A popped cold sore releases secretions from it, and this makes it more likely to spread the virus to other parts of your body and to other individuals, according to the Mayo Clinic. While most cold sores clear on their own in about two weeks, there are various treatments that are shown to help speed recovery and lessen the symptoms of a cold sore outbreak.
Practice good hand washing when cold sores are present, and avoid touching the eyes and genitals after contact with a cold sore: The infection can easily be spread to these areas, according to the Mayo Clinic. Avoid sharing items such as lip balm, towels and utensils when blisters are present to prevent transmission to others. If cold sores are severe, last long or are accompanied by eye pain and infection, contact a doctor for consultation and treatment.
Use over-the-counter cold sore remedies to treat cold sores and shorten healing time when they occur. For recurrent or severe outbreaks, talk to a doctor about prescription anti-viral medication. Anti-viral medications are available in pill form, as a cream or injections. It can shorten healing time and help alleviate symptoms in severe cases. According to the Mayo Clinic, lemon balm, lysine and stress reduction are all natural methods to lessen the symptoms of an outbreak, as well as, prevent them from occurring in the first place.