According to the Mayo Clinic, the average cold sore healing time can take anywhere from several days to four weeks. How long should it take?
Different factors can play into the time it takes to recover from a cold sore. One includes whether or not you’ve experienced an outbreak previously. Regardless, if you’re finding that a current cold sore won’t heal properly, it may be time to look at different treatment options.
A cold sore will go away on its own, eventually. Even with no additional treatment, it will start to disappear over time. But, cold sores make you feel self-conscious. They can also cause a lot of pain. It’s no wonder most people want to speed up cold sore recovery to just 24 hours.
When it comes to how to get the fastest cold sore recovery, the best thing you can do is treat the condition early. Knowing the earliest signs of an outbreak are important. They typically include tingling around the mouth, and sometimes an itching sensation.
Even if you aren’t able to start treatment on your fever blister right away, that doesn’t mean you can’t speed up recovery. There are several cold sore healing methods that work quickly and can alleviate pain and irritation in the process.
What Are the Best Cold Sore Recovery Methods?
We will focus on ten simple tips that can offer a fast recovery for your next cold sore outbreak. Whether you want to use an over-the-counter product or a DIY treatment, there are solutions here for everyone.
If you currently have a cold sore that is healing but still swollen or doesn’t seem to be clearing up properly, it may be time to switch up your treatment methods. Use some of these tips to reduce negative symptoms and experience faster pain relief:
A One-Day Treatment
One of the most popular over-the-counter treatment that is meant to heal a blister in 24 hours is Releev 1-Day Cold Sore Treatment. This treatment is meant to help you find relief from symptoms like itching and burning. However, it also contains antiviral properties that can help to speed up the healing time of your cold sore.
Like almost any treatment, it works best at the first sign of these symptoms. One of the best things about Releev, however, is that you can use it at any stage of your outbreak and it will help. Many people have suggested that they notice a significant difference in just a day.
Releev isn’t considered to be a ‘one-time use’ treatment. Even though it can work in a day, it may need multiple doses to be fully effective. If you’ve tried other treatment options that don’t seem to be working and you’re ready to get rid of your cold sore quickly, a one-day solution like this should be considered.
Many people look at over-the-counter treatment options for cold sores. Aside from healing the blister faster, people are simply looking for relief. When a cold sore reaches its scabbing and crusting stage, it can become incredibly painful. This is when most people start focusing on getting a treatment.
One of the most effective cold sore treatments on the market is Abreva. It is meant to alleviate symptoms and speed up the recovery time significantly. Abreva is the only over-the-counter treatment approved by the FDA. If you’re worried about potential side effects or safety issues, you can find peace of mind when using it.
Abreva’s biggest ‘claim to fame’ is that it can lessen the painful effects of a cold sore while healing it at the same time. It contains Docosanol, which blocks viral infections from spreading. When an infection can’t continue to grow, it weakens and dies out.
If you’re able to start using Abreva Cream at the first sign of a flare-up, you may be able to prevent a blister from forming altogether. But, if your current cold sore isn’t healing as fast as you’d like it to, you can use Abreva at any time for instant relief.
Boost Your Immune System
One of the reasons cold sores can seem to last so long is because they show up when the immune system is compromised. The herpes simplex virus usually remains dormant within the body. If the immune system is weakened, it has a chance to rear its head and show up in the form of a fever blister flare-up.
If your cold sore doesn’t seem to be going away, or it’s still swollen, try treating it from the inside out. Strengthen your immune system by changing up your eating habits or taking a proven supplement, like Herp Rescue Immune Support Formula. Your diet and lifestyle choices may not always be able to prevent outbreaks, but they can certainly make them less intense.
Be sure to eat a lot of nutrient-rich foods and get plenty of exercise. It’s also a good idea to reduce your stress levels, if possible. For some people, stress can trigger an outbreak. Being able to let go of some stress can help your body to feel more relaxed, and stronger. Try to find some activity that helps lower your stress levels, like meditation or breathing techniques.
Taking care of your body properly can help to shorten the healing time and lessen the severity of a cold sore. If you haven’t been eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, or moving your body enough, you could find yourself waiting longer for the infection to be fully cleared up.
Avoid Certain Foods
Even if you’re choosing healthy foods and managing your diet well, certain food choices can be detrimental to the healing time of a cold sore. Some foods can make the immune system sluggish, like over-processed foods. Eating too much sugar or too many preservatives can be a real trigger for some people.
However, some healthy foods should be left out of your diet when you have a cold sore, too. One of the biggest culprits that can slow down the recovery time are foods that are acidic.
When cold sores go into a blistering stage, they are vulnerable to a lot of external elements. If you regularly enjoy acidic foods, the blister can become irritated. You may notice your systems start to flare up and become worse.
This irritation can lead to swelling and extensive itching. When a fever blister becomes irritated, it can also become inflamed. You may be more tempted to scratch at it, which can also hinder the time it takes to heal fully.
Foods to avoid when you have a cold sore include:
- Citrus fruits
- Tomatoes and sauces
- Salty snacks
- Vinegar-based foods
You’ll probably have a good idea fairly quickly of the foods that cause your blister to become irritated. If you keep eating those foods, it’ll take longer for your cold sore to heal. While some of them can be enjoyed (and encouraged) when you don’t have a flare-up, try to avoid them throughout your cold sore.
It may be hard to believe that something as simple as a cold compress can ensure your cold sore heals quickly. But, the quickly-cold temperature works two ways. First, it helps to numb the affected area. This can reduce swelling and make your symptoms less severe.
If your blister is in the crusting stage, using a cold compress can help to soften the scab. This will help it from ‘chipping’ or from falling off easily. If a scab does fall off, it can take longer for the blister to heal. By softening the scab, it becomes more pliable and won’t crack or fall off as easily. This, in turn, helps to ensure the blister heals in a normal amount of time.
Once you can easily recognize the symptoms of an outbreak, start using a cold compress right away. Applying ice to the affected area may not be able to prevent a flare-up completely, but if done early enough it can reduce the severity of the blister. It will also help to provide soothing relief to your most painful symptoms.
Another treatment option that can also help to soften your blister is petroleum jelly. If your skin is irritated by cold, use a swipe of petroleum jelly on the affected area. It will make the scab more pliable and less likely to break open, too. It will also serve as a barrier to keep moisture locked in and debris out.
You’ve probably used aloe vera for cuts or burns before. You can either use it on its own straight from the plant, or in a cream or ointment. It works the same way for the pain and irritation of a cold sore. By putting a small amount of aloe vera on a blister, it can provide instant cooling relief. If you have a blister that feels like it’s burning, it will be soothed right away.
But, can aloe vera help to heal your cold sore correctly? Absolutely! It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Because cold sores often appear swollen and inflamed, it can make them especially embarrassing. Some people will try to cover them with makeup or even certain types of cream. Unfortunately, that can make things worse and make it harder for the blister to heal.
Aloe vera is a natural way to reduce swelling. It’ll help the appearance of your cold sore, and encourage healthy healing.
If you’re not using aloe vera directly from the plant, choose natural products. It’s an ingredient often mixed into certain creams. These creams can be very effective, as long as their ingredients are pure and won’t cause additional irritation.
Tea Tree Oil
If you’re looking for a natural solution, try tea tree oil for cold sores. It contains antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. All of these components not only help to soothe symptoms of a fever blister but cure it quickly.
When a cold sore starts to scab over, you’re at a higher risk of infection. Dirt, debris, and bacteria can get into the open wound and make an even bigger mess. By using a treatment like tea tree oil, you can fight HSV-1 and other possible bacterial infections at the same time. It heals your blister faster and prevents other problems from making it worse.
Additionally, it’s anti-inflammatory nature will help to reduce swelling. If irritation has caused you to keep touching the blister, allowing the swelling to go down can make that less tempting.
Tea tree oil needs to be used correctly on a cold sore for it to work well. It’s a completely natural solution. But, it’s also very strong. If you have sensitive skin, it may cause irritation when not used properly. Always mix one or two drops of the oil with a carrier, like olive or jojoba oil. This will make the tea tree oil last longer, and dilute it enough to be used safely around the mouth.
Leave It Alone
If your cold sore isn’t healing properly, it may be because you’re bothering it too much. Think about how many times a day you touch your face. If something is itching or causing irritation, you’re even more likely to touch it. Unfortunately, cold sores can be very itchy.
It’s dangerous to touch a blister too much at any stage. But, once it has scabbed or crusted over, it’s even riskier. You could get dirt into the affected area from your hands. Or, you could accidentally pick the scab off. Not only can that cause potential infection, but it makes the blister take longer to heal.
Furthermore, if you touch a cold sore and then other areas of your body, you could risk spreading the virus. HSV-1 is extremely contagious. If you do accidentally touch a blister, be sure to wash your hands immediately. It may be tempting to touch the area for some ‘instant’ relief, but in the long run, it can do more harm than good.
Use Whole Milk
The same milk you drink can be an effective remedy for speeding up the healing time of an outbreak. Milk contains a substance called immune gamma globulin. This is a protein that works as an antibody to fight the herpes virus. It also contains l-lysine, which is commonly used as a cold sore treatment.
L-lysine is an amino acid. It helps to speed up the healing process, and potentially reduce the severity of future outbreaks. Since l-lysine isn’t naturally produced by the body, getting it through foods and supplements like this is a great way to protect yourself.
You can either drink milk regularly to fight the blister from the inside out, or apply it topically. Soak a cotton ball in whole milk and dab it on the affected area. After letting it soak in for a few hours, wipe away. It’ll provide a cooling relief to your symptoms while speeding up the recovery time. Be sure to use whole milk for this process, and not milk with a lesser fat content.
Virulite Electronic Cold Sore Treatment Device
Do you experience outbreaks regularly? Do they seem to take a long time to heal? Unfortunately, some people seem to experience cold sores more intensely than others. While the tips above can help almost anyone, they may not be as convenient for those with frequent flare-ups.
A unique way to make sure cold sores heal fast is with the Virulite Electronic Cold Sore Treatment. The device is a bit of an investment up front. But, it could save those with chronic flare-ups a lot of pain and embarrassment.
The Virulite system uses FDA-approved technology. It features light stimulation that helps to boost your immune system where it’s needed most. This type of light technology has been proven effective in speeding up the healing time of cold sores. In some cases, it may even be able to prevent future flare-ups from occurring.
It’s a quick and easy solution for those who struggle with them regularly. In just minutes a day, you can heal cold sores properly and safely.
How to Ensure a Quick Recovery
As suggested above, ‘catching’ the symptoms of a cold sore quickly is the best way to have the fastest recovery time. With the right treatment, you may be able to avoid some of the embarrassment and pain typically associated with flare-ups. But, if you don’t experience outbreaks frequently, it can be harder to recognize these symptoms.
So, what can you do to make sure your cold sore heals normally after a blister has already formed? The most important thing is to keep it from spreading.
Because cold sores are caused by a virus, they spread quickly and easily. Not only can they spread to other areas of your own body, but to others. Contracting a blister from another person is one of the most common ways people get them in the first place.
When you’re experiencing a cold sore, be aware of everything you touch and everything that touches the affected area. Keep these tips in mind to reduce your chances of spreading.
- Never share food, beverages, or utensils
- Don’t share towels or toothbrushes
- Make sure anything that touches the affected area is properly washed before using it again
- Avoid kissing altogether
Can I Prevent Outbreaks Completely?
If you regularly get cold sores and are frustrated by them, it’s not an uncommon curiosity to wonder if they can be prevented altogether. Unfortunately, once you have the herpes simplex virus in you, you can’t prevent cold sores completely.
The best way to reduce your risk is to use the tips to avoid spreading above. Don’t touch, kiss, or share anything with someone who has an active cold sore.
Additionally, living a healthy lifestyle is a great prevention method as well as a useful tip to speed up the healing process. The stronger your immune system is, the less likely it will be for an outbreak to occur. Even if it does, it probably won’t be as severe as it would if you have an unhealthy diet, don’t exercise, etc. If you don’t get proper nutrition through the food you eat, consider taking daily supplements to give your immune system what it needs.
It’s also important to understand what triggers your outbreaks. This can be different for everyone. Learning what affects you the most can make you more aware of those behaviors. That way, you can lessen them or put a stop to them.
Whether it’s extreme temperatures, stress, or something else entirely, learning your triggers is a great way to lower your risk of a potential outbreak.
Will These Tips Really Work to Speed up Healing?
The above tips should shorten your recovery time. Everyone can experience outbreaks differently. Sometimes symptoms are more severe for some people than others. But, the antiviral and healing properties in these solutions can give you the relief you’re looking for at any stage of a blister.
If you want to know how to get the fastest cold sore recovery, you must pay attention to the symptoms. The sooner you can start treatment, the better. Otherwise, you may be waiting awhile for your blister to heal completely.
There are dozens of additional cold sore healing methods to consider. Because they are so common, dozens of relief options have been made available. It’s all about finding out what works for you to speed up recovery and promote healing.
These recovery tips are safe and have been proven effective by many cold sore sufferers. Whether you choose a DIY solution or an over-the-counter treatment, such as Virulite, you should be able to reduce the average healing time fairly significantly.
Between antiviral solutions and soothing remedies for painful symptoms, these tips can help you to find relief quickly. If you have a bothersome blister that won’t seem to go away, try one of these solutions.