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17 Effective Home Remedies For Cold Sores

Here is a startling fact. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), the main cause of a cold sore or fever blister, infects more than 80% of people in United States. Even if you are infected, you may not show any symptom.

Cold sores usually appear around the mouth or above or bottom of the lip. But they can show up on the cheek, chin, face, or nose. They look like a swollen cluster of small blemishes. When the blister is broken, you will notice fluid oozes out. If you leave them alone, it may take up to 2 weeks to heal according to Mayo Clinic.

Unlike canker sores, the HSV1 is contagious, which can infect any person through touch. So if you know someone that has already been infected, don’t kiss that person.

The bad news is that if you have cold sores, there is no cure for the time being. They just keep coming back. The herpes simplex virus usually stay dormant until triggers such as sunlight, infection, lack of sleep, flu, fatigue, or stress activate it. Your risk of having recurring episodes is higher if your immune system is weak, which happens when you are sick. You just have to deal with the virus until the day you die.

Not one like cold sores. So, when they do pop up, all you want is to make disappear quickly. Simply because they can be painful. Sometimes, your itchy lip drives you nuts. Or if they appear on your nasal passage, it can be hard to breathe. They can be big, which make you look awful and feel embarrassed.

If you don’t want to endure so long, then you have treat it as soon as you detect the early symptoms. The longer you wait, the more pain you will endure. If you don’t treat soon enough, the virus may spread to your eyes and genital area or the sores will become scars.

Treating cold sores early can accelerate your recovery especially if you are dealing with multiple times a year. So you probably want a quick remedy.

Home remedies for cold sores are favored by most sufferers. One reason is that they want to avoid using medicines or creams that prescribed by their doctors. The other thing is that they don’t like to talk about it. It is a kind of social stigma. That is the reason why you search on the Internet for some effective treatments that you can use at the privacy of your home.

You probably have come across some conversations when you are lurking at any health forum. There are no secrets. So, you may be familiar with some of the following treatments. What I have listed here are often suggested by members of the forums. You may not see nail polish remover (acetone), coffee, bleach, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, honey, or toothpaste included in this article until I have done the research. Thus, they are effective to manage your oral herpes. On the other hand, they may not. So, don’t expect too much from these remedies. So, if you are considering home treatments as your first approach, here is the list:


Ice is one of favorite, home remedies to ease the cold sore pain and swelling. It is easy to use. And it is free which costs nothing. You don’t have to reach for aspirin anymore.

The best time to use it is when you notice the tingling sensation. It may reduce the lingering time of the herpes virus.

Put an ice cube on the infected site for several minutes. You can also try popsicle or ice packs. Do this again every hour until you don’t feel the pain. When the temperature of the sores drops, the pain should go away and the inflammation should be reduced, speeding up the healing process. HSV1 does not like cold. So, it will become dormant.

It is safe to use during pregnancy.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Every home should have at least a bottle of apple cider vinegar. It is a common thing in the kitchen that is used in cooking. As a natural remedy, you can use apple cider vinegar to treat cold sores under the nose. It contains acid that can kill the herpes simplex virus. If your skin react adversely to it, dilute it with water.

Lemon Balm Tea

You should use lemon balm as your first-choice home cure for cold sores since it is recommended by Dr Oz. This herbal remedy contains antiviral properties that stop herpes labialis in their tracks. It also speeds up healing and may even prevent the herpes simplex 1 virus from becoming active again.

To make homemade tea, brew 2 to 4 tablespoons of lemon balm with one cup of boiling water. When the tea has cooled down, use a cotton ball to soak into the tea. Dab on the cold sore several times a day


If you want the cold sores to dry faster, then use alcohol. Some people would break their blisters with a sterilized needle. However, according to Discovery Health, it is not advisable to pick a cold sore as it may lead to bacterial infection. So be careful if you want to squeeze the sore. Then apply the alcohol on the affected site every few hours. Be patient as you have to wait 1 or 2 days for the sores to dry up.


Salt is a common item at home. It is good for getting your cold sores treated. Apply the salt on the sores. Hold it for awhile. Of course, it will sting if you decide to use this option. After that, rinse it and apply aloe vera on the sores for fast healing.


Just like antiviral medications, garlic contains antiviral properties which is a good treatment for cold sores. You can use it externally or internally.

For internal use, add garlic into your food as it can help to beef up your immune system.

Cut a slice of a fresh garlic clove. Place it on the affected area. But it is just for a few seconds. It may sting a little. Sometimes, it may cause irritation on your skin.

You may not stand the smell. One solution to mix the sliced garlic with oregano oil.


In laboratory tests, lysine can stop the herpes simplex virus from replicating. It is one of natural cures for cold sores that mentioned many times in health sites. Probably it can relieve the pain overnight. Since your body cannot produce lysine, you have to get it from your diet. Wikihow suggests dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.

If you have cold sores, you need high dosage of lysine. Diet may not provide that high amount. Your best shot is to take supplements. Take about 1,000mg of lysine. Sometimes it can be severe so you need to increase it to 3000mg during an outbreak. You can also take lysine every day for prevention.

Wikihow also warns against eating foods with loads of arginine, a type of amino acid. For example, peanuts, chocolate, and carbonated drinks. Studies reveal that there is a close relationship between herpes simplex virus and arginine. So it is better to avoid or limit the intake of arginine rich foods if your cold sores are frequent.


Kuta is an Indian home remedy. It can treat cold sores. Just place it on the sores and you should see them cleared in a few days.

Tea Tree Oil

Do you have tea tree oil at home? It is a natural remedy for treating skin problems. The oil is originated from a native tree grown widely in Australia.

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic. Like Abreva, a common OTC product, it relieves inflammation and prevents the contagion of the herpes virus. If you use it on an open cold sore, it may sting.

It is a simple step on how to get rid of cold sores with this natural oil. Use a cotton bud and soak it with tea tree oil. Apply it on the fever blister several times a day. It is not recommended to use it if the sore is inside, side, roof, or corner of your mouth, on your gums or tongue.


Milk is one of effective home remedies for fever blisters. You don’t have to drink milk to receive the cold sore relief. You can apply the milk directly on the blisters with a cotton ball even in the mouth. You should notice the pain is reduced. Use cold milk for rapid healing.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a medicinal, classic plant that can treat burns, wounds, and skin problems. It contains gelatinous sap with healing properties. It is a favorite option in Yahoo Answers. For curing herpes labialis, slice the aloe vera leaf in the middle to allow the juice to leak out. Apply the juice on the sores a few times a day, and it will soothe discomfort.

If you have often have chapped lip, apply it to prevent cracking. It is safe to use while pregnant since you only apply externally on the blister.

It is very effective when you have a scab. It helps your sore to heal faster.

Petroleum Jelly

Chapped lips are usually common when you have fever blisters. For any cold sore remedies to be effective, you need to protect your lip using petroleum jelly. It keeps the lips and scabs moist. So you don’t have any cracked lip, which can lead to bleeding.

It also forms a barrier not to allow the herpes simplex virus to spread. The moisturized lip and the barrier stops the herpes simplex virus from spreading to nearby areas. This way, the irritation is calmed and the blister can heal really fast.

Petroleum jelly also prevents secondary bacterial infection. If your sores are infected with bacteria, it will take longer time to heal.

Tea Bag

Have you thought of using tea bags to relieve the cold sore symptoms? This is a simple remedy that can be easily administered at home. It contains tannic acid, which may speed up healing.

Place the warm tea bag on the blister for 30 minutes. If you are using a cold tea bag, apply it for a few minutes. Do this again after an hour. The regular administration of the cold tea bag can offer you best results.

Ear Wax

One of grandma’s remedies for a fever blister is to use ear wax. I know it sounds disgusting. Surprisingly, some people find relief and notice their sores become smaller. When you recognize the tingle, use your finger or a Q-Tip to extract some wax from your ear. Rub it on the sore. Repeat it until the pain goes away. To get the wax out easier, sleep on your side.


Studies show that licorice can clear cold sores and prevent them from spreading. Thanks to its content of glycyrrhizic acid. You can chew licorice candy or dot the affected site with licorice powder. Do not use anise candy, which is promoted as licorice. It is not effective because it does not have the licorice’s potency to heal oral herpes.

Avoid Spicy Or Acidic Foods

Diet can determine the frequency of your outbreak. So, change your diet. Herpes simplex can replicate very well in an acidic environment, which is below pH 7. Make sure you deduce the consumption of acidic foods such as citrus and tomatoes during an episode.

Change Your Toothbrush

Ehow recommends changing your toothbrush when you have outbreaks. If your cold sore is recurring, the herpes simplex virus can survive for days in your toothbrush even you have healed. So this is an important step to stop the virus from infecting you again.

What To Do Now?

These are popular remedies that you may want to try at home. However, remember that they can only relieve the oral herpes symptoms and reduce time the herpes virus hangs around. Most of them only work in the early stages of cold sores or before they appear. Not all of them are safe for toddlers and children.

In addition, they may not get your back on your normal life soon. Don’t expect them to cure your fever blisters.

It does not matter if you use home remedies or prescription medications. You just cannot eliminate all the HSV1 from your body. Be ready for a remission at a later date.

The most important when seeking treatments is to find one that is fast acting and effective against HSV1 so you can receive instant relief and get back to your life. You want the cold sores to heal rapidly with just a single application. If you are interested to try the best, fastest, topical remedy that really works very quickly with clinically proven natural ingredients, and does not cost a lot of money, then visit more for info.

Should You Take Fish Oil

If you ask those who love to eat mackerel and salmon, they’ll probably provide you with a long lecture on the value of essential fatty acids to your health. They will quote several studies supporting the positive effects of essential fatty acids on your body and how they can relieve a number of conditions, conditions or diseases.

Yet, are fish oil safe?

After researching the internet, reading a amount of content, and a few of cups of espresso, I discovered that fish oils do have some side effects, some even quite harmful.

Diarrhea is one of the side effects if you consume too much fish oils. Doctors would often recommend a 2 gram intake of fish oil each day at the minimum.

Possibly the major risk is the contamination, more specifically mercury contamination. It will be a unfortunate fact, but a great deal of the world’s fishing grounds are contaminated or polluted. The seafood you eat might possess a good level of omega-3 but you might not know it, the fish might just contain a considerable amount of large metal contaminants.

When it comes to tablet or capsule health supplements, the process of creating these capsules might carry health risks.

Another major risk is when combined with some other blood thinners. Fish oil functions as a blood thinner or anti-coagulant, which basically helps stop platelets or heavy cells from forming bloodstream clots decreasing the risks of getting a heart attack. However, if you combine fish oil with other medications such as aspirins, it can be life threatening.

Too much blood thinners can result in you to bleed out. And bleeding will not mean simply bleeding out externally, but you can find cases where sufferers bleed with their brains actually.

So going back again to our question, is fish oil harmful? Well, the above scenario is very a frightening one but stuff like that could perhaps happen to individuals who are extremely careless. That is why before you consider any supplements, fish oil in this situation, you should consult your physician.