5 Effective Home Remedies for Cold Sores

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Cold sores are small, fluid-filled blisters that occur around the mouth or on the lips. These painful and unsightly sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and may be spread from person to person by direct contact or the sharing of things such as towels, flatware, and lip balm. Although there is no cure for the herpes simplex virus, there are certain home treatments that may help reduce the severity and duration of cold sores. This post will discuss five effective cold sore home remedies.


  • Apply a lip balm containing sunscreen: Because sun exposure may create cold sores, it is important to shield your lips from the sun's harmful rays. Using a sunscreen-containing lip balm may help prevent the onset of cold sores and reduce the severity of existing cold sores. Look for a lip balm that has at least SPF 15.
  • Tea tree oil lip balm: Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial and antiviral agent that may aid in the treatment of cold sores. To treat cold sores at home, use a tea tree oil-containing lip balm or cream to the affected area several times each day. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil into your regular lip balm for further protection.
  • Applying a cool, moist cloth to the affected area can help to reduce swelling and inflammation while also alleviating the pain and suffering associated with cold sores. To use this home remedy, soak a clean cloth in cold water and apply it to the affected area for several minutes at a time. Repeat this process many times each day until the cold sore heals.
  • Take OTC pain medicines: OTC pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen may help to lessen the pain and suffering caused by cold sores. Follow the dose instructions on the package and drink lots of water to prevent stomach distress.
  • Apply benzyl alcohol lotion or ointment: Benzyl alcohol is a natural antiviral agent that may aid in the treatment of cold sores. To use this home remedy, apply benzyl alcohol lotion or ointment to the affected area many times each day. Take care to follow the dosage instructions on the carton.

To recap, cold sores are uncomfortable and unsightly, but there are several home remedies that may help reduce the severity and duration of these sores. Applying a sunscreen or tea tree oil lip balm, washing the area with a cool, moist cloth, taking over-the-counter pain medication, and applying benzyl alcohol lotion or ointment are all effective home remedies for cold sores. By using one or more of these remedies, you may help to reduce your cold sores and get back to feeling your best.

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