Get Rid of Cold Sores Fast: 5 Natural Remedies

Cold Core Free Lips

'How-To Get Rid of a Cold Sore' articles generally start by reviewing what cold sores are and why you have them. 

If you've actually got a cold sore, you probably don't care- at least, not as much as you care about getting rid of it. 

Here are 5 natural and effective ways to treat a cold sore:

1. Lysine. 

I've been surprised at the mixed reviews of Lysine. I've taken Lysine at the sign of cold sores for a little more than a decade and find it to be the single most effective way to completely stop a cold sore in it's tracks when you feel it coming on, AND drastically reduce the healing time if it's in full swing. I've taken Lysine in pill form, and topically and found the pills (while more expensive) much more effective.

2. Rubbing Alcohol. 

Whenever I get those tell tale signs I reach for our rubbing alcohol. Applying rubbing alcohol directly to the cold sore daily can help dry it out much faster and offer relief from that awful throbbing pain of inflammation.

3. Lemon Balm, 

With its antiviral properties Lemon Balm can cut healing time in half when cream is applied daily, and there's some suggestion that it can prevent future breakouts when applied regularly.

Make your own lip balm.

4. Apply ice. 

Your cold sore thrives in warmth and moisture. A cold compress or ice will speed up recovery and relieve discomfort.

5. Honey. 

According to popular alternative physician Joseph Mercola, honey actually works better than the most trusted medications in treating cold sore infection. Honey draws fluid away from cold sores, suppresses microorganism growth, and releases a low level hydrogen peroxide.

Other tips:

----Avoid citrus fruits! Or anything highly acidic. Acid can make matters MUCH worse.

----Lightly moisturize the other parts of your lips not affected. If your entire lip area dries out, this can actually stress out the areas around the cold sore and lead to a LARGER outbreak.

----Stay out of the sun, and avoid hot, moist environments (no hot-tubbing!).


If, like me, you suffer from cold sores you probably already know they're caused by herpes symplex 1, and that there's no cure. BUT, we can manage our outbreaks. For me cold sores are brought on by extremes:

  • over-exposure to sun
  • extreme cold
  • severe dryness
  • increased stress
  • illness

Avoiding these can be tough, but taking simple steps to reduce exposure helps:
Get out of the sun!
Dress appropriately for the cold.
Continue to moisturize and stay hydrated throughout the winter.
Recognize signs of stress at their onset.

I've been getting cold sores my whole life. One summer as a teenager they covered the entire area from the middle of my nose down to my lips. I know how incredibly painful they can be, and I've tried just about everything under the sun to catch them before they get out of control and get rid them once I've got them. These are some of the things that have worked best for me.

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