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How to get rid of cold sores fast, and for good.

Welcome to Incarsoreate.com.

If you want to learn how to get rid of cold sores in the fastest way possible, and make sure they don’t come back, then keep reading.

Because the cold hard truth is, if you don’t understand the few fundamental truths about cold sores and the herpes virus that you’re about to read on this website…

…you’ll never understand how to get rid of a cold sore quickly (let alone overnight).

And if you’re looking for a “miracle” treatment that will make your cold sore vanish in the next 5 minutes, I suggest you hit the back button on your browser and go find another article to read. No miracles here. Just cold, hard, scientifically supported strategies that work.

Not what you wanted to hear?

Too bad.

I won’t candy coat the truth.

Unlike most other articles you get when you search for “how to get rid of cold sores” online, I won’t just list a bunch of random cold sore remedies like ice, tea tree oil, lemon balm, Abreva, lysine, etc. without giving you the proper context of how to use these cold sore treatments for maximum effect.

Still with me?


Because I won’t dwell on the problem, either.

I’m guessing you know what’s up.

Cold sores hurt like crazy, burn like hell, and itch more than a hundred mosquito bites.

You can’t touch, scratch, or pop them, or they’ll multiply like bunny rabbits in spring time, spreading all over your mouth, down your chin and up to your nose.

Plus, they show up at the WORST possible time.

Right before a job interview, a date, on your freaking wedding day…

Nothing makes you feel less confident or attractive than cold sores.

In fact, when you have a big nasty cold sore, you feel more like a freak show and would rather hide than do anything or see anyone.

Who needs that?

It’s depressing.

And you know what’s the worst part? Once you get a cold sore…

…you are infected for life!

Once you contract the herpes virus, it stays inside you for the rest of your life.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you constantly get cold sores. Some people only ever get one outbreak, and some people get them every month. It depends.

The good news is regardless if you get a cold sore once every couple of years or if you get them all the time, there are cold sore treatment and prevention strategies you can use to make sure they don’t ruin your life.

But before you can get rid of a cold sore, ANY cold sore, there are a few things you need to know and a few tough questions you need to ask.

Do your treatments actually help you get rid of cold sores?

If you knew how to get rid of cold sores fast and had strategies that actually worked, cold sores wouldn’t be a problem.

Think about it. If you could make your cold sore vanish without a trace in just a few hours as soon as you get that dreaded tingling feeling, who cares how often you get them?

All you’d need to do is treat it and nobody would be the wiser.

But unless this is your first rodeo, you know it doesn’t work like that.

If you’re reading this, my guess is the cold sore treatments you’ve tried in the past didn’t work as well as you were told they would. So here you are, looking for better information about how to get rid of cold sores as fast as humanly possible.


But your specific reasons may vary.

Maybe you’ve tried a bunch of different cold sore remedies and treatments, but were disappointed because they barely shortened your outbreak by a day or two. It’s something, but not good enough.

Or maybe this is your first cold sore and you’re freaking out, not knowing what to do.

Or, maybe you just got your first cold sore in years and are wondering why it just now decided to come back with a vengeance.

Or maybe you keep getting cold sores every couple of months and are sick and tired of constantly having to deal with them.

Well guess what…

Your specific cold sore situation will determine what kind of approach you should take to treat them.

It’s SHOCKING to me that when you search for “how to get rid of a cold sore” almost none of the advice you get actually tells you to match your treatment to your specific situation.

Sure, you get lists of home remedies, prescription pharmaceutical options and natural treatments for cold sores. But they make no distinction in telling you what to do in each situation.

Make no mistake, some of these cold sore treatments work. But others don’t.

And what works for treating a cold sore you have right now may be utterly useless in actually preventing cold sores from coming back in the future. Heck, they can sometimes even make recurrences worse.

And vice versa.

It’s not a one size fits all type of thing.

And when you’re given the wrong type of treatment at the wrong time, you’re not actually doing anything to stop it from getting worse. And that’s how you end up with nasty blisters and big ugly scabs all over your mouth.

The heartbreaking secret for how to get rid of cold sores that nobody will tell you

Now, if you’re wondering how to get rid of a cold sore overnight, a way to go to sleep and wake up next morning with zero sign that you ever even had a cold sore, I’ve got some bad news for you…

It’s a pipe dream..

See, once a cold sore is set in motion, there is nothing you can do to reverse it.

Read that again.

Once a cold sore has started and the herpes virus’s life cycle has begun (more on that in a bit), there is nothing you can do to reverse it to its previous stage.

You can’t close Pandora’s box.

The best you can hope for is to accelerate the process, minimize the severity of each stage, and run through each cold sores stage as fast as possible.

Thanks for the downer… so what is the fastest way to get rid of a cold sore?

Like I said, the best thing you can do to get rid of a cold sore quickly is to match the right treatment to the specific problem you are dealing with.

But how do you know what you are dealing with specifically?

If you want to learn how to get rid of cold sores fast, you first have to understand how the herpes virus works and what stages it goes through. Because once you understand the different stages of a cold sore, you can stay one step ahead of it at all times.

Understanding the different cold sore stages

When you get a cold sore, it’s a symptom of what the herpes virus (herpes simplex virus type 1, or HSV-1, to be specific) is doing at that very moment.

So calling them cold sore stages is a bit of a misnomer.

However, each stage of the virus’s life cycle is reflected by a specific subset of symptoms. Yes, even when you don’t have a cold sore, that’s telling you something about what the herpes virus is doing (or not doing).

Here is a quick rundown of the different stages cold sores and the herpes virus go through.

Cold sore stage 0 – Latency stage

The latency stage is the cold sore stage between outbreaks, when you are free and clear from any of the nasty, unpleasant symptoms. If you get cold sores regularly, this is where you want to stay as much as possible (more on how to do that later).

During the latency stage, the herpes virus is hiding inside the trigeminal ganglia and isn’t doing much of anything. Then, when you get exposed to one of your cold sore triggers, the virus travels down the trigeminal nerve into your face, where it pops out and starts to infect the skin cells in your lips. This leads to the next stage.

Cold sore stage 1 – The tingling stage

The tingling stage of cold sores is when you first feel that something is wrong. You feel a tight, itchy spot on your lip that is red and a bit swollen.

Here, the herpes virus has already infected the skin cells in your lips and your body’s own immune system is just waking up to that fact.

The symptoms you feel here are not actually the herpes virus’s doing, but your body’s own immune system reacting to it.

This is the stage where the panic sets in and when you scramble looking for information on how to get rid of cold sores. You know what’s coming, and you are desperate for a way to stop things from getting worse.

Cold sore stage 2 – The blister stage

The blister stage is when the red, inflamed, tingly area on your lip (or wherever) gives way to a cluster of painful blisters. Often times, the blisters will multiply and grow, gradually filling up with fluid.

Here, the herpes virus hijacks the biochemical machinery inside your cells to make countless copies of itself, in the hopes of infecting even more healthy cells and thus, increasing its chances for survival.

This stage is unbearably itchy and when the cold sore blisters transition from being barely visible to very visible/nasty. The farther you get into this stage, the harder it is to get rid of a cold sore quickly. As the cold sore progresses to the next stage, your self-consciousness gets progressively worse too.

Stage 3 – The ulcer stage

The ulcer stage happens when the blisters burst, ooze fluid all over the place and give way to painful open sores.

At this point, the herpes virus has replicated itself so many times that it causes your skin cells to burst, which lets the newly created copies of the virus go out and find healthy cells to hijack.

This is by far the most painful stage of cold sores and when it’s almost impossible to think about anything else. You have to be very careful during this stage to not spread that fluid all over the place, since you risk reinfecting other areas of your lips. If you are not careful, you can even infect your eyes and fingers, and other people of course.

If you make it to this point, you can forget trying to figure out how to get rid of cold sores fast (unless you managed to keep the blisters small with the right treatment combination). The damage is done.

Cold sore stage 4 – The scabbing stage

The scabbing stage is when those painful, open sores turn into a brown/yellowish crusty scabs.

Here, your immune system has basically won the fight against the herpes virus and your body goes into damage control mode.

At this point, most of the pain and itchiness is gone, but now you have a big ugly scab on your face. Plus, you constantly have to be careful to not rip open the scab and cause unnecessary bleeding as it will delay healing. This makes eating, laughing and even talking things you have to be careful doing.

Cold sore stage 5 – The healing stage

As the scabs heal, it gives way to a fresh new layer of skin. The scabs gets smaller and smaller until they fall off completely and your life returns to normal.

At this point, the virus has been defeated, and it retreats up the trigeminal nerve, back into the ganglia and into the latency stage. Congrats, you managed to get rid of your cold sore, although not as fast as you wanted to. Here, it will remain dormant until it gets triggered into reactivating again and the whole cycle starts over.

Great, you know the stages of cold sores. But how does that help us figure out how to get rid of cold sores faster?

Great. Now that you know about the different cold sore stages, you know how the herpes virus goes from doing nothing to ruining your week.

But how does knowing this help you get rid of a cold sore quicker than if you didn’t know it?

Well, let me illustrate how with an example.

Let’s take Abreva for example. It’s probably the most well know, best selling over-the-counter cold sore cream out there.

It contains a compound called docosanol that works by preventing the herpes virus from entering healthy cells. The idea behind this is that if the virus can’t enter new, healthy cells, it can’t access the cellular machinery it needs to make copies of itself (as viruses do). And if it can’t make copies of itself, it can’t release new viral particles and infect a bunch more cells. And if the herpes virus can’t infect a bunch more cells, your cold sore will be kept smaller.

Makes sense, right?

But think about it this way. If the skin cells in your lips are already infected with the herpes virus, what is a compound that prevents cold sores going to do to help you get rid of a cold sore that’s already there?

Not much. Because all it takes is one single viral particle to enter a cell. Once inside, it can make almost an infinite number of copies of itself. So blocking more particles of the virus from entering won’t do much good at that point.

Now I’m not saying that Abreva is useless. Far from it.

I’m just saying that it is almost useless if you use it at the wrong stage, for the wrong purpose.

In the same way, a lot of advice you’ll find online for how to get rid of cold sores is very, very flawed.

One thing that keeps getting repeated over and over is to avoid getting exposed to your triggers.

That’s great advice. Except for the fact that if you’re looking for advice on how to GET RID OF a cold sore, chances are you are currently dealing with a cold sore. The herpes virus has already been triggered, has already infected healthy skin cells and is already preparing to ravage your lips. It’s just another example of not offering the right solution to your specific problem.

That being said, it is possible to get rid of cold sores in just a couple of days

Now, there is still hope if you use the right method for how to get rid of cold sores. It won’t work with all cold sores, but some of them.

Of course, this depends on a lot of factors that have to line up almost perfectly and that, for some reason, almost nobody is talking about.

The biggest factor is simply how big the cold sore you’re looking to get rid of is.

What determines how big your cold sore is? Glad you asked…

Introducing the viral load

The viral load is the measurement of the amount of viral particles that are present in an organism at any given time. And generally speaking, the bigger the viral load, the worse the symptoms of the viral infection will be.

In other words, the bigger the viral load, the more severe the infection, the nastier the symptoms, and the harder it is to get rid of a cold sore quickly.

A bigger army tends to do more damage than a small army.

Makes sense, right?

But what does this have to do with you?

A lot actually.

Because it means that all other things being equal, the bigger the viral load of the herpes virus inside your body, the bigger the cold sore you will have.

And the bigger it is, the harder it’s going to be to get rid of a cold sore and the longer you have to deal with the nasty symptoms that come with it.

On the other hand, the smaller the viral load, the milder the symptoms and the faster you can get rid of a cold sore.

A small army is easier to defeat than a large one.

Of course, that’s easier said than done, right?

How can you keep the viral load small when you don’t even control what the herpes virus does?

Again, the answer is that you must match the right cold sore treatment to the right symptoms. Or in this case, using the right treatment during the latency stage, when you DON’T have a cold sore.

See, most people only start treating a cold sore when they feel it coming.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re OK with having a big nasty sore on your face for a couple of weeks…

Bu the problem is, the second you start to feel that tingling feeling, the infection has already taken hold. It’s just too late.

And keeping the viral load low or reducing it after the fact is damn near impossible to do. Well, at least not quickly enough to get rid of a cold sore before it gets too out of control.

On the other hand, if you implement a daily cold sore prevention strategy designed to keep the herpes virus in the latency stage and to keep the viral load as low as possible (and also leads to a slew of other health benefits), you can keep cold sores very small if and when they do pop out.

And as you know, the smaller they are the easier it is to get rid of cold sores.

So, how exactly do you keep the viral load of a recurrent cold sore infection low? You follow scientifically proven cold sore prevention strategies designed to keep the herpes virus in a state of latency.

For more information on keeping a lid on the herpes virus, check out the article on cold sore prevention and learn about what foods to avoid with cold sores.

So when it comes to learning how to get rid of a cold sore overnight, know that keeping the viral load low AT ALL TIMES (not just when you do get a cold sore) is one of the most effective things you can do. However, that’s not the only benefit a low viral load provides.

A low viral load makes your cold sore treatments more effective

The other big advantage a low viral load provides is that it makes any treatment you use seem a whole lot more effective.

Say you’re using some sort of natural antiviral on your cold sore, like tea tree oil. Do you think it’s going to be more or less effective if it has a low viral load to deal with versus a high viral load?

It’s going to be much more effective against a low concentration of the herpes virus.

See, there is only so much cold sore cream you can spread on your lips at any given time, and there’s only so many pharmaceutical antiviral pills you can swallow before overdosing and potentially falling victim to a slew of nasty side effects.

When the viral load is out of control, whatever cold sore treatment you use is going to be overwhelmed. It’s like going to war when your army is outnumbered two to one. It’s going to feel like the treatment you’re using is just not having an impact.

But when the viral load is low, the cold sore treatment you use isn’t overwhelmed. It has a fighting chance. That way, it can much better control the herpes virus and this will make it seem like the treatment you are using is much more effective.

So if you’ve ever used a cold sore treatment before and felt like it didn’t work or even made things worse, it’s probably because the viral load you had to deal with far outweighed the potency of your cold sore treatment. It’s not that the treatment wasn’t doing its job. It’s just that the viral load was too high for treatments to make a big enough dent and make it seem like they were actually doing anything to help you get rid of your cold sore.

At the end of the day, if you want to learn how to get rid of cold sores fast, you have to define what situation you’re faced with.

Do you only get a cold sore once every few years? Then go read our cold sore treatments page and learn how to match the right treatment to the right stage of your cold sore.

Do you get one or two small cold sores every year, like clockwork? Then read up on cold sore treatments, but also read about cold sore prevention strategies too. That may be all you need to never get a cold sore again.

Do you get big nasty cold sores every couple of months, or even every month, that keep coming back no matter what you do? Then you better understand how true cold sore prevention happens as well as what foods to avoid with cold sores (no, it’s not what you think…). Oh, and of course, get a handle on the best cold sore treatment strategies to obliterate an outbreak as quickly as possible whenever they do show up.

But understand this: no matter what your situation is, whether you’re trying to prevent cold sores from coming back or you want to know how to get rid of cold sores quickly whenever they do pop out, you must know your enemy. It’s the only way to stay one step ahead, and know what move you need to make next.

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