Iodine tincture works fast at any stage, however once they open up you need to be able to enjoy a little pain or at least tolerate it. As to the bright colour live with it maybe you'll become a trend setter :-)
Use a Q-Tip or cotton ball to dap Listerine (Any mouth wash works. I have just found that Listerine works best for me.) on the affected area a few times a day and let air dry. You can do this at any stage, including the tingly-still-under-the-skin, or almost healed. I use to get horrible cold sores that covered at least a quarter of my mouth at a time for weeks. Now they stay small(usually smaller than a dime) and are gone in just a few days.
this really helps with painful cold sores. all you have to do is put some aloe vera (that you would normally put on sunburn)on your cold sore(s) and it immediately numbs them and helps them to start healing.
try rubbing some nail polish remover on the coldsore. it always works for me but u have to do it several times.
For canker sores in the mouth, rinse your mouth well with hydrogen peroxide several times a day. It doesn't taste good, and it shouldn't be swallowed. This remedy really does help those painful little sores to heal faster.
Take 3 acidophilus pills in the morning and 3 in the evening and it will start to dry out and clear up. If you suffer from frequent ones, take 2 a day to keep them away.
Hold a whole clove against the sore with the tongue to help soothe the pain.