Cold sores have been around for a long time, and many sources claim to know the answer for quick and easy at home treatment. From certain foods, herbs, supplements and chemicals, there’s a lot of information about non-medical treatment options – but how many of them actually work? We’ve compiled a list of some of the known remedies that may ease or shorten a cold sore outbreak.
While the effectiveness of L-Lysine for cold sores has been debated, it has shown that consistently taking L-Lysine has a good chance of reducing the frequency of cold sores. L-lysine can also be applied as a cream or ointment directly on cold sores. The dosage for oral L-Lysine can depend, consult your doctor for more information.
2. Ice Cubes
Ice cubes can be a tedious, but helpful home remedy for an early outbreak. Once the first signs start appearing (tingling, burning sensation), you can apply an ice cube to try to slow down or stop the outbreak. Keep the ice cube pressed to your lips until it melts, and repeat 3-4 times during that day. This method, however, can cause some damage to your lips, so use precaution.
3. Rubbing Alcohol
Using cotton swabs, q-tips, or sterile pads, you can apply rubbing alcohol to a cold sore to help slow down the infection. Hold the soaked swab against the cold sore until it stops stinging, then apply a moisturizer to help heal.
Garlic paste is a natural antimicrobial which can be applied directly to cold sores to help reduce swelling and speed healing. Apply garlic paste to a q-tip and apply, or use a slice of fresh garlic and hold it to the cold sore until it stops stinging.
5. Aloe Vera Gel
Use aloe vera gel to help speed up healing and dry up blisters. Try to find high-quality extracts, and apply a small amount of gel directly to the blister. You can either leave it on all day, or re-apply as needed.
6. Oregano Oil
Oregano is another powerful antimicrobial, and while a tube of oregano oil can be expensive, it can help reduce swelling and promote faster healing. Apply a couple of drops directly to a blister using a q-tip and remember to always get rid of the applicator to prevent cold sore germs from spreading.
7. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a great herbal remedy that provides an all-natural cleanse that can help the healing process. While not bacteria fighting, lemon balm goes great in tea and can help reduce stress, which will benefit your immune system.