Cold Sore Home Treatments to Speed Up Healing

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Cold sores—also known as canker sores—are small, painful ulcers on the inside of the mouth. This is a type of condition wherein formation of benign and non-contagious mouth ulcers occurs in healthy individuals. Not much is understood about old sores but it’s definitely caused by a number of factors such as poor diet, hormonal disruptions, allergies, trauma, and stress. There are also some people who get canker sores repeatedly suggesting that their genetic makeup made them susceptible to mouth ulcers.

Symptoms of mouth ulcer include painful, crater-like ulcers that are inflamed and red all around. Although cold sores go away on their own, there are certain treatments that could hasten the healing process. These treatments include:

Vanilla Extracts

You read that right: vanilla extract—the pure and organic kind—helps eliminate cold sore pain and even speed up healing. Vanilla extract naturally contains antiviral properties, making it a great home treatment to banish painful mouth ulcers. Using a cotton ball or a cotton swab, saturate it with vanilla extract and dab it on the affected area. Apply vanilla extract on the sores for several days until they disappear.


Yet another natural and unconventional treatment for cold sores, licorice kills the virus cells and prevents them from spreading to other parts of the mouth. It also contains powerful antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties so sores heal a lot faster. Just get a tablespoon of licorice root powder or licorice extract and mix it with half a tablespoon of water or 2 teaspoons of petroleum jelly to make a cream. Apply the licorice cream on the affected area using a cotton swab or cotton ball, making sure the sores are completely covered by the stuff. Leave it on for several hours or for as long as you can. Repeat the process for a couple of days.

Get a New Toothbrush

Cold sores are caused by a strain of virus. And using the same toothbrush could trigger a flare-up. So once your sores are healed, toss your toothbrush; the virus could still be breeding in it. Use a new toothbrush each time you recover from cold sores to minimize the chances of being infected again.

Whole Milk

Whole milk is effective in soothing painful cold sores! It also contains a strain of protein called immunoglobulin. Immunoglobulin works to strengthen the immune system by killing viruses like herpes. Whole milk also contains l-lysine, a compound that inhibits the effects of arginine, an amino acid that’s suspected of causing cold sore outbreaks. Just saturate a cotton ball with cold or room-temperature whole milk and dab it gently on cold sores. You can protect the sores by spreading a bit of petroleum jelly directly on the affected area.

Several types of painkillers, mouthwashes, and cold sore topical creams help hasten the healing process. You can get them at your local pharmacy. It’s common for most people to get periodic outbreaks but if you notice that you’ve been getting cold sores at an abnormal frequency, have yourself checked. In some cases, cold sores are just symptoms of a more serious condition.