Cold sores, also referred as Fever Blisters are small sores like lesions that either appears on the face or inside the mouth. These sores or blisters usually cause pain and inflammation. Itching caused in the affected area is the sign that the sores are now healing. The most common area affected by cold sores include lips, chin, cheeks, inside the nostrils, on the gums or the soft palate i.e. the roof of the mouth. This article is about various natural remedies that will help you to get rid of cold sores fast.
The virus that is responsible for the Cold sores is Herpes Simplex type 1 or HSV-1 Virus, being the most common source of infection especially around the mouth. Some of the less common cold sores are a result of HSV-2 Virus i.e. the Simplex type 2 that is the result of oral sex with a person has an infection of genital herpes.
Unlike canker sores, cold sores are contagious and can spread through direct contact with the affected person. However, there is no cure for an already infected person but, the remedies can definitely help you to reduce the frequency and duration of cold sores, also possibly controlling its symptoms.
When the Herpes Virus enters a human body, it stays inactive (Dormant). Certain triggers tend to activate the virus resulting in the outbreaks of cold sores. The infection may vary from person to person. If for an individual it is just one or two outbreaks, others may have 2-5 outbreaks each year. There are cases where people carry the Herpes virus that is dormant in their body and cause no outbreaks at all.
Causes of Cold Sores
It can also be transmitted through direct contact with the infected person. Sharing personal stuff like clothes, towels, sanitary etc can also spread the infection. But these reasons only spread the virus, the outbreaks occur when certain factors trigger the infection and activate the bacteria inside the body. These are few of the factors that can trigger a dominant Herpes Virus inside the body.
- Mental Stress
- Intense exposure to sunlight
Symptoms of Cold Sores Infection
Usually other than breakouts, no other signs and symptoms are evidenced. But, in a few cases, usually, in children, these symptoms are seen when the infection becomes severe.
- Mouth ulcers or blisters
- Swollen lips
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands
- Fluid-filled sores
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Elevated body temperature
- Lesions in the mouth or on the tongue
- Itching or inflammation on the affected area
- Yellow crust forms on the surface of the sores
Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Cold Sores Fast
1.) Aloe Vera Gel for Cold Sores
Aloe vera is touted as one among the best natural remedies for numerous skin problems. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that help to fight infection and soothe the irritation. All this makes it an effective home remedy to get rid of cold sores fast.
- Take a fresh aloe vera leaf and scoop out the gel.
- Soak a cotton swab in it and directly apply to the affected area.
- Finally, leaving it on to work.
- This will soothe itching and irritation.
2.) The Witch Hazel Remedy
North American Witch Hazel has amazing skin benefits and is also used as a medicinal plant by the native Americans. This makes it an effective old-age remedy. Now, because of its commercialization, it is easily available at various pharmacies as Witch Hazel Hydrosol. So, you don’t have to worry about getting a plant and then bark off the leaves.
- Soak a cotton swab in a teaspoon of witch hazel hydrosol.
- Place it directly to the affected area and dab it with soft hands.
- Repeat this remedy once or twice daily to get rid of cold sores fast.
3.) Cornstarch Paste for Cold Sores
Cornstarch has the properties to neutralize the pH levels of the skin affected by cold sores. As the herpes virus thrives in the overly acidic environment. This makes the skin unfavorable for the virus to stay and cause infection. Thus soothing the infection and helping to get rid of cold sores fast.
- Dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch in a teaspoon of water to form a thick paste.
- You can also add more water if needed to get the desired consistency.
- Dab the paste directly on the affected area before going to bed.
- You can also secure it with a bandage or paper tape if you want to.
- Rinse it off the next morning.
- Repeat the remedy until the sores are completely cured.
4.) Vitamins Rich Food Diet
Vitamin E and C are known as effective necessities for our body. Vitamin C boosts the production of WBC’s in our body. WBC’s are helpful in fighting the bacteria against infection. It also acts as the body’s defenders so, more production of WBC’s leads to more effective results to fight and get rid of the infection. On the other hand, Vitamin E is an essential skin agent that is the best remedy for your skin. When applied topically, these vitamins are found to give magical results to get rid of cold sores naturally.
Vitamin C Rich Foods:
- Lime or lemon
- Red berries
- Green Chilies
- Red and green bell peppers
Vitamin E Rich Foods:
- Whole grain
- Nuts and seeds
- Vegetable oils
- Leafy green vegetables
5.) Minty Fresh Benefits
Peppermint has properties that kill the Herpes virus particles outside the cells. Some of the virus particles float around the breakouts, peppermint acts on these particles and kill them on the spot. It helps to get rid of cold sores fast and kill the virus particles that escape from the cell.
- Clean the affected area properly with plain water.
- Soak a cotton swab in peppermint essential oil and dab it on the affected area.
- This may cause a bit irritation but if it’s severe then rinse off the oil.
- Alternatively, you can also dilute the oil in a bit of fresh water.
- Apply it on the affected area with the cotton ball.
- Repeat the process twice daily until the cold sores are completely healed and there is no sign of breakouts.
6.) Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse
Hydrogen Peroxide solution is an effective cold sore remedy. It acts as a disinfectant and heals the breakouts. This also makes it hard for the infection to spread or even worsen the condition. The disinfectant helps to keep the affected area clean making it easier to get rid of cold sores fast. It may hurt a bit so, please prepare your mind if you opt for a Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse for your cold sores.
- Soak a cotton swab in a tablespoon of Hydrogen Peroxide solution.
- Place the soaked cotton swab on the affected area.
- Hold it for a few seconds and gently dab.
- It may sting a bit, do not worry as it won’t harm.
- Finally, let it sit in the area and work for 5 minutes, then wash off.
- Repeat the remedy until the sores are completely cured.
7.) The Milk Remedy
Using a milk compress on cold sores can help to speed up the healing process and ease irritation. This is because milk has proteins called Immunoglobulins that are essential antibodies. They fight off the virus causing infection and also, prevents the infection to struck in future. The presence of L-lysine is an addition to the health benefits of Milk, as it restricts the work of amino acids that trigger the outbreaks.
- Drink a glass of whole milk daily to prevent and get rid of cold sores fast.
- You can also prepare a whole milk compress by soaking a cotton swab in the milk.
- Apply it directly to the affected area for several minutes.
- The milk should either be cold or at room temperature.
- Too hot milk can burn your skin and worsen the infection.
- Use a clean washcloth to dab on the milk residue left on the affected area.
- Alternatively, you can also dab a drop of petroleum jelly over the milk residue.
- This will initiate the healing process
- Repeat the remedy until you get rid of cold sores completely.
8.) Licorice for Cold Sores
Licorice root has an acid called Glycyrrhizic that helps to stop and kill viruses causing infection. It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties are an addition to the health benefits. Thus, helping you to get rid of cold sores fast.
- Mix a tablespoon of licorice powder to half a tablespoon of fresh water.
- Form a smooth paste and apply it directly to the affected area.
- Alternatively, you can also mix the licorice powder with a teaspoon of petroleum jelly.
- Dab it on the affected area and smear a thin layer of the paste.
- Make sure to completely cover the area.
- Leave the paste to work for several hours or if possible then overnight.
- This will help to get rid of cold sores fast.
Preventive Remedies for Cold Sores
- Avoid kissing the infected person.
- Maintain proper hygiene.
- Avoid physical intimacy with the infected person.
- Also, avoid sharing of personal stuff.
- Wash your hands each time, before and after you treat the infected area.
- Avoid touching the sores repeatedly
- Also, avoid touching other parts of your body especially eyes and genitals.