9 Best Home Remedies for Cold Sores

home remedies for cold sores

It’s time for that special event that you’ve been waiting on for quite some time. When you look in the mirror, everything appears to look stunning. However, there’s a minor issue. It’s a cold sore, and it seemed to spring up out of nowhere. Cold sores tend to appear on your lips when you least expect them. Although you might think they only appear when you have a cold, they can invade your lips at any time. Fortunately, there are a few home remedies that you can try before you seek assistance from your doctor in order to get rid of these pesky blemishes.


You’ve probably heard that aspirin can help with medical issues, such as when you feel like you’re having a heart attack. This pain medication can also treat cold sores. It’s best if you take one aspirin each day until the sore heals as taking more than that might thin your blood too much.


An item that you might have around your home that makes gravies and other dishes is cornstarch. Aside from using cornstarch in the kitchen, it can help decrease the time a cold sore lingers on your lips. Make a paste by combining equal parts of the starch and water. Apply the mixture to the sore at least once a day. Avoid washing the paste off as you want it to stay on your lip for as long as possible. The cornstarch will help with the pain from the sore as well.


Instead of making a pitcher of tea, let a tea bag sit in warm water for a few minutes. Remove the bag, squeezing the water from it so that you can apply it to your lip. This home remedy for cold sores works best if you apply it at the first indication of an erupting sore. Press the bag to the area where you think the sore will appear or has already appeared for 10 minutes. Repeat this treatment about three times a day to see a difference in the way the area looks. Earl Grey tea works a bit better than traditional tea bags. You can also add a small amount of lemon essential oil to the bag before placing it on your lip.


This home remedy for cold sores doesn’t smell pleasant but will work fast to give you the results you desire. There are several anti-inflammatory properties in licorice that work to heal various types of infections on your skin. There is also an acid in licorice that keeps cold sores from spreading and can help with the inflammation. An option would be to drink tea with licorice extract if you don’t want to apply it to your skin. However, licorice powder is the best way to use the product as it can then penetrate the cold sore. Combine a teaspoon of powder with a teaspoon of petroleum jelly. Then apply it with a cotton swab to the area around the sore. If possible, apply the mixture before you go to bed so that it sits on the sore all night.


Your lips can smell good while you treat cold sores by using a small amount of vanilla extract. The alcohol in the extract can dry out the sore, prompting a faster healing time. This also makes it a bit harder for the sore to live on your lip because most cold sores need some kind of moisture to grow. Use a cotton ball or a swab to apply a small amount of the extract on the sore or on the area where you feel a sore erupting as the alcohol can often prevent a sore from taking shape.

Red Wine

A drink or two of red wine is beneficial for your heart. It can also act as a home remedy for cold sores. You’re going to pour a small amount of the wine into a bowl. Let the wine sit until the liquid portion evaporates, leaving behind a solid component that can then be applied to the sore. You’ll usually notice a significant decrease in the amount of pain from the cold sore as soon as the substance is applied. The antioxidant in red wine helps to relieve inflammation, which is usually why you feel pain from a cold sore. For an added benefit, you can drink a glass of red wine before bed so that the antioxidant properties work from the inside of your body to the outside.

Immune Systems Boost

One way to decrease the number of cold sores that you develop is to eat foods that enhance your immune system. Try to consume as much citrus as possible as these foods have high amounts of vitamin C and zinc. Some of the foods that are ideal for enhancing your immune system include oranges, berries, and melons. Whole grains and beans have high levels of zinc in them, which can boost your immune system along with fighting off cold sores when they develop.


If you have a low B12 level, then you might be more prone to cold sores. A cold sore is actually one of the signs that these levels are off and that you need to eat more foods that have this vitamin in them. You can also take a supplement each day if you feel that you’re not getting enough of the vitamin from the foods that you eat. You can usually increase your B12 levels by eating fish, nuts, beef, and dairy products. If you can keep your B12 levels higher, then you’ll usually notice a decrease in the number of cold sores that you get. If you prefer to take a supplement, then I recommend B12 drops from Pure Encapsulations.


Cold sores can be quite contagious. Whenever you get a cold sore, throw away your toothbrush and keep the new one that you buy away from others in the home. This can decrease the risk that family members will get a cold sore as well. You can also put a small amount of baking soda or cornstarch on your toothbrush when you brush your teeth as a way to dry out the cold sore and to help keep it from spreading.

A way to prevent cold sores is to avoid things that you know trigger them in the first place. Certain foods might trigger an outbreak. You might notice cold sores developing if you’re under a lot of stress. A cold sore arises because of the herpes simplex virus. Although this might sound like a severe health issue, it’s one that can be dealt with if you plan ahead and if you know your body. Sometimes, your emotions can trigger a cold sore. If you haven’t slept well in a few nights, then you might notice a cold sore developing because a lack of sleep can often decrease your immune system. Spending a lot of time outside can sometimes cause cold sores to develop as well. Make a few notes about how you feel and the activities that you’ve performed when a cold sore develops so that you know what to avoid in the future.

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