If you’ve ever had a cold sore, you’re not alone. About 90% of people get a cold sore at least once in their life. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, an infection that is extremely contagious and can cause cold sore symptoms to spread to other parts of the body. Cold sore treatment may include herbal-lysine and pharmaceutical antiviral creams. Home remedies for cold sores can help heal painful cold sore symptoms. Cold sore home remedies include certain supplements and other natural treatments. Keep ready to find the perfect home remedy for a cold sore.
Cold Sore Symptoms
- Tingling and itching around the lips
- Small fluid-filled blisters along the lips, nose or cheeks
- Oozing and crusting of small blisters when they burst
Home Remedies for Cold Sores
1. Immune-Boosting Foods
A weakened immune system can make you more susceptible to developing cold sores. Filling your diet with foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals can act as a home remedy for a cold sore by strengthening the immune system. Add plenty of probiotics, fruits and vegetables to your diet to keep your immune system strong.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E acts as a cold sore treatment to help soothe the skin and relieve pain. It helps repair damaged skin while reducing inflammation and providing the skin with antioxidants. Take Vitamin E as an oral capsule for cold sores treatment, or add Vitamin E-rich foods to your diet such as spinach, sweet potatoes, avocados, sunflower seeds and olive oil. (2)
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C works as a cold sore treatment to help your body fight against harmful infections. Take a Vitamin C capsule as a home remedy for a cold sore, or fill your diet with Vitamin-C rich foods such as oranges, red peppers, kale, grapefruit and kiwi.
4. Aloe Vera
Cold sore home remedies include aloe vera gel. Aloe vera contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that promote healing and fight off infection. Use aloe vera gel as a cold sores treatment to speed the healing process and reduce inflammation. (3)
A study published in Alternative Therapies for Health and Medicine showed that patients who were treated with a zinc oxide/glycine cream within 24 hours of experiencing signs of a cold sore noticed a significantly shorter duration of cold sore lesions. (4) Take zinc as a cold sore treatment or add zinc-rich foods to your diet such as pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, chickpeas and cashews.
6. Peppermint Essential Oil
Home remedies for cold sores include peppermint essential oil. Peppermint oil provides antiviral activity against the herpes simplex virus. (5) Mix the oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and apply it to the affected area.
7. Vanilla Oil or Extract
Cold sore home remedies like vanilla oil or vanilla extract can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with cold sores. Apply the oil or extract to a cotton ball and hold it on the affected area for 1-2 minutes, four times per day until the cold sore heals. (6)
8. A New Toothbrush
Cold sore home remedies won’t be as effective if you’re using a toothbrush that contains the infection. As soon as you feel a cold sore coming on, throw your toothbrush away and get a new one.
Home remedies for cold sores include a cold compress. Icing the affected area can help provide relief from pain, swelling and inflammation related to cold sores. Apply ice or a cold compress to the area for 10 minutes, several times a day.
10. Echinacea Tea
Home remedies for cold sores include Echinacea tea. Echinacea tea helps boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Drink 1-2 cups per day as part of cold sore home remedies. (7)