Cold Sore Treatment: Cold sores contain the HSV-1 virus. People with cold sores should wash their hands often, especially after touching the face. Cups and eating utensils should not be shared with another person. A home remedy like cold compresses may relieve pain temporarily. Lysine, an amino acid, was once thought to be a potential treatment, but the facts supporting this are unconvincing. Other home remedies, including vitamin E oil, vitamin supplements, nail polish remover, and changes in diet, have not been well studied.