABLY BE COMPLETELY GONE TOMORROW!!. i am so thankful. This is not a joke or shill or represtative.. they sell these cremes and stuff i dont know why they urge u not to use lancet and break. It skips the most painful awful stages. This is great article.... (i did also take 2 lysine, 2 tablets valtrex, 2500 C vitamins, i take high dose D vitamins & multivitamin) but ive been doing lysine n valtrex for many years and i know the main reason for this great jump in symptons and healing is following directions here. Thank you!!

    • Susan Wuckowitsch 4 weeks ago

      I wanted to tell you thank you for posting this. I tried your suggestion and my cold sore was completely gone in 7 days, from the first tingle to no trace. And, because your remedy does such a great job of drying the sore out, it was easily maskable with make-up almost the entire time. This is huge for me, as I'm very self-conscious about having a cold sore! Thank you.

    • natalia 7 weeks ago

      best remedy for me has been applying a drop of bleach in the first stage. It immediately kills the virus....

    • donald brittany 8 weeks ago

      I am really happy that i have been cured from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) with the herbal medicine of DR JOEL, i have been suffering from this disease for the past 2 years and 7 mouth without solution until i came across the email of this doctor who have cure so many people with his herbal medicine, i also choose to give him a chance to help me and my husband, he told me what to do and i kindly did it, and he gave us his herbal medicine and direct me on how to use it, i also follow his instructions for use and he ask us to go for a check up after 1 week and 4days which i did, to my greatest surprise our result came out as negative, we are really happy that there is someone like this doctor who is ready to help anytime any day. To all the readers and viewers that is doubting this testimony stop doubting it and contact this doctor if you really have one and see if he will not actually help you. i am not a stupid woman that i will come out to the public and start saying what someone have not done for me and i know that there are some people out there who are really suffering and hurting their family just because of these diseases so you can to mail him on or you can also whatsapp him on +2349038503545

      he also told me that he has cure for these diseases listed below



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    • SRL 2 months ago

      Update #1 - THIS WORKS. DO NOT GIVE UP!

      Okay so at first I was pretty skeptical and really kind of gave up. Rolled my eyes and was like whatever....

      First round, I put the paste on my brand new cold sore for 12 hours Sunday evening 8pm - 8am. The pain was minimal. I did pop it and had a little fluid. My cold sore first tingled on Sunday. Monday morning it was swollen and hurt. Felt as if I made it worse and was really discouraged.

      It's now Tuesday evening, I put the paste on for a second time last night on Monday. This time only made it 3.5 hours because the pain was pretty intense. My cold sores usually take 10-14 days to heal! Makes my life miserable. I'm going to estimate this pastecand method has sped my healing up by about 50% - 75%. I'm on day 3 and expect this to be healed by day 5. I don't think I need anymore paste tonight as it is well into scabbing and healing.

      Bottom line, this method ACTUALLY works. This saved my Thanksgiving holiday and my daughter's 21st birthday which falls on 11/24/16. I'll be able to take photos!!!

      Beyond grateful and so glad I didn't give up and lose hope. Good luck to everyone out there! I will give one final update as to the final healing time.✌

    • SRL 2 months ago

      I just got a cold sore today. Following this procedure as of 8:00 p.m. PST. I will post results tomorrow. My healing time takes often times 7-10 days depending on size. I have never popped them before. This is painful but on a scale of 1-10. 10 being you can't stand it, about to faint, I'd give this a 4-5. Salt with alcohol in a wound never feels good but then again I caught mine pretty early (very little fluid came out). I will post tomorrow.

    • Susie Rich 2 months ago

      TEA TREE OIL, an essential oil, a miracle! Just one big drop before bed, and the next morning it was half gone, no sting, no pain. I used a drop in the morning too, and in 2 days it was so nearly gone I had to look hard to find it.

    • Sugar Magnolia Ma 2 months ago

      My lip seems to be more swollen than it was before..hopefully by morning i will have a scab..very depressed over this right now..confusionbecause my lip was swolken..pimple liquid..even just went in to prick it onemore time..same..just bloid droplet

    • Sugar Magnolia Ma 2 months ago

      I am doing this right now...fever blister started night before last around 6 pm..this morning tried tea tree o I l and coconut oil mixture..after work today was starting to swell..just woke up and found this...decided to try..amsitting here with the paste on my long do i keep this on??? after putting pin liquid..little spot of blood..had my bf do it one more time..same this normsl as ive only had it about 36 hours now...i am 48.....havent had one of these in like 20 48...its miserable...i also got 100 l-lysine mg..they say this helps and with continued use i will see less outbreaks if any..sny truth to this???? PLease..any help i can get i would appreciate.. My name is was taken

    • Nancy 2 months ago

      After a stressful period in my life, my childhood herpes returned. It started with itchy chin, then on to other areas of the body it was buttocks, groin, etc. I tried everything and anything that i read about like creams, ointments, oils, homeopathic remedies. Though each provided some relief, I was still plagued by the virus. Then i saw testimony of how Dr.Peter cured HSV1 and HSV2 and i contacted him to happened upon my cure. Despite the medical doctor says there is no cure, this herbalist proof that they are wrong. Dr.peter a wonderful herbalist and he's caring and empathetic, doing everything he can to help and work for you, i was having some much believe that one day i am going to be happy like other people out there and also what my late mum use to say that God created me for a purpose that he did not create herpes to take over my life, so i believe so much Dr.Peter was the God sent to cure and put smile on my face again. Anywhere my mum is right now i know very well she will be so happy and more thanks to Peggy for introducing me to this great healer, you can write to him through his email:

      This testimonial serves as an expression of my gratitude.

    • Brady 2 months ago

      After a stressful period in my life, my childhood herpes returned. It started with itchy chin, then on to other areas of the body it was buttocks, groin, etc. I tried everything and anything that i read about like creams, ointments, oils, homeopathic remedies. Though each provided some relief, I was still plagued by the virus. Then i saw testimony of how Dr.Peter cured HSV1 and HSV2 and i contacted him to happened upon my cure. Despite the medical doctor says there is no cure, this herbalist proof that they are wrong. Dr.peter a wonderful herbalist and he's caring and empathetic, doing everything he can to help and work for you, i was having some much believe that one day i am going to be happy like other people out there and also what my late mum use to say that God created me for a purpose that he did not create herpes to take over my life, so i believe so much Dr.Peter was the God sent to cure and put smile on my face again. Anywhere my mum is right now i know very well she will be so happy and more thnks to Peggy for introducing me to this great healer, you can write to him through his email:

      This testimonial serves as an expression of my gratitude.

    • Nay 3 months ago

      How long do you keep the salt mixture on

    • Dee 3 months ago

      I went from Day 1 to scabbing because of this!! Thank you so much! Absolutely try it!!

      When I used the gauze I kind of pressed it down to get out as much liquid as possible, then used a different part of the gauze and did it again. I did this about four times, wiped my lip off with alcohol (avoiding the cold sore), then applied the salt-alcohol paste. The paste stayed on from 7pm until I fell asleep around 11pm. When I woke up I had some salt on me, but the cold sore was barely noticeable. Now it's about 11am and it's scabbed already. No pain, barely even swollen. I could go outside just like this and it'd barely be noticeable, but with lipstick there's no one someone could tell.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    • Lynn 3 months ago

      Take a lysine every day with your vitamins - it really does help prevent them from showing up. When you are out in the sun for the first time of the season, double down on them!

    • Kara 3 months ago

      Holy Shit that burned liked a mfer!!!!! But I can tell it's already working! I rarely get fever blisters and the lysin didn't do jack for me. I carried a bottle with me in my car and had 4 of them at home. I was always very committed to taking them as soon as I felt a tingle and taking the full dosage with a step down plan. Anyway, didn't help, I still went through the full nasty stages of the fever blister. I'm working hard on repairing my gut (immune system) and this alone has slowed then down from 2-3 times a year to 1 a year. Best of luck to all you suffers out there and a big middle finger to fever blisters.

    • Linda Scit 3 months ago

      I have been suffering from (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) disease for the past four years and had constant pain. During the first year, I had faith in God that i would be healed someday.This disease started circulating all over my body and i have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago i came on search on the internet if i could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search i saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from Herpes Simplex Virus by this Man Dr.Sebi and she also gave the email address of this man and advise anyone to contact him for any kind of problem that he would be of help, so i wrote to telling him about my (Herpes Virus) he told me not to worry that i was going to be cured!! Though i never believed it,, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me as the Priest Ola assured me, after some time i went to my doctor to confirmed if i have be finally healed behold it was TRUE, So friends if anyone have such problem and need help contact Dr. Sebi via email

    • Alysia 3 months ago

      Garlic kills it immediately but u have to apply it as soon as u get that tingly feeling or when u c one about to start coming out and it'll stop any outbreak from starting also best thing ever tea tree oil which u can buy at GNC tea tree oil is very effective in hsv1 ad well as hsv2 u can add olive oil to minimize the stinging this tea tree oil has a different type of burning feeling almost as if its cleansing your skin then the burning stops withing a few minutes it keeps your skin dry and actually helps form new skin herpes free the garlic stops and outbreak withing few hours and can c results withing the next day

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 3 months ago from Texas

      Whenever someone around me has one I take like 5 echinachea so I don't get one ...this sounds like something i would do

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 3 months ago from Texas

      Otc or prescription?

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 3 months ago from Texas

      You're welcome...I've found popping them eliminates the word part of the fever just have to be extra careful to control the juice that comes out and alcohol and salt together seem to work better for me than just one or the other. My girlfriend just uses alcohol after popping hers and Ive found mine are always more contained and heal quicker.

    • Keisti 4 months ago

      I stopped using toothpaste with fluoride and SLS-sodium laurel sulfate and I stopped getting them. Yay!!!!

    • diane 4 months ago

      I take 2000 mg of L-Lysine each day and haven't had a fever blister for about 10 years. Recently this wasn't stopping one from coming. I read the best medication is real, Farmer's Market Honey (not store bought as store bought is not real honey once they've removed the pollen). This has been helping the fever blister not be as bad. It really works. (along with continuing 2000 to 3000 mg of L-Lysine. Google it. :)

    • Sarah 4 months ago


      My name is Sarah Anik, six months ago I had s*x with the third guy in my life whom i was about to marry and now I have herpes. I couldn’t believe it because he wasn’t a random guy, he’s the closet guy I’ve had as a boyfriend, but it has been a never ending nightmare since. I’ve always believed in GOD and have asked him for forgiveness which is ironic.

      I felt like killing myself with the taught of having a husband and family will be quite difficult and i felt like I’m not really in the room when people are talking. I didn’t know what to do and pretty much cry and pray every day to God for help and looking at my family with so much love and feeling that i have disappointed them even though they don’t know. Until God lead me to DR. SOLUTION online who promised to help me cure my disease through herbals. At first i didn't believe him, but to my greatest surprise i was cured completely by herbals, which medical doctor also verified that i was cured. Special thanks to DR. SOLUTION.

      Don't be discourage because he that did it for me will also do it for you and you can contact him through his email address solutionhealinghome@ gmail. com or call him on his cellphone number +2348077683109 or visit his website healinghome. webs. com for more information.

    • Gigi 5 months ago

      Instead of rubbing alcohol can i use hydrogen peroxide??? Would it give the same results?!!!

    • Sloane 5 months ago

      I will tell you the trick to NEVER getting one again. Buy a big bottle of L-Lysine and keep in you medicine cabinet, I even keep a handful in my bag or car, just in case. The second you feel that tingle take 5 or 6 all at once (preferably on an empty stomach). Do it again the next morning just as a back up. You will NEVER EVER get one again. I do this this even if I am not positive that it is a cold sore forming. Lysine is just an amino acid protein that your body produces anyway, and it won't hurt you. I got them for years. The worst kind too...where your whole face swells up and you look like the elephant man. Since learning this trick I've never had another.

    • lara 5 months ago

      Thx for the post. Just trying out the method and will see in the morning what has happened. A small tip in preventing which helps for me. I get cold sores from the sun and mostly at high altitude. The only thing which prevents me from getting them is white (zinc) sunblock. Anything regular (even it is 50 pfs) won't work, however the white stuff does. It is difficult to find, sometimes surf shops sell it. To make it look okay, I apply a little bit of lipstick over it.

    • Michael 6 months ago

      Ive been a lifelong victim of these ugly things and I've found one medication that will completely get rid of a cold sore in a day. It's called releev and if out on the affected area right when you feel the tingling sensation it will dry up that portion of the lip and completely kill anything that's growing there. You can peel then dead skin off the affected area once it has dried completely and under will lie fresh new cold sore free skin. I apply this liberally once I feel the tingle and within a day I can peel it the dead skin off and have no sign of a cold sore. Unfortunately I didn't catch the one I'm suffering with now in time so I will have to pop it. I've done it before and it's worked great. Usually j just use the alcohol to dry it out but I will add in salt this time and some lysine to see what it does.

    • Karen 10 months ago

      I know this is an old post, but I wanted to say thank you! I only get a cold sore every few years, but when I do, they grow HUGE, spread, and take forever to heal. I did your treatment last night and slept with a crust of salt/alcohol on my lip and woke up with all of my cold sores dried up with little scabs over them. If you are curently suffering, it WORKS. Warning: it will sting like crazy but it's worth it

    • Joshdestardi 11 months ago

      1 - Pop the blisters

      2 - Disinfect with Hydrogen Peroxide

      3 - 'Dry' with a styptic stick (throw away after use or break a piece off)

      4 - Apply Abreva VERY FREQUENTLY

      Speeds up the healing process and causes the sore(s) to not be nearly as noticeable.

      Key is getting it to dry out/scab over as quick as possible to accelerate the healing.

    • Michelle Brooks 16 months ago

      I had gotten a fever blister yesterday and I popped it but now my whole upper lips swelled up so now it looks like i have a fat lip What do i do?

    • NicoleL24 18 months ago

      I have never had cold sores before but was told a few months ago when I thought that I had the flu, that it was actually Herpes Simplex. I have recently been under a lot of stress and almost a week ago noticed a small red bump in the corner of my top lip. I thought it was a pimple and didnt pay it much attention. yesterday I woke up and it was the size of a quarter and very difficult to talk and eat. Not to mention I work in a place where I am constantly on the phone or in contact with people face to face so its embarrassing. I put tons of alcohol on it and it seemed worse. I went to the doctor last night and was told that it was a cold sore. She gave me a script for Valtrex to take 3 times a day and the pharmacy actually didnt have the cream she called in so I bought Abreva. Ive been icing it all morning but it just wont go down or away. I was looking for a fast way to at least drastically reduce the swelling and dont see one. I have a family event this evening and dont even want to go. Im afraid to pop it since at this point it looks like a bug red blister and is causing my top lip to droop a little. I dont want it to spread or get infected.. anyone ever have this problem? Seems like a lot of people had several small bumps mine doesnt look that way.. thanks!

    • Anon 19 months ago

      My experience , I felt the tingle had abreva on hand but it didn't stop it it just slowed it down and kept it small.

      I had about 4 bump form. I decided against my fears to pop them. I used the needle and alcohol and salt had no gauze or cotton balls so used paper towel. I popped all four but I guess cuz of the abreva or catching it early barely an liquid came out. It stung and burned like a bitch. Then my lip began to swell and I had no ice. So I put peroxide on a new paper towel and kept pressed on every 5 mins or so then I let cold water run on it in the shower until I got some ice. The peroxide and cold water brought the swelling down ALOT then I got the ice and applied it then kept using the abreava ( I don't the abreava had any effect at this point but it did keep it small from the start ) needless to say I was at the scanning stage by the next day and by day 4 the scabs ( small ones ) fell off and I was free !my whole ordeal without popping last about 7 days until it scabs then a almost a week and a half to 2 weeks before fully heaked

    • abe 19 months ago

      Honestly i have tried your method of popping a fever blister recently but instead of alcohol and salt i used witch hazel and salt...and im happy to say that it WORKED! Thanks for everything the swelling is almost completely down and the scab looks good ! I have tried many things but i have never had a result like this. Popping it early and going over it with the products just saved me so many days of hard ache and embarrassment! Im honestly really thankful!

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 20 months ago from Texas

      Victor... When it scabs it's like any other scab, it gets hard and kinda crusty/flakes until it eventually gets knocked off accidentally or you pull them off (which I wouldn't recommend)... Use Neosporin to keep them soft til they go away

    • Victor09 20 months ago

      So...I've really messed things up I think. This is the first time I've had a cold sore and didn't know what it was until i found this site. I tried the alcohol and salt but...well first I thought I had bit my lip then peeled the skin then just irritated it so i put a layer of aloe vera on it straight from the plant. It was still bothering me so i woke up every few hours and kept putting on another layer. then around 4am i saw this big blister thing on my top lip. i washed it with antibacterial soap and put abreava on it idk at some point it was all leaking and leaking and i didn't know what was going on. around 5 am i found this article online and tried the salt and alcohol but the "weeping" of it (now i know) wouldn't stop and i didn't know what to do. i kept putting alcohol on it then the salt then tried to sleep (it was still all leaking - gross!) then i woke up at 8am and my lip was as big as my nose! and apparently all the leaking had spread the blisters all over my top lip! I called a phone dr and he prescribed Valtrex - 2 1gram pills at noon and 2 1g pills at midnight. woke up today and it's still swollen but now it's all covered and hard - is that the scab part?! It looks like it's all tiny bubbles and infected underneath - is that how the scab looks? It doesn't hurt its just huge! What do i do now? I called dr again and he said that you have to catch it early for Valtrex to work and he prescribed an anti-inflammatory. idk if that is going to work. I think i did the alcohol thing wrong, can someone please advise if you think i'm at the scab stage - should i try alcohol again?! I really need to go to work in the morning but theres no way i can go like this, please help!

    • katie 21 months ago

      How long do you apply the salt past for??

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      crissytsu 22 months ago from Texas

      Haha Sarah good idea. Thanks

    • Sarah 23 months ago

      I covered the outlying areas of my blisters with liquid bandage (I use Skin Shield) as an extra measure of protection against spread... it hurts, too, but I figure of you're already rubbing salt and alcohol into an open wound, might as well prevent at much infection as possible!

    • Lauren 24 months ago

      Thank you. Thank you. You have changed my life! This definitely works. Please try if you haven't yet.

    • Sierra Hollandsworth 2 years ago

      Hi everybody. echinacea in pill form works really good. I haven't had a break out in 6 months where before I had breakouts about every 2 weeks so yeah. Really helps. :)

    • April 2 years ago

      My Daughter has an cold sore this is her 2nd one she is 19, we have tried the Garlic thing, the creams nothing worked, this is her 2nd day, and i saw this post and started reading it, so we decided too try it, she is willing too try anything at this time, so we popped it and had a paper towel around it to catch the fluid, harely any came out, only a little dark spot to where i poked the blister with a needle was left, the lip does not look as swollen as it was, so far so good, praying that this works, from all the comments i have read, i'm looking forward to the outcome,

    • Jennifer P. 2 years ago

      I've been suffering from cold sores since I was a teenager. (My mom cursed me as she also gets them!) and every time I would run and get some abreva. For as much as it costs, it should get rid of the cold sore by the next day, but of course it doesn't! Once I got a cold sore and I couldn't afford the abreva so I turned to the Lysine ointment. It worked wonders! It never fully developed. No blister stage or anything. That was years ago and recently I got another one and I thought for sure the lysine would knock it out again especially since I caught it from the very beginning. Well this time it did absolutely nothing to stop it. The sore still developed and it stayed for a week. Idk. Maybe the success rate of the ointment depends on the severity of the sore. But anywho, unfortunatey my worst enemy returned on yesterday and needless to say I am distraught! Once again I caught it at the first stage with lysine and it did nothing because a few hours later, the sore had doubled in size. After reading about the l-lyine pills I got up and went to the store to grab some. I'm not quite sure if they're working or not but after reading this post I have been applying the salt/alcohol paste. I wasn't hesitant to pop the blister because I've done it in the past and it didn't spread but the blister did however come back, in the same spot. So I didn't lose or gain anything with that but I figured maybe the blister won't return if I put the paste on it after popping it. And sure enough the blister never returned. There was some swelling but after wearing the paste to bed, about 90% of the swelling had gone down by the next day. Now there is a scab there and it's still noticsble but it looks better than it would normally look on day #2. I'm currently wearing a paste that I made from the lysine pills, water, and vitamin E. I'm not sure how it will turn out but I will see in a couple of hours and if it doesn't seem to be working I will revert back to the salt/alcohol paste. Or possibly mix them all together. All in all this was a helpful post. Didn't work miracles or anything (though I probably didn't catch it in time) but it DID help. So thanks!!!

    • Justin 2 years ago

      I'm giving this method a try for the first time today. I'm usually fairly skeptical about any method requiring popping, but given the numerous positive comments, I'm starting to believe it might just work. Like many here, I'm a victim of this virus and have been since childhood. If able, could someone please indicate how often I should apply the salt-alcohol concoction? I was thinking every 2-3 hours, but not certain.

    • n d 2 years ago

      Thank you i woke up yesterday and missed the tingle stage but immediatley did the abreve which kept them small and then this mornibg i did the salt and alcohol and popped them and the results are amazibg thank you thank you

    • Shay 2 years ago

      Did this in the morning before bed and was ready for work in the evening. This us amazing. Thank you so much!

    • Anna 2 years ago

      I just wanted to say thank you for this posting this solution, it worked wonders. :) I've been getting a ton of cold sores during this year (grad school and all), so finding this has been a huge lifesaver. I was able to stop this one right as it began to enter the swelling stage and I have noticed a marked improvement. It still stings somewhat, but that's much better than being miserable for a week or more. Thank you so much again!

    • Erin 2 years ago

      Oh my goodness! I woke up this morning with the feeling of a bump on my bottom lip and instantly knew what was coming. I began putting witch hazel on it with a q-tip all morning and quickly had to run out to buy Lysine. I wasn't sure if I should pop this cold sore because it was bigger than the one's I've had in the past. I sterilized a needle and poked tiny holes in my sore and dabbed q-tips to remove excess liquid. I then put hydrogen peroxide on the sore and its fizzing up so I know it's working. The shiny white appearance of a bump on my lip went down. Now my bottom lip is just sore and tingling with the hydrogen peroxide, and it's a little swollen and red but not as noticeable as before!

    • Love 2 years ago

      THIS IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF! Please do not be skeptical or scared to try it. Start doing it NOW before your gets worse! It really, really, really works! I popped with a sterile needle 5-6 small blisters on my lip, lighted pushed on them with a qtip covered in 70 percent rubbing alcohol. Applied the alcohol/salt paste the whole day (every couple of hours for 8 hours). The next day it was still really puffy but a scab formed. I I then put A&D ointment (similar to neosprin) and another alcohol /salt patch over that again just to make sure it continued drying it out. That night I soaked my lips in tea tree oil (bought it at CVS where vitamins/supplements are) & then covered in A&D Ointment and slept with it on. This was an EXTREMELY helpful post (advice) & im just so thankful I stumbled across it! EXCELLENT HOME REMEDY!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this!!!!

    • Evelyn 2 years ago

      I popped my cold sores 3 nights ago. My top lip got very swollen and the sores have scabbed and today the scabs have started to come off and the swelling is significantly lower.

    • evelyn 2 years ago

      Hi everyone. So I popped my cold blisters last night and I put the alcohol and salt on. And when I woke up thos morning theres only swelling. Is that good? There no more watery substance at all. So is this a good sign? What else should I do for the swelling?

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      crissytsu 2 years ago from Texas

      Awesome! Glad it worked and maybe the apple cider vinegar did something to help it heal even faster.

    • Jen W 2 years ago

      Incredible. I am a skeptical person and nothing ever works for my cold sores. I always get them right when something important is going to happen like a wedding, vacation, of course any event where lots of pictures are taken, etc. Today is thanksgiving and I'm having it with my boyfriends family for the first time ever. I followed your instructions (skeptical as I went) and also alternated using the paste with soaking my lip with apple cider vinegar. This was last night around midnight. Right before I laid down to sleep I out a tiny bit of neosporin on the opening and covered my lip again in the paste. Yep, I woke up a couple times tasting salt, but I don't care. I wouldn't even say I skipped to the scan phase, this thing is like GONE. There is a scab the size of a small dot, and very little swelling. With a little lip gloss no one will ever be able to see it. THANK YOU!!!

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      crissytsu 2 years ago from Texas

      Yeah just don't let the juicy stuff spread when you pop it. If it doesn't have the watery stuff inside then just use the salt and alcohol

    • Robby 2 years ago

      Last night I was very stressed and perhaps caused my cold sore to arouse. When I felt the tingling I iced it as long as I could and grabbed the lysine (I forgot that I had Blistex and generic Valtrex). Later I applied Hydrogen Peroxide, Milk (basic substance), and alcohol. Then I coated the area in tea tree oil and lysine.

      I woke up the next morning and it was still kind of puffy. I found my Valtrex but then saw this post.

      Should I still attempt this method, even though the blister is puffy already?

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      crissytsu 2 years ago from Texas

      I doubt sea salt matters as long as it's salt it should perform the same function which is to dry the blister out...I usually leave the paste on it as long as possible incase any of the water from the blister oozes out. I would leave the paste on it until you are sure it's dried up.

    • aria65 2 years ago

      Just found this post. How long do you leave the paste on? A few minutes? Hours? And does it matter what kind of salt? All I have in the house is pink sea salt.

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      crissytsu 2 years ago from Texas

      Brittney...since you say it is scabbed over then you managed to skip the worst part of the cold sore. Now you can just put like Neosporin on the scabbed part to make it heal faster...usually that weepy oozy stage lasts a few days so you managed to shorten the length of the fever blister already. The swelling should start to go down soon if it hasn't already. Also with this being your first cold sore, you know how to catch it earlier next time and reduce the life of the cold sore even faster. Glad to hear the salt and alcohol helped you skip the miserable oozy stage though.

    • Brittney 2 years ago

      First thank you for this information. I had my first cold sore yesterday and I wanted to die. I was under rested, in the sun and extremely stressed. I felt the tingling and burning but had no idea what it mean. Then extreme pain within a few hours. Once I realized what it was I rushed to Walmart for medicine. Spent $20 and made it worse. I was desperate so I called and left a message for my doctor asking for a prescription for help. Then I started searching for something faster. I tried the salt and alcohol mixture and it worked. It dried out the cold sore puss pockets. When I woke up the next morning my lip was swollen like a sausage. I've also noticed that it hurts and is hot to the touch. Is this normal? The cold sore itself is dried and scabbing.

    • comeasumyunguy 2 years ago

      AWESOME POST and method. I'm sick of this sh!t, I just feel like cutting it off my lip with a knife sometimes.

    • katie 2 years ago

      What if you have several tiny ones? Should you pop those too?

    • Heidi 2 years ago

      I tried your technique and so far so good! I woke up yesterday with the pain/tingling of the cold sure starting with small blisters starting to form. I started using abreva right away, but as the day progressed the blisters got larger. In the evening I tried your treatment. I didn't have rubbing alcohol so I used listerine and salt (since listerine is mostly alcohol). It stung a bit, but nothing terrible. Today the swelling is much less but still a little puffy, but the best part is there is only a small slightly dark scab. None of the weepy, crusty business I usually get with a cold sore. Even though it's not totally gone I feel like I skipped days 3-6 and it's really only day two. This is great!

    • la 2 years ago

      Earwax at the sign of tingling or the small bump will keep it from appearing. Just use a dry qtip if you have large wax build up. If not a slightly wet one if you don't like me. I have even dug in my kids ear for wax if mine are bare. It works if caught in time.

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      crissytsu 2 years ago from Texas

      I'm glad it worked for you! This method has always reduced the number of days it takes to heal for me and reduces the humiliation by making it less noticeable.

    • amanda 2 years ago

      I have had cold sores for as long as I can remember. When I first took l-lysine for the first time it decreased healing time by a good deal (but has since stopped working). When I first tried rubbing raw garlic on my cold sore, it pretty much ended up a tiny scab the next day (it too has since stopped working miracles). But the other day I was so desperate. I usually get cold sores closer to my the inside of my mouth and can hide it pretty well, but this is the first time in a long time I had a HUGE cold sore right by the bottom of my lip. It was in its blister stage, white and a beacon for eyes. When they are in the scabbed phase I can just wear dark lipstick and it hides it pretty well but when it's a huge shiny sore or when it is weeping, it's so much harder to conceal. So I did this method and was pleasantly surprised with the immediate results. I used a sterilized needle to poke a small hole and then used 30 qtips (i bought the travel sized back with 30) to dab it away with the mixture. It was deflated and I couldn't tell if I had done it right due it the white color from the mixture/if i needed to drain it more but nothing else came out. I had a small red hole from where the liquid had come out, though no blood had come out. It was scabbing up 3 hours later. I woke up today and it's dry (my lips always get chapped when I have a cold sore) but it feels like a scab though it only looks purple/red where the hole was. I'll have to wait over the next few days to see how it progresses but skipping the weeping phase is a life saver! It didn't even really hurt to be honest. You can hardly tell anything is there (it seriously looks like I just have chapped lips). This was amazing and saved me a lot of humiliation, thanks so much!!

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 2 years ago from Texas

      Glad you had great results! I wish more people knew they didn't have to suffer for a week or longer if they'd do this method.

    • alphadrive 2 years ago

      After a year of no symptoms, I woke up with a cold sore yesterday (Day 1). For context, I had a fever and other flu-like symptoms the day before yesterday (Day 0), I was stressed, and I exposed myself to UV radiation during the middle of the day (no sunscreen). The sore got worse throughout Day 1. In the evening of Day 1, I used Crissy's method and applied tea tree oil overnight. I am on Day 2 and the sore has scabbed. I have continued to apply tea tree oil. Thank you Crissy for your advice and everyone who shared their experiences.

      On prevention, this has been my first time going over a year without an occurrence. The only major lifestyle change I made was to eat a diet of plant foods, including whole grains and whole-grain products, and vegetables and fruit. I excluded all animal foods, including red meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and fish, and all oils. If anyone is interested in this avenue, I suggest looking up Dr. John McDougall.

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      crissytsu 2 years ago from Texas

      Never tried tea tree oil when I've been out of alcohol but I have tried nail polish remover since it dries it out just as good. Let me know how the tea tree oil works

    • Tessa 2 years ago

      I've just come across this post. Like many I've done EVERYTHING! I've just popped mine for the first time(was 2 really big blisters) I didn't have any alcohol so I've used tea tree oil and salt, I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow when I wake up : /

      I take lysine tablets every day so I don't get them as often as I use to so I highly recommend them to anyone that doesn't take them already!

      Hopefully I don't wake up with a fatter lip tomorrow!

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      crissytsu 2 years ago from Texas

      Thanks! Glad it helped to speed it along. It's really the weepy blister stage that I aim to avoid because to me that's the worst part for me. The scabs are usually much smaller the earlier you catch them too so they don't bother me as bad as the bubbly sores and swollen lips. Thanks for posting.

    • justin 2 years ago

      yup I agree, I wish I would've started this process on day 1 rather than day2, my scabbing stage would probably be a little farther along, but its still 100 times better then what it would normally be at right now thanks to your technique.

      I always seem to notice my blisters when they have formed a small bump, I rarely notice the tingling or red spots :(..

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      crissytsu 2 years ago from Texas

      Oh and for the record...the earlier you catch the fever blister and pop it, the faster it heals. There have been times that I've been able to catch them early enough to get them completely to the scabbing stage in a day or two but I've never managed to completely get rid of any evidence it was ever there in two days time.

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      crissytsu 2 years ago from Texas

      Speaking from personal experience, I think that once it has scabbed over that keeping the scab moist helps get rid of it faster and helps prevent scarring.

    • justin 2 years ago

      One thing I forgot to cover. I am a male, obviously. and sometimes you want to so badly conceal this coldsore. If you absolutely must conceal it because of a presentation or meeting or something. I recommend finding some makeup close to the color of your lips / skin. Yes I know, im a male and have a tube of makeup bla bla whatever get over it. I LIGHTLY put some around the edge of the sore to eliminate the "redness" of the edges... as soon as im done with whatever ill use a papertowel and remove the makeup and cover the spot back up with abreva.

      My question is this: is it better to moisturize the scab? or leave it dry? I feel like when the scab is left dry it seems to heal faster.. when I keep it moisturized with carmex or others it seems like the scab is too soft and easily falls off...idk

    • Justin 2 years ago

      Hello, since around the age of 20, (im 25 now), ive been getting cold sores every 5-6 months or so, like clockwork. Right around march-may and oct-December ill get a cold sore. Like most people here, ive tried every damn thing in the book. First starting with abreva which never did much for me, then I moved to a qtip with acetone NPR, it burned, and yes it would dry up the sore but it left slight scarring. Next I read about Lysine and Arginine, I cut out foods high in arginine while taking 3000mg lysine a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) as a preventative measure. Taking the lysine may have helped but I still was getting the usual coldsore every 6 months still. Next I started using lip balm with SPF, so on so forth. At the end of the day, im still getting the coldsores every 6 months, doesn't seem to matter what I do. I obsess over it, I downright get depressed over it, I feel like a freak, I try to hide my face by avoiding eye contact and secluding myself any chance I get.

      I stumbled across this page in search for yet another miracle to attack these things. My cold sore popped up Friday morning as I was taking a shower, I ran my tongue over my lip and hit that familiar soft bump and my heart sank, no tingly feeling, no warning, just bam. I turned the water off and rushed to the mirror, exactly what I had thought. coldsore. I popped 5000 mg of lysine right off the bat, followed with abreva (which never seems to do much anyway). I found this page and finally said screw it,im going to try this method. On day 2 I got a pack of safety pins, q tips, rubbing alc and peroxide. I dipped the needle in the peroxide and VERY carefully I SLIGHTLY poked into the blister JUST ENOUGH to see a droplet of liquid come out. I picked up a qtip and lightly soaked up the liquid. Then, using a fresh qtip, I dipped it in rubbing alc and lightly patted the spot just once, I mustve went through 50 qtips, I did not want to spread that crap anywhere else. Since my coldsore was quite large I had to repeat the process to get as much of the liquid out as I could until it was finally "flat" or "empty". next I got a bowl and mixed rubbing alcohol and table salt until it was a pasty mix. I used a fresh qtip to carefully apply the paste, it stung like hell but I didn't care.

      Throughout the entire day (day 2) I re applied the paste as needed, usually about every 2 hours or so. towards the end of the day I was pleasantly surprised. The huge "bubble" of the blister was completely gone, it was just a flat dry spot that had slightly started to scab up.. In fact I didn't even feel paranoid going to the store that's how much better the sore looked. Day 3, the blister has started to scab. Day 4, the blister now has a hard scab crust where the bubble used to be and I am hoping that by day 5-6 the scab will slowly start to peel away on its own.

      No, this method didn't clear my coldsore up in 2 days.

      YES, this method skipped right to the scabbing stage of my coldsore, I didn't even have to deal with the liquid filled blister stage that usually lasts 2 days. My scabbing stage lasts, normally, around 3 days. so hopefully by day 6 the scab is gone.

      One piece of advice my fellow cold sore getters, This virus is so damn common, most of the adult population is infected but only a small percent show symptoms (cold sores). And really, we stare at our coldsore in the mirror for hours just looking at it and saying gosh how gross is this. You are not alone, and it is NEVER as bad as we make it out too be, trust me, I used to be one of those people that would feel like crying. I think the main thing to remember is that, although you feel like a leapor & it seems to you that the only thing people can see is that damn scab on your face it really isn't as bad as that in real life.

      As you grow up you will find that people around you ignore it, don't notice it or suffer themselves so they know exactly how you feel.

      Im not sure if people still read thiswebsite but if you do. Were all here for you

    • tryce 2 years ago

      what do you use once it is at the scabbing stage? would petroleum jelly work? sorry I just came across this post. I know it's old but i thought I'd give it a shot to see if anybody would respond.

    • victoria 2 years ago

      Usually when my lip starts to tingle I apply Blistex (the white squeeze tube) and it stops it in its tracks. My grandma always said to take an aspirin

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      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      LK! That is awesome! I'm so glad you got to skip the misery of the weeping stage. The sooner they dry out the better! Glad to know that it worked for you.

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      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      Chris....Um...maybe you dug the needle too deep. I've never had blood come out of one ever...just that clear liquid inside the blister itself. Do you know what stage the blister was in? I never squeeze mine either, that could have been another reason yours bled so much....You shouldn't do it like you are popping a zit, you have to be really careful not to even touch that clear liquid that comes out. I barely prick mine until I see a drop of clear liquid ooze out and immediately dab it with alcohol, then if all the liquid isn't out i might poke another spot and wait for the liquid drop to to ooze out and then dab with alcohol on a piece of toilet paper, cotton ball, q tip, whatever. Just to contain the infectious liquid from getting on any other part of my lips. THEN after the liquid is pretty much out, i use the salt and alcohol paste.

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      Jwright...I felt the tingly sensation on my lip the other day---you couldn't even see the blister forming yet. So I immediately got an alcohol pad out of my purse and held it on my lip for like 10 to 15 minutes and it actually never even formed at all. If you can catch them early enough on you can avoid them completely. The trick is to catch them in time before even a tiny bump appears.

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      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      Hey if it worked for you then its worth a try...I don't have that many outbreaks anymore, only like once a year or so if that many because I try to keep my stress levels down, sleep more hours, anything to keep my immune system up so I can avoid even getting them. But for other people who have more outbreaks this sounds like something that they should try.

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      Sterilized needle! If you get any fever blister juice on your hands you will spread it to other parts of your face!

    • Lk 3 years ago

      I just wanted to say that I tried this and I'm so happy I did. I get cold sores at least once a year if not more often. I am so self conscious of them, especially when the blisters are big and make my lip all swollen and ugly looking. To me the actual blister forming and weeping part is the worst part for me. I don't mind them so much when they scab so I'm glad I found this.

      I've tried devanair, Abreva, otc stuff and nothing really shortened the length of my cold sore healing time. Usually the blister and weeping stages take the longest for me and an over all break out lasts almost 2 weeks before my lips are back to normal.

      I broke out yesterday and found this post this morning. Popped my blisters, put salt and alcohol on and reapplied throughout the day religiously, and now around bedtime my cold sore is completely dried out. I am so happy I have skipped days of misery had I just left it go.

      I am a serious real person and I want people to know that this works. Not blowing smoke up anyone's ass or trying to get people to do something that doesn't work. (Well at least it worked for me).

      I just want to say that the concerns about the fluid being very contagious is true so make sure you have a clean paper towel underneath the sore where you are popping it so it doesn't spread anywhere.

      Also, since my scabs haven't healed I can't confirm or deny the "scarring" that people fear with popping blisters, but to me poking a tiny hole with a needle point vs letting them burst on their own in the "weeping" stage really doesn't seem much different.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you you have saved me days of discomfort.

    • chris 3 years ago

      I popped mine with a needle and blood would just come out and i just kept squeezing until it was all done. Should i have not done that? I only had blood, i assume that's what you mean when u say liquid that comes out. I swear it blead for over an hour,. I just kept until it was doen

    • jwright 3 years ago

      Forgot to add, this salt alcohol paste worked fantastic on the one I have right now. Tried it last night, and wow. much improved. Thank you for the tip!!!

    • jwright 3 years ago

      Just thought I would share a personal discovery that I hope will help. I am 37 and have had cold sores since I was a child, so like many, have tried pretty much everything. Over the years, I averaged a blister about every 3-6 weeks, no joke, consistently. This may seem odd, but bear with me. Since I was kid, I would shampoo my hair, and wash my face with whatever shampoo I was using at the same time. (yes, I know, I am guy) As I got into my 20's , I used dandruff shampoo that had Zinc Pyrithione in it every now and then to avoid dry scalp/dandruff. It took years to realize, but I started noticing that when ever I bought and went through a bottle of dandruff shampoo, I had far less blisters. About three years ago, I started applying the Shampoo straight to my lips, would rub it in a little and would let it sit for a minute while I finished bathing. With this routine, I now go six to 8 months between outbreaks, and usually, the outbreak occurs when I haven't been applying it, or ran out of dandruff shampoo. Going six months between outbreaks, for me, is amazing. I now keep a bottle of Dandruff shampoo just for my lips as a preventative daily routine. And yes, in case you are wondering, for a while, I tried zinc oxide lip balm, but that did not work for me. I had blisters within a week of only using the lip balm (religiously I might add). If you get them often like me, might be worth a try. Good Luck!

    • TESS 3 years ago


      To pop the blisters, do you just use your hands or a sterilised needle?

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      Anna--I've never heard of the Lysterine method but if it has worked for you I might give it a shot next time to see.

      i8peaches--I wish I knew a quicker way to get rid of them but unfortunately the salt/alcohol mixture just eliminates the weeping stage which to me is the most miserable part of having a fever blister, so I'm glad you decided to give it a try to had success with it.

      roxy--You sound like me as far as being willing to try whatever method you can to get rid of these things...So give it a try, you'll be surprised at how much quicker they disappear and they dry out so much quicker and start scabbing over faster.

    • roxy 3 years ago

      Thanks. Great info. I usually use 91% alcohol and hold a cotton ball drenched in the alcohol on my cold sore. I never heard of salt and alcohol. Sounds like a great idea. I will try anything.....even getting a whole new lip,if I could.

    • Anna 3 years ago

      I don't know if someone's already said this or not but I've always popped and then used a q-tip soaked with Listerine mouth wash. Hurts like hell, but I've found that it heals it very quickly. I just put the Listerine on for as long as I can stand it. Usually heals up like the next day for me.

    • i8peaches 3 years ago

      I'm amazed. Did popping & alcohol/salt make my cold sores disappear overnight? No. But it sure did shorten the healing time. I felt the tingling sensation on Tuesday morning, by the evening, a nice round fluid-filled blister had formed right in the center of the lower lip with two more on the side. I popped them, let the fluid drain into a paper towel, then put on the alcohol/salt mixture.

      On Thursday, I was able to go out without feeling too self-conscious about the blisters. They still looked a bit red, but they just looked like I bit my lips or something.

      It's Friday now, on the 4th day. I'd say that you can't see any of the blisters unless you get really up and close. I still feel the soreness and they're tender to touch. But they're well into the scabbing stage, so I was able to skip the weeping stage all together.

      I'll be popping cold sore blisters every time from now on. Thank you!!!

    • Chrys 3 years ago

      I haven't had a coldsore in almost 20 years, but woke up with three blisters this morning. I've got this paste of yours on it, and it doesn't sting as much as it did before I applied it. It does, however, feel more swollen and tingly. It is actually making my lower lip tingle where the salt keeps touching it.

    • chrisanne 3 years ago

      If you use L-lysine,that speeds up healing of cold sores. My mom gets them a lot. Also L- lysine is in tomatoes and tomato products, like sauce. Nutrition 101.....

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      Awesome! Glad it helped

    • Sarah 3 years ago

      I read your post late last night as was desperate to get rid of this thingi was sceptical about popping it but my god it works woke up this morning and its just a scab still not very nice looking but closer to it being gone until the next one! I will deffinatly be a popper from now on!

    • Half a life-time affected 3 years ago

      Getting the liquid out speeds things up tremendously. I pop the blisters as early as possible and repeatedly, which seems to enhance also the effect of any OTC drugs that you may use (they seem to be less effective if left on the surface / crust). If you get serious swellings (as I used to as a teenager), popping is a messy affair but still worth it in my experience.

    • Akajr 3 years ago

      Does anyone get sores on their chin?

    • Mariah 3 years ago

      I found this page this morning, tried the salt idea, and saw a huge difference in a matter of hours! This is only my second cold sore so I had no clue what to do. Thanks!!

      PS. hurts like hell!!!

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      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      I don't get why people are so "anti-popping" eliminates the longest, most dreadful stage of the entire process. Thanks for sharing!

    • Terri 3 years ago

      So glad to know I'm not the only popper lol!! I have tried absolutely EVERYTHING under the sun for these freaking things. But the last one I had I ended up popping it, and wow it was gone in a week!!! I usually get them from beginning to healed for about 3 weeks. So I was happy!! I woke up with one this morning and just popped it, put peroxide on it, wet a cut in half ibprophen and made a past on my lip to bring swelling down and now for the tea tree oil!! I swear all of these are a good sting compared to the annoyance itself!! Here's to hoping its almost scabed up by tomorrow!!

    • Christy 3 years ago

      I have had the same experiences. I hate the OTC crap and it only prolonged the nasty bump. I now use a prescription medicine to help with the swelling and a Cure Chrome from Walgreens! You take a Qtip, soak it and then rub it into the sore. It works every time! Just don't take the used Qtip and put it back in the liquid. Gross. Walgreens is the only place I've found that sells it and it's a miracle cure.

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      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      bydojo...I tried it out of desperation because I can't stand the weeping, swollen stage that seems to last forever with the fear that they'll spread on their own. Even though there are people that (including medical professionals) advise against popping them, if you are careful it really does eliminate the worst part of the whole outbreak and reduces the healing time. I hated having swollen bubbled up sores on my lips for a week waiting on them to pop on their own while it seemed like people gawked at my lips, so I decided to just do it one day and realized that for me, it was worth it. Keep me posted, I'm interested in whether you have a similar experience. And good luck, I hope you do. Thanks for commenting.

    • bydojo profile image

      Ramona Jar 3 years ago from Romania

      I had this problem for years. Never thought about this, but it might work better than other things I have tried. Thank you for the advice, will keep you posted on my progress

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      You could try rubbing alcohol by itself instead but it will hurt just as bad as the salt. Basically what you want to happen is the salt/alcohol mixture is drying that highly contagious liquid out on the spot so it can't spread. You have to be really careful because if you let any of the liquid seep out and touch another spot it will spread and new ones will pop up. I'm assuming the tea tree oil isn't drying that liquid out fast enough after you pop them which is why it came up again.

    • Sw 3 years ago

      I just submitted a comment about Tea Tree OIl and sent too quickly. The thing I was mainly writing about was that I saw your post about popping them. I have had crazy seasonal allergies and have been blowing nose, sneezing, and the space between my nose & upper lip was getting red just from all the tissue & rubbing I guess. But, actually, it turned into a cold sore on that spot of my face area?? Usually get them on a lip only. Anyway- popped them, next day it looked amazing. I was so happy- then I woke up today and there was a new cluster within the area that had previously looked so amazing and on its way to healing. So I didn't use the salt alcohol method because it sounded so painful-- I just put tea tree oil on after popping, which burned, but sounded better than SALT. do I pop these new ones? Is salt the only way to kill the liquid virus that comes out of the popping?

    • SW 3 years ago

      I use tea tree oil religiously. I have never had luck with any other meds- in fact it seemed worse with them. I have learned that when i feel the slightest tingle-- I ICE IT -- direct ice on skin, feels like I'm killing my nerves because it is SOOO cold. But I do that constantly with little breaks. They 90% never develop after that. If I don't catch it during that icing stage-- then I just keep putting tea tree oil on it-- several times and I'm so OCD about it that I wake myself up in the middle of the night to apply more.

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      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      Kristen21 --- honestly, the prescription worked 100x faster than any OTC remedies I tried...And I carried the prescription ointment around with me everywhere for a couple of years because if I caught them fast enough with the Zovirax ointment it would stop them from getting as bad and start drying them out faster...Then its like they became immune to the that's why I just started popping mine to get rid of that weeping stage..I wouldn't pop the ones in my nose though if i were you because if that watery fluid accidentally runs down and gets onto your lip you could start getting them there too which sucks too.

    • kirsten21 3 years ago

      Crissytsu thank you very much. I have the tube kind and it seems to help but yea it does burn. I need to get a prescription from the doctor. These stupid things suck!!!!

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      kristen21--I haven't ever had them in my nose, personally, but know that it is common. I believe you can use campho phenique in your nostrils without it "harming" anything but it might be painful. If I were to use any OTC cold sore product in my nostrils, I'd use campho phenique though. I don't think it would hurt to try it, honestly. But I'd use the "old school" kind that is a liquid in a small bottle and not that tube of fever blister ointment. If you want to get a prescription, I think Zovirax would help. My doctor prescribed it in pill and ointment form once for a particularly bad outbreak that got on the skin above my lips and it worked.

    • kirsten21 3 years ago

      I was just wondering if anyone else here has ever gotten cold sores in there nose? I don't get them around my mouth just around and on the inside corners of my nose. I was wondering if you guys know if I can use campho on them or not. I get them 2 or 3 times a year and they are painful at times.

    • suzie 3 years ago

      take a ayur cream and put it on your nise every really worke "trust me".

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 4 years ago from Texas

      Thanks Sally we all appreciate the advice

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Crissy, I just noticed your question about the anti-biotic ointment. Yes, any anti-biotic ointment like Neosporin is fine. Be sure to use the tea tree oil overnight, too. The reason not to use it during the day is that it doesn't taste good, and you don't want to have to keep reapplying it whenever you eat or drink. If you put it on the fever blister full-strength right before bed, it should stay put and work overnight. It's very powerful stuff.

      Laila, the symptoms for HIV are similar to the symptoms for all kinds of different maladies. They range from mouth sores to upset stomach to nausea to weight loss and more. Don't be distressed! Just go to the doctor. You probably have some simple infection or virus that can be cleared up with a shot of anti-biotics or some other treatment, but if you put it off, it could get very serious.

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 4 years ago from Texas

      Sally...I've heard about getting it in the eyes and I'm very careful to control the liquid from the blisters when I pop them. I've never (knock on wood) had them spread, ingested the virus or anything else by popping the blisters. I think anyone that does to pop them needs to do so at their own risk. Thanks for the comment. should probably go see a doctor. I've never had a fever blister that spread to the inside of my mouth, personally. Maybe you ingested it like Sally was talking about and it caused the cough. I have no idea, sorry. Good luck.

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

      As I understand it, the problem with breaking the blister is that you could accidentally ingest the virus and cause problems with your innards. It's also very bad if the virus spreads to your eyes because it can cause blindness.

    • Laila 4 years ago

      Hi every one, this is the first time in my life, that I got lip sore, it is really pain ful and it is also spread in side my mouth, I have also chesty cough, and I am really scared, because when I checked in Internet it says that it can be sign and symptoms of HIV, please help me

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 4 years ago from Texas

      Just triple antibiotic? I will give it a try ...haven't tried that one yet. Thanks.

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Try full strength tea tree oil overnight and an anti-biotic ointment applied as needed during the day. This combo will usually clear up a fever blister in 2-4 days. ;D

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 4 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for the comment Angelica...for some reason the campho phenique just spreads mine worse. I'm glad to see someone else actually sees the benefit in popping them--so many people are afraid to try but it shortens the life of the fever blister drastically.

    • angelica 4 years ago

      The toothpaste worked for me, the first time I left it on overnight but burned my skin all around the sore. It wasn't painful just very uncomfortable when it dried and tightened up. When I first started taking L-Lysine it worked also but eventually stopped. My usual routine is popping the blisters, using lots of ice, rubbing alcohol and campho phenique. It usually doesn't last longer than a week.

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