Cold sore is a viral infection of herpes simplex virus. Usually, the primary episode is the one which has the most time to heal. It could take up to two weeks to heal. But the secondary episodes or the reactivation episodes that occur in the patients with cold sores is usually last only a short time, up to 2 days to 3 days. The treatment for cold sore is with an oral anti-viral tablet which has to be taken under the prescription of a dermatologist. It is usually dosed at three times a day. The medication is often capable of accelerating the healing to almost 1-2 days. The patients with cold sores can usually feel the onset of a cold sore after a period of fever or sun exposure or strain to vocal chords.
They feel the tingling sensation that marks the arrival of a sore throat. So, these anti-viral tablets can actually be given as a preventive treatment even before the cold sore appears so that it can disappear without even presenting itself. If you have recurrent cold sores, more than 2-3 episodes a month or more than 3-5 episodes in three months, consult your dermatologist so they can give you a course of medicines which prevents the frequent recurrences of cold sores.
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The information provided in Dr. Dixit's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.