Toothpaste on Cold Sore: Does It Really Work?

Updated on March 19th, 2020
toothpaste on cold sore

Any medications taken are only meant to reduce the time taken to heal and prevent the recurrence of the infection. The healing duration lasts about 10 to 14 days, forcing you to resort to alternative management.

Several home remedies have been tried by people and have proved beneficial, while some have led to a worsening. One of the best methods is the use of toothpaste

Did You Know?

  • Kissing also causes cold sore as there is a transfer of a virus that takes place from one person to another.
  • Cold Sores Can Appear In Many Other Places.

Does Toothpaste on Cold Sore Work?

Toothpaste Benefits

Home remedies such as toothpaste for cold sores are moderately effective in relieving the pain and itchiness of cold sores. Since the herpes virus causes cold sores, it is quite apparent that toothpaste won’t kill the virus. Its main purpose is to dry out your blisters, making them less noticeable and provide temporary relief. An in-depth analysis of the mechanism and working of the toothpaste is provided below:

[Also Read: Top 7 Home Remedies For Cold Sores]

  • Balances the Acidic PH

Acidic pH facilitates the replication of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Foods and chemicals can make the pH around our lips acidic. Toothpaste helps to balance this pH and inhibits virus replication.

  • Dries the Blister

Toothpaste dries the blister and reduces the time taken by the blisters to drain.

  • Prevents the Outbreak of Cold Sores

Toothpaste, when applied before the eruption of blister inhibits the growth of blisters and reduces the healing period.

[Also Read: How to get rid of Cold Sores Naturally]

What Are the Other Benefits of Toothpaste?

1. Used for Daily Oral Hygiene

Being used for daily oral hygiene is one of the most common benefits of toothpaste. When brushed in a right way, toothpaste removes existing bacteria and plaque. Though toothpaste contains certain abrasive materials, it is gentle on the teeth enamel and strong enough to eliminate plaque from the teeth. You can also use a toothpaste containing fluoride.

2. Treats Pimples

Treat Pimples
Image: ShutterStock

Not only is toothpaste used for oral health, but it is also used for skin health. It helps treat pimples, which depends on some of its specific characteristics.

3. Whitens Skin

Toothpaste helps whiten the skin is another benefit of toothpaste. It is an effective remedy that you should try. To use toothpaste for this purpose, mix a tablespoon of toothpaste with a little lemon juice then apply the mixture to your face as a pack or mask to improve your skin tone.

4. Removes Wrinkles

Though not a cosmetic product, toothpaste can play an essential role in wrinkle removal. To get rid of wrinkles(2), you have to apply a little toothpaste to the wrinkled areas and leave it overnight daily. This will gradually reduce and fade away the wrinkles.

5. Deals with Dark Spots

Toothpaste helps conceal and deal with dark spots. You can make a mask from toothpaste and juice of tomato, and then apply it onto the face for dark spot removal.

How to use?

For the best results, it is considered that you apply toothpaste to a cold sore that has not yet appeared completely. There are signs when the cold sore is coming and you would tend to feel the symptoms such as itching, rash formation or even tingling in the site of the infection.

That is when you would apply the cold sore.  Hence it has to be remembered that this technique is used for the prevention of cold sored from working their way into painful pustulous sores. It is also recommended that you use a white non-gel kind toothpaste.


  • Take your toothpaste and apply a thin layer over the specific area of infection.
  • It is to be remembered that you only have to apply it on the spot and not as a lotion
  • It is recommended that you apply it before you go to sleep and the next day morning, wash it off with warm water.
  • Alternatively, you could use this in the morning as well and wash it after a few hours.

Bottom Line

Cold sore is a skin lesion that occurs on the lips, caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Cold sores are extremely common. Most adults are infected with HSV, usually transmitted in childhood by regular close contact with parents, siblings, or friends. Toothpaste is the best remedy for such cold sores. Apply toothpaste on your cold sores to avoid medications, and for an effective cure.

[Also Read: Benefits of Coconut Oil for Cold Sores]


1. Can You Put Toothpaste on a Cold Sore?

Yes, you can put toothpaste on a cold sore to help relieve the discomfort, but toothpaste is not a miracle cure for herpes.

2. How long is a cold sore contagious for?

Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters on the lips and around the mouth. These are the result of viral infection and they are contagious for around 15 days

3. Are cold sores hereditary?

Cold sores are not genetic, however, some new research suggests otherwise claiming that some patients tend to show a genetic predisposition towards frequent and severe cold sores.

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