A cold sore is not something that you need be ashamed of as roughly 90% of adults around the world possess the herpes simplex virus that causes them. Despite that 90% number, many don’t struggle with cold sores, and it indeed varies by individual as regular flare-ups haunt some and others without the virus nearly never.  Cold sores, usually appear as blisters beneath the skin before breaking, oozing, and crusting over for about a week to ten days.


For most, the first appearance after contact with the virus is the worst and can even include accompanying sore throat, headaches, and even a fever.  While prescription medication is the way to go for severe cold sores or chronic problems there do exist many home remedies that work preventatively, for soothing relief, and for cleaning the area in the hope to speed up their departures.  There is no guarantee that the following home remedies will work for you, but feel free to try one or all when stress, hormonal fluctuations, surgery, fevers, illness, or any number other triggers unleash these pernicious sores.

1. Lemon Balm Essential Oil

A number of studies over the last decade in Germany and elsewhere place lemon balm at the top of this list. One study showed that treatment of an emerging cold sore kept flare-ups down at least during the study.  In treatment, another study showed that lemon balm could speed the healing process.

Additionally, lemon balm provides instant relief from the discomfort.  Most apply in a diluted amount with water a minimum of three to four times a day. Others apply it to the sore, dry and then add a layer of petroleum jelly to keep it from drying out during waking hours and especially when sleeping.