Also called as “Fever blisters,” cold sores can be both itchy and painful. In most of the cases, the herpes simplex virus would be the reason behind cold sores. There are several essential oils and antiviral medications that people use to treat cold sores.
However, of all, coconut oil for cold sores works wonders. The powerful ingredients of coconut oil like medium chain triglycerides contain high amounts of antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal properties, which help heal the viral infections. Also, the antiseptic properties in coconut oil greatly help in reducing the discomfort.
How Effective is Coconut Oil for Cold Sores?
People have been using coconut oil for cold sores(1) since ages. Also, various studies show the amazing health benefits of coconut oil and how it can help in treating several viral infections.
There are two main ingredients (Monolaurin and lauric acid) in coconut oil that contain high amounts of antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. Also, numerous researches have found that these ingredients play a vital role in treating specific viral infections and viruses, which includes herpes.
[Read: Natural Ways to Treat Cold Sores]
Coconut Oil for Cold Sores Remedy
Take a teaspoon of coconut oil and dab it on a blister. Gently massage for a minute or two. Remember, do not aggressively rub on your blister as it could become worse. You can take coconut oil internally too. Take two to four teaspoons of coconut oil once a day.
How Long Will It Take?
Even when you use coconut oil, typically, cold sores take a little longer than usual to heal. You could expect at least two weeks for the first breakout to heal. However, not only in treating cold sores but coconut oil also helps condition the skin so the acne would disappear a little faster.
[Read: Essential Oils For Cold Sores]
For both topical and internal use, coconut oil is safe in 90 percent of the cases and are no known side effects unless you are allergic to coconut oil. However, if you have sensitive skin, you can apply a little coconut oil on your hand or face. Now wait for 24 to 48 hours and see how your skin reacts to it.
When compared to topical use, internal use has more risks. Coconut oil is full of fat. For people who do not regularly consume coconut oil directly, there are chances it could cause an upset stomach. So even if you want to give a shot at internal use, make sure you have a moderate quantity.
On the other hand, there are also studies(2) that show that the consumption of vast amounts of coconut oil might not be so good for heart health as it contains a high number of saturated fats. So even though if you are using coconut oil to treat cold sores, make sure that you are not consuming too much of coconut oil.
What Are the Other Home Remedies to Treat Cold Sores?
Well, when it comes to home remedies, there are a lot of them that you can try to treat cold sores. One of them is aloe vera gel. There is a study that indicates pure aloe vera gel can be used to apply topically to treat cold sores. The anti-inflammatory and healing properties in aloe vera gel help reduce the discomfort.
Another home remedy you can give a shot at is a lemon balm. The antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties in lemon balm greatly help in treating cold sores. Lemon balm not only helps treat cold sores but also reduces the swelling and redness that come along with cold sores.
The anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antiseptic properties in coconut oil are effective in treating cold sores. You could apply coconut oil topically from two to five times a day for better results. However, if you do not see any sort of improvement even after two weeks, kindly see your doctor for better diagnosis and treatment.
[Read: Canker Sores vs Cold Sores]
1. Should Coconut Oil Be Mixed with Other Oil Before Using?
It is not needed. Since coconut oil itself is a carrier oil, you don’t have to mix it with other oil. It be can be used directly either topically or internally.
2. Which Coconut Oil to Use: Refined or Unrefined?
Compared to refined, unrefined cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is better as baking and bleaching process could reduce the anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties.