Cold sores are tiny, fluid-filled blisters that appear in and around the mouth and also affects the lips. This infection is actually quite a common one. Or rather, the virus that causes this infection is more common than we think. Regardless, these clusters of blisters are embarrassing to tote around. In this article, we shall look at various home remedies for cold sores.
Causes of Cold Sores:
The main reason for cold sores to occur is the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The main cause for its spread is close, intimate contact, like kissing. Other causes are:
- Sharing eating utensils.
- Sharing razors and towels.
- Drinking from the same cup.
- Saliva-to-skin contact.
- Transferring of the virus from open blisters.
Home Remedies for Cold Sores:
There is no absolute cure for the herpes virus (HSV). Once it is in your system, it remains dormant until some circumstance triggers its outbreak. Fortunately, it is simple enough to keep breakouts from reoccurring. Read on to know some good home remedies for cold sores.
1.) Treat Cold Sores with Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has been used in a wide variety of home remedies, especially for skin-related problems. The soothing nature of this plant brings it under good home remedies for cold sores. It is packed with amino acids and proteins that help to speed up the collagen repair. Aloe Vera provides quick relief from the pain and also soothes the itching caused by cold sores. As an addition, it helps to hydrate the dry skin around the cold sores. Aloe Vera also contains essential vitamins to heal wounds and cuts faster.
- For this remedy, you will need 1 aloe vera plant, or ½ a teaspoon of Aloe Vera gel.
- Break off one end of a fleshy Aloe leaf.
- Peel back the thin green skin to expose the inner clear gel.
- Apply this gel directly on the cold sores.
- Leave this on till it dries.
- Alternatively, apply a layer of aloe gel with a cotton swab to the cold sores.
- Reapply several times throughout the day.
2.) Milk to Get Rid of Cold Sores
When you want good home remedies for cold sores, look no further than your fridge. Whole milk is a good remedy for cold sores. It contains essential proteins, called immunoglobulins, which help to prevent a number of viruses. These proteins act as antibodies to combat viruses like the herpes virus. In addition, there are natural compounds that help to curb future outbreaks.
- To use this remedy, you will ½ cup of whole milk and some cotton balls or cotton pads.
- Refrigerate the milk for 15-30 minutes till it is chilled.
- Soak a cotton ball in the chilled milk.
- Apply it directly on the cold sores.
- Hold this in place for 5-8 minutes as the milk gets to work.
- Wet a soft towel and use it to gently dab of the milky residue.
- Finish off with a dab of petroleum jelly to prevent the skin from drying and cracking.
3.) Cornstarch to Cure Cold Sores Overnight
Cornstarch is a known method in good home remedies for cold sores. This is because it works to neutralize the pH of the cold sore. In addition, the smooth and silky nature of cornstarch is good to provide relief from the irritation and discomfort caused by the cold sores.
- For this method, you will need 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of water.
- Place the measure of cornstarch in a small, clean bowl.
- Add the water and mix it together.
- Keep adding small measures of water till you get a thick, smooth paste.
- Using a cotton swab, apply a thick layer of this paste directly on the cold sore.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Rinse this off gently with cool water.
4.) Peppermint Oil to Treat Cold Sores
Essential oils can be used as remedies for cold sores. Peppermint oil, in particular, seems to have properties that can fight the herpes virus cells. This treatment requires the peppermint oil to have direct contact with the virus cells. So it is especially relevant to quickly kill the virus cells that are present in an open cold sore.
- You will need some peppermint essential oil and cotton swabs.
- First, rinse the cold sores with cool water and pat dry.
- Wet a cotton swab with some fresh water.
- Dip this wet cotton swab in the peppermint oil.
- Apply it directly on the cold sore.
- Leave it on to dry.
- Once it is dry, you can apply a little petroleum jelly to keep the skin from forming a crust and breaking.
- Repeat this twice daily.
5.) Treat Cold Sores Naturally with Witch-Hazel
Witch hazel is a very popular herbal remedy that is used for a number of home remedies. It can be considered among top home remedies for cold sores. This liquid extract contains anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the itchy, burning sensation of open sores. In addition, it helps speed up healing of the cold sores.
- You will need 1 teaspoon of witch hazel and a cotton pad.
- Soak the cotton pad in witch hazel and place directly over the cold sores.
- Hold the pad in place for a minute or two.
- Then leave the witch hazel on till it dries.
- Repeat this 2-3 times in a day.
6.) Cure Cold Sores with Vanilla
Vanilla extract is considered to be amongst the best home remedies for cold sores. The theory is that since vanilla extract is alcohol based it acts as an antibacterial and kills the virus that causes cold sores. It helps to reduce the severity of the outbreak as well as the time period.
- For this remedy, you will need pure, organic vanilla extract and cotton swabs.
- Soak the cotton swab in the pure vanilla extract.
- Gently press the soaked cotton swab directly on the cold sore.
- Hold it in place for a minute.
- Leave this on to dry naturally.
- Repeat this 4 times in a day till the cold sore is cured.
7.) Ice to Treat Cold Sores Fast
Cold sores can be very painful. Once these fluid-filled blisters burst into open sores, they tend to quickly form a crust which then becomes very itchy. This irritation leads most people to constantly pick at the sores, not allowing them to heal properly. Under good home remedies for cold sores, ice can help to soothe this irritation and reduce inflammation.
- For this method, you will need ice cubes or an ice pack, and some plain petroleum jelly.
- Take one ice-cube and hold it against the sore for as long as you can.
- Remove the ice, or ice pack, when your skin starts to hurt from the cold.
- Now gently pat this area dry.
- Apply a dot of petroleum jelly and gently rub it on.
- This step will keep the sore from further drying out and cracking.
8.) Hydrogen Peroxide to Cure Cold Sores
This is very effective among home remedies for cold sores. Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent antibacterial and antiseptic. It works to quickly disinfect the cold sore and kill the bacteria. It can also help to speed up healing and curb the spread of infection.
- For this treatment, you will need 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and cotton balls.
- Soak a cotton ball in the tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide.
- Place this directly over the sores.
- Hold it for a few seconds, then gently dab it on and around the cold sores.
- Leave this on for 5 minutes, then wash it off with cool water.
9.) Licorice to Remove Cold Sores Overnight
Another one of the natural remedies for cold sores is licorice. This root contains an active compound called glycyrrhizic acid. This acid helps to stop the spread of various viruses, including the herpes virus. In addition, licorice has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that are useful to combat cold sores.
- To make this treatment you will need 1 tablespoon of licorice powder, and ½ a teaspoon of water.
- First, add the ½ teaspoon of water to the powder and mix.
- Keep adding a few drops of water and mixing till you get the desired consistency of paste.
- Use a cotton swab to gently dab some of this paste directly on the cold sores.
- Leave this on overnight.
- Rinse away with cool water in the morning .
10.) Vitamins to Prevent Cold Sores
It is known that there are really no cures that will get rid of the herpes virus completely. So the best bet is to make a few simple changes in our diet to help prevent cold sores from occurring again. Vitamins C and E are excellent remedies for cold sores to keep them away.
- Vitamin C: Studies have shown this vitamin boosts the white blood cell count. This enables our immune system to fight against the herpes virus more effectively.
- The natural way to get this vitamin is to increase Vitamin C-rich foods in our diet. Some of these foods are – Red berries, spinach, kiwi, broccoli, tomatoes, and red or green bell peppers.
- Vitamin E: This vitamin can be applied topically to provide fast-acting relief for the pain and discomfort caused by cold sores.
- Vitamin E has been used to treat a number of skin problems. It helps to minimize scarring. This vitamin can be ingested through oral supplements, or through foods like nuts, whole grains, avocado and leafy green vegetables.