How to get rid of cold sores – home remedies

Considering the fact that there is no scientific way to prevent one from contracting the herpes simplex virus or the outbreak of cold sores on the skin, it only stands to reason that we offer you a couple of ways on how to get rid of cold sores. With this guide, you get the fast guide on how to get rid of cold sores fast.

A good way to minimize the infection is:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and disinfectant every time you handle your cold sores or apply cream on them.
  • Do not share any items that come in contact with your skin like lipstick and cutlery.
  • Avoid touching cold sores except when applying cream on them. It should be noted that the cold sore creams should simply be dabbed on the sores rather than just rubbed in as this can cause further damage to the skin.
  • Do not share creams with other infected people as this can cause the infection to spread even further.
  • Avoid kissing or oral sex during the period of your infection until your sores are healed.

how to get rid of cold sores

How to get rid of cold sores

With the cold sore being a hindrance to your beauty and general look, knowing a good way of how to get rid of cold sores yourself. Here are a few ideas that are guaranteed to help you.


What you need:

  • 2 parts of cleavers
  • 1 part oats
  • 2 parts of Echinacea
  • 1 part of a poke root

The procedure:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
  • In a saucepan, add one cup of boiling water and a teaspoon of the blend from the bowl.
  • Allow the solution to stay for 10-20 minutes.
  • Strain out the herbs into a cup.
  • Drink the concoction in the cup twice daily for the best results.

Echinacea tea is quite useful in fighting a number of tracheal bugs and is a useful way on how to get rid of cold sores. It boosts the immune system, preventing the number of aliments you can contract. It also reduces the amount of time it takes for the ailment to affect the mouth. As the outbreaks occur during times that the immune system is weak, the Echinacea tea is quite a useful way of how to get rid of cold sores and reducing its effects on the face.

Echinacea - how to get rid of a cold sore


What you need:

  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Cotton swab

The procedure:

  • Soak the cotton in the pure vanilla extract for about twenty minutes.
  • Swab the cold sores with the cotton, taking care to hold the swabs on the sores for about a minute.
  • The procedure should be repeated four times daily till the cold sores are completely eradicated.

Pure vanilla extract is the way to go for this remedy as the slight alcohol content in the extract acts as a sterilizing agent, killing off the virus and preventing further replication. This causes the cold sore to slowly decrease in intensity and reduces the length of the outbreak that the sores have on the mouth. The best alternative for the vanilla is the organic type and should be used the instant the pain and discomfort sets in. This is one of the most convenient ways of how to get rid of cold sores.

Vanilla - home remedies for cold sores

Increase your Vitamin intake

Vitamin C is good for the blood as it boosts the production of white blood cells that are for fighting off infection in the body. This increases the body’s resistance to the herpes simplex virus. Vitamin E on the other hand, proves quite effective in the relief of the irritation on the sores. It also reduces the scarring that results from the cold sores. It is thus a good way of how to get rid of cold sores.

Vitamin C can be found in:

  • Kiwi
  • Broccoli
  • Red Berries
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Red Peppers
  • Green bell peppers

Vitamin E can be found in:

  • Avocadoes
  • Nuts
  • Whole grain meals
  • Kale and other leafy green vegetables

vitamins for cold sores


What you need:

  • Some fresh water
  • 2 tablespoons of petroleum jelly
  • A tablespoon of licorice powder or root extract
  • Cotton swab


  • In a small bowl, mix the licorice powder and the fresh water into a consistent paste.
  • Dab the solution over the cold sores.
  • Allow to stay for about five hours then wash off with water.
  • In the other option, you need to mix the petroleum jelly and the licorice powder.
  • Apply the resultant solution over the cold sores.
  • Allow it to stay overnight and wash off in the morning.

The licorice is good way of how to get rid of cold sores due to the composition that is the Glycyrrhizin acid. This ingredient stops the virus from spreading or multiplying and lessens the extremity of the wounds. It also has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties for improving the healing of the cold sores. The advantage of this form of treatment is that it can be applied in a variety of ways like licorice powder, a homemade cream and licorice tea or extract that can be used on a daily basis.

licorice cold sore

Antiviral creams or Tablets

Antiviral creams are a convenient way of how to get rid of cold sores. The creams such as acyclovir and penciclovir are actually available over the counter even without a prescription. They are most effective when applied during the early stages of the infections when the first symptoms begin to show. The creams can be used in cases of recurring cold sores. They however do not rid the body of the herpes simplex virus or prevent the reoccurrence of the cold sores. The antiviral tablets, however more effective, are only available with prescriptions. They are thus the least convenient way of how to get rid of cold sores.

cold sore cream

Cold sore patches

There are commercially available patches for the cold sores that contain a special kind of gel. The gel has a hydrocolloid solution in it that provides relief from the irritation and swelling and also prevents the infection from spreading over the mouth. Cold sore patches are thus a potable way of how to get rid of cold sores.

cold sore patch

Get rid of your toothbrush

The instant you realize the cold sores the best practice is to eliminate the toothbrush. During the period of the cold sore, use a new toothbrush that should be dropped the instant the sores have healed. This ensures that the sores do not spread to you again after the healing process has taken place. It also prevents the spread of the cold sores at a later date. It is also a good practice to use a mouth rinse that has the ingredient of baking soda. This will help soothe the mouth sores that sometimes accompany the cold sores. Though not an actual way of how to get rid of the cold sores, it actually prevents further infection.

Cold sore toothbrush

Cornstarch Paste

What you need:

  • A tablespoon of cornstarch
  • A cup of fresh water
  • A small bowl and some cotton balls

The procedure:

  • In a small bowl, put a tablespoon of cornstarch.
  • Add water slowly to the bowl while you stir gently till a paste-like solution is reached.
  • Dab the solution slowly over the cold sores with a cotton ball.
  • Let it stay on the lip till the following morning.
  • Rinse gently in the morning with water, taking care not to burst open the sores.
  • Repeat the procedure once daily until the sores have been eliminated.

The cornstarch proves quite soothing to the effects of the cold sores. It is good for relieving the burning and itching sensations of the cold sores. It is also good in the neutralization of the pH of the sore of the virus. As the virus thrives and replicates in an acidic environment, it is good to have the alkaline like properties of the cornstarch on your wounds. This will help in getting relief from the pain and shortening the overall duration of the cold sore infection. This is a way of how to get rid of cold sores that actually helps you kill two birds with one stone.

effective treatment for cold sores

Ice the inflammation

The ice can help to ease the pain of the cold sores as it soothes the irritation and brings down the inflammation.

What you need:

  • A couple of ice cubes or an ice pack
  • Some petroleum jelly

The procedure:

This is quite a simple remedy of how to get rid of the cold sores. All you need to do is apply some ice on the cold sore and watch the swelling go down. It is also good to place a wet, cold towel for 20 minutes. This should be repeated for 3-4 times a day in order to assist with the redness and the swelling. Apply some petroleum jelly on the cold sores after the ice cube treatment. The jelly will serve as a protective layer and as such will prevent the sores from getting infected by the bacteria. It will also lessen the skin splitting sensation that comes with the dehydration of the cold sores. It keeps the sores moist, ensuring that they remain less irritated and the inflammation goes down considerably. Smirking or licking the lips is warned against as it can cause the inflammation to spread even further along the mouth.

ice for cold sores

Lip Protection

The moment you get a cold sore, apply a lip balm with a sun protection factor of at least 30. This ensures that the sun’s rays do not cause any undue pain on the sores or make them worse. If by any chance the cold sore is open, it is advisable to just dub the lip balm on it rather than spread it over the tip as this will lead to a spread of the infection and cause more sores rather than protect the original one. This is a way of how to prevent cold sores that minimizes future infection and spread.

cold sores treatment

Hands off

The cold sores come with the feeling of irritation. It is however advisable to avoid touching the cold sore. This prevents the infection from spreading to other parts of your bodies. The result of this can be some very painful and uncomfortable sores that form on the palms in case the germs from the sores are transferred to a paper cut or a hung cuticle.

quickest way to get rid of a cold sore

Milk Compress

What you need:

  • One cup whole milk
  • Cotton pads
  • Some petroleum jelly

The procedure:

  • Pour the milk in a small bowl and allow it to cool or chill it a bit.
  • Soak the cotton with milk in the bowls for about three minutes.
  • Dab the sores with the cotton pads.
  • Let it stay for a few hours or overnight.
  • Use a wet towel to wipe off the residue.
  • Some petroleum jelly can be applied on the cold sores later on.

The milk compress is a way of how to get rid of cold sores, that helps to heal the cold sores and ease the pain. The milk also neutralizes the acidic nature of the sores preventing the growth of the viruses and reducing the inflammation and spreading of the sores.

milk for Cold sore

Witch Hazel

What you need:

  • A cotton pad
  • A teaspoon of witch hazel

The procedure:

  • Put the witch hazel gel in a small bowl.
  • Let the cotton swab soak in the bowl for about ten minutes.
  • Gently dab the cold sores with the cotton pads and leave it on.
  • The procedure should be repeated once or twice daily till the sores are eliminated.

The witch hazel extract or hydrosol can be easily acquired over the counter. It has good skincare properties and helps with acne, insect bites, blisters, bruises and is still a very effective way of how to get rid of cold sores.

witch hazel cold sore

Hydrogen Peroxide

What you need:

  • A tablespoon or two of hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton balls, pads or facial tissue

The procedure:

  • Put some hydrogen peroxide in a small container.
  • Soak the cotton balls in the peroxide till saturated.
  • Dab the cotton balls over the cold sores.
  • Hold the cotton over the sores for about two minutes irrespective of the stinging feeling.
  • Let the peroxide stay on the skin for about 10 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with some water.

The hydrogen peroxide acts as a disinfectant on the cold sores and kills the accumulated viruses in the sores. It is a good way on how to get rid of cold sores that also prevents the sores from multiplying, reducing the healing time. The disinfection speeds up the healing process as it hardens off the sores preventing them from spreading through the mouth.

hydrogen peroxide cold sore

Aloe Vera

What you need:

  • An aloe plant leaf
  • A teaspoon of Aloe Vera gel


If you are using the natural plant, the procedure to follow is rather simple. The first thing you have to do is to break off the end of the leaf with a succulent part then directly apply the gel to the sore and leave it there. If you are using the commercial gel, take one tablespoon of the gel and dab a cotton swab over it. Then simply dab the cold sores gently with the cotton and leave it there.

Aloe Vera is widely known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics. It thus fights off the bacteria that could be causing irritation on the cold sores. Though the best alternative is the use of natural Aloe Vera gel, the commercial extracts available also provide the same relief. This dual way on how to get rid of cold sores proves quite effective.

aloe for Cold sore


What you need:

  • Some peppermint oil
  • Some fresh water
  • A cotton swab

The procedure:

  • Rinse and moisten the cold sore with some water.
  • Dip the cotton swab in some water.
  • After it is moist, dip it in some peppermint oil.
  • The procedure should be repeated twice daily till the sore is completely gone.

The peppermint oil is famous for its disinfectant qualities and as such is quite a good way of how to get rid of cold sores. Application of the peppermint oil actually provides instant relief to the cold sores as it reduces the inflammation and itchiness of the sores.

Peppermint for Cold sore

Lemon balm

The balm has the ingredient of mint that helps in reducing the healing time of the blister. It can also cover up the sores quite successfully and prevent any future outbreaks. A compress made of some lip balm infusion can also be quite useful in providing relief form pain. It thus proves effective as a way on how to get rid of cold sores.

lemon balm - How to get rid of cold sores

Zinc Oxide

Creams of Zinc Oxide are available over the counter and can be found in some sunscreens. Application of the creams on the sores is known as a perfect way on how to get rid of cold sores. It also reduces cold sores and the resultant symptoms like soreness, itchiness and blistering. This is a good way to get rid of cold sores fast that is known to take effect within 24 hours of the symptoms breaking out on the mouth.

zinc oxide for cold sores


This is an amino acid that can help prevent the cold sore breakouts on other parts of the mouth. It also prevents the flare-ups of the cold sores. This is one remedy on how to get rid of cold sores that actually works on preventing the outbreak of future flare-ups.

lysine for cold sores


The pain that comes with the cold sores can be relieved through the use of some painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen. They can however not be used by people with asthma or ulcers or pregnant mothers. This is not a way on how to get rid of cold sores, but rather the pain that accompanies them.

paracetamol and ibuprofen for Cold sore


  1. Are cold sores really a result of herpes?

The answer is yes. Cold sores are a direct result of the herpes simplex virus that is transmitted through various means like sexual intercourse.

  1. Should I have any dietary restrictions?

Yes, you should avoid the consumption of foods that contain acids. Fruits like citrus and tomatoes could be damaging to your cold sores. Excessively salty foods should also be avoided and the diet should only be restricted to soft, cool foods.

  1. What is the stress factor?

Stress is known to cause the herpes virus to arise from its dormancy stage and lead to the development of cold sores. The amount of stress you expose yourself to can also affect the severity of the cold sores that you get. Things like meditation and yoga can be quite advantageous in the prevention of cold sores. It can also reduce the severity of the cold sores if any are preexisting. Mitigation of cold sores is thus the best way of how to get rid of cold sores and reduce their occurrence.

how to get rid of a cold sore


As there is no feasible cure for the cold sores, it simply falls on you to try out any of the listed remedies and find one that actually works for you. And do your best to minimize the spread of the infection.

Watch this recommended video about “How to get rid of cold sores”

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