@literally45-- Lysine ointment definitely works for cold sores, I've been using it for a few years now and it makes my cold sores heal in no time. I highly recommend it. And not all lysine ointments are expensive. I get mine for very cheap online, but I'm sure that you can find the same product in stores. You may want to check out a few different places and stock up when there is a discount.
You can start using lyine ointment at the first sign of a cold sore. It might prevent it altogether and even if it doesn't, it will cut healing time by half. You can also take lysine supplements at the same time. Those are very affordable as well.