Are you struggling with cold sores and wondering how to get rid of them? Cold sores are a pain—literally. These pesky little blisters show up when you’re stressed, run-down, or when the weather changes, and they always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times. They can be very contagious and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are several natural remedies you can try to get rid of cold sores quickly and effectively.
In this post, we’ll be exploring some of the most popular and effective homemade remedies for cold sores that actually work.
Home Remedies for Cold Sores
Cold Sores Home Remedy #1: Lip Balm or Cream
Lip balm or cream can help to soothe and moisturize the skin around the cold sore. This can help to speed up the healing process. It is important to choose a lip balm or cream that contains sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. This will help to protect the sensitive skin around the cold sore from further damage from the sun.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #2: Tea Bags
Tea bags contain tannins that can help to reduce swelling and speed up healing. To use this remedy, simply place a tea bag in a cup of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and allow it to cool slightly before applying it to the affected area for 10 minutes. Repeat this process several times a day until the cold sore has healed completely.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #3: Salt Water
Salt water can help to dry out the cold sore and speed up healing. To use this remedy, add ½ teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and stir until the salt has dissolved completely. Dip a cotton swab in the salt water and apply it to the cold sore for 5 minutes. Once you have applied this process a few times each day, your cold sore will be gone for good.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #4: Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is often touted as a miracle cure for all sorts of skin problems, and cold sores are no exception. Simply apply the gel to the affected area several times a day, and you should see results within a few days. The aloe vera plant has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the swelling and redness associated with cold sores.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #5: Ice Pack
An ice pack can also help reduce the swelling and redness of cold sores. Simply apply the ice pack to the affected area for 10-15 minutes at a time. Do this several times a day, and you should see results within a few days.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #6: Honey
Honey is another popular home remedy for cold sores. Honey has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help speed up the healing process. Simply apply honey to the affected area several times a day, and you should see results within a few days.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #7: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, making it an ideal remedy for cold sores. Simply apply a small amount of coconut oil to the affected area several times per day until the cold sore has healed.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #8: Garlic
Garlic is another ingredient with antiviral properties that can help to speed up the healing process of a cold sore. Crush one garlic clove and apply it directly to the sore. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Repeat this process 3-4 times per day until the sore is gone.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #9: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has both antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an effective remedy for cold sores. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the sore. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Repeat this process multiple times per day until the sore has healed.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #10: Honey and Cinnamon
Honey and cinnamon have both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, making them an effective home remedy for cold sores. To use this remedy, mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Apply the mixture to your cold sore using a cotton swab and leave it on for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and repeat 2-3 times per day until your cold sore has healed.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #11: Yogurt
Yogurt contains live probiotic cultures that can help fight the virus that causes cold sores. Plus, it’s rich in vitamins B6 and B12, which can help reduce inflammation. For this remedy, simply apply plain yogurt to your cold sore using a cotton swab and leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Repeat 2-3 times per day until your cold sore has healed.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #12: Licorice Root
Licorice root is another natural remedy that can help speed up the healing process of a cold sore. This ingredient contains glycyrrhizic acid, which has antiviral properties that can fight the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). To use this remedy, mix 1 teaspoon of licorice root powder with 1 tablespoon of water to form a paste. Apply the paste to your cold sore using a cotton swab and leave it on overnight. Rinse off in the morning and repeat every night until your cold sore has healed.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #13: Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is known for its antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it an effective remedy for cold sores. Simply apply a few drops of peppermint oil to the affected area several times a day. You can also add a few drops of peppermint oil to your lip balm or moisturizer and apply it to your lips as needed.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #14: Basil Leaves
Basil leaves contain eugenol, a compound with antiviral and antibacterial properties. To use this remedy, simply crush a few basil leaves and apply them to the affected area. Leave them on for about 15 minutes, then rinse them off with warm water. Continue this several times every day until your cold sore is no longer a problem.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #15: Turmeric Paste
Turmeric is a herb with antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help to treat cold sores. To make a turmeric paste, simply mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with enough water to form a paste. Apply this paste to the affected area and leave it on for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Repeat this several times a day until your cold sore has healed.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #16: Bitter Melon Juice
Bitter melon juice is loaded with glycosides, which are compounds that have antiviral properties. To use this remedy, simply apply bitter melon juice to the affected area with a cotton swab or cotton ball. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water. Repeat this process several times a day until the cold sore has healed.
Cold Sores Home Remedy #17: Fenugreek Leaves
Fenugreek leaves have silicon, which can help in soothing inflammation and healing cold sores. To use this remedy, boil a handful of fenugreek leaves in water for 10 minutes. Remove the leaves from the water and strain them. Apply the strained liquid to the affected area with a cotton swab and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. Repeat this 2-3 times every day until your cold sore has healed.
Benefits of Home Remedies for Treating Cold Sores
Natural and Non-Toxic
One of the great things about using home remedies to treat cold sores is that they are typically natural and non-toxic. This is opposed to over-the-counter treatments, which may contain harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin.
Another benefit of home remedies is that they tend to be very cost-effective. Oftentimes, you probably have most, if not all, of the ingredients needed to make a home remedy in your kitchen cabinets or pantry.
In addition to being cost-effective, home remedies for cold sores are also easy to find and accessible. Most likely, you won’t have to go out of your way to find the ingredients needed to make a remedy.
Can Reduce Pain and Swelling
If you’re dealing with a cold sore, one of your main goals is probably to get rid of the pain and swelling as quickly as possible. Fortunately, many home remedies can help with this, thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Can Speed Up Healing Process
Nobody likes dealing with a cold sore, so it’s understandable that you want it gone as soon as possible. And while there’s no cure for cold sores, certain home remedies can help speed up the healing process so you can get back to feeling like yourself again.
Can Prevent Future Outbreaks
Getting rid of a cold sore is one thing, but preventing future outbreaks is another. And while there’s no surefire way to completely prevent cold sores, some home remedies have been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of outbreaks.
Tips for Using Home Remedies to Treat Cold Sores
For home remedies to work, you need to use them consistently. This means using the remedy at the first sign of a cold sore and continuing to use it until the sore is completely gone. Waiting until the sore is fully developed will make it harder to get rid of.
Some home remedies may be safe for some people but not for others. For example, some essential oils may be too strong for those with sensitive skin. Before applying any home remedy, make sure you take the necessary precautions and do a patch test first.
Monitor Symptoms and Adjust as Necessary
Some home remedies can cause side effects like burning, stinging, or itching. If you experience any of these side effects, stop using the remedy and seek medical help if necessary. It’s also important to monitor your symptoms and adjust the remedy as necessary. For example, if the remedy isn’t working after a few days, you may need to try another one.
Don’t Overdo It
It’s important not to overdo it when using home remedies for cold sores. This can irritate your skin and make the sore worse. Follow the directions on the remedy carefully, and do not use more than recommended. If you’re unsure how often to use a particular remedy, consult your doctor or dermatologist.
Seek Professional Help if Needed
Home remedies can be effective in treating cold sores, but sometimes they aren’t enough. If your cold sore lasts longer than two weeks or if you have multiple sores, seek professional medical help from your doctor. A doctor can prescribe medication that will help clear up the infection quickly.
Preventive Measures for Cold Sores
Avoid Triggering Factors
There are certain things that can trigger a cold sore outbreak, such as stress, sun exposure, and hormonal changes. To prevent cold sores, it’s important to avoid these triggers as much as possible. If you can’t avoid them altogether, try to minimize your exposure to them. For example, if you know you’ll be out in the sun for an extended period of time, make sure to apply sunscreen to your lips and face to protect them from harmful UV rays.
Practice Good Hygiene
Good hygiene is important for preventing the spread of germs and bacteria, and this includes cold sores. Be sure to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and avoid sharing cups, utensils, or lip balm with others. If you do have a cold sore, avoid touching it as much as possible, so you don’t spread the virus to other parts of your body or to other people.
Staying hydrated is crucial for overall health and can help prevent cold sores by keeping your lips moist and less susceptible to cracking and irritation. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider applying a lip balm to your lips before bedtime to keep them hydrated overnight.
What you eat plays a big role in your overall health, so it’s not surprising that a healthy diet can help prevent cold sores too. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins while avoiding sugary drinks and processed foods. A healthy diet will help keep your immune system strong, so it can better fight off viral infections like HSV-1.
As we mentioned before, stress is one of the most common triggers for cold sore outbreaks. If you find yourself under a lot of stress frequently, it’s important to find ways to manage it in order to help prevent future breakouts.
Some good stress-relievers include exercise, yoga, deep breathing exercises, aromatherapy, listening to calming music, or writing a journal. Just make sure whatever method you choose works for you so you can stick with it long-term. Reducing stress will not only help prevent cold sore breakouts; it will also improve your overall health and quality of life.
Cold sores can be painful and annoying, but there are some things you can do at home to ease your symptoms and speed up healing time! However, before trying any new treatments – whether store-bought or homemade – please consult with your doctor first!
Some treatments may interact badly with medications you are currently taking OR could make your conditions worse! Experiment at your own risk :). You can also check our article on How Do You Treat Cold Sores In Toddlers?
We hope this article on homemade remedies for cold sores has been helpful!