Be A (Cold) Sore Loser: Natural Remedies To Heal Your Cold Sores

Posted on: 20 May 2016

Cold sores are no fun by themselves, but the duration of time that they stick around for is probably their least adorable attribute. If you don't have the time or resources to go to the doctor and get a prescription for some high-intensity cold sore killer, what are you to do to speed the process along? If you're looking for some at-home remedies to speed those cold sores off and away, then here's what you need to know.

Cover It Up

Present in nearly every household and eternally useful, petroleum jelly can both help your cold sore to heal more quickly and prevent any new infections from diving into the sensitive area. Dab a bit of petroleum jelly onto a Q-tip, then apply, being sure to get the cold sore along with the skin immediately next to it. If you really want to sock it to those bacteria, apply a dot of any cream with benzocaine to the cold sore before the petroleum jelly; while the jelly helps to heal and protect the sore, the benzocaine can numb it up and kill the pain, making the application process that much smoother.

Ice, Ice, Baby

When you feel the proverbial Bat-Signal of a cold sore appearing – those telltale, tiny tingles that scream to get ready for a doozy – make your growing cold sore cool down by holding an ice pack on it. The ice can cut down the amount of time the cold sore sticks around, making it invaluable to your future healing.

While you're resting your face from the ice, dab at the area with a cotton swab dipped in cold milk; not only does the milk feel awesome on the irritated skin, but it also helps to speed up the healing process. Freezing the cold sore out as it begins to form is a good way to get on top of the situation and prevent a two-week stay.

Feel the Burn

When you were a kid, having hydrogen peroxide dabbed on a cut by your mom probably wasn't a pleasant experience, but the good news is that at least you get to do it yourself this time in order to disinfect your cold sore. Using about a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (you might need slightly more or slightly less), soak a cotton ball in it, and apply that cotton ball directly to the cold sore. Yeah, it'll sting for a bit, but hold it there for 10 seconds (and use a clock if you're tempted to count really, really quickly), then leave it alone for another 5 or so minutes before rinsing.

If you want a different kind of burn, try peppermint oil; rinse off any gunk on the cold sore (be gentle!), then dip a wet cotton ball in a bit of peppermint oil, and hold it on for about a minute. Doing this twice or even three times a day will hasten your healing and prevent the sore from getting too dry (which can make it crack and bleed).

For more information on cold sores from a trusted dermatologist, visit