Top 13 Effective Remedies for Cold Sore Treatment At Home

There are many effective remedies for cold sore treatment at home that will help you to get rid of cold sores as fast as possible and shorten their lifespan.

Cold sores or fever blisters, whatever the name, are pocket filled with fluid beneath the surface of the skin around the mouth or on the lips that may last for 7 to 10 days.

Herpes simplex virus type 1 causes these blisters, it starts with itching, tingling, and burning sensation then a cold sore will appear within 48hours.

Cold Sore Treatment At Home

How to get rid of cold sore fast?

Before mentioning the remedies for cold sore treatment at home, you need to know that nothing can clear up the cold sores overnight but these remedies and treatments can shorten their lifespan and make you feel better.

Doctors recommend using medications to help fast healing for the cold sore as :

1 -Acyclovir is available as an oral or topical cream.

2- Penciclovir is available as a topical cream.

3- Valacyclovir is available as an oral tablet.

4- Famciclovir is available as oral tablets.

After applying one of these medications, your cold sore will crust over forming a scab, at this time, apply moisturizing cream.


What are natural remedies for cold sore treatments at home?

Before using one of these remedies for cold sore treatment at home, discuss them with your doctor and apply some of it on a small area of your skin to test its reactions as an irritant or allergic contact dermatitis.

1- Apple cider vinegar

It's one of the most effective remedies for cold sore treatment at home as apple cider vinegar can fight against bacteria, viruses, and other germs.

You should dilute its concentration before using it as full-strength apple cider vinegar is too powerful to use directly on your skin, it can seriously irritate your skin.

 After dilution, apply it once or twice daily on your cold sore and you will receive a satisfying result.


2- Lemon balm

Lemon balm has antiviral properties so it's an effective way of cold sore treatment at home.

Using lip balm with 1 percent lemon balm will reduce redness and swelling associated with cold sore and also will protect against future infections.  


3- Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has an unfavorable smell if you like it, tea tree oil will be the best remedy for cold sore treatment at home as it's effective in fighting the herpes simplex virus but take care, You need to dilute it before use as apple cider vinegar.


Cold Sore Treatment At Home

4 -Aloe vera gel

It's a popular remedy for cold sore treatment at home as it's widely available and present also as a houseplant.

It reduces inflammation and has some antiviral properties.


5 -Kanuka honey 

Generally, honey helps wounds and skin injuries to heal quickly but the new study found that kanuka honey, which comes from the manuka tree in New Zealand, is useful as a cold sore treatment at home.

After many trials, kanuka honey is as effective as acyclovir.


6- Propolis 

It's a bee product that helps in healing wounds and skin lesions.

It also has antiviral properties that promote fast healing.


7- Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid that is available as an oral supplement or cream.

Some studies proved that people taking lysine are less likely to get infected with the herpes simplex virus but other studies show that using lysine will not prevent the occurrence of a cold sore.

Before taking any oral supplement, you need to discuss it with your doctor because some oral supplements contain active pharmaceuticals that may be harmful to you.


Cold Sore Treatment At Home

8 -Ice

It's the most available remedy for cold sore treatment at home.

Apply ice directly in your cold sore for temporary relief, as ice will reduce inflammation and discomfort sensation.


Cold Sore Treatment At Home

9- Peppermint oil 

New studies show that peppermint oil is effective in fighting against both types of herpes simplex virus {type 1 and type 2}.

Apply a drop of diluted peppermint oil on your cold sore as soon as you feel tingling in your developing cold sore.

There are also other essential oils like ginger, thyme, hyssop, and sandalwood that have effective treatments for drug-resistant versions of herpes simplex virus but as other oils, should be diluted before applying on your skin.


10- Rhubarb and sage

 A new study found that rhubarb and sage cream help in the healing of cold sores and have the same effect as antiviral cream acyclovir as the healing time of acyclovir is 5-6 days and healing time of rhubarb and sage cream is 6-7 days.


11- Sunscreen

Sunlight is a stimulator of the cold sore so you need to use sunscreen with SPF 30 at least while your cold sore is healing.

It also reduces future outbreaks if you apply It daily on your lips whenever you are exposed to the sun.

Cold Sore Treatment At Home

12- Vitamin C and vitamin E

New studies have shown that both vitamin C and vitamin E can fight cold sores as vitamin C inactive herpes simplex virus while vitamin E helps regeneration of the tissue so help the healing of cold sore.


13- Licorice root

 Licorice root has antiviral and antibacterial properties and new studies have shown that it has antifungal activity also so it's one of the most powerful remedies for cold sore treatment at home.

 It prevents viral replication by its antiviral activity while its antibacterial property inhibits the bacterial function.

It is available as topical Licorice root creams for the treatment of cold sores.

What you shouldn't do and how to prevent the spreading of cold sore?

 A healthy lifestyle such as a healthy diet and regular exercise Will help you to avoid outbreaks of the cold sore.

Cold sore completely clears up within 2weeks in healthy people with a healthy immune system.

Stress and illness are the main stimulators of the cold sore as they make your immune system unable to fight the herpes simplex virus so you must try some stress reliever such as yoga and meditation, deep breathing exercises, and live life free from stress.

Until your cold sore is healed, direct contact such as kissing and skin-to-skin contact to prevent the spreading of the herpes simplex virus from one area of the skin to another.

You shouldn't squeeze the cold sore, this helps spread the herpes simplex virus because you squeeze the viral fluid out and wash your hands immediately every time you touch your cold sore.

Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits as these foods cause a burning sensation when they come in contact with a cold sore.

Replace your toothbrush when you get infected with the herpes simplex virus and replace it after complete healing of cold sore and avoid sharing of your items such as toothbrush, lip gloss, lipstick, and towels to avoid the spread of the infection.

Don't wait, start treating your cold sores by applying antiviral creams on your skin as soon as you feel tingling, this will reduce the time you have a cold sore.


When should you see the doctor?

1-When you have severe pain.

2- When you have more than one cold sore.

3-Sores near your eyes.

4- Spread cold sores to other parts of your body.

5-If your cold sore lasts for more than two weeks,  it must be checked by your doctor.

6-  If you are constantly having cold sores several times a year or more.


Prevention is better than cure so eat healthy food, do regular exercise and take care of your hygiene to live a life free from diseases and illness.

By: Dr.Fatma.Ragab

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