There’s is a great, well researched and referenced account of how cold sores work on Disabled World. We can’t get rid of cold sores permanently, because the virus (Herpes Simplex) lives in our body and comes to the surface to reproduce when conditions are right. It likes warm, wet, acid environments – like around your lips. When your natural skin defences are down – say during sunburn, or winter wind and cold dehydration the virus surfaces and multiplies by invading vulnerable skin cells so causing the sore blister.
Remedy and Prevention: We can make conditions hard for the virus when it surfaces, and we can help our skin to heal, for example with the natural remedies in Greenman’s BeeBalm. In my experience daily use of BeeBalm keeps my lips in healthy condition and any cold sores are infrequent (around once a year, usually when I don’t use the balm for a few days), minor and brief (three days from tingle to gone).