Herpes simplex virus or cold sores cannot be cured; however, pain relief can be achieved by avoiding acidic foods, applying ice and using over-the-counter medications, reports WebMD. Abreva is an OTC topical medicine that decreases healing time and reduces pain. It must be used several times a day for results.
Zilactin provides early relief of cold sore symptoms and numbs the area of infection, notes Everyday Health. Petroleum jelly provides a barrier and soothes the cold sore. It can be used alone or with a topical treatment. To prevent cold sores, always wash hands after touching a cold sore, recommends WebMD. Replace items such as toothbrushes, lipstick and lip balm after an outbreak.