Nothing makes you want to hide from the world quite like a cold sore. The herpes simplex type 1 virus, which affects about half the U.S. population, can flare up at the most inopportune times in the most inopportune place—your lips. And attempting to cover up those unsightly red bumps with concealer, well, that somehow just makes everything a whole lot worse.
Lucky for you, there are plenty of simple and inexpensive ways to shorten the duration of cold sores (or prevent them altogether) that are seriously effective, from natural OTC creams to dietary changes to simple relaxation techniques. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites.