Want to get rid of that dreaded cold sore in the next 24 hours AND prevent further breakouts? Here's the top 7 natural treatments and remedies for fever blisters that are guaranteed to prevent, treat and heal these nasty little buggers in a hurry and for good!
Article by Troy Sawyer (Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Health & Wellness Coach, Sports Nutritionist)
Updated March 21, 2023 -- This post contains affiliate links
Cold sores or fever blisters are caused by either the herpes 1 (HSV-1) or herpes 2 (HSV-2) virus. The majority of sufferers are HSV-1 though and according to herpes expert, Dr Jen Gunter, more than 90% of the population are actually positive for herpes 1 (yes you read right). Of these sufferers, all of them will get at least one cold sore during their lifetime. So 90% of the population will end up with at least one fever blister, however, almost half of them will have more than one (multiple) cold sores throughout their life.
Cold sores can show up anywhere on the body, but the usual spots are the mouth, lips, cheeks, nose and fingers. When you get an outbreak, you'll usually only get one cold sore, although it's not uncommon to get several blisters at the same time either. Remember also that until a blister has crusted, it's highly contagious and can easily spread to other parts of the body (particularly the eyes and genitals) or to other people via kissing or sharing items that have come into contact with your mouth. So it's extremely important that you leave the sore alone (do not touch or pick at the infection) and you avoid kissing anyone. And whatever you do, do not share any items that may have come into contact with your mouth or lips (towels, utensils, lip gloss, etc).
There are several stages in the development of a cold sore and it's important to be aware of what they are. The first stage is the "itching and burning" stage. This occurs a few days before the blister appears and you'll usually experience a tingling, itching or burning feeling around the lips. The second stage is the blister stage. This will happen within 1-2 days of stage one and results in the growth of a small bump or sore that fills with fluid. This sore (blister) will eventually burst and the fluid inside leaks out, which is usually quite painful. This is stage three. Eventually the blister will dry out and "crust", allowing a scab to form which keeps the new skin underneath protected.
Remember, until a cold sore or fever blister has scabbed or crusted, it's highly contagious so you should avoid touching or picking at it (leave it to burst on it's own). If you do happen to come into contact with the sore, be sure to wash your hands immediately afterwards. 1
Antiviral medications and anesthetic topical ointments are the most common orthodox treatments for cold sores and fever blisters - with Zovirax, Famvir, Valtrex and Lidocaine being the most popular. None of these drugs get rid of the herpes virus, nor do they work on a cold sore once it's blistered. As for their effectiveness? Actual studies validating their effectiveness have produced somewhat "mixed" results. Some studies have shown they do work to some degree while others have shown no benefits.1 The side effects aren't pretty either. Most people report severe headache and nausea from the first three medications. The Lidocaine has been known to cause acute swelling and redness. If you've tried any of these yourself you would have likely found this to be the case.
Conventional medical treatments for cold sores (and herpes in general) are quite dismal and really don't do a whole lot of good. Natural treatments, on the other hand, are safe and highly effective - and none of them come with the unwanted side effects you get from pharmaceutical medications!
Getting rid of cold sores (and getting rid of them in a hurry) is very easy to do when using natural treatments and home remedies. But more importantly, if you do a few things right and follow a few simple health practices, you can keep those fever blisters away for good! If you want to go one step further and rid your body of either HSV-1 or HSV-2 permanently, you can do this also (the link for this protocol is at the bottom of this article).
So here's the top 7 natural remedies and treatments for a cold sore, along with some handy tips and tricks you may want to consider adopting so you never have to bother dealing with another fever blister again...
This should definitely be your first "go to" remedy for a cold sore. It works so astonishingly well that you can expect your cold sore to be gone within a few days, even overnight if you catch it early enough and start applying the acetone straight away!
Acetone is a safe organic compound (ketone) that's normally used as a nail polish remover (our bodies actually produce small amounts of acetone). It works by destroying the infection and drying out the blister. To use on your cold sore, simply dip a Q-tip (cotton bud) in some pure acetone solution (such as these ones) and hold it on your cold sore for 20-30 seconds. It will sting a bit, so be ready! Continue to do this every couple of hours until the blister is gone. If you have multiple cold sores then soak a cotton ball or cotton swab in some acetone then apply and hold to the affected area for 20-30 seconds. Once again, continue to repeat every few hours until all blisters are gone.
Hydrogen peroxide works similar to acetone (and works equally as well). It kills the infection fast, and once this occurs, healing will begin straight away. The 3% grade hydrogen peroxide is best (like this one) because you don't need to dilute it. All you do is dip a Q-tip in the bottle then apply directly on any blisters. You will feel it tingling and even stinging a bit, but this means it's working! Re-apply every 2-3 hours.
TIP: For even faster healing, use the acetone and hydrogen peroxide together in combination. So apply the acetone, then one hour later apply the hydrogen peroxide, then the acetone an hour later, and so on until all blisters are gone.
Nothing nasty gets past good old apple cider vinegar. This natural "cure all" medicine has been used successfully for thousands of years to destroy infections and parasitic viruses. And herpes and cold sores are certainly on its hit list!
To use against any fever blisters, simply dip a cotton swab in some raw organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother apple) and dab and hold on any sores for 20-30 seconds. Be sure to repeat this every 2 hours for best results.
In addition to this, and for extra benefit, mix one tablespoon of ACV in a glass of clean filtered water (add some raw natural honey for taste if need be) and drink this concoction 2-3 times daily to help build up your immune system. Remember this... building up your immunity is vital to keeping the HSV at bay and keeping those awful cold sores away!
Here's what apple cider vinegar with the mother apple looks like if you're unsure... Organic ACV With the Mother.
Yes you're reading this correctly. The ear wax remedy for cold sores is a tried and tested treatment that the Australian Aborigines have used for hundreds, possibly even thousands of years. And it works a treat! Of course, be sure to only use your own ear wax, not someone else's (joke).
Take a Q-tip and gently and carefully remove some ear wax from your ear. Making sure not to touch the wax with your fingers, apply the ear wax to your cold sore with the Q-tip and hold for 20-30 seconds. A slight tingling sensation should be felt. Continue to apply the ear wax every few hours for best results.
The great thing about the ear wax remedy is you can apply it safely to any part of the body - and it goes to work straight away. So be sure to give this one a go. You'll be delighted (and astounded) by the results!
The amino acid L-lysine has been shown in studies to reduce the severity and duration of herpes viral infections, including cold sores and blister outbreaks. It's best taken orally AND used topically to help clear up cold sores and prevent the herpes virus from growing and replicating.
You can now purchase some very good and highly effective lysine cold sore creams (Super Lysine + Cold Sore Ointment). Just make sure that whatever brand you buy is reputable as there are many bogus suppliers of creams out there at the moment.
In regards to taking L-lysine orally, you will need to take 1000 mg's 3 times daily to get the virus under control. After 3 months drop down to 1000 mg's a day as a preventative dose. If you do happen to get another outbreak further down the track (this can sometimes occur), up the lysine to 3 times a day again until your cold sore is gone before dropping back down to the 1000 mg maintenance dose. In addition, you will need to take between 8000-10,000 mgs of vitamin C every day, along with chelated or colloidal zinc and vitamin E in combination with the lysine. These will all help to enhance its effectiveness and give your immune system a powerful and much needed boost as well. For dosages of the zinc and vitamin E, simply follow the directions listed on the bottle.
Applying some ice or a cold compress to your fever blister is an excellent relief remedy. The coolness helps to reduce the pain and inflammation by slowing down blood flow to the sore. After applying either a block of ice or cold compress to the blister, gently pat dry (don't forget to throw the towel in the wash) then apply some petroleum jelly to keep any infection out and stop the sore from drying out.
DMSO works a treat on cold sores and fever blisters, especially ones that develop around the mouth. As soon as you feel even the slightest tingling sensation that usually precedes an outbreak, apply a small amount of DMSO directly to the affected area. In the case of cold sores around the mouth, apply some DMSO to the back of the neck and a tiny amount to the temple area (trigeminal ganglia) as well. This is where the virus lies when dormant. Do this 3 times a day for up to 3-4 days and either the outbreak won’t happen at all, or it will be very mild and short lived. You can actually use the DMSO at any point during a breakout and it will still be effective. Even if your outbreak is already full blown, you’ll still get immediate pain relief and the sores will heal much faster than if you leave them untreated. Buy the 70% DMSO solution in either liquid, cream or gel form. If you go with the 99.9% pharmaceutical grade, water down to a 70% solution before applying. 2
a) Be sure to eat plenty of immune boosting foods such as natural yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy seeds such as flax seeds and chia seeds. Also consume a green food such as wheat grass or chlorella every day to further boost your immune system and remove the heavy metals from your body. Stay away from all refined and processed foods and junk food.
b) Make sure you take 8000-10,000 mgs of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) daily. We already mentioned this with the lysine but it's worth repeating. Vitamin C is a powerful immune booster, one of the best yet discovered in fact. And boosting your immune system is crucial for the fast healing and further prevention of cold sores.
c) Do some regular exercise to keep your immune system strong and your body healthy. Just remember, exercise is good for you up to a point. Go moderately but don't overdo it. If you get to the point where you're about to vomit, you've likely gone too far!
d) Use a natural sunscreen when outdoors as direct sunlight and sunburn can trigger an attack. You can buy some very good organic sunscreens that can even be applied safely to the lips.
e) Try and keep your stress levels under control. Yes, easier said than done sometimes, but stress lowers your immune system and is a major precursor to the development of a cold sore. Look into relaxation exercises such as Tai Chi, meditation or Yoga if need be.
f) Replace your toothbrush as this may be carrying the herpes virus that gave you your fever blister. If you don't do this, you may well end up triggering another outbreak further down the track.
Finally, for everything you need to know on how to get rid of the herpes virus from your body (yes it CAN be eradicated), be sure to have a read of our full article on exactly how to go about this. You can view it here... Powerful Natural Herpes Treatment.
Good luck and all the best to you!
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