Herpes cold sores are painful, contagious viruses that can leave you feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable. The good news is that there are home remedies available to help provide relief.

This blog will provide an overview of what herpes cold sores are, as well as the best home remedies for herpes cold sores to help soothe the symptoms of the virus. 

What are Herpes Cold Sores?

Herpes cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and appear on the lips or around the mouth in small clusters of blisters. They can be painful and cause itching or burning sensations. 

The virus is highly contagious and can be spread through direct contact with another person who has it, even if they do not have any visible signs or symptoms. 

It is important to note that herpes cold sores cannot be cured, but there are some home remedies available to help relieve some of the discomfort associated with them. 

You can also check our article on Oral Antiviral Medication for Cold Sores.

Common Home Remedies

Ice Packs

Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with herpes cold sores. To maximize the effectiveness of this remedy, try wrapping an ice pack in a cloth before applying it to your skin.

This will prevent any potential frostbite or damage due to prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures. However, it’s important not to apply ice directly on your skin as this could further irritate your skin and worsen your symptoms. 


Honey has natural antiviral properties, which can aid in reducing inflammation and speeding up healing time. Honey also contains antibacterial properties, which make it great for fighting infections caused by HSV-1.

Try mixing honey with turmeric powder and apply the mixture directly onto your fever blister twice daily until it heals completely. 

Essential Oils

Essential oils such as tea tree oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, and eucalyptus oil have long been used to treat conditions like fever blisters due to their healing properties.

To use essential oils as a home remedy for herpes cold sores, mix 2-3 drops of essential oil with two tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil and apply directly onto your sore three times a day until healed completely.  

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has natural antiseptic properties that make it an effective home remedy for herpes cold sores. Soak a cotton swab in apple cider vinegar and apply directly to the sore several times a day. This should reduce redness and swelling as well as help speed up healing time.  

Milk Compress

Milk compress is an old-fashioned remedy for many skin problems, including herpes cold sores. Soak a cloth or cotton in cold milk and then apply directly to the affected area for 10 minutes, repeating 3-4 times per day until healed.

Milk contains lactic acid, which helps kill bacteria and reduce inflammation, which can help reduce pain and speed up healing time.  

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel is great for soothing skin irritation due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Apply aloe vera gel directly on the sore 2-3 times per day until healed. Aloe vera gel also helps keep your skin hydrated while it’s healing, preventing cracking or further irritation. 

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly works great as a moisturizer on dry skin, but it has also been found to help treat herpes cold sores too! Apply petroleum jelly directly onto the sore three times daily until healed.

This will create a barrier over the sore, which prevents further infection or irritation while allowing it to heal properly at its own pace without becoming too dry or cracked in between applications.  

Bee Propolis

Bee propolis is a natural remedy made from beeswax and plant resin that has antibacterial properties, which make it useful in treating skin infections such as herpes cold sores. Bee propolis can be applied directly to the affected area using a cotton swab several times daily until symptoms subside.  

Natural Treatment Alternatives

If home remedies are not providing you with the relief you need, there are also many natural treatment alternatives that could help. 

Vitamin C, E, and Zinc Supplements

Vitamin C, E, and zinc supplements are great ways to give your immune system a boost while helping to fight off the virus that causes herpes cold sores.

The antioxidants found in these supplements help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, zinc helps to reduce inflammation, which is one of the main causes of pain associated with herpes cold sores. 

Lysine Supplements

Lysine is an essential amino acid that has been found to be effective in reducing the frequency of herpes outbreaks. When taken daily, lysine supplements can help inhibit the viral replication process and prevent further outbreaks from occurring.

It is important to note that lysine may interfere with certain medications, so it is best to consult with a doctor before taking this supplement. 

Herbal Treatments

There are several herbs that have been used for centuries to treat herpes cold sores including chamomile, lemon balm, and licorice root. All three of these herbs contain antiviral compounds which can help reduce inflammation and speed up healing time.

Additionally, chamomile can help soothe itching, while lemon balm has been shown to reduce redness associated with outbreaks. Licorice root has been found to be especially effective at preventing future outbreaks due to its ability to inhibit the viral replication process. 

Benefits of Home Remedies and Natural Treatments for Herpes Cold Sores

• No need for expensive medications 

• Natural ingredients are usually safe and gentle on the skin 

• Low risk of side effects compared to medications 

• Can help reduce inflammation and speed up healing time 

• Many of the treatments are easy to use and accessible 

• Can help prevent future outbreaks 


Herpes cold sores can be an annoying and painful condition, but luckily there are many home remedies and natural treatments that can be used to help alleviate symptoms and speed up healing time.

These methods are often safe and cost-effective, so it is worth giving them a try before turning to more expensive medications. Additionally, many of these treatments can also help prevent future outbreaks. So they are worth considering if you suffer from recurrent outbreaks of herpes cold sores. 

We hope this article has provided you with some useful information on home remedies for herpes cold sores, as well as some natural treatment alternatives. Good luck in finding the right treatment plan that works for you!  ​