No doubt that natural remedies for cold sores can give you some relief if you frequently suffer from cold sores, but you can’t depend on them totally and ignore your medications.
Overview on Cold sores:
Cold sores are painful and itchy sores caused by viral infection causing blisters filled with fluid and scattered on your lips or around the mouth. It’s caused commonly by Herpes simplex virus type-1 and less commonly by type -2. It's infectious from one person to another. Cold sores are very common to happen because more than 50% of the population are carriers of the virus
Stages of cold sores:
3- Stage of blisters.
Infection caused by the herpes simplex virus can’t be treated radically, but medications with some natural remedies for cold sores may help to relieve pain and discomfort. Once the person catches the virus, he becomes a carrier.
The first outbreak is the worst. The person may get flare-ups as a result of many causes including; stress, sun exposure, severe illness, changes in the immune system, and menstruation.
Management includes medications together with natural remedies for cold sores.
These medications can be taken as pills or local creams, the pills are more effective in the early stage with good results. antibiotic creams can also be applied on the crusts to avoid infection.
The best 10 natural remedies for cold sores:
1- Aloe vera:
Aloe vera is a plant that belongs to the succulent species of the Asphodelaceae family. It’s a popular house plant that’s used frequently as a natural remedy for many things like sunburn, acne, and cold sores. It is safe to apply it to your skin But you should better consult your dermatologist before using it. you can cool it in your refrigerator to give you more relief from your discomfort.
2- Kanuka honey:
Produced by bees in New Zealand are very rich in vitamin C and E which are very effective in fighting cold sores. Some physicians consider kanuka honey to be as good as antiviral creams in treating cold sores.
So we can say it’s one of the best natural remedies for cold sores as it’s totally natural and has no side effects. But we can’t be sure if other types of honey can have the same healing effect that kanuka honey has against cold sores.
Propolis is a substance that is like resin produced by bees. Bees use it to build their hives, so we can rarely find it as a pure form but it’s usually found with beehives.
It has been found that applying a cream that contains propolis 3-4 times a day can help quickly relieve cold sores as it can help the immune system and make viral infections fade quickly. So if you frequently have cold sores outbreaks in winter, you can apply propolis ointment or extract it as prophylaxis.
If you put ice or a cool towel over the cold sores several times a day, it will help to reduce pain, swelling, and redness and also reduce the duration of the breakout. It’s better to do this at the first sign of tingling using an ice cube until it melts.
5- Lemon balm:
Lemon balm is considered one of the best natural remedies for cold sores according to old research. It has an antiviral effect and can protect against the herpes simplex virus especially if applied in the early stages of your cold sores. It also has an antibacterial effect so it prevents more infections from happening.
It also helps to reduce healing time and relieve symptoms. There are also topical ointments containing extract of lemon balm which are advised to be used in the early stages of your cold sores. Not only this but also lemon balm oil is available to be used directly over your cold sores by applying diluted oil to them.
Lysine is an essential amino acid. It’s not produced in your body, so you need to take it in your food or as supplements. Lysine is essential for your body's health.
Food rich in lysine;
Lysine is believed to reduce the number of cold sores outbreaks and decrease the healing time. A study made in 2005 found that lysine can speed up the healing process in 87% of the participants, and decrease the healing time from 21 days to only 6 days.
So we can say it’s one of the best natural remedies for cold sores that you can depend on. It will not only relieve your cold sores, but it will also improve your health generally.
It’s important to apply sunscreen over your skin when you are exposed to the sun to protect it from harmful UV rays, but we sometimes forget to also protect our lips with lip sunscreen.
Studies showed that cold sores can be triggered by sun exposure, so applying lip sunscreen can help you to avoid this trigger. Applying lip sunscreen can protect your lips during the healing process of cold sores and can also reduce the occurrence of future outbreaks.
8- Stress reduction:
Stress is one of the causes that make you have cold sores flare-ups. That's because, in case of stress, your immune system becomes weak making you ready to get an outbreak. So stress reduction is very important if you always have outbreaks. So if you have an outbreak, just try to relax, rest and try some of the previously mentioned natural remedies for cold sores.
9- Tea tree oil:
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has antiviral, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It can reduce the healing time of cold sores and relieve your symptoms. It only needs to be diluted, then it can be applied directly over your cold sores 1-2 times per day. It has no side effects. And because cold sores have no radical treatment, depending on such natural ways is good.
Some studies consider that it is very effective in treating cold sores, so it's one of the natural remedies for cold sores that you can depend on.
10- peppermint oil:
Peppermint oil is also essential oil. It has similar results in treating cold sores as tea tree oil. It’s believed that it can interfere with the activity of both HSV type 1 and 2, so it can be used in treating recurrent herpes infections. It needs to be diluted and applied directly over the injury. You can also cool the mint before using it to soothe inflamed skin and speed the healing process up.
Other essential oils used as natural remedies for cold sores:
It’s an oil extracted from the anise plant that helps to reduce cold sores.
It has high amounts of carvacrol which makes it a good antiviral oil. So it has been considered as one of the best natural remedies for cold sores and a very natural one.
It helps to soothe the irritation of your cold sores. It needs to be diluted and applied directly over the sores.
Vanilla essential oil:
Using it in the early stages of cold sores is very effective as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
It has anti-inflammatory features, making it a good option as one of the oils used as natural remedies for cold sores. And although it has no direct effect on the virus, its anti-inflammatory effect helps to reduce itching and pain.
Lemon balm oil
Lip balm oil
So we say that getting some natural remedies for your cold sores is a good choice if you frequently suffer from them. If you have any complications, you should see your doctor.