Cold sores home remedy and treatment

cold sores home remedy

Fever blisters are another name for cold sores. They usually appear around the chin, nose, and lips. It is a very common condition, but also you should know that it is a contagious condition. The herpes simplex virus type 1 is the most common cause of cold sores. When the blisters are oozing fluid, then you should know that this virus is highly contagious. But this kind of virus is not always a cause for cold sores.

There are some cases when this virus stays dormant permanently in our bodies. Exposure to strong sunlight, trauma to the skin, hormonal changes, fatigue, and emotional stress are factors that can reactivate this virus, and also they can contribute to outbreaks. This kind of virus spreads through saliva or through direct contact with the infected person, even if that person does not have blisters.

There are many people around the world who have this disease, and it is believed that 90% of the adult population all around the world has this disease. When cold sores outbreaks, then they are characterized by painful and small blisters around the edge of our mouth or around our lips. Also, you can notice cold sores around your nose. You can feel a burning or tingling sensation around your lips and nose one or two days before the cold sores erupt. They crust over, ooze fluid, or burst. In most cases, they go on their own for a period of one week.

Also, there is some simple cold sores home remedy that can help you to ease the discomfort and to reduce the duration of an outbreak.

11 Cold sores home remedies and natural cures


When you have a cold sore, then you can feel pain, redness, and swelling, which can be reduced if you use ice. In a clean washcloth, you should wrap an ice cube. Then, you should place the washcloth on the places where you have cold sores for a period of ten to fifteen minutes. You should repeat this cold sores home remedy every 3 to 4 hours.

Supplement with Vitamin C

You can boost the count of your white blood cellbs if you eat foods that are rich in Vitamin C [1]. This cold sores home remedy can boost your immune system, heal cold sores and promote skin health.

You can consume this vitamin in capsule form, or you can eat foods that are rich in Vitamin C, such as kiwi, grapefruit, broccoli, strawberries, kale, green peppers, Brussels sprouts, red peppers, and oranges. The defense line against the invaders can be stronger if you consume Vitamin C supplements and foods.


This cold sores home remedy has antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, which can help you to treat cold sores [2]. Also, this vegetable has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help you to reduce inflammation and swelling.

You will need to cut one garlic clove into two halves. Then, you should crush ½ clove of the garlic and then you should put it on the affected areas. You should let this cold sores home remedy stay on the affected areas for a period of ten to fifteen minutes. You should repeat this natural treatment 3 – 5 times per day. When you apply this garlic claw on your cold sores, then you can feel a burning sensation.

cold sores home remedy

Acetone nail polish remover

When people have cold sores, in many cases, they have tried this remedy, and they find it is very effective. This cold sores homemade remedy can help you to dry out the cold sores. You will need to dip a cotton ball in nail polish remover, and then you should dab this cotton ball on your cold sores. You should do this cold sores home remedy several times per day. It is preferred to do it once an hour.

Hydrogen peroxide

It can dry up cold sores, and also it can disinfect those areas [3]. You will need to have 3% hydrogen peroxide, and then you should dip a cotton ball in this cold sores homemade remedy. You should apply this cold sores home remedy in the places where you have cold sores. You should let this remedy stay on your cold sores for a period of a few minutes. You should do this treatment every few hours.

Licorice root

It can treat cold sores and also it can prevent them. Glycyrrhizin is an active ingredient found in licorice root, which has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties [4].

You should mix ½ teaspoon of water with one tablespoon of licorice root powder. You should apply this mixture to your cold sores with your fingertip or using a cotton swab.

If you have decided to apply it with your fingertips, then you should be sure that your hands are clean. You should let it stay there for a period of a few hours. You should repeat this cold sores home remedy several times per day.

Also, you can use licorice root in the form of supplements or as tea. If you have a cold sore very often, then you should eat licorice root regularly because this can help you to minimize the number of outbreaks.

People who suffer from high blood pressure should not use licorice root because it can lower the levels of potassium and it can increase your blood pressure.


This cold sores home remedy has antiviral properties which can prevent cold sores. This is a reason why you should consume L-Lysine on a regular base. This is an essential amino acid that can block the activity of arginine (this kind of amino acid is promoting the replication of HSV), which is another type of amino acid [5].

If you want to keep the herpes virus dormant, then you should take 1.000 to 1.500 mg of L-Lysine supplements per day. When you have cold sores outbreak, then you should take 1.000 mg of this amino acid 3 times per day. Also, you can use creams of L-Lysine, but oral supplements are considered to be a more effective remedy for cold sores.

Also, you should eat foods that are rich in proteins, such as soybeans, cheese, milk, yogurt, and meat, because they also have lysine as their component.

Lemon balm

Melissa officinalis is another name for lemon balm. It can prevent the infection from spreading, soothes the discomfort, and speeds up the healing process [6].

It has polyphenolic compounds and tannins, which can help in the treatment of cold sores because they have antiviral effects.

In one liter of hot water, you should steep one to two teaspoons of dried lemon balm leaves. You should steep this cold sores home remedy for ten minutes. Then, you should strain this homemade remedy. You should drink 3 – 4 cups of this tea per day. Also, you can apply lemon balm essential oil or lemon balm tea on your cold sores. You should do this 3 – 5 times per day.

Cold milk

This cold sores home remedy has immunoglobulins which inhibit the virus, which is a reason for the cold sores. Also, it has monocaprin which is a type of fat that has antiviral effects. Also, cold milk will soothe the discomfort and the tingling sensation.

In cold, whole milk, you should soak a cotton ball. You should apply the cotton ball to the affected areas, and then you should let it stay there for a period of ten minutes. You should repeat this treatment one or two times per day. Also, if you have cold sores, you can drink milk, not just apply it because this product has lysine.


This is also a very effective home remedy for cold sores because it has antiviral effects and it boost our immune system. Also, there was a study in which was shown that the Echinacea extract is active against HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus – 1).

You should dab liquid extract of this herb on the places where you have cold sores [7]. Also, you can drink tea from this herb.

Echinacea can also be found in capsule or tincture form, but you need to talk with your doctor before you start using it as your cold sores home remedy. You should not use this herb as long-term treatment for cold sores.

It is recommended not to take the Echinacea as your natural treatment for more than 8 weeks. Also, this herb can interact with other kinds of medications, and this is a reason why you should not take this cold sores home remedy without talking with your doctor.

Tea tree oil

This cold sores home remedy can help you to shorten the healing time of the cold sores, and also it can help treat this disease because it has antiviral properties [8].

In one part of tea tree oil, you should add three parts of water, and you should dilute this kind of oil. You should dip a cotton ball in this remedy, and you should apply this remedy on the affected areas 3 times per day.

Also, you can make another mixture from equal amounts of olive oil and tea tree oil and a small amount of eucalyptus oil. Then, you should apply this natural remedy on your cold sores 2 – 3 times per day. If you suffer from cold sores and you have noticed that it is not improved in a period of two weeks, then you should talk with your doctor. He or she will tell you how to rid of the cold sores through cold sores home remedy.


[1] Foster MN, Carr AC, Antony A, et al. Intravenous Vitamin C administration improved blood cell counts and health-related quality of life of patient with history of relapsed acute myeloid leukaemia. Antioxidants. 2018;7(7):92.

[2] Bayan L, Koulivand PH, Gorji A. Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. 2014;4(1):1-14.

[3] Zhu G, Wang Q, Lu S, Niu Y. Hydrogen peroxide: A potential wound therapeutic target? Medical Principles and Practice. 2017;26(4):301-8.

[4] Ghannad MS, Mohammadi A, Safiallahy S, et al. The effect of aqueous extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra on herpes simplex virus 1. Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology. 2014;7(7):e11616.

[5] Mailoo VJ, Rampes S. Lysine for herpes simplex prophylaxis: A review of the evidence. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal. 2017;16(3):42-46.

[6] Miraj S, Rafieian-Kopaei, Kiani S. Melissa officinalis L: A review study with an antioxidant prospective. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2017;22(3):385-94.

[7] Hudson JB. Applications of the phytomedicine Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) in infectious diseases. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2012;2012:769896.

[8] Carson CF, Ashton L, Dry L, et al. Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil gel (6%) for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2001;48(3):450-51.


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