Despite the name, when you get painful blisters called cold sores they are caused by a virus, but not the kind that makes you sniffle and sneeze. They happen because of an infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). You can’t cure HSV or a cold sore, but you can alleviate the pain it causes by avoiding spicy or acidic foods, applying ice, and using over-the-counter remedies. Look for medicines that contain numbing agents such as phenol and menthol to reduce cracking and soften scabs. Talk to your Central Alberta Co-op pharmacist if you have questions.