A Guide to Cure Cold Sores Using Natural and Alternative Methods

Updated on March 20th, 2020
get rid of cold sores

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, appear in the form of fluid-filled boils present beneath the skin’s surface. Quite often, they are located around the mouth and lips. However, they can even form on or around your eyes, nose, and cheeks. These blisters could burst open, ooze, or turn crusty. These are not only painful, but they can also get embarrassing. Naturally, you would want to get rid of it at the soonest.

Did You Know!

Cold sores and canker sores often get confused for each other. However, canker sores occur inside the mouth, are crater-like ulcers, and are triggered by stress.

Naturopathic Remedies for Cold Sores

So, if you need help with how to get rid of a cold sore, then you have come to the right place. Read on to know the best home remedies to get rid of cold sores.

What Causes Cold Sores?

Before we begin exploring the natural remedies, let us first understand how do you get cold sores? The primary culprit behind cold sores is the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2). This virus can cause a lifelong infection that could stay dormant in the body for a long period until it flares up, and cold sores are formed.

The triggers for breakouts could be anything from stress to sun exposure. Nearly 90% of adults(1) have contracted HSV, and about 50% of these individuals contracted the virus by the time they were in kindergarten.

The virus spreads through direct contact via kissing or oral sex. And even though cold sores may not be visible, they continue to remain contagious.

A person who contracts the virus will breakout within a span of a few days. Quite often, the initial breakout is rather problematic considering that it accompanied by conditions like sore throat, fever, headache, aches, and pains.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Some of the common signs and symptoms, which indicate the onset of cold sores include:

  • Tingling, burning, or itching sensation on the skin.
  • Small, fluid-filled blisters.
  • A cluster of blisters will merge and then burst, following which the ooze crusts over.

During the first breakout, an individual may display the following symptoms:

  • Fever.
  • Painful or ulcerated gums.
  • Sore throat.
  • Muscle ache.
  • Headache
  • Inflammation of lymph nodes.

Children less than five years old could also develop cold sores inside their nostrils or mouth

Different Stages of Cold Sores

The appearance of cold sores is rather patterned and follows the five cold sore stages as given below:

  1. Tingling
  2. Blistering
  3. Weeping
  4. Crusting
  5. Healing

1. Tingling

Tingling in the mouth region could indicate the onset of a cold sore. Apart from tingling, it may also burn or itch in the affected area. Treating the cold sore immediately at this stage will not only reduce its severity but also prevents the cold sore from forming.

2. Blistering

Blistering
Image:ShutterStock

A day or two after you first felt the tingling, the cold sore enters the blistering phase. In this stage, a blister appears, which is filled with clear fluid. The skin around the blister will appear angry, red, and inflamed. The blister could form on or inside your mouth, and sometimes even inside your throat.

Once the blisters emerge, they can spread easily. Thus, wash your hands often after you have come in contact with the blister. Further, do not share food or drink items, and also do not indulge in oral sex or kissing to restrict the cold sore from spreading.

Did You Know? Cold sores are often attached to stigma due to the fact that Herpes Simplex Type-2 causes sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

3. Weeping

Within a couple of days since its appearance, the fluid-filled blister will burst and transform into a red and shallow open sore. Cold sores are highly contagious at this stage. Do not pick at the cold sores as the condition may spread further.

4. Crusting

Once the blister has opened up, it will begin to dry. As a result, it will leave behind a yellow-brown crust, which characterizes this stage. Once again, do not pick at the crust of the cold sore.

5. Healing

The crusted cold sore scabs over while a new layer of skin starts taking its place. You may use moisturizers to keep the scab hydrated, supple, and soft. It not only reduces the irritation but also makes it easy for the scab to flake off. The scab will fall off on its own.

Risk Factors

If you have contracted the herpes simplex virus, then the virus does not leave and, in fact, continues to stay formant in the nerve cells. Cold sores can recur time and again due to the following triggers:

  • Fever
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Viral infection
  • Weak immune system
  • Fatigue or stress
  • Hot and cold plunges
  • Direct exposure to wind and sun

You are more likely to develop cold sores if you battle with:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Medical conditions like eczema
  • Anti-rejection drugs
  • Cancer (and are under chemotherapy)
  • Burns
  • Dental work around the lips
  • Cosmetic procedures, especially around the lips

How to treat cold sores? The following natural remedies for cold sores will show you how!

CURE 1: Essential Oils

Here is a list of some of the vital regular and essential oils, which are highly effective against cold sores

1. Tea tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil
Image:ShutterStock

Tea tree oil is the panacea for all health conditions. As it can promote skin health, it comes as no surprise that you could use tea tree oil for cold sores.

Why Does it Work?

The potent antiviral(2) properties of tea tree oil combat the cold sore-causing virus and curbs the intensity and spreading of the infection. This quality is due to the presence of terpinene-4-ol, a compound that can kill viruses, fungi, and bacteria(3). Further, its anti-inflammatory properties soothe the skin(4) and aid the healing process(5).

Materials Required
  • A few drops of tea tree oil.
  • Cotton swab.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Allow the cotton swab to soak the tea tree oil.
  2. Dab the oil directly onto the sore.

Frequency

Apply the oil several times throughout the day and once before you go to bed.

[Read: Tea Tree Oil for Cold Sores ]

2. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil can elevate your mood and boost your appetite. However, you could also use peppermint oil for cold sores.

Did You Know? Due to its stimulating effects, peppermint tea can cause sleep-deprivation when consumed in the evening!

Why Does it Work?

Peppermint oil exhibits a high level of virucidal activity(6), especially against herpes simplex virus (type 1 and 2). Studies have concluded that regular topical application of peppermint oil can discourage periodic cold sores.

Materials Required
  • Peppermint oil.
  • Cotton ball.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Dab some peppermint oil onto the cotton ball.
  2. Apply the oil over the affected area.
  3. Leave the oil on for about fifteen to twenty minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.

Frequency

Follow this routine about thrice a day.

[Read: Peppermint Oil Benefits ]

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is raw pressed from the kernels of the coconut. This coconut oil can be used for treating cold sores.

Why Does it Work?

Coconut oil is a fatty oil, which contains an abundance of triglycerides such as lauric acid and oleic acid. These compounds grant coconut oil antimicrobial properties, which can not only kill the herpes virus but also reduce the visibility of the cold sore.

Materials Required
  • Virgin coconut oil.
  • Cotton swab.
Procedure for Usage
  1. If you feel the onset of a cold sore, immediately soak some coconut oil in a cotton swab and apply it to the region.
  2. Let it sit on your skin until it is absorbed.

Frequency

Follow this routine every hour to get rid of cold sores.

[Read: Coconut Oil for Cold Sores]

4. Frankincense Oil

frankincense oil
Image:ShutterStock

Frankincense oil smells not only really good and elevates your mood but also possesses medicinal properties. It is a well-known fact that Frankincense can improve oral health(7) and fight gum diseases. Let’s take a look at how you can use Frankincense oil for cold sores.

Did You Know? It is believed that Frankincense could possibly cure cancer(8)!

Why Does it Work?

Frankincense possesses skin healing properties(9) that can help skin regeneration. Its antimicrobial and astringent properties prevent the cold sore from getting too bad. As a result, it not only prevents the worsening of the infection, but it also helps the body heal faster. Another plus point – the boswellic acid(10) present in Frankincense can ease the pain of cold sores too!

Materials Required
  • One or two drops of Frankincense oil.
  • A tablespoon of carrier oil.
  • Cotton swab.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Dilute the essential oil with the carrier.
  2. Dip the cotton swab in the essential oil blend.
  3. Dab the oil via the cotton swab over the affected region.

Frequency

Apply this at least three to four times a day.

[Read: Frankincense oil Benefits ]

5. Lemon Balm Oil

Lemon balm oil is one of the most widely used and trusted home remedies for treating cold sores.

Why Does it Work?

Lemon balm oil contains antiviral and skin healing properties. As it eliminates the infection-causing herpes virus(11), it can help the cold sore heal quickly.

Materials Required
  • Lemon balm oil.
  • Cotton swab.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Dip the cotton swab in the lemon balm oil.
  2. Apply it directly over the cold sores. Let it dry.
  3. If it stings or causes discomfort, you can rinse it off after fifteen to twenty minutes.

Frequency

Apply the lemon balm oil thrice a day.

6. Thieves Oil

thieves oil for cold

Thieves oil is a combination of various essential oils. It contains cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, and rosemary. You can use thieves oil for cold sores.

Why Does it Work?

Thieves oil offers an immunity boost and possesses antimicrobial(12) properties. Thus, the infection is contained, and one can recover swiftly(13) from cold sores. Oils like eucalyptus and lemon also offer anti-inflammatory agents, which brings down skin irritations. Studies(14) have indicated that eucalyptus oil, in particular, is exceptionally potent against skin issues.

Materials Required
  • Forty drops of clove bud essential oil.
  • Thirty-five drops of lemon essential oil.
  • Twenty drops of cinnamon bark essential oil.
  • Fifteen drops of eucalyptus essential oil.
  • Ten drops of rosemary essential oil.
  • A teaspoon of carrier oil (such as jojoba oil or coconut oil).
  • Cotton balls.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Combine all the oils together in a dark glass bottle. This is your thieves oil blend
  2. Add a few drops of the thieves oil with the carrier oil.
  3. Apply the thieves oil and carrier oil blend to the affected region using the cotton ball.

NOTE: You could also add ten to fifteen drops of thieves oil to an ounce of water and spray it over the cold sore.

Frequency

Apply the thieves oil two to three times a day.

7. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is a wonderful essential oil for a number of conditions and health issues. Here’s how you can use lavender oil for cold sores

Why Does it Work?

While lavender may not directly combat the virus or the infection, it can significantly affect the inflammation that comes with it. Plus, the analgesic compounds(15) in lavender oil cut down the pain and discomfort caused by the cold sores.

Materials Required
  • A few drops of lavender oil.
  • A carrier oil (you could use coconut or olive oil).
  • Cotton swab.

NOTE: You can also apply undiluted lavender oil to the skin. However, consider doing a patch test first to check your skin’s sensitivity.

Procedure for Usage
  1. Dilute the carrier oil and the essential oil to produce a mixture
  2. Apply it to the cold sore using a cotton swab.

Frequency

Apply the lavender oil two to three times a day.

[Read: Benefits of Lavender Oil ]

8. Castor Oil

Castor oil
Image:ShutterStock

Everyone knows that castor oil can help get rid of skin blemishes and make your skin flawless. However, did you also know that you could use castor oil for cold sores?

Why Does it Work?

The ricinoleic acid(16) present in Castor oil is effective against viruses and bacteria. As such, if the herpes virus flares up, it can successfully get it back to its dormant state. Further, it prevents the breeding of bacteria over the open sore and as such contains the infection. Castor oil contains humectants, which hydrates your skin, which helps in skin regeneration.

Materials Required
  • Cold-pressed castor oil.
  • Cotton swab.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Dip the cotton swab in castor oil.
  2. Apply a thin layer of castor oil over the affected area.
  3. Leave it on the skin until it is completely absorbed.

Frequency

Follow this remedy twice a day for best results.

Back To TOC

CURE 2: Foods

Certain food items can also help in clearing cold sores. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is the answer to almost all health problems! Let’s take a look at how you can use turmeric for cold sores.

Why Does it Work?

Turmeric contains the phenolic compound called curcumin, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, curcumin blocks the expression of herpes simplex virus genes by inhibiting its coactivator proteins such as p300 and CBP(17). As a result, it can protect you from viral infections like cold sores.

Materials Required
  • Raw Manuka honey
  • Turmeric
Procedure for Usage
  1. Combine the honey and turmeric until it forms a thick, consistent paste.
  2. Apply it over the cold sore and let it sit.

Frequency

Keep applying the paste over the cold sore as and when required. Normally, you may have to apply it at least four times a day.

2. Garlic

garlic
Image: ShutterStock

Your favorite spice, garlic, could work wonders in treating cold sores. Here is a simple remedy that uses garlic for cold sores:

Why Does it Work?

Garlic contains highly effective bioactive compounds, which have a virucidal effect(18) on HSV (type 1). Additionally, the antimicrobial properties discourage the infection from spreading.

Materials Required
  • A small clove of garlic.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Peel the garlic.
  2. Crush the garlic and apply it directly over the cold sore lesion.

NOTE: Alternatively, you could consume a few cloves of raw garlic every morning on an empty stomach.

Frequency

Apply the garlic extracts about two to three times a day.

[Read: Benefits & Uses of Garlic ]

3. Honey

Honey is rich in antioxidants that can breathe new life into your dull skin. You could honey for treating cold sores.

Did You Know? Manuka Honey is native to New Zealand, and it can even cure the symptoms of cystic fibrosis(19)!

Why Does it Work?

The antimicrobial(20) effects of honey help in dealing with cold sores. It not only helps in healing an infected cold sore, but it also brings down the inflammation of the skin. Research has shown that honey is much more effective than even antiviral creams, which are formulated for reducing cold sores. The topical application of honey(21) can effectively help with curing cold sores.

Materials Required
  • A teaspoon of raw Manuka honey.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Apply a coat of the raw honey over your cold sore.
  2. Leave it on for about five to seven minutes.
  3. Rinse it off with water.

Frequency

Apply honey twice a day for the best results.

4. Sea Salt

Sea salt is normally used to exfoliate the skin and slough away dead epidermis. However, you can also use sea salt for cold sores. Let’s explore how!

Why Does it Work?

Sea salt possesses antimicrobial properties(22), which prevent the spread of infections. Further, it helps in inactivating viruses(23), which will help treat cold sores.

Materials Required
  • A pinch of sea salt.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Clean the area with water and pat it dry.
  2. Apply salt directly over the cold sore.
  3. Hold the salt in place for about thirty seconds.

Frequency

Apply salt to the cold sore at least two to three times a day.

Back To TOC

CURE 3: Herbs

Here are certain herbs and herbal oils that can help treat cold sores.

1. Oregano Oil

oregano oil benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Oregano can not only flavor your pizza, but it can also make your lips more kissable! Make oregano tea or use oregano oil for cold sores.

Did You Know?

The great Greek philosopher Hippocrates was the first to discover the medicinal qualities of Oregano.

Why Does it Work?

Oregano contains virucidal agents, which can inhibit herpes simplex virus, and as a result, reduce cold sores. The topical application of oregano oil is greatly effective in treating cold sores. However, drinking oregano tea may help too.

Materials Required
  • Two to three drops of oregano oil.
  • A teaspoon of carrier oil.
  • A clean gauze.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Dilute the oregano oil with the carrier oil.
  2. Allow the gauze to soak in the oil and place it directly over the cold sore.

NOTE: Alternatively, you can add a pinch of oregano to a cup of boiling water. Allow the herb to steep for about three to five minutes and then strain and apply the liquid to the cold sore. You may even drink this oregano tea regularly to protect the flaring up of cold sores.

Frequency

Apply the oregano oil at least twice a day until the cold sore vanishes.

2. St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is a flowering herb that can purportedly cure depression and other ailments.

Why Does it Work?

St. John’s Wort contains potent antiviral compounds, which can suppress the activity of herpes simplex virus. Furthermore, it’s skin healing properties can help the skin recover from weeping cold sores.

Materials Required
  • Tincture or oil of St. John’s Wort
  • Cotton ball
Procedure for Usage
  1. Dip a cotton ball in the tincture or oil of St. John’s Wort.
  2. Apply a generous amount of oil over the affected area.
  3. Leave it over your skin.

Frequency

Apply St. John’s Wort oil four times a day.

3. Holy Basil

Holy Basil
Image:ShutterStock

Holy Basil, or Tulsi, is an herb that is found in all households of India. Ancient Indian medicinal practices like Ayurveda hail the Holy Basil as the panacea for all diseases.

Why Does it Work?

Holy Basil contains anti-inflammatory properties, which can relieve skin inflammation. Further, the antiseptic qualities ensure that the cold sores do not spread too rapidly. Most importantly, it contains immunoprotective and antiviral agents, which help in getting rid of cold sores.

Materials Required
  • A few leaves of Holy Basil
  • A cup of water
  • Cotton ball
Procedure for Usage
  1. Bring water to a boil and add the Holy Basil leaves to it.
  2. Allow it to simmer for about ten to twelve minutes.
  3. Once the water is reduced to half, dip a cotton ball in the liquid.
  4. Apply it to your skin.

NOTE: Alternatively, you may consume this water as Basil tea.

Frequency

Apply the Holy Basil tincture after every three hours.

Back To TOC

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CURE 4: Supplements for cold sores

Most often, the body derives requisite amounts of vitamins and minerals from the foods that we consume. However, in some cases, the lack of certain foods can cause a vitamin or mineral deficiency, which needs to be fulfilled through supplements.

1. Vitamin E

Vitamins promote skin health, and as such, you could use vitamins for treating cold sores. Here’s how you make use of Vitamin E for cold sores

Why Does it Work?

Vitamin E contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties(24) that can soothe skin irritations, bring down inflammation, and relieve pain and itching that is associated with cold sores. Regular consumption of Vitamin E can act as a preventive measure against cold sores, especially against stress-related cold sores.

Materials Required
  • Vitamin E oil or capsule.
  • Sterile cotton swabs.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Slice open the vitamin E oil capsules and extract the oil.
  2. Dip the sterile cotton swabs in the Vitamin E oil and apply it over the cold sore.
  3. Allow the oil to dry.

Frequency

Apply Vitamin E oil multiple times a day.

2. Zinc

The topical application of zinc is an effective treatment for cold sores.

Why Does it Work?

Zinc promotes the functioning of T-cells, which are your first line of defense against cold sores. Hence, the deficiency in zinc could increase the instances of cold sore occurrence. Studies have shown that Zinc also reduces the duration and severity(25) of cold sores.

Materials Required
  • Zinc oxide or zinc sulfate (0. 01 to 0. 025% concentrate) cream.
  • Cotton swab.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Dab on some zinc oxide cream over the cotton ball.
  2. Apply the cream directly on the cold sore and let it sit.

NOTE: You can ask your doctor to prescribe zinc sulfate supplements, which have proven to be more effective than topical application of zinc-based creams.

Frequency

Apply the zinc cream every two hours. In the case of supplements, follow the dosage prescribed by the doctor.

3. Vitamin C

how to get rid of cold sores
Image:ShutterStock

Vitamin C offers immunoprotective qualities that can help your body recover from infections and similar health issues. Here’s how vitamin C is a treatment for cold sores.

Why Does it Work?

Vitamin C is more of a preventive measure against cold sores. The antioxidants present in Vitamin C help the body to recover from infections and promotes the regeneration of the skin. However, do bear in mind that Vitamin C must be combined with bioflavonoids to make it more effective. Bioflavonoids, by virtue of its antimicrobial properties help in treating cold sores.

Materials Required
  • Supplements containing Vitamin C (300mg) and bioflavonoids (90mg).
Procedure for Usage
  1. Consume the supplement as per directions on the packaging.

Frequency

Follow the dosage recommended on the packaging. Normally, three doses of the combination, thrice a day for three days could help target cold sores even before they set in.

Back To TOC

CURE 5: Home Remedies

Here are some highly effective cold sore home remedies

1. Toothpaste

A number of people swear by the positive effects of applying toothpaste on cold sores. It may sound strange, but anecdotal reports convey that it actually does the job!

Did You Know? You can polish your silverware using toothpaste as it can get rid of tarnishing!

Why Does it Work?

While there is no conclusive research on the effect of toothpaste on cold sores, it is believed that the active compounds of toothpaste may actually be responsible for suppressing the flaring up of herpes simplex virus. It is also believed that it takes some sting off the cold sores. Additionally, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) helps in drying out blisters.

Materials Required
  • Toothpaste.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Apply some toothpaste over the affected region.
  2. Let it sit over the cold sore for about fifteen to twenty minutes (you may also leave it overnight).
  3. Rinse it off with some water.

Frequency

If you feel the tingling sensation that announces the onset of cold sores, apply toothpaste over the area every night before going to bed.

2. Aloe Vera

aloe vera
Image: ShutterStock

Aloe vera gel is the best naturally occurring moisturizer that can hydrate your skin. Hence, it comes as no surprise that you can also use aloe vera for cold sores!

Why Does it Work?

Aloe vera gel can effectively soothe the skin(26) and relieve the pain, swelling, inflammation, and redness that comes with cold sores. In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, it possesses antiviral properties that may inhibit the herpes simplex virus (type 1) and as such, restrict the infection. Its hydrating effect keeps the skin moist and counters the dryness of cold sore crusts.

Materials Required
  • Freshly extracted aloe vera gel.
  • Sterile cotton swab.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Dab on some aloe vera gel on the cotton swab.
  2. Apply the aloe vera gel over the affected portion and in the surrounding areas.
  3. Leave the gel on your skin until it dries completely.

Frequency

Follow this routine about four times a day.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can treat almost everything! You could use apple cider vinegar for cold sores as it is an excellent astringent.

Why Does it Work?

Apple cider vinegar is effective for cold sores treatment as it possesses antimicrobial properties(27). The topical application of apple cider vinegar is highly effective in curing viral infections.

Consider diluting the apple cider vinegar if you have sensitive skin.

Materials Required
  • Apple cider vinegar.
  • Cotton swabs.
Procedure for Usage
  1. Dip the cotton swabs in apple cider vinegar.
  2. Place it over the cold sore and let it sit for about three to five minutes.
  3. Dispose of the cotton swab and let the apple cider vinegar solution stay on your skin until it dries.

NOTE: Dilute apple cider vinegar with equal parts water if you have sensitive skin.

Frequency

Apply this ACV compress thrice a day.

4. Mouthwash

Mouthwash like Listerine is a popular home remedy for cold sores.

Did You Know? Joseph Lawrence, the inventor of Listerine, originally marketed it as a germicide and surgical antiseptic.

Why Does it Work?

Listerine is a highly potent mouthwash(28) that contains the right amount of ingredients that may be required to treat cold sores. Due to the harsh chemicals in its composition, it successfully dries up the blister. Further, its antiseptic nature makes it effective against viruses too! In fact, studies have discovered that it may actually help reduce viral contamination(29).

Materials Required
  • Listerine antiseptic mouth wash
  • Cotton ball
Procedure for Usage
  1. Dip the cotton ball in the Listerine and apply it over the cold sore
  2. Leave it on the skin until it dries

Frequency

Apply the mouthwash three to four times a day

5. Baking Soda

Baking Soda
Image: ShutterStock

Here’s how you can use baking soda for cold sores.

Why Does it Work?

Baking soda is a leavening that has a drying effect on human skin. As such, it can help an oozing cold sore crust over faster and speeds up healing. Further, it reduces the itchiness experienced by the skin while cod sores develop. It also possesses antimicrobial and antibacterial(30) properties that prevent the infection from worsening.

Materials Required
  • A teaspoon of baking soda
  • A few drops of water
Procedure for Usage
  1. Combine the baking soda and water to make a paste
  2. Apply a thin layer of the paste over the cold sore
  3. Let it sit for about twenty minutes and then rinse it off

NOTE: You could also use a toothpaste that contains baking soda. Additionally, you can also make a baking soda mouthwash to help cure cold sores.

Frequency

Do this every night before you go to bed.

How to Prevent Cold Sores

Following are some useful tips on how to prevent cold sores:

  • If your doctor has prescribed you antiviral medicines or ointments, apply them regularly
  • If you notice the development of cold sores on exposure to the sun, apply sunblock daily
  • Avoid any kind of direct or skin-to-skin contact with individuals suffering from cold sores
  • Avoid sharing personal care or cosmetic items such as lip balm, towels, or utensils with someone suffering from cold sores
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after  you have touched a cold sore
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene
  • Regulate your stress levels
  • If you have broken out in cold sores, replace your toothbrush regularly
  • Do not pick at the cold sore

Bottom Line

Once cold sores break out, it would be wise to let it run its complete course. They mostly go away by themselves within a couple of weeks (given that their lifespan is about 14 to 28 days). However, making use of natural remedies, especially in its initial stages could reduce the duration and severity of the cold sore. The sooner you take action against it, the better you will get at controlling the infection.

It is extremely vital that you wash your hands as often as possible as cold sores are highly contagious and can affect your genitals, buttocks, eyes, or other regions too!

[Also Read: Natural Ways To Treat Bed Sores ]


FAQs

Let’s address a few frequently asked questions about cold sores.

1. What Causes Cold Sores?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2). Exposure to the virus may cause you to break out into fluid-filled blisters, which are called cold sores.

2.Why Do I Keep Getting Cold Sores?

As mentioned earlier, the herpes virus does not really leave the body. As such, triggers such as stress, hormonal imbalance, sun exposure, could reactivate the virus, which causes the development of cold sores. Another reason could be a compromised immune system. It is fairly common for cold sores to recur. It is advisable to see a doctor for recurring cold sores, especially if they do not seem to heal even after two weeks.

3. Is There a Cure for Cold Sores?

While there is no permanent cure for herpes simplex virus, you can follow the remedies given above to suppress the virus. Further, consult your doctor to prescribe you medication that can help keep the virus in its inactive state.

4. What to Use for Cold Sores?

As an immediate first aid, applying an ice compress could help with cold sores. Other remedies that are effective have been listed above.

5. What to Take for Cold Sores?

Cold sores can break out when your immune system is down. Hence, you should consume a balanced diet that bolsters your immunity. Further, a few supplements that help get rid of cold sores are Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Zinc, Lysine, etc. Incorporate probiotics in your diet and avoid food items that contain arginine.

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