30 Handy Home Remedies for Cold Sores

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are painful and unsightly, and usually last from seven to 14 days. Unfortunately, trying to cover them with makeup can make them look even worse!

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which lies dormant in the nerve cells and can reactivate at any time, triggered by trauma to the skin, hormonal changes, dental procedures, fatigue, stress, a cold, fever, excessive exposure to the sun, or other factors. Cold sores are contagious, so remember to wash your hands frequently, avoid kissing or sharing utensils or towels.

Home Remedies for Cold Sores

There’s no cure for cold sores, but you can take steps to decrease the discomfort and speed healing. Try the following cold sore home remedies:

1.    Cover the cold sore with Vaseline petroleum jelly to protect from infection and speed healing.

2.    Take an over-the-counter painkiller, such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the pain.

3.    For relief from pain, try rubbing ice on the cold sore for a few minutes, at least once every hour.

4.    Avoid products containing silver nitrate which slows the healing for cold sores.

5.    Use a sunscreen on lips with an SPF of 15 or higher.  Some lipsticks contain sunscreen.

6.    Stay cool. An increase in body temperature can cause a cold sore outbreak.

7.    Brush teeth gently to avoid aggravating a cold sore.

8.    Apply raw onion directly to the cold sore to decrease healing time.

9.    Apply RexEmen Cream, a topical product developed in 1973, shown to have amazing results.

10.    Suck on zinc lozenges, which will boost immunity and shorten healing time of cold sores.

11.    Apply peppermint oil to the cold sore.

12.    Eat yogurt. The lactobacillus acidophilus is healthy bacteria that strengthen the immune system.

13.    Apply cold milk to the cold sore using a cotton ball.

14.    Chew on real licorice, or apply licorice powder to the cold sore. The glycyrrhizic acid inhibits the growth of several DNA and RNA viruses and inactivates herpes simplex 1.

15.    Apply a warm, wet tea bag to the cold sore for approximately 30 minutes every few hours.

16.    Numb the pain with an over-the-counter salve containing menthol, benzocaine, or phenol, such as Zilactin or Orajel.

17.    Try over-the-counter cold sore treatment, ABREVA, which contains docosanol. Docosanol has been clinically proven to shorten healing time of cold sores.

18.    Apply homeopathic Cold XM (XM equals “extreme medicine”). If applied repeatedly in the first few hours, Cold XM stops the herpes virus in its tracks.

19.    Take L-Lysine tablets, which boost the immune system to help control and prevent herpes outbreaks. L-Lysine can be taken daily as a preventative measure.

20.    Zovirax (acyclovir 5% cream) is a virus-fighting drug, which when applied frequently, can reduce healing time.

21.    Myrrh is an antibacterial and can be applied directly to the cold sore.

22.    Apply Blistex (the squeezable tube kind), continuously, never allowing your lips to dry out.

23.    Avoid acidic and salty foods.  Foods such as salty potato chips, tomatoes, oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits can further irritate cold sores.

24.    Avoid chocolate, peas, grains, oatmeal, whole wheat, seeds, nuts and gelatin, which have also been found to aggravate cold sores.

25.    Apply calamine lotion every few hours.

26.    At the first sign of a cold sore, apply a paste of cayenne pepper and water.

27.    Avoid drinking alcohol.

28.    Apply oregano oil to dry up the cold sore. It stings somewhat at first.

29.    Apply apple cider or white vinegar to the cold sore to dry it up. Once again, this might sting a bit.

30.    Apply tea tree oil every few hours to dry up a cold sore.

While there is no cure for a cold sore, these home remedies for cold sores can help reduce pain, speed healing, lessen outbreaks and prevent spreading them to others.  The sooner you begin treatment, the quicker your cold sore will heal.

Reference

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