It is said that 90% of the worldwide population suffers from cold sores at least one in a lifetime. This condition can be uncomfortable, painful and unattractive, starting as a blister and finally forming a crust. Commonly, cold sores are mistaken for canker sores, particularly in children. However, canker sores just involve the mucous membrane, but are not on the outside of the mouth.
These problems are caused by the Herpes simplex virus (HSV) when it comes in contact with abraded skin or oral mucosa tissue of the mouth. After entering, the virus never leaves the human body. These viruses will move from the mouth to the central nervous system and then remain latent. As they reactive, they will form small sores or blisters both on and around the lips. There are some common causes triggering cold sores which are menstruation, stress and anxiety, sunburn, fever, over-exposure to sunlight, dehydration, lip tattooing, deep sadness, dental and neural surgery, and dermabrasion. The symptoms of cold sores could be headache, pain around the mouth area, nausea, sore throat, dizziness, painful ulcers, tenderness and tingling, itching, red raised blisters, lip swelling, mouth and tongue paining, etc.
Now, you have gotten some basics about cold sores. It is time to discover some of the best home remedies for cold sores on lips and in mouth. The following checklist made by Healthy Guide will help you find out 22 most effective ways to treat cold sores naturally at home.
22 Effective Home Remedies For Cold Sores On Lips And In Mouth
1. Ice Pack
This may be one of the simplest and fastest ways to treat cold sores and lessen its pain. What you need to do is:
- Take some ice cubes
- Put them right directly over your affected areas
The ice will give you an instant relief of swelling. You had better hold it as long as you could before applying some Vaseline onto the infected area to help prevent the attack of bacteria. To get good results, you should practice this method 3 times per day.
This is one of the best home remedies for cold sores. Being famous for its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, licorice can reduce inflammation and accelerate the healing process. Follow these steps to get rid of cold sores at home using licorice:
- Mix licorice root powder and fresh water (or petroleum jelly) with the ratio of 1:1/2 together
- Apply the mixture over your sores so that it covers the whole area.
You could also drink the tea made from licorice root powder.
Having enzymes which work as antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal agents, garlic can treat cold sores naturally. Furthermore, it also acts as an anti-inflammatory, which is helpful in reducing swelling as well as inflammation. Take the following steps:
- Take a garlic clove and cut it into halves
- Crush 1/2 of the garlic before applying it over your infected area
- Wait for 10-15 minutes
- Repeat the process 3-5 times per day
Note: applying garlic may be associated with a burning sensation on the lesions.
4. Acetone Nail Polish Remover
Do you believe that the acetone nail polish remover can help you remove cold sores at home? Actually, a lot of people tried this method and reported the effectiveness. Acetone is really believed to be able to dry out the cold sores.
- Take a cotton ball and dip it into the acetone nail polish remover.
- Then, dab it over your cold sores
- Apply this method a few times per day, once an hour
The pure vanilla extract is considered one of natural home remedies for cold sores that some people swear by. According to some people who tried this method, because vanilla is alcohol based, so running it along the lines will make it difficult for the virus to thrive and alleviate the length as well as severity of the outbreaks. Hence, if you use vanilla, you should use the organic type.
- Take a cotton pad / swab to put into the vanilla till it is saturated thoroughly.
- Apply it to the sores, keep holding for 1 minute.
- Re-apply this method 4 times per day
Believe it or not, putting a milk compress over your cold sores could speed up the process of healing and ease your pain. It is thanks to the proteins content in milk, named as immunoglobulins, which can fight off as well as prevent virus-like herpes. Also, there is L-lysine which can inhibit the wicked work of the amino acid named arginine, which cause outbreaks, and might help to promote the healing process.
- Soak a cotton ball in 1 teaspoon of milk
- Apply it over your sores and wait for 10 minutes
- Wipe the area using a clean cloth in order to remove the remains of milk
You can apply petroleum jelly after that.
7. Orange Oil
Having healing properties, orange oil is one of effective home remedies for cold sores.
- Use a cotton ball to dip into orange oil
- Apply it over you cold sores
- To get immediate results, re-apply it three times per day
8. Hydrogen Peroxide
Using hydrogen peroxide will help to disinfect and dry up the cold sores. It also makes hard for the surfaced sores to spread and worsen.
- Soak a cotton pad into 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide
- Place the cotton pad over your sores
- You may feel stinging feeling while holding it for several seconds but it will disappear soon
- Wait for 5 minutes to let the substance do its job before washing off.
9. Peppermint Oil
Do not look down peppermint and its extract oil as this is actually one of the most amazingly helpful home remedies for cold sores that we want to encourage readers like you to learn and make use as soon as possible for good! Peppermint oil has properties which can directly kill off the virus particles outsides of the cells, including the ones around erupted cold sores. When being applied directly over your cold sores, the sores will be healed faster than normal.
- Take a cotton swab to dip into clean water before soaking it into the peppermint oil. This will help dilute it a little bit, reducing the risk of irritation.
- Apply it over the clean surface of cold sores
- Repeat this method twice per day
Echinacea can bolster the immune system as well as its defenses, thereby making it more difficult to catch the bugs and shortening the healing process.
- Place a bag of echinacea tea into a mug, then pour boiling water onto.
- Let it steep for 10 minutes before squeezing the juice
According to some studies, taking lysine regularly could help prevent cold sores thanks to the anti-viral properties. Being an amino acid, lysine could block the activity of arginine – another acid that promotes the replication of herpes virus.
You should take 1,000 – 1,500 mg L-Lysine supplements every day to keep the herpes virus at control. In case you have an outbreak, take 1,000 mg thrice per day.
Creams are an alternative but oral supplements seem more effective.
Remember to add milk, meat, cheese, yogurt and soybeans or any other protein-rich foods to your diet because they are a good source of lysine.
Keep reading the article to find out more effective home remedies for cold sores and learn how to apply them at home to say goodbye forever to this condition!
12. Lemon Balm
Also known as Melissa officinalis, Lemon balm, one of the most effective home remedies for cold sores, can speed up the healing process, prevent the spreading of infection and soothes your discomfort. It is thanks to polyphenolic compounds and tannins, plus with anti-viral properties.
- Take 1-2 teaspoons of dried lemon balm leaves and allow it to steep in 1l of hot water for approximately 10 minutes. Let it strain before drinking 3-4 cups each day
- As an alternative, apply the lemon balm tea over your cold sores thrice per day to get good results.
13. Tea Tree Oil
With its anti-viral, anti-fungal, antibiotic, and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil can treat cold sores and promote the healing process.
- Mix tea tree oil and water as the ratio of 1:3.
- Dip a cotton ball into the oil before applying it over your cold sores thrice per day
- Combine tea tree oil with the same amount of olive oil, along with a small amount of eucalyptus oil.
- Use this mixture 2-3 times per day
Rubbing alcohol is another option among many home remedies for cold sores that you should give it a try. Alcohol will help dry up cold sores and retard the replication of herpes virus. As a result, it accelerates the healing process effectively.
- Use a cotton ball or Q-tip to dip into the alcohol
- Rub it over your cold sores till it stops stinging.
- Apply a moisturizer after that to prevent cracking and drying which might spread the cold sores.
15. Aloe Vera Gel
Many people with frequent cold sores said that aloe vera gel can dry up the blisters and accelerate the healing process.
- Take aloe vera gel to put into a container
- Apply a fresh cotton ball, which is dipped into aloe vera gel, over your cold sores.
You should use fresh aloe vera gel to avoid the chemicals as well as other contaminants in store-bought aloe vera products
16. Oregano Oil
You may be surprised that it is hard to see fungus, pets, or disease developing on an oregano plant in gardens. It is because the natural oils in oregano are antimicrobial. Whilst it is one of more expensive natural home remedies for cold sores mentioned in this list, applying oregano oil onto your cold sores could help lessen swelling and enhance faster healing by killing the virus within blisters.
- Take a few drops of oregano oil to apply directly onto your cold sores by using a Q-tip
- Dispose the applicator after using in order to prevent re-infection or the spread of viruses.
17. Witch Hazel
For many years, the witch hazel leaves and barks are used for curing many skin problems. It is very helpful for skin care routines.
- Soak a cotton ball in one teaspoon of witch hazel
- Place the ball onto your affected area
- Practice it 2-3 times per day to get the best results
18. Sea Salt
One of the most easy-to-find home remedies for cold sores is sea salt. It helps to promote the healing process of cold sores.
- Apply a small amount of sea salt directly onto your infected areas. When you apply, it should stick on your sores.
- After 10 minutes, rinse it off with cool water
19. Basil Leaves
Also known as Tulsi, basil leaves are known for its anti-viral and antibacterial properties. The tea made from this plant is one of the best home remedies for cold sores.
- Add basil leaves into boiling water to make a tea
- Drink the tea to heal cold sores
- Or, you can also make use of tincture made from tulsi plant to help treat the issue.
This may be one of the simplest home remedies for cold sores. Though the remedy is messy, it is efficient. Having anti-micrococcus, anti-herpes, anti-staphylococcal properties, earwax can stop the tingling on your lips which are caused because of cold sores.
- Apply earwax on your affected areas and wait for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse it off after that and apply a moisturizer.
Being a natural wound healer, honey is useful for the healing process if you are suffering from cold sores. You can add honey on small blisters 2-3 times per day to get rid of cold sores naturally. Avoid licking honey from the lips.
If you experience symptoms of cold sores such as inflammation, tingling around the lips, you can use Neosporin ointment. To get better results, you can apply rubbing alcohol at first, then followed by Neosporin. It will help decrease the risk of outbreak.
23. Make A Cornstarch Paste
A traditional home remedy calls for treating a cold sore is to make a cornmeal poultice and apply. However, there is still an easier adaptation which is to make a paste of some water and a little cornstarch, and use it to dab directly onto the sore 2 – 3 times throughout the day. Cornstarch can actually help to neutralize the pH of the sore (cold sore thrives in acidic environments), which will aid a lot in soothing inflammation and pain caused by the cold sores. In brief, making use of a home-made cornstarch paste to apply on the sore area on skin is actually among the best natural home remedies for cold sores you will ever find and try at home without concerning! This method will not bring about any side effect to your skin health. Thus, try it now and feel secure!
24. Try A Teabag Poultice
At the first stage of the cold sores, you should try applying a cooled, damp tea bag directly onto the area where you expect the outbreak to happen and allow it to stay within about ten minutes. Repeat this method 3 – 4 times throughout the day to reduce the duration and severity of an outbreak. It has been said that Earl Grey tea bags should be chosen as it is actually the best option for cold sore treatment.
25. Make Use Of Red Wine
If you have an opened bottle of red wine at home, then you can try making use of this folk home treatment as it can help to reduce your cold sore issue effectively with ease: try putting a little bit in a saucer and allow it to stay still till the liquid seems evaporate. Slather your sores with the solidified dregs and it would be able to ease your pain on contact. The theory is that a potent antioxidant contained in red wine – the resveratrol, can help to relieve the pain and inflammation caused by this condition within just a short time period. This is in fact also one of the best natural home remedies for cold sores that we would like to introduce in the entire article today and want you to learn and make use as soon as possible for good!
26. Regularly Change Your Tooth Brush
Cold sores are easily spread as it is a contagious problem. People should not worsen an outbreak and accidentally causing another so that what people should do is to throw out the toothbrush when seeing the blister has been formed and once again after the problem has cleared. In addition, you should throw away any other product that might have come into contact with your cold sores, especially lipstick or lip balm.
27. Increase Vitamin B12 Intake
This is the last one among the best home remedies for cold sores we want to reveal in this entire writing and people should not skip but try to make use as soon as possible to achieve good results as desired. Actually, researchers have shown that people who tend to suffer from cold sores also tend to have a mild to moderate vitamin B12 deficiency. Taking a B12 supplement on a daily basis might help a lot in lessening your chances for having the cold sore issue. Natural things you can do to improve your B12 intake would be to add more beef, dairy, shellfish, crab, and eggs to your daily diet as all of them are abundant sources of vitamin B12.
Some Preventive Measures Of Cold Sores:
- Avoid touching the body fluids of cold sore sufferers
- Avoid kissing the affected person
- Avoid using lipsticks, drinking cups, spoons, straws, lip balms, or towels which have been used by the affected person
- Wash your hands with soap and tepid water to help prevent the spread of virus
- Acidic and fried foods can increase the risk of outbreak, so you should avoid them
- Reduce stress
- Eat to improve your immune system, such as vitamin C and zinc-rich foods. Berries, citrus fruits, kiwis, and melons because they are high in vitamin C. Beans, shellfish, poultry, and whole grains contain a large amount of zinc.
- Wear sunglasses because too much sun exposure will trigger cold sore outbreaks.
To sum up, no single option of these home remedies for cold sores will be as efficient as a proper combination of a few of them. Additionally, not all these remedies will necessarily work the same way for all sufferers. Thus, experiment in different combinations to get the best recipe for yourself.
Remember that the moment you sense a tingling sensation preceding a cold sore flare up, you need to start applying your treatment.
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