How Do I Treat a Cold Sore in the Throat?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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Cold sores typically develop around the outside of the mouth, but occasionally, the herpes simplex virus that causes these lesions can migrate to areas on the inside of the mouth. Over-the-counter pain killers can be used to alleviate some of the cold sore pain and inflammation. Prescription medications, lysine, licorice, and zinc may also help heal a cold sore in the throat. Also, a substance known as arginine should be avoided, and a person's toothbrush should be discarded during and after treatment.

A cold sore in the throat can not usually be treated with topical medications, so oral medications may be used. Doctors may prescribe an oral cold sore medication,or OTC painkillers. Antiviral medications, like acyclovir, may be able to reduce the severity and duration of a cold sore. They may also prevent the virus from spreading.

Treating a throat cold sore may also be done naturally. Lysine, for instance, is an amino acid that has been shown to reduce the severity of cold sores. People with cold sores are often advised to consume roughly 3,000 milligrams of lysine each day. A lysine supplement may be necessary to achieve this, but lysine can also be found in dairy and meat. Taking a 500-milligram lysine supplement may also help prevent a cod sore outbreak.


Licorice is another natural remedy for cold sores. Real licorice contains a glycyrrhizic acid, which may help heal a cold sore. Many licorice sticks are not made with real licorice. Instead, anise is often used to make it taste like licorice. If real licorice sticks can not be obtained, powdered licorice mixed with a bit of oil can be swallowed to help cure a cold sore in the throat.

Zinc may also help heal a cold sore. Like other natural treatment methods, this mineral may help relieve the severity of a cold sore. Zinc lozenges are often considered best to help heal a cold sore in the throat.

When an individual is suffering from a cold sore, certain aggravating substances should be avoided. The amino acid arginine is one of these. Arginine can help the virus multiply and spread, and it is found in foods like nuts, seeds, chocolate, and raisins.

The herpes virus that causes cold sores can spread easily by contact. If a person uses a toothbrush when he has a cold sore in the mouth, he can keep infecting himself. Many experts recommend that cold sore sufferers replace their toothbrushes when they begin a cold sore treatment. After the cold sore clears up, that toothbrush should be discarded, and another new one should be purchased.


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Post 4

I have a friend who works as a counselor. One of the groups she works with is made up of people who have recently contracted the herpes virus. She says that most of her group members were devastated when they learned they had gotten the virus.

Once they get over the initial shock and then start to meet other people who are in the same situation, they realize their condition is not the end of the world. And the biggest problem most of them have is the occasional rash or cold sore.

Post 3

I was reading an article recently and it gave the percentage of adults who have cold sores from time to time, and the numbers were unbelievable. I had no idea the herpes virus was so common, especially in sexually active people.

Post 2

@Laotionne - Yep, cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. For some reason, when the herpes virus started gaining publicity it was portrayed as a sexual disease because this is one way herpes can be spread. Because of this early publicity connecting herpes and sex, people started to make negative judgments about people who got herpes.

As this article mentions in the final paragraph, cold sores can be passed on relatively easily if you make contact with the actual bump. And something as simple as using another person's toothbrush could lead to an infection. You don't have to be sexually active to be exposed to the herpes virus or to have a cold sore.

Post 1

Are all cold sores caused by the herpes virus? I don't believe this is so because I can remember kids having cold sores at school when I was in first and second grades.

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