I'm sure many of you have tried this simple remedy. The first sign of a cold sore you go rushing off to the freezer to get a cube of ice, diligently holding it in place hoping with everything you got that nothing will appear! I've read countless others have tried this over and over with success, but does it really work? If it doesn't work 100% of the time, were those actual cold sores forming? I'm not convinced.
The theory behind using ice to stop a blister forming is that, at colder temperatures everything from biological to molecular processes slow down and at absolute zero stop. To quote Sheldon on one of my favourite shows.
-273 degrees, which is the temperature that entropy reaches its minimum value
So cooling the cold sore down should stop or at least slow down viral production? Correct. But in effect you are just hitting the pause button. Everything in that region slows down, your immune responses, cellular repair, everything! So in my opinion you are just delaying the inevitable and probably prolonging the episode. This has been the case with me as I've never been able to prevent a cold sore using this method. I will admit that it takes the pain away for a few minutes, but that's it unfortunately!
Using ice for bruising and swelling, well that's another debate altogether, but I would love to hear your opinions on how effective this remedy has been for you and your cold sores!
All the best!