I hate cold sores!!!  I've been getting them all of my adult life - first around the lips and then on my nose! Aaarggh!!!!! They are huge and ugly! I usually get them from too much stress, getting run down, too much sunshine, eating a forbidden food (chocolate, nuts, seeds, etc.) or when battling a viral illness.  I have tried many remedies and only a few of these actually help:
L- Lysine (regular - not the better "combined" formula I use now)
Zovirax Ointment
Nail Polish Remover
Hydrogen Peroxide
Rubbing Alcohol
Ice Cube
Blow Dryer
Zinc (by itself)
Tetrasil Ointment
Witch Hazel
Acyclovir (oral)
Valtrex (oral)
Essential oils (experimented with many, but finally found effective ones recently)
Dynamiclear (topical liquid - will turn your skin blue)
Here's my personal history of dealing with this ongoing problem. Maybe some of these ideas will help others who battle chronic cold sores.
Years ago, I had to start taking large doses of Acyclovir daily (an anti-viral medication that's bad for your kidneys) to prevent cold sores.  
Then in 2009 I found additional help by putting oxygenating drops in my drinking water. (Write for brand name and tips.) The oxygenating drops help make your body more alkaline, which prevents viruses from doing their dirty workA surprising benefit was that when I began using the alkalizing drops, my fibro brain fog and CFIDS debilitating exhaustion nearly disappeared. I began living a relatively normal life. (See links at the end of this page to read my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue stories.)
One time when a cold sore got horribly infected, my doctor prescribed Bacitracin Zinc Ointment USP and it worked great! A newsletter reader also suggested putting a tiny bit of household bleach on a Q-tip and applying it carefully to the cold sore. She said she got this tip from a friend who is a nurse. (Just shows how desperate we are to get rid of these disfiguring sores!....ugh!!!)
Something natural that helps viral problems is Cat's Claw, an herb that BOOSTS immune function. I experimented with this herb by stopping oral Acyclovir "cold turkey" and began taking 2-3 tablets of this Cat's Claw formula whenever I felt the "tingle" (a sign that a cold sore was about to break out). The tingle would often go away immediately. Although expensive, it was nice to have something natural that could help me, and not have to rely solely on drugs.
I eventually had to stop taking oral Acyclovir because even at the highest dose (such as for shingles: 3,200 mg per day), it stopped being effective for me. :(
The next thing I tried was Abreva (over the counter topical cream) which was sort of effective, and so was DMSO cream, but the best thing I found around that time was topical Acyclovir cream. However, the cost here in the U.S. is ridiculous: $319 for a tiny tube! And without my prescription card, the cost would have been $439! So I went online and found overseas companies selling this very same product for $6 per tube. I ordered from one of these places and got 3 tubes for $19 plus shipping. No prescription was needed and it worked great for awhile.
Sadly, the outbreaks eventually resumed, and my doc put my on Valacyclovir (generic Valtrex): 2 grams twice a day for the first day, and 1 gram twice a day until the outbreak is clears, then 500 mg daily for viral suppression. It worked for a short time, then stopped. Arrrgh!!!

Then I found two essential oils (therapeutic grade) that completely cleared up several ongoing cold sores, and what a find this was! The two oils were Bergamot and Peppermint. They worked for at least a month, and I was really glad to have discovered them! The only negative was that Bergamot discolors your skin.

Avoiding cold sore triggers for me is the most important tip. The triggers for me are: walnuts (too much arginine), chocolate, peanuts, sugar, seeds, and citrus. I also have to keep my stress levels down (yeah, right!), and go to bed and rest immediately if I feel an outbreak coming on. I also have to stay out of strong sunlight. 

A recent wonderful discovery for me has been the Cold Sore Begone stick, invented by Robin Barr. Whenever you feel the "tingle," apply the balm. It's sort of like chapstick, except with many helpful ingredients like essential oils. You can also use it as a preventive, and it has worked well for me! (However, since I began using Cold Sore Begone, I have also cut out nearly all processed sugar from my diet, and I think this has helped very much.)

Two more really helpful things I use now are the Combined Lysine Formula from Dynamiclear and the Immune Booster from Wendy Cukierski. There's also another herbal immune product that is very good called Immune Support with Andrographis, Olive Leaf & Echinacea. It's made by Nature's Sunshine.
I still take 500 mg of Valacyclovir daily as a suppressant plus an extra 500 mg whenever I feel the "tingle" which signals that the virus is active.
The herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) which causes cold sores is a nasty thing to deal with, so I'm thankful for
pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and lifestyle changes that help me manage this problem.
I hope this information has been helpful to anyone who suffers from chronic cold sores.

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor. I am a fibromyalgia / chronic fatigue syndrome survivor. The purpose of this website is not to diagnose or cure any disease or malady, but is presented as food for thought.  This information cannot take the place of professional medical advice. Any attempt to diagnose and treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician. No guarantees are made regarding any of the information in this website.