How to Treat a Cold Sore

27 Pain-Free Ways to Get Rid of Cold Sores Overnight

I need this cold sore gone now! You’re not alone in feeling that way. When left untreated, symptoms can be painful and embarrassing. They will itch, burn, swell, ooze, scab, and crust over. The good news is that we’re going to let you know how to get rid of cold sores in 24 hours, or (at the very least) dramatically reduce the time that they take to heal.

Symptoms of fever blisters often vary. They do eventually go away on their own, once they’ve gone through the full cold sore life cycle. Unfortunately, this typically takes about 10-12 days, sometimes longer. The first outbreak, known as the primary infection, is always worse.

How to Get Rid of Cold Sores Overnight

An overnight treatment to remove cold sore pain is an attractive option for people who get cold sores in the same spot regularly. The key to quicker healing is treating the site as soon as you experience a tingling sensation. This is known as the prodrome.

More than half the U.S. population have the virus, and it’s with you for life. It’s a condition with no known cure, so it must be ‘managed.’ We’re going to provide 27 ways of getting rid of cold sores in one day (if you take action early).

  1. Virulite Cold Sore Machine

If you want a cold sore to be gone fast, why not use a treatment that’s innovative and proven to work? There are many creams, gels, and ointments on the market. But, the Virulite Device is unique as it uses the latest technology to remove cold sores immediately (read our review here).

It works by giving your immune system a boost. Using FDA-approved light technology, you just have to place the device directly over the blister for it to work. The light gives off small pulses that stimulate your immune system and encourage it to respond to the sore faster.

The device only takes a few minutes each day to use, and it is painless. Not only does it help to clear up existing blisters, but the Virulite Electronic Device may also help to reduce the severity and frequency of future outbreaks.

  1. Australian Tea Tree Oil

This is used for a variety of health conditions. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Thanks to all of these benefits, it is one of the best essential oils for getting rid of fever blisters fast.

It not only soothes the painful symptoms of cold sores, but it can get rid of them quickly. If you want an all-natural approach to healing, it doesn’t get much better than tea tree oil.

One thing to keep in mind when using tea tree oil to treat cold sores is making sure you never use it undiluted. It’s a potent essential oil, so you only need a small amount for it to be effective. Just apply it two or three times per day to get rapid results.

But, those drops should always be mixed with a carrier oil before you use it on the skin. A suitable carrier oil is jojoba oil, which is also excellent for the skin. You can also find balms and pre-mixed essential oils containing tea tree oil, which are safe to apply to the skin directly.

Using Apotheecary tea tree oil will exfoliate the skin, reduce the pain, and heal your sores immediately.

  1. HERP-B-GONE Cream

As the name says, HERP-B-GONE will get rid of cold sores fast. It is an all-natural solution (read our review here). Why use an all-natural treatment?

While some of the over-the-counter creams for cold sore removal are effective, others can cause irritation. They cause the mouth to become inflamed and swollen if you have sensitive skin or develop an allergic reaction.

You don’t need to worry about harmful side effects. The formula contains the following natural ingredients:

  • Coconut oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Lemon oil
  • L-lysine hydrochloride
  • Peppermint oil
  • Propolis LE

Ingredients like coconut oil, hemp oil, and peppermint oil provide soothing relief to the painful symptoms that are associated with oozing blisters. They also moisturize the affected area to help prevent cracking. If a cold sore becomes too dry, it can burst open and cause bleeding.

Other ingredients, like l-lysine, hydrochloride, and propolis LE have been proven to speed up the healing time. This formula is the perfect way to combat the virus safely. Plus, there’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee on their product.

It may be all-natural, but HERP-B-GONE cold sore cream was designed by a doctor.

  1. Lysine

This is an amino acid, found in everything from red meat to dairy products. Because it’s naturally in so many protein-rich foods, our bodies typically receive a substantial amount through a typical diet. So, how does it help to heal cold sores faster?

Lysine is full of antiviral properties. This eases symptoms like burning and inflammation quickly. As soon as it’s applied, you should feel less pain.

You can add more meats and dairy to your diet. But, if you want to find relief fast, taking a lysine supplement that contains the amino acid is the best way to go. You can purchase a lysine supplement and take it daily to prevent severe flare-ups. This lip supplement, for example, is designed to support your immune system and prevent future outbreaks.

If you already have a blister, finding an ointment with lysine can provide relief, and allow the sore to heal. Between taking regular dietary supplements, adding more lysine-rich foods to your diet, and using topical agents, this building block of protein can get rid of your systems rapidly.

  1. Coconut Oil

This is good for many skin conditions. As soon as you experience the initial tingle, apply coconut oil directly to the lesion. It contains antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties. Together, these components kill off the herpes virus quickly.

While coconut oil can’t remove the virus from your system entirely, it can remove blisters caused by HSV-1. It’s a perfect antimicrobial agent, and it will add moisture to the sore. When fever blisters scab over, they can become dry and start to crack. Locking in moisture is beneficial.

Coconut oil is a carrier oil, so you don’t need to dilute it in any way. At room temperature, it will be in a solid state. You can apply a small dab directly to the sore as though it were a cream or balm. It will melt into the sore, penetrating the skin and reduce the negative effects of the virus.

  1. Abreva Cream

Abreva (read our review here) remains one of the best over-the-counter treatments for cold sores. It is approved by the FDA as a safe treatment. It’s powerful because of the specially-formulated ingredients. The main active ingredient, docosanol, is known for its healing properties.

Docosanol stops the virus in its tracks. This prevents the cold sore from spreading and growing. So, the sooner you apply the treatment, the better. If you apply it early on, it will start to take care of the cold sore in just 24 hours.

There are few risks or side effects associated with Abreva. As long as you make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients in the formula, it’s a safe product to use. It’s so safe, in fact, that you can use it up to five times a day for faster results.

If an over-the-counter solution is what makes you feel most comfortable, Abreva is one of the most trusted brands you can choose. If you don’t want to deal with painful blisters for long, it’s worth every penny.

how long do cold sores last?

  1. Lemon Balm

Studies have tested the effectiveness of lemon balm as a way of treating the herpes simplex virus. These studies have shown that it may help to speed up healing time, and can sometimes keep a cold sore from returning. It’s no wonder lemon balm is such a popular solution.

Lemon balm works because of its cooling and soothing properties. It is a member of the mint family. Because cold sores typically lead to a lot of painful and irritating symptoms, being able to find relief is essential. Using lemon balm, or a topical agent that has it as an ingredient can alleviate burning and itching almost immediately. It also contains antiviral properties to fight back against HSV.

Lemon balm contains eugenol. This component kills bacteria and reduces the risk of the virus spreading. If your cold sore bursts open, it’s easy for bacteria to get inside and cause it to become infected.

Because it’s a natural herb, the regular use of lemon balm is entirely safe. It can provide a calming sensation and reduce stress. Since stress can often cause flare-ups, it’s a useful preventative option. It can be found as an ingredient in other treatment options, such as creams and lip balms.

  1. Orajel Cold Sore Treatment

Orajel is a trusted name for almost any type of mouth sore, including canker sores and other bacterial infections. The Orajel single dose cold sore treatment provides instant relief after just one use (read our review here). Treatments that require extended application can get messy. Knowing that you only have to use this solution once can offer peace of mind.

Orajel uses a patented treatment to get rid of irritating symptoms and get rid of blisters fast. This formula penetrates the skin with antiseptic properties. Anyone with a cold sore will likely tell you that the worst part is the pain associated with it.

From burning and itching to swelling and irritation, the discomfort can be unbearable. One of the great things about this single-dose treatment is that it will help to numb the affected area. Once it has been numbed, you won’t be able to feel any irritating symptoms.

It’s not filled with dozens of chemicals like many of its counterparts. And, each ingredient has a specific purpose designed to shorten the lifespan of a fever blister. Because of the short ingredient list, you’re at a reduced risk of side effects.

While Orajel isn’t yet approved by the FDA, it remains one of the most popular brands. It continuously gets exceptional reviews from those who use it regularly, and Orajel one of the top-selling brands. You can get it here.

  1. Zinc Oxide

Research has shown that there is a link between zinc deficiency and cold sores. Many times, flare-ups are triggered when the immune system is weakened. Having enough zinc in your system is imperative to staying strong and healthy.

Having a deficiency of any essential vitamins or nutrients in your body can cause problems. But, if you find yourself getting cold sores often and you’re avoiding other triggers, not getting enough zinc may be the problem. So, taking zinc oxide is a great way to get rid of cold sores fast.

They work by drying out the cold sore quickly. If you regularly take zinc supplements, it’s less likely that your flare-ups will be as frequent.

Some foods that have high levels of zinc include:

  • Oysters
  • Nuts
  • Plant seeds
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Beans

Zinc lozenges are a great way to bump up your daily intake of this essential nutrient.

  1. Campho-Phenique Cold Sore Treatment

Campho-Phenique (read our review) is a powerful cold sore treatment. It is a topical gel designed to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with cold sores instantly. The formula should be used at the first sign of a cold sore. If used properly, it can prevent blisters from forming.

The main ingredients are Camphor and Phenol. Together, they have antiseptic properties and work well as powerful pain relievers. While it’s meant to be used before a blister shows, don’t rule it out at any stage of a cold sore.

It only takes a small amount of the gel to alleviate the painful symptoms immediately. Put a small dab on the affected area before bed and you should enjoy relief immediately.

If you’re prone to cold sores and know the early signs, this is a great solution. You can use it at the first sign and avoid the more obvious symptoms altogether. Campho-Phenique cold sore treatment can prevent pain and embarrassment and you can buy it here.

  1. Milk

Yes, the same milk you drink can help to speed up the healing process of fever blisters. This is especially true when it comes to whole milk. You most likely know that milk contains protein. But, one of those proteins, immune gamma globulin, works as an antibody within your system.

This component of the protein in milk helps to boost your immune system response to HSV-1. Therefore, it can shrink a cold sore overnight.

Additionally, milk also contains l-lysine. As stated before, this amino acid speeds up the healing process and reduces painful symptoms, providing fast relief. You can help to reduce the frequency of flare-ups by including more milk in your regular diet.

If you have a blister, dab whole milk onto the lesion with a cotton ball. You can leave it for several hours, or overnight, before gently wiping away. This is a quick and easy way to use what you have on hand to achieve fast healing if you don’t have an OTC remedy at home.

How to get rid of a cold sore in one day

  1. Peppermint Oil

One option to cure a cold sore scab overnight is peppermint oil. It has antiviral properties to stop the spread of HSV-1. It also contains menthol. This soothes any irritation of the skin with a cool, relaxing sensation. This is helpful if the area around your blister is itchy.

Because peppermint oil is all-natural, there are few side effects. You can soak a cotton ball in the oil, and dab it onto the area several times a day for best results. However, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to use a carrier oil. The menthol in peppermint oil can be too strong for some people. Diluting it slightly can provide the right amount of cooling relief.

When you use peppermint oil to treat a cold sore, you’re also working to prevent the spread of the infection. Keeping the herpes simplex virus at bay is important if you’re prone to flare-ups.

  1. Echinacea

One of the reasons why HSV-1 can trigger cold sores is a weakened immune system. There are things you can do to give your immune system a boost. But, one option is drinking echinacea tea.

Echinacea contains antioxidants that help the immune system to fight back against viruses like herpes simplex. If your defense system is strong, it’s less likely to be triggered. If you already have a cold sore, echinacea can put your immune system to work to fight against it.

Echinacea also contains a substance called tannin. This has antiviral properties and will prevent HSV-1 from spreading. Brew the tea by steeping it in a cup of hot water, and sip slowly.

  1. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic that can kill a cold sore overnight.

It works as a disinfectant and reduces the chances of viral spreading. It also keeps the blister clean. You’re less likely to develop an infection, and it can help to speed up the healing process. The antiseptic properties create a harsh environment for a cold sore to thrive in, shrinking them quickly.

To use hydrogen peroxide on a cold sore, it’s best to wait until it has reached the blistering or scabbing stage. This is where most people tend to seek out treatment, anyway, because it causes the most discomfort and irritation.

Dip a cotton ball into equal amounts hydrogen peroxide and water, and gently dab over the blister. You may notice it start to bubble. This can be repeated several times each day until the blister is gone.

  1. Garlic

Garlic is more than just a healthy ingredient for cooking – it’s also a fast-acting remedy for fever blisters. It contains Vitamins A, B, C, and E – essential nutrients your body needs to fight back against viruses and skin ailments. Some people believe that a high dosage of Vitamin C can prevent an outbreak, but the evidence is only anecdotal.

The components of garlic make it an antifungal and antiviral agent. Use it as a topical application, and it’s a cold sore removal treatment that promotes fast healing.

Mince the garlic finely and then ‘smash’ about three cloves to make a paste. Apply the paste directly to the blister Let it sit for about fifteen minutes. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to reduce the period of exposure. You can repeat the process up to three times per day.

  1. Manuka Honey

Raw honey contains enzymes that make it difficult for bacteria and viruses to thrive. It also has a high concentration of natural sugars, which can prohibit viral growth. By putting a dab of honey on a cold sore, it inhibits viral spreading.

If you choose to use honey as a home remedy for cold sores, you need to know about the specific kinds of honey. Raw honey is better because it contains certain enzymes. Many times, honey at supermarkets isn’t real honey. It’s a sugary syrup. Always look at the ingredient labels.

The best type to use is manuka honey. This contains a specific substance called methylglyoxal. In addition to working with the high sugar content to kill off fungus and bacteria, it also contains flavonoids.

You can speed up the healing process by applying a dab of manuka honey directly several times a day. Not only will it heal the blister faster, but it can get rid of pain and irritation almost immediately. Honey works as a natural moisturizer. It can be used at any stage of a cold sore, but in the scabbing stage, it can prevent cracking and splitting. This reduces your risk of infection.

  1. Zilactin Cold Sore Relief Gel

To get your cold sore to go away at the first sign of symptoms, try Zilactin Cold Sore Relief Gel. Even though it’s less expensive than its counterparts, it still helps to reduce painful symptoms and is a great overnight cure for cold sores (when applied during the prodrome stage).

The formula contains a specialized adhesive, designed to remain on the blister and let the medication get to work. Ingredients like benzyl alcohol and boric acid heal the blister quickly and provide soothing relief for up to six hours.

Zilactin is one of the most popular over-the-counter gels for cold sores. Using a gel can be better than a thin cream or ointment. It is thicker and stays directly on the sore for longer. This gives the medication a chance to penetrate the blister and start healing it right away.

Zilactin is quite inexpensive and you can purchase it online.

  1. Ice Pack

When you think of ice as a blister remedy, you might ask yourself, ‘is it possible to get rid of a cold sore overnight?’ After all, it doesn’t get much more simplistic. In fact, ice might seem like too simple of a solution to be effective. However, once a cold sore has formed, ice can numb the pain.

It works in several different ways to get rid of a cold sore fast. First, it can numb the area. If you’re experiencing pain, itching, and general discomfort, this can provide instant relief. Ice reduces this swelling, reducing the appearance and unsightliness of an open sore.

Ice is best used when a cold sore is nearing the end of its cycle.

  1. Toothpaste

You may have heard of people putting toothpaste on pimples, but can it get rid of a cold sore scab overnight? Many anecdotal reviews suggest putting toothpaste on a cold sore while you’re sleeping can cause it to heal up by morning. There is no medical proof.

Toothpaste works in various ways to get rid of cold sores. The first thing you’ll notice is the cooling sensation it provides. This helps with the pain and itchiness if you have a scab. It also works by drying out the sore. If you have an oozing blister or one that has reached the scabbing stage, drying it out can help it to heal faster.

It contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). This ingredient, found in many popular pastes to cause foaming, is one of the main reasons toothpaste works so well. It inhibits blisters from growing. Some people with sensitive skin have experienced adverse reactions from SLS.

Test out a small area of your skin with a dab of toothpaste to see how it reacts before using it. Additionally, don’t use gel-style pastes. There are several tubes of toothpaste on the market that don’t contain SLS. If you have sensitive skin, they can be sound options.

heal a cold sores in 24 hours

  1. Toothpaste and Salt

If you want to dry out a cold sore overnight, use a mixture of toothpaste and salt. Mix a small amount of salt into the solution to form a paste. Use it in the same way you would toothpaste alone, putting on a layer overnight and wiping it away in the morning.

The toothpaste provides instant relief and dries up the cold sore in 24 hours. The salt works as an antiseptic. It can clean the sore and the entire affected area and speed up the healing process even more. Salt will sting a bit at first, but that shouldn’t last for too long.

The addition of salt will lower your risk for infection. If you have a fever blister that has burst open or is in the scabbing stage, it can become infected. Using solutions that heal and protect is recommended.

  1. Baking Soda

Putting baking soda on a cold sore overnight can help to dry it out, much like toothpaste does. This isn’t surprising since many toothpaste formulas contain baking soda as a key ingredient. You can make a paste at home by mixing baking soda with a bit of water.

Once the paste is thick enough but spreadable, apply a thin layer directly over the blister. Unlike toothpaste, you don’t have to leave it overnight for it to be effective. The solution will draw out acids from the affected area in just 5-10 minutes.

It will continue working even after you’ve wiped it away, drying out the sore while you sleep while you sleep and alleviating any burning or itching symptoms you might have.

  1. Tea Bags

Cold sores should not only be healed fast, but the treatment should also provide relief.

Tea contains multiple antioxidants and tannin. To use it to calm down a cold sore, you’ll need a black tea bag. Soak it in warm water for a few seconds, and place directly over the swollen blister.

It will shrink the cold sore as it eases the swelling. You don’t have to come into direct contact with the blister (as you might if you used cream, etc). That reduces the risk of spreading or contaminating other areas.

Tea can prevent the spread of infection, heal the sore quickly, and reduce swelling. You can apply the tea bag compress several times a day, as needed until it dries up and disappears.

  1. Aloe Vera

You may have used aloe vera on cuts and scrapes. Applying aloe vera to get rid of a cold sore fast is no different. Aloe vera, the sticky gel found inside an aloe plant, contains antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It’s also an antiseptic that can keep the area clean.

Aside from its healing properties, it is also an anti-inflammatory agent. If you’ve ever had a burn before and you’ve used aloe to soothe it, you can expect the same results. You can apply it to the blister at almost any stage and feel immediate results. The antiseptic properties will even help cold sores that are cracked open or bleeding not to become infected.

If you have an aloe plant, breaking off a leaf to get out the healing gel is sufficient. It’s the most natural way to get the soothing benefits. However, there are also dozens of creams, ointments, and gels on the market containing aloe vera. You can even find lip balms with the popular ingredient, which can be great to apply directly to a cold sore on the mouth.

Keep other ingredients in mind if you discover a product that contains aloe vera. While many formulas containing aloe vera are all-natural, be sure to understand the ingredient list, so you know you don’t have an allergy to the formula. You’ll notice a soothing difference almost immediately.

  1. Rubbing Alcohol

We all want to find out how to get rid of a fever blister in 24 hours. Rubbing alcohol is a popular selection. It works to prevent bacteria from spreading, reducing your risk of infection. To get the best results with rubbing alcohol, use a solution that contains at least 70% alcohol.

Using rubbing alcohol to diminish a cold sore quickly is easy. Either soak a cotton swab or the end of a Q-Tip in the solution and gently dab it directly against the sore. There is no need to rinse it away. It will evaporate on its own. This also gives it time to penetrate into the sore and get rid of any bacteria.

If you have sensitive skin, you may want to test a small amount of the alcohol before using it. Alcohol can be potent and may cause slight stinging/burning sensation.

Unfortunately, drinking alcohol is likely to make cold sores worse as it runs down the body. Just use it for external application only.

  1. Pure Vanilla Extract

Vanilla is for more than just baking. The pure vanilla extract has properties that reduce the risk of infection. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent. If your cold sore is itchy or burning, it can soothe those symptoms immediately.

Ensure that you’re using 100% pure vanilla extract. Many times, you’ll find imitation extracts and they don’t have the same healing properties. Any artificial vanilla simply won’t work.

A pure vanilla extract is also a natural ingredient, so the risk of any side effects is low. To apply it, dab a cotton swab or Q-Tip into the extract, and apply a thin coating directly over the blister. There is no need to wipe or rinse away, just allow it to soak in overnight.

  1. Licorice

Not only does licorice have anti-inflammatory properties, but it also contains a substance that fights back against the herpes simplex virus. It’s called glycyrrhizic acid. It stops the cells of the virus from thriving and spreading. Because it stops the virus in its tracks, it doesn’t get any worse.

The anti-inflammatory properties then get to work, soothing any burning or stinging. To get the most potency out of this quick healing solution, use a licorice root oil that can be applied directly to the sore. Let it sit overnight, and you’ll notice the difference in the morning.

  1. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel works similarly to tea tree oil. It dries out a cold sore fast, speeding up the healing process. You’ll get the most benefit from the oil if you apply it at the first sign of a cold sore. But, it can be helpful at any stage of the cold sore life cycle.

Witch hazel can be potent. It can irritate your skin if it’s sensitive. Before using it anywhere near your mouth, do a test patch on your elbow. Apply a small amount using a cotton swab. If your skin doesn’t become irritated, you can assume it’s safe to use.

You can apply witch hazel directly up to two times a day for best results. Not only will it help to dry out the blister, but it will prevent any infection from spreading.

How Can I Avoid Cold Sores Completely?

When you want to know how to get rid of a cold sore in 24 hours, the above solutions are helpful. Whether you choose a natural product or something over the counter, you can take comfort in knowing you don’t have to live with the discomfort and embarrassment for long.

Of course, the best thing you can do is avoid cold sores in the first place. Because the herpes simplex virus is so contagious, it’s impossible to remove every possible flare-up risk from your life.

But, you can take extra precautions to reduce that risk, including:

It’s also important to know when to seek out medical attention. Cold sores are usually harmless, no matter how unsightly they may appear. But, if these overnight cold sore remedies don’t work for you, and they last more than a couple weeks, you may need a prescription-strength solution.

You should also see a doctor if you believe your cold sore has become infected. While some of the treatments can help with that infection, you don’t want to risk it spreading or getting worse.

Using any of these pain-free methods will enable you to remove cold sore in as little as one day. Some people tend to get cold sores more than others. Even if you’re experiencing a flare up for the first time, you don’t have to live with discomfort for weeks. Use the Virulite Electronic Device to remove the blister and get on with your life.

Best Cold Sore Treatments

And last but not least, these three products continuously get glowing reviews. They have the best ratings and have worked exceptionally well for hundreds of people.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Abreva 10 Percent Docosanol Cold Sore Treatment, Treats Your Fever Blister in 2.5 Days - 0.07 oz Tube x 2
  • Number 1 Cold Sore Brand: Two 0.07 oz tubes of Abreva 10 Percent Docosanol Cold Sore Treatment
  • Can Heal in 2.5 Days: Fever blister cream contains 10 percent docosanol to shorten the duration of cold sore symptoms (1)
  • Nothing Heals Fever Blisters Faster: 10 percent docosanol cream penetrates deep into skin to tackle cold sores at their source (1, 2, 3)
  • Lip Cream Clinically Proven to Shorten Duration of Symptoms: Cold sore product shortens duration of tingling, pain, burning and itching associated with cold sores (1)
  • Portable Cold Sore Cream: Packaged in a convenient tube for on the go cold sore treatment
SaleBestseller No. 2
Mederma Cold Sore Fever Blister Discreet Healing Patch - A Patch That Protects and Conceals Cold Sores - 15 Count
7,952 Reviews
Mederma Cold Sore Fever Blister Discreet Healing Patch - A Patch That Protects and Conceals Cold Sores - 15 Count
  • FAST HEALING ultra-thin Hydrocolloid Gel provides a moist environment to help: relieve pain, reduce the blistering and prevent scabbing.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Campho Phenique Cold Sore and Fever Blister Treatment for Lips, Maximum Strength Provides Instant Relief, Helps Prevent Infection To Promote Healing, Original Gel Formula, 0.23 Oz
  • Specially formulated for cold sores/fever blisters
  • Instantly relieves pain & itch
  • Helps prevent infection to promote healing
  • For adults and children 2 years and over
  • Store at room temperature