Cold Sore Home Remedy

in Cold

Is there a cold sore home remedy that really works?

Curing cold sores is difficult if not next to impossible and no treatment works for everyone. For example one person will have good results with a cold sore home remedy while another person will not.

One cold sore home remedy is to try and dry out the sore. Another approach is to keep the sore moist and deprive it of oxygen. And still a third is to dry out the sore and then keep it moist.

There are many cold sore home remedy methods using normal household supplies that do not fall into the above three categories.


The method of drying out the sore involves applying some sort of astringent to the site. There are many different products that accomplish this. Most of them contain alcohol or a solvent that dries out the skin.

Most of the time one would use ice and/or open the blisters with a needle before using these products. Here is a partial list of products that dry the sore, starting with the most logical and proceeding to the hard to believe:

Rubbing alcohol

Finger nail polish remover (acetone)

Hydrogen peroxide

Hand sanitizer





Bath soap



Sulfur from unburned match heads




Jack Daniels


If you want to try the cold sore home remedy option of depriving the cold sore from oxygen and keeping it moist, the following is a partial list of products that will do this:



Campho phenique

Aloe Vera



Chap stick



Lip balm

Ear wax

Your own skin oil


The procedure for this is to dry the sore out until a scab forms and then keep the scab moist so it doesn't crack or bleed while it heals.

Drying the sore is probably a better cold sore home remedy than keeping it moist.

Almost all of the 'over the counter' preparations keep the area moist. Usually this is not effective in shortening the episode.

Over 61% of the people reporting, said that the commercial products were not effective, or even made the outbreak worse.


Next is a partial list of cold sore home remedies that don't really fall into either of the preceding categories. However, they are reported to be helpful in treating cold sores.

Chopped garlic, or garlic pieces

Tea tree oil

Green tea bag

Frozen tea bag

Dried Instant coffee made into a paste with a little water

Pepto Bismal

Whole milk

Eucalyptus oil

Preparation H


Green Papaya Sap

Benadryl applied topically with lip balm

Calamine lotion

Many cold sore home remedies combine several of these products which can be complicated, time consuming and painful.


Here is an extreme example of a real cold sore sufferer's home remedy:

· First, open the blisters with a needle.

· Then apply apple cider vinegar with salt. (Yes, it is painful.)

· After 20 minutes apply lemon with salt until the stinging stops.

· Next, put toothpaste on it overnight.

· In the morning apply Vaseline, followed by more vinegar and salt.

· After that dab it with milk.

· In 20 minutes use rubbing alcohol on it.

· In 30 minutes cover it with finger nail polish remover.

· Finally crush a clove of garlic and hold it to the sore. (Yes, it stings.)

· By this time the sore is gone and you can cover the redness with lip stick.

Another example from a real world sufferer:

· Apply bleach with a cotton ball. (Yes, it burns.)

· Then hold a wet green tea bag on the site.

· Next soak a Centrum multi-vitamin tablet, crush it into paste and apply for 20 minutes.

· Then you end up with a scab so put some cream on it.

Do Cold Sore home remedies really work?

Most of these home remedies are reported to shorten the episode, However they focus on applying something to the sore after it has already started.

So the best that can be expected is to shorten the healing time and perhaps relieve some of the pain. Be aware that some of them actually increase the pain.

There are many other home remedies, but you can see how involved the procedure for curing a cold sore can be. It takes a lot of time to treat a cold sore this way and usually a person only shortens the episode by a few days. However, these treatments are more effective than 'over the counter' products.

Vitamins and supplements are available which can reduce or even eliminate outbreaks, making a cold sore home remedy unnecessary.

There are better ways to control cold sore outbreaks and you may even be able to stop them before they start.

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Daniel Deegan has 1 articles online

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This article was published on 2010/04/03