5 Ways to Get Relief from Cold Sores Fast

Cold sores are small ulcers on the lips, mouth, or gums. While they are not serious, they are very uncomfortable and highly contagious. Discover 5 ways to get relief from cold sores fast.
5 Ways to Get Relief from Cold Sores Fast

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, a very common infection that tends to spread very easily. In fact, according to the American Sexual Health Association, more than half the adults in the United States are carriers of this virus. With that in mind, we want to tell you about 5 ways to get relief from cold sores fast.

This infection produces blister on the lips, mouth, and gums. At the same time, it causes a mild burning sensation, tingling, and itching around the lips. Although the infection is almost always mild and short-lived, it can sometimes spread to other parts of the body and be recurring. Discover how to combat it cold sores–or oral herpes–below.

Remedies to help you get relief from cold sores fast

To date, there’s no definitive cure to eliminate the herpes simplex virus. After the initial infection takes place, the virus remains dormant within the nerve cells of the face. Later, it can reactivate and produce ulcers and sores. However, there are some useful remedies that can provide relief from these flare-ups. Take note!

1. Apply a warm compress

Apply warm compresses to cold sores.
While warm compresses won’t make the flare-up go away, it can minimize symptoms like itching and discomfort.

One way to get relief from cold sores fast is to apply a warm compress. Of course, doing so doesn’t directly combat the virus that causes oral herpes. However, various studies suggest that applying heat is a useful way to minimize pain and swelling of the sores.

What you should do:

  • First, fill a sock half full with rice
  • Then, warm the sock in the microwave for one minute
  • Make sure the sock’s not too hot to avoid burning yourself
  • Carefully apply the warm compress to the affected area
  • Repeat this process twice a day until the cold sore goes away

2. Cornstarch

Creating a paste with cornstarch is another useful way to get relief from cold sores fast. Its components cause the lesions to dry up and reduce itchiness. What’s more, the mixture will smooth your skin and facilitate the healing process.

What you should do:

  • First, add a little water to a bit of cornstarch
  • Later, spread the mixture on the cold sore
  • Then, allow the remedy to act for 15 minutes before rinsing
  • Repeat twice a day

3. Raw garlic offers fast relief from cold sores

Garlic cloves relieve cold sores.
The antimicrobial properties of garlic can be useful when it comes to finding fast relief from cold sores.

Raw garlic is a traditional remedy for combating the infections caused by the herpes simplex virus. In fact, some studies suggest that its antiviral properties can even combat various strains of the virus.

What you should do:

  • To begin with, crush a clove of raw garlic
  • Later, combine it with a spoonful of olive oil
  • Finally, apply this mixture to your cold sore two or three times a day

You’ll also want to read: Cold Sore Characteristics and Treatment

4. Licorice root

Licorice root contains glycyrrhizic acid, which has compounds that inhibit the progression of herpes and its action on infected cells. Therefore, experts recommend preparing an infusion with this plant in order to get rid of cold sores.

What you should do:

  • Place the licorice root in a cup of boiling water
  • Allow it to simmer on low for five or ten minutes
  • Finally, moisten a cotton round or gauze with the liquid and rub it on your cold sore
  • Repeat twice a day

5. Aloe vera gel

How to make aloe vera gel.
The gel extracted from aloe vera leaves have a reparative effect on the skin and helps to reduce the presence of blisters.

One of the best allies when it comes to caring for your skin is also ideal for getting relief from cold sores fast. Of course, we’re talking about aloe vera gel. This product is characterized by its powerful antimicrobial and antiviral effects. Aloe vera gel is capable of inhibiting the action of many pathogenic agents.

Among other things, the external application of aloe vera stimulates the regeneration of the skin and reduces the appearance of scars once the sores go away.

What you should do:

  • First, extract fresh gel from an aloe vera stem
  • Then, rub a small amount on the affected area
  • Allow the gel to act without rinsing. Repeat two or three times per day.

Final recommendations for dealing with cold sores

As we already mentioned, cold sores are highly contagious. Therefore, there are a series of steps you need to take in order to accompany their treatment. Keep the following in mind:

  • Throw away your toothbrush and other items that have been in contact with the flare-up
  • Take vitamin C and zinc supplements
  • Use hypoallergenic lip balm to protect your skin from the sun and temperature changes
  • Avoid sharing cups and other personal items with other people during flare-ups
  • Don’t try to pop or drain blisters on your own. Keep in mind that they take several days to heal.

If you suffer from the herpes simplex virus, try the remedies we’ve suggested today to get fast relief from cold sores. However, if things don’t improve within a few days, then you should talk to your doctor. A professional can prescribe other types of medication to speed up healing.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Majewski, M. (2014). Allium sativum: facts and myths regarding human health. Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny.
  • Weber, N. D., Andersen, D. O., North, J. A., Murray, B. K., Lawson, L. D., & Hughes, B. G. (1992). In vitro virucidal effects of Allium sativum (garlic) extract and compounds. Planta Medica. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2006-961504
  • Aslani, A., Zolfaghari, B., & Fereidani, Y. (2018). Design, formulation, and evaluation of a herbal gel contains melissa, sumac, licorice, rosemary, and geranium for treatment of recurrent labial herpes infections. Dental Research Journal. https://doi.org/10.4103/1735-3327.231865
  • Feily, A., & Namazi, M. R. (2009). Aloe vera in dermatology: a brief review. Giornale Italiano Di Dermatologia e Venereologia : Organo Ufficiale, Società Italiana Di Dermatologia e Sifilografia.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.