Toothpaste on cold sore: Does it really work?

toothpaste on cold sore

Some health professionals will also advise that you should exercise patience and allow your cold sores to heal naturally. Although, cold sores can heal on their own, but they may take up to four weeks to go away completely. There are some effective home remedies that you can apply to speed up the healing process as well as reduce the discomforts. Treating cold sores earlier can be necessary because they can cause extreme pain and discomforts. However, cold sores outbreak is caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). The virus lives permanently in the facial nerve endings of many adults and children. (1)

Cold sores outbreaks occur when the herpes simplex virus is triggered. An outbreak usually start with a tingling, burning and itchy sensations on an area around the lips, mouth and nostrils, then tiny fluid-filled blisters appears. If you are experiencing your first outbreak, you are more likely to have the symptoms of fever, swollen glands, general body pain, muscle aches, painful mouth ulcers, difficulty swallowing and fatigue.

Well, cold sores typically heals within 2 to 4 weeks, but the herpes virus remains dormant in the facial nerve branches without going away. Knowing the early signs of cold sores and how to heal them quickly could be very important for faster treatments. Home remedies including toothpastes are very effective for fighting cold sores, when they are applied at the earliest stage of cold sores.

Toothpaste on cold sore

Toothpaste contains active ingredients known as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which may be helpful in treating cold sores. As I said earlier, after being infected, HSV-1 lies dormant in the body until something triggers it to become active and lead to cold sores outbreak. According to results gotten from some studies, the Wound Care Society reported that the ingredients contained in toothpaste can suppress the activities of the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

However, more researches are still ongoing to get more proof and evidence to support the idea that toothpaste is effective for preventing and treating cold sores. It is believed that the application of toothpaste at the first sign of a cold sore outbreak, may prevent the sores from developing or make the sores to heal quickly.

At the start of an outbreak, many people experience tingling, itching, or even soreness around the mouth, lips or nose, where the cold sores will eventually appear. Some people claimed that the application of toothpaste at these early stage will prevent the cold sores from appearing.

Toothpaste on cold sore, Does it work?

Well, I haven’t had cold sores before so I haven’t tried toothpaste on cold sore. This topic is really controversial, since there is not enough evidence to support the claims. So many people claim that toothpaste prevents their cold sores from appearing, although researchers haven’t carried out enough studies to validate the facts. (2) According to Abreva, application of toothpaste at the first sign of cold sore (when you feel the tingling or itching sensation) can heal a cold sore in 2½ days.

Moreover, the body knows how to heal a cold sore on its own even without any additional help or expensive cold sore treatment. If you can treat the sores more earlier, you can possibly shorten the healing duration, relieve the symptoms, and reduce the chances of recurrence. If you choose to go for toothpaste, here is how it is done.

How to apply toothpaste on cold sore

Get a white, non-gel toothpaste and apply over the area where you feel the itching or tingling sensation that precedes a cold sore. This remedy, can be more effective if you can repeat this several times during the day and before you go to sleep. Before you go to sleep each night, ensure to apply some toothpaste directly on your cold sores, you can remove the paste once you wake up in the morning. Alternatively, you can also apply the paste and let it sit for a couple of hours during the day time.

To remove the toothpaste, you will need to get a clean, soft facecloth and some warm water. Soak your soft facecloth in warm water and clean off the paste gently. Each time you want to use toothpaste on cold sore, you can use the same method that I mentioned above. You can equally try toothpaste if your sores have already developed fully, the paste will help to dry out the blisters that comes with cold sore, enabling the skin to heal more quickly.

But, you should be very careful when handling cold sores, they are very contagious. In my previous post, I gave full details plus pictures on how cold sores form and heals. You can also read the post here – pictures of cold sores.

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