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How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores: Home Remedies

How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores: Home Remedies

Cold sores or fever blisters are a common viral infection. In fact, they are so common that in the U.S., between 50 and 80 percent of people have oral herpes that makes them susceptible to cold sores. Cold sores are tiny fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. After the blisters break, a crust forms over the resulting sore.

Cold sores usually cause pain, a burning or tingling sensation before they burst and crust over. What causes cold sores to appear can be blamed on the herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) virus, but sometimes even the herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) can do that too, but mostly this one usually affects the genital area.

A person that gets infected by the herpes simplex type 1, has the virus staying in their body for the rest of your life. But don’t cringe just yet, as the virus usually tends to stay inactive or dormant. When people get infected for the first time, they may experience fever, headache, nausea, and even vomiting. Along with these symptoms, they may also have painful swelling and open sores in the mouth. Sometimes, some people may experience a sore throat. However, the symptoms begin a week after someone is exposed to the virus.

Sadly, there is no known cure to get rid of cold sores or prevent them, however, there are lots of ways that can reduce their frequency and their duration. Usually, they go away on their own in a week or two and they don’t leave scars, fortunately. However, they are contagious and can be spread through saliva or skin contact, and not only. As said earlier, you can’t completely get rid of cold sores, however, there are lots of ways you can treat their longevity and severity.

home remedies to get rid of cold sores
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While some remedies help you limit the spread of the virus, others will help you reduce the chance of further infections or decrease pain and discomfort. It is worth noting that not every treatment will work for every individual, but a lot of natural products may help reduce symptoms and prevent future outbreaks.


Using ice will help you numb the pain or that tingling sensation if you apply it to the sore. However, you should use a cloth or something else as long as you don’t put ice directly on the skin as this could damage it and worsen your condition.

Over-the-counter creams

Luckily, there is a wide range of products that could easily be purchased at any drugstore that will help you reduce the pain of the cold sore, or even keep the skin soft and hydrated while it heals.

Coconut oil

To prevent, or even make the healing process easier, apply coconut oil directly in the cold sore using a cotton swab and leave it on. You can repeat the application every hour.

Aloe vera gel

This one is a miracle. Yes, it is the same kind of gel used for sunburn and it can help a cold sore to heal. Moreover, research shows that the aloe vera gel may help fight viruses, including the herpes simplex virus.

home remedies to get rid of cold sores
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a well-known antimicrobial agent. It kills the virus, thus, gives quick relief from the cold sore. Using a cotton swab, start applying apple cider vinegar directly onto the cold sore. You can repeat this procedure three times a day until you get relief from the cold sore.


Garlic is known for its healing, antiviral, antiseptic effects in healing many complicated human diseases. This is a simple home remedy to get rid of the cold sore without breaking the bank. All you need to do is take the garlic clove, crush it, and then directly applying on the blister.


Honey has antimicrobial properties that heal infected sore and soothes irritated skin. This is why honey works best to get rid of cold sores. Apply honey on the cold sore, leave it on for 5-7 minutes before you rinse it off with water.

home remedies to get rid of cold sores
Photo credit: Shutterstock

However, sometimes cold sores appear for no apparent reason, but most of the time, there are certain triggers which it’d be best if you avoid them. Such triggers include going out on a hot sunny day for a longer time, or having a stressful period. Try to stay out of these situations when possible. Maybe you won’t be able to stop them from appearing, but at least you can keep it from getting worse.


You might also want to read: 

What You Need To Know About Cold Sore Stages

When Are Cold Sores Most Contagious?

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