Tiny blisters usually located around the mouth are commonly called cold sores.

These blisters can also appear in other areas of the face. Cold sores are caused by the Herpes simplex and Herpes simplex 2 viruses.

They usually last from a few days to several weeks.

While there is no cure for cold sores, medical and home remedies for cold sores are available.

Medicines including acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir are commonly prescribed by doctors to help stop these sores.

Treating cold sores quickly can be very effective in helping to control how long they last.

Since going to the doctor can be expensive, there are several home remedies for cold sores that you may want to try.




The amino acid L-lysine has proven effective in cold sore treatment.

Taking this amino acid in pill form may help to prevent cold sores from occurring in the first place, as L-lysine may interfere with the absorption of arginine in the intestine that some believe causes cold sores in the first place.

Some research done at the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that eating a diet high in L-lysine is another way to prevent cold sores.

This amino acid is found in pork, fish, wheat germ, yogurt, and cheese.

Other studies suggest that the amount of L-lysine that would need to be consumed to prevent cold sores is astronomical.

If you cannot prevent them, then using L-lysine as a cream or ointment may help to reduce them and make them go away faster.


Ice Cubes


Applying an ice cube to cold sores until the ice cube melts may help to stop cold sores.

Wrap the ice cube in a paper towel, and then hold it on the blister because holding just the ice cube may lead to frostbite.

Once the ice melts, get another ice cube and repeat the process.

Even if it does not stop the cold sore virus, it may help to ease the pain.

After the second ice cube melts, then use a cotton swab to apply a thin coating of Vaseline so that viruses stay out of the sore.


Cornstarch Paste


Making a cornstarch paste is one of the most commonly-used cold sore remedies.

It is easy to make a cornstarch paste at home, and applying it to your cold sore helps to restore the pH balance to the area.

After all, cold sores thrive in an overly acidic environment.

If you are ready to try this paste at home, simply combine equal amounts of cornstarch and water.

Stir it until it becomes a creamy consistency. Use a cotton swab to apply the mixture to the sore.

Since it will leave your lips looking white, try this home remedy at night.

Wash it off in the morning with clear water.


Echinacea Tea


Drinking a cup of Echinacea tea three to five times a day may help stop cold sores.

Even if it does not make them go away, many people report that drinking Echinacea tea helps to reduce tension, pain, and itchiness making them easier to tolerate.

If you would like to make Echinacea tea at home, simply find tea bags of it in your favorite grocery store.

Then, steep it for about 10 minutes. Drink the tea while it is still warm.


Lemon Balm


A small German study suggests that using lemon balm can help stop cold sores.

It has been shown to be effective in helping stop swelling and reduce redness. This may help to keep the cold sore from bursting while helping it to go away faster.

The soothing nature of lemon balm also helps the area feel better.

There is even evidence to suggest that using the lemon balm on a regular basis helps to stop the cold sores from returning.

Some people become so convinced that lemon balm works that they regularly make their own at home.

If you have been wondering how to get rid of a cold sore with lemon balm, you just need to submerge lemon balm leaves in a carrier oil in a small jar.

Let the mixture sit for two weeks. Then, filter out the lemon leaves.

Apply the oil mixture to your lips with a cotton swab.


Apple Cider Vinegar


Do not lie awake at night wondering how to prevent cold sores, as drinking 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar daily may keep cold sores from appearing in the first place.

This may work because cold sores do not thrive in overly-acidic environments while drinking apple cider vinegar helps to create pH balance in the body.

If the cold sore is already present, then using apple cider vinegar as a topical treatment may help it heal faster.

Even if applying apple cider vinegar does not make it go away faster, it may help remove the burning sensation.


Rubbing Alcohol


Many people swear that applying rubbing alcohol to a cold sore can make it go away quickly.

Consider using single-use alcohol pads for this so that you do not move the virus from one location to another.

Put the alcohol on the sore, concentrating on getting it as deep as possible.

Wait for the burning to stop, and then apply a clean swab to the area. Keep repeating the process for 45 minutes.

Since alcohol will dry out the lips, it is essential that you take steps to moisturize the rest of the lip immediately.

This cold sore treatment can be used several times each day.




Garlic contains anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce the pain and tenderness from cold sores.

Garlic also has an antioxidant property, helping the area to heal faster. It is easy to make a garlic paste to use at home.

Start by chopping up some garlic into very tiny pieces. Then, grind them in a mortar.

Finally, add a few drops of water until it becomes a paste.

In order to use the garlic paste, take a cotton swab and apply the paste to the sore, letting it sit for a few minutes.

Wash it off with clear water, and pat the lips dry with a paper towel.

Alternatively, just hold a garlic slice on the blister until the stinging stops.

Then, wash the area with clear water. Repeat up to three times a day for the best results.


Aloe Vera


The antioxidants, enzymes, fatty acids, and hormones found in aloe vera can help cold sores heal.

Aloe vera can be squeezed out of the leaves of this plant. Use a cotton swab to apply a dab to the sore.

You can also buy aloe vera at your favorite pharmacy.

Many people swear that combining some aloe vera with your favorite sunscreen and applying it to your lips is a great way to keep cold sores away.


Milk Compresses


Use a milk compress to help stop cold sores. Start by putting a cup of milk in a bowl.

Soak a clean cloth in the milk. Then, wring out some of the milk so it is not dripping.

Place the rag in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Place the rag on the cold sore and leave it there for about 10 minutes. You can repeat this process up to three times a day.

The reason that milk may help is that it contains L-lysine, along with other amino acids, that may stop the virus’ growth.




Starting your day by eating a big bowl of yogurt may help prevent cold sores.

Make sure that the yogurt contains live bacteria. These bacteria may help stop the virus from growing.

There are also foods that you should not eat if you feel a cold sore coming on.

Avoid chocolate as it contains the arginine that cold sores need to replicate. Avoid salty foods as they may irritate the skin.

Additionally, avoid eating oranges as they are full of the acid that cold sores need to thrive.


Vanilla Extract


Since vanilla extract is alcohol-based, it helps to dry out the cold sore.

Vanilla extract may also work as an anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce swelling at the site of the cold blister.

The easiest way to use vanilla extract is to soak a cotton ball in the solution.

Then, hold it against the affected area for a few minutes. This can be safely repeated up to four times a day.


Sea Salt


While sea salt may be effective in treating cold sores on any part of your face, using sea salt is particularly effective when the sore is inside your mouth, as it works as a disinfectant and as an astringent.

Using sea salt is also incredibly easy as you can just combine 8 ounces of water and 1 tablespoon of sea salt.

Take a gulp and swish it around the inside of your mouth. You can either choose to swallow it or spit it out.


Licorice Root


Licorice root has many medicinal uses that help heal cold sores fast. It works as an anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce swelling.

It also works as an antibacterial, helping to stop the spread of cold sore germs.

Since cold sores are caused by viruses, it also stops the virus, allowing the site to heal.

While you can mix the licorice root with water to make a paste, the best way to use licorice root is to mix it with petroleum jelly because it works as a natural moisturizer.

Furthermore, petroleum jelly forms a protective layer, helping to stop secondary infections.


Hydrogen Peroxide


In many homes, hydrogen peroxide is the go-to solution for many ailments.

It might also help stop cold sores. Saturate a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide and hold it on the sore for five minutes.

You can expect it to sting as it pulls out the virus and any contaminants that have found their way into the sore.

After five minutes, wash it off with clear water. Then, make sure to moisturize the area with a lip balm or petroleum jelly.

This procedure can be repeated up to four times a day.


Styptic Pencil


One of the most difficult ways to cure a cold sore is to use a styptic pencil.

The alum in the pencil causes the blood vessels to constrict. The increased blood flow in the area will help the sore heal faster.

Styptic pencils are available at most pharmacies, and at many big box stores.


Red Wine


Researchers have touted the benefits of red wine for years. It may help stop the virus causing cold sores as well.

If you would like to try this remedy at home, then dab a little red wine on the blister.

Drinking red wine, however, apparently has little effect on cold sores.


Eucalyptus Essential Oil


The analgesic properties of eucalyptus essential oil may help prevent cold sores from forming.

Do not, however, use any essential oil straight. In order to use it on your lips, combine it with 1 ounce of aloe vera and four milliliters of a carrier oil.

Apply the mixture with a clean cotton swab to your lips anytime you feel them tingling to stop cold sores from forming.

If you already have a cold sore, then you can apply the mixture directly to the sore, as it may cut down on the number of days that the blister takes to heal.




While many people wonder how to prevent cold sores, scientists know that when you are stressed and you do not get enough sleep, then you are more likely to get a cold sore.

Therefore, it is essential to take care of your body every day.

Make sure to use positive relaxation methods to help alleviate stress. Get at least eight hours of sleep every night.

Try to go to bed at the same time every day, and get up at the same time each morning.

Your body will thrive on the routine.


In Summary


There are many home remedies for cold sores.

Eating a well-balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and practicing good personal hygiene may stop them from forming in the first place.

If you get one, try one or more of these cold sore remedies to get rid of them quickly.

While your natural reaction will be to pick at them, this slows down the healing process.

If a cold sore lasts more than 14 days, then be sure to consult a physician as it can be a sign of other medical conditions.

Now, you know how to get rid of a cold sore quickly with home remedies.


Categories: Natural Remedies

About Author

Lizzie Wendel is a professional health blogger with years of experience writing in the wellness industry. For over a decade she has been an active voice, promoting the use of alternative medicine to help combat health-related issues and put to rest the negative associations of alternative medicine.

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