Cold sores are caused by a virus that manifests itself in blisters, generally on or around the mouth. The blisters can also appear elsewhere, but they are most often seen around the mouth. When they come, they tend to last for about a week and are painful and unsightly.
Trying to figure out how to get rid of them and reduce the discomfort can be a real challenge. You actually have a few items at home that may help you in your battle. Check out the 6 home remedies below that may give you cold sore relief.
1. Lemon balm. Lemon balm appears to help with cold sores according to Medical News Today. You can make a lip balm, but make sure you have at least 1 percent lemon balm in the recipe. Scratch Mommy makes a balm using 2 tablespoons coconut oil and a handful of fresh, chopped lemon balm leaves. Submerge the leaves in the oil and place it in a window in the sun for two weeks to infuse the oil with the lemon balm. Strain the leaves out after two weeks. Once you've infused your oil, combine the infused oil with 1 1/2 teaspoons beeswax and 1 teaspoon honey in a double boiler on the stove. Melt the beeswax and infused oil. Remove from the heat and add 10 drops of lemon balm essential oil. Whisk for 30 to 45 seconds and then pour the balm into a container and let it sit for two hours before using. Apply the balm three to four times a day.
2. Cornstarch. Cold Sores Cured recommends a simple cornstarch paste that is applied directly to the blister and is made of cornstarch and water .
3. Milk. You can make a milk compress from whole milk which contains antibodies and l-lysine according to Medical News Today. Simply soak a piece of gauze or cotton ball in the milk and apply it liberally to the cold sore. If the cold is too painful, warm the milk first.
4. Licorice. Licorice powder appears to help with cold sores as well. Reader's Digest makes a balm from 1 tablespoon licorice powder and 1 teaspoon petroleum jelly. Leave the balm on the sore for several hours or overnight to find relief.
5. Aloe vera gel. Cold Sores Cured also states putting straight aloe vera gel on cold sores can help clear them up and give relief.
6. Vanilla. Everyday Roots says that some people swear by applying vanilla extract with a cotton ball or Q-tip four times a day to cold sores. No studies have been done to see if it really works, but there's no harm in trying it out.
These remedies are super simple and may help take the sting out of the sores. Go check your cupboards the next time you have an outbreak and put a stop to your cold sores early on.