HomeHealthHow to Get Rid of a Cold Sore as Fast as Possible

How to Get Rid of a Cold Sore as Fast as Possible

You may call them cold sores or fever blisters. Whichever name you prefer, these sores tend to develop on the lip or around the mouth.

They are caused by the herpes simplex virus — usually, type 1. Also known as HSV-1, the virus causes these blisters, or ulcers, which can be painful.

There’s nothing to be embarrassed about if you notice one near your mouth. Lots of people get cold sores. Chances are, you know someone who’s had one before, or maybe you’ve had one, too.

HSV-1 is the most commonly recurring viral infection. In fact, more than half of all Americans between ages 14 and 49 carry this virus.

Cold sores typically clear up within 10 days in people with healthy immune systems and no other underlying health conditions, like eczema.

Unfortunately, nothing can clear up a cold sore overnight — but some medications and cold sore treatments can shorten the life span of a cold sore and make you feel better, too.


One of the most important things to remember about treating a cold sore: Don’t wait. Start treating it right away, and you may be able to reduce the time you have it. When you notice that telltale tingle, go ahead and start applying a topical antiviral medication to the spot.

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Where to start

Consider using an over-the-counter (OTC) antiviral ointment. You may have seen tubes of docosanol (Abreva) at your local drugstore. Many people start with this common OTC option and use it until their cold sores have healed.

Home remedies

If you’re interested in a complementary approach for healing a cold sore, you have several options to choose from.

However, you should know that there is insufficient data to support the routine use of these complementary therapies in treating cold sores. You should discuss them with your doctor before use, and they shouldn’t replace more conventional treatments.

Use caution when applying any new substances to your skin. Reactions like irritation and allergic contact dermatitis have been known to occur from some of these treatments.

Apple cider vinegar

Many people are interested in using apple cider vinegar as a treatment because of its proposed ability to fight off bacteria, viruses, and other germs, according to 2019 researchTrusted Source.

However, full-strength apple cider vinegar is too intense to use directly on a cold sore and could seriously irritate your skin. Be sure to dilute it before using, and then apply only once or twice per day.

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Essential oils

Studies have found that a variety of essential oils — which are concentrated oils containing plant compounds — have inhibitory effects against the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores.

Although research is limited, a study from 2015 found that a variety of essential oils may slow down or prevent viral replication of the herpes virus, helping heal and prevent cold sores.

Kanuka honey

Honey already has a reputation for helping wounds and skin injuries heal, and a 2018 study found that kanuka honey, which comes from the manuka tree in New Zealand, could be useful for treating cold sores, too.

In fact, the large randomized clinical trial found that a medical-grade version of this honey seemed to be as effective at treating cold sores as acyclovir. For More Information Visit zprostudio.com


Like honey, propolis is another bee product that holds some promise for healing wounds and skin lesions. The antiviral properties of propolis could make it a candidate for healing your cold sores a little more quickly, 2016 researchTrusted Source suggests.

Lemon balm

The research is dated, but a 2008 study Trusted Sourcesuggests that applying an extract of lemon balm, which is an herb from the mint family, has an inhibitory effect against the HSV virus that causes cold sores. The study’s authors suggest that lemon balm could be used to treat HSV, but note that more clinical trials are needed.

The bottom line

There’s nothing to be embarrassed about if a cold sore pops up on your lip. Many people get cold sores, so you’re definitely not alone, and it’ll likely heal up and go away on its own.

While you wait, try to take care of it the best you can. You have many treatment options that you can try. You can also use a cold, wet compress to keep the redness down or take an OTC pain medication if the sore is painful.

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