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Home remedies, Skin care how to get rid of cold sores – Remedies, Causes, Precautions

how to get rid of cold sores – Remedies, Causes, Precautions

By manisha   

Cold sores are red colored, fluid-filled tiny lesions that are usually clumped together in patches. These blisters commonly form near the mouth. Cold sores or fever blisters can also appear on the lips, chin, cheeks, inside the nostrils. They can cause pain, burning sensation, or itching. In this article, we will take a look at how to get rid of cold sores by home remedies.

how to get rid of cold sores - Remedies, Causes, Precautions

how to get rid of cold sores – Remedies, Causes, Precautions

21 Home Remedies – How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores
Life Cycle Of Cold Sores
Causes Of Cold Sores
OTC (Over – The – Counter) Products For Cold Sores
Precautions
Myths And Facts
Frequently Asked Questions
Reference

21 Home Remedies – How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores

  • Remedy 1: Lemon Balm Tea

Ingredients:

  • Dried lemon Balm – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Water – 1 cup

Procedure:

  1. Take a pan containing 1 cup of water.
  2. Steep ¼ teaspoon of dried lemon balm in the pan for three to five minutes.
  3. Strain the tea and drink it immediately without adding any sweetener.
  4. Alternatively, you can soak a cotton ball in 1 teaspoon of lemon balm tea and apply it to the cold sore affected area.
  • Remedy 2: Honey

Ingredients:

  • Organic Honey – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take a cotton ball and soak it in 1/2 teaspoon of organic honey.
  2. Hold this cotton ball directly over the affected area for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  4. Do this twice a day for 2 weeks.
  • Remedy 3: Ice

Ingredients:

  • Ice cube – 1

Procedure:

  1. Take an ice cube and rub it gently on the cold sore for 3 – 5 minutes to relieve the pain.
  2. It helps in reducing the swelling as well.
  3. Repeat this several times in the day for few weeks.

  • Remedy 4: Cornstarch Powder

Ingredients:

  • Cornstarch powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Water – 2/3 tablespoon

Procedure:

  1. Take a small bowl and add 2/3 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of Cornstarch powder in it.
  2. Mix the ingredients to obtain a smooth paste.
  3. Apply this paste evenly on the sore and leave it there for a couple of minutes.
  4. Rinse with water.
  5. Repeat four to five times a day until you get relief.
  • Remedy 5: Lemon Balm Oil

Ingredients:

  • Lemon balm oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take a cotton ball and soak it in one teaspoon of lemon balm oil.
  2. Dab this cotton ball directly over the cold sore for five minutes. Don’t rinse.
  3. Apply the lemon balm oil thrice a day on the cold sore for 2 – 3 weeks.
  • Remedy 6: Milk

Ingredients:

  1. Milk (cool) – 1 tablespoon
  2. Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take 1 tablespoon of cool Milk and soak a cotton ball in it.
  2. Dab this Milk soaked cotton ball in the cold sore affected area for a couple of minutes. Do not rinse.
  3. Repeat this several times a day until you get the relief.
how to get rid of cold sores - Remedies, Causes, Precautions

how to get rid of cold sores – Remedies, Causes, Precautions

  • Remedy 7: Garlic Paste

Ingredients:

  • Garlic cloves – 4
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take 4 garlic cloves and peel them.
  2. Now, crush these peeled garlic cloves to obtain a paste.
  3. Apply this garlic paste to the cold sores using a cotton ball.
  4. Leave it on for 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. Wipe away using a damp cloth.
  6. Repeat it twice a day for few weeks.
  • Remedy 8: Real Vanilla Extract
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Ingredients:

  • Real vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cotton swab

Procedure:

  1. Take 1/2 teaspoon of real vanilla extract and soak a cotton swab in it.
  2. Press the cotton swab directly on the sore for a minute or two. Don’t rinse it off.
  3. Repeat it four times a day for 2 weeks.
  • Remedy 9: Tea Tree Oil And Garlic Oil

Ingredients:

  • Tea tree oil – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic oil – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of tea tree oil and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic oil.
  2. Soak a cotton ball in this mixture.
  3. Dab the cotton ball directly on the sore for 2 – 3 minutes. Don’t rinse.
  4. Repeat it once to twice daily for 3 weeks.

  • Remedy 10: Coconut Oil

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and soak a cotton swab in it.
  2. Press the cotton swab directly on the sore for a minute or two. Don’t rinse it off.
  3. Repeat the application every hour for 1 week.
  • Remedy 11: Licorice Ointment

Ingredients:

  • Licorice root powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Petroleum jelly – 1 tablespoon

Procedure:

  1. Take a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of licorice root powder and 1 tablespoon of Petroleum jelly in it.
  2. Mix the ingredients well to obtain a paste.
  3. Apply this to the cold sore affected area and let it dry. Don’t rinse it off.
  4. Reapply this paste every few hours until the sore heals.
  • Remedy 12: Peppermint Oil

Ingredients:

  • Peppermint Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take a cotton ball and soak it in one teaspoon of Peppermint oil.
  2. Place this cotton ball directly over the cold sore for five minutes. Don’t rinse.
  3. Apply the peppermint oil twice a day until the cold sore clears.
  • Remedy 13: Aloe Vera Gel

Ingredients:

  • Aloe Vera leaf – 1

Procedure:

  1. Take a fresh Aloe Vera leaf and extract fresh Aloe Vera gel from it.
  2. Apply this fresh Aloe Vera gel to the cold sore and let it dry. After that, wipe away using a damp cloth.
  3. Repeat this thrice a day for 2 weeks.
  • Remedy 14: Witch Hazel Oil

Ingredients:

  • Witch Hazel Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take a cotton ball and soak it in one teaspoon of witch hazel oil.
  2. Place this cotton ball directly over the cold sore for five minutes. Do not rinse it off.
  3. Apply the witch hazel oil once to twice a day until they clear out.
  • Remedy 15: Sea Salt

Ingredients:

  • Sea salt – 1 pinch

Procedure:

  1. Take a pinch of sea salt and directly apply it to the affected area using a clean finger.
  2. Hold it in place for 30 – 45 seconds. Rinse off using cool water.
  3. Repeat this twice or thrice daily for 10 – 15 days.
  • Remedy 16: Echinacea Tea

Ingredients:

  • Echinacea tea bag – 1
  • Water – 1 cup

Procedure:

  1. Take a pan and pour 1 cup of water in it.
  2. Steep an Echinacea tea bag in this water for 10 minutes.
  3. Drink this tea 2 to 3 times a day until the cold sore clears.
  • Remedy 17: Apple Cider Vinegar
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Ingredients:

  • Apple cider vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take 1 tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar and soak a cotton ball in it.
  2. Dab this apple cider vinegar soaked cotton ball in the cold sore affected area for a couple of minutes. Rinse it off using water.
  3. Repeat this thrice a day till you get relief from the cold sore.

  • Remedy 18: Hydrogen Peroxide

Ingredients:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide – 1 tablespoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take a cotton ball and soak it in one tablespoon of Hydrogen Peroxide.
  2. Place this cotton ball directly over the cold sore for five minutes.
  3. Wash away gently with cold water.
  4. Repeat this in every 2 to 3 hours until you get relief.

Tip: Never ingest hydrogen peroxide as you apply it.

  • Remedy 19: Acetone

Ingredients:

  • Pure Acetone solution – 1 teaspoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take a teaspoon of pure Acetone solution and dip a cotton ball in it.
  2. Hold the cotton ball on the cold sore affected area for 20 – 30 seconds. After that, rinse with cool water.
  3. Repeat this in every few hours until the blister is gone.
  • Remedy 20: Yogurt

Ingredients:

  • Plain Yogurt – 1 tablespoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take 1 tablespoon of cool plain yogurt.  
  2. With the help of the cotton ball dab the plain Yogurt on the cold sore affected area for a couple of minutes. Rinse it off using cool water.
  3. Repeat it twice to thrice a day for few weeks.
  • Remedy 21: Eucalyptus Oil

Ingredients:

  • Eucalyptus oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Cotton ball

Procedure:

  1. Take 1 tablespoon of Eucalyptus oil and soak a cotton swab in it.
  2. Press the cotton swab directly on the sore for a minute or two. Rinse it off using water.
  3. Repeat this every hour for a week.
how to get rid of cold sores - Remedies, Causes, Precautions

how to get rid of cold sores – Remedies, Causes, Precautions

Life Cycle Of Cold Sores

A cold sore has to go through five stages to complete its cycle :

  • Stage I: Tingling and itching sensation that occurs 24 hours before the blister erupts.
  • Stage II: Fluid-filled blisters are seen.
  • Stage III: Blisters burst and form painful sores.
  • Stage IV: The sores dry out and scab gets formed.
  • Stage V: Scab falls off and the sore heals.

 

Causes Of Cold Sores

Cold Sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). They are most commonly caused due to infection by herpes simplex type 1 (HSV – 1), but sometimes herpes simplex type 2 (HSV – 2) can also be a cause of cold sores. These viruses are highly contagious and can easily spread due to close direct contact with the affected area of the patient. These viruses remain inactive for most of the time in the body but when this virus gets activated, it may lead to the development of cold sores. Some individuals may have just one outbreak without any recurrence whereas; others may suffer from two or three outbreaks each year. On the other hand, some people may just be a silent carrier of this virus and never have an outbreak because the virus remains dormant.


OTC (Over – The – Counter) Products For Cold Sores

  1. Penciclovir (Denavir) Ointment
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This antiviral Ointment, when used in initial stages of cold sore formation, can help in controlling pain and promotion of healing. These Creams can help in shortening the duration of recurrent infection. It is recommended to apply these creams five times daily for 4 to 5 days for best effect.

  1. Docosanol (Abreva)

This over-the-counter cream helps in shortening an outbreak by anywhere from a few hours to a day. It is recommended to apply this cream several times a day.

Precautions

  1. Always try to keep the affected area clean.
  2. Always avoid touching the affected area.
  3. You should never prick at the crusts over the sores.
  4. Avoid kissing while you have blisters and sores.
  5. Avoid sharing things that come into contact with your lips, such as spoons, forks, glasses, and towels.
  6. Never forget to apply sunscreen on your face and lips before going out in sun.
  7. Never rub your eyes after touching the cold sores.
  8. Never touch your genitals after touching the cold sores.
  9. Always consult a doctor if your lip or mouth sores persist longer than one week.
  10. Always wash your hands frequently, especially before handling a sore.
  11. Always use a sterile cotton swab to apply ointments, creams, and oils.
  12. Always dab the cream on the cold sores instead of rubbing.
how to get rid of cold sores - Remedies, Causes, Precautions

how to get rid of cold sores – Remedies, Causes, Precautions

Myths And Facts

Myth Fact
Myth 1: Cold sores are not at all contagious. Fact: No, this is not true.  The fluid contained in a cold sore blister is always contagious; starting from the first tingle to the period it gets completely healed.
Myth 2: Herpes simplex virus (HSV – 1) cannot spread beyond the lip area. Fact: This is not a Fact because HSV – 1, the form of herpes simplex virus which usually affects the lips or Mouth is also seen to affect eyes and genitals.
Myth 3: There is no difference between cold sores and canker sores. Fact: Cold sores and canker sores are two completely different things. Cold sores are caused due to infection with the herpes simplex virus and they usually appear on the lip in a cluster of blisters. Whereas, Canker sores are small non-infectious ulcers that are only known to appear on the gums, tongue, and mouth.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: How Can I distinguish between cold sores and pimples?

Answer: 1. Cold sores are usually associated with a tingling, itching or burning sensation. They are occasionally accompanied by a mild, flu-like illness. Whereas, Pimples are many times painless and do not cause a flu-like illness.

  1. Cold sores are nothing but small to medium sized blisters which are filled with transparent, thin, yellow-tinged fluid. On the other hand, Pimples are hard, solid red bumps filled with opaque, thick, white fluid.

Question 2: How many days do the cold sore lesions take to disappear completely on their own?

Answer: The lesions usually clear within 7 to 10 days without any treatment.

Reference

Wikipedia page on Herpes simplex virus

 

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