Dr. Phelan By General Practitioner Published:

Cold sores can be a sign that we are rundown or stressed and people are often more susceptible in the winter months.

They are caused by a virus and will usually clear up without treatment within seven to 10 days.

Remedies that will help cold sores to clear up more quickly are available from pharmacies and include products such as Fenistil and Zovirax.

They need to be applied when a cold sore is first appearing. They work by preventing the virus that causes cold sores from spreading.

People with severe or recurrent cold sores, or conditions that can lead to a lower immune system, should speak to their GP, who may consider prescribing antiviral tablets.

Further advice on cold sore treatment is available from the Pharmacy2U Health Centre.