When cold sores appear, we want them to go away fast, which is why a lot of us have probably searched “natural home remedies” to see if there is anything in our kitchen that can help. But before you treat a cold sore, it’s important to know exactly what it is.
A cold sore is considered a viral infection and usually shows up as tiny, fluid-filled blisters around your lips. It’s common to have a few clusters of cold sores grouped together. Once the blisters break, you’ll see some scabbing around the area (looking like dry or chapped skin). Cold sores can last for a few days, and when left untreated, the blisters may not completely heal for up to two weeks.
Myths About Natural Remedies
There are a number of natural remedies floating around on the internet that are supposed to help heal cold sores, including things like putting ketchup, licorice root, or aloe vera on your cold sore; propping your head up with a pillow at night; and eating foods with vitamin C.
With all of these remedies, there’s a set of specific conditions (that often depend on the person using them) that can alter the outcome. Translation: As a general rule, these natural remedies shouldn’t be considered effective for everyone.
The quickest way to shorten the appearance of cold sores, according to The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), is to use antiviral medication. An over-the-counter option like Abreva Cream is able to get rid of your cold sore in two-and-a-half days 1 when used at the first sign.
So while you may be curious about using the natural remedies you’ve seen scrolling through Instagram or Google, for the best results every time, it’s worth sticking with one product that works, and that’s Abreva.
1 Median healing time 4.1 days. 25% of users healed by 2.5 days.