Today I am going to answer the question …”what essential oils are good for cold sores?”. Cold sores are caused by a virus known as herpes simplex. These painful, oozing blisters usually breakout around the lips, mouth, chin and nose and can absolutely be successfully treated with the proper essential oils for cold sores.
Frequent cold sores could indicate a weak immunity and even underlying health issues. Conventional medicines do little to help with the pain, cracking skin and oozing blisters.
However use of essential oils for cold sores can greatly reduce discomfort, aid in improving immunity and may even prevent future infections to an extent.
What Are Cold Sores?
Colds sores, as discussed above, begin as tender painful bumps which soon turn red and oozing.
The localized sores are also called fever blisters and are attributed to Herpes Simplex Type 1 or Type 2 viruses. Cold sore lesions may sometimes be accompanied by other symptoms like fever, fatigue and general malaise.
They are also contagious and soon spread to other parts of the body. Cold sores develop fully after 8 to 10 days of exposure to the virus and usually last for about 12-14 days.
The herpes simplex virus remains dormant in most humans; almost all of us have it since childhood after a bout of Chicken pox. However, in some people, the virus becomes active and develops into shingles (herpes zoster) or cold sores (herpes simplex).
The sores continue making an appearance every few months or years or each time the body is stressed or one’s immune system is compromised. Exposure to excess sun, wind and other harsh environmental factors can also lead to cold sores.
Here are the main symptoms of cold sores...
- Lesions around the mouth, gums, throat, nostrils and other areas of the face
- The blisters are very painful and they burst after a few days followed by cracking of the skin.
- Most cold sores go away after 7 to 14 days but during this period they could interfere with one’s ability to eat.
Canker Sores vs. Cold Sores
Canker sores are also like cold sores but they are not caused by a virus. Instead they arise due to inflammation in the body and especially in the gastrointestinal tract.
Another difference between cold sores and canker sores is that canker sore lesions are red and ulcerated but they also have yellowish scabs around their edges.
Both cold sores and cankers sores last for weeks and can be painful. Essential oils can be very beneficial for treating both types of sores.
Natural Remedies For Cold Sores – How Can Aromatherapy Essential Oils Help?
Aromatherapy essential oils for cold sores can treat herpes simplex sores by relieving stress, easing the pain and increasing the body’s natural defense system to strengthen it from within. It can safely be said that Aromatherapy’s approach towards treating herpes simplex is preventing it in the first place.
Patients prone to cold sores can proactively use essential oils at the first sign of cold sores around the lips. Doing so can reduce the intensity and duration of the sores and also prevent them from spreading. An important point to note about essential oils for cold sores on the lips is that most oils are anti-inflammatory as well as antiviral.
Applying the oils on the lesions can kill the virus, soothe the skin and also prevent their contagious action. Many of the oils are also analgesic or fever and pain reducing. Their cicatrizing property heals the skin and regenerates the tissue to restore it to its original condition. This prevents painful cracking of the skin and itchiness and encourages the skin to heal quickly.
Several essential oils are also alkalizing in nature which prevents inflammation in the body and balances the pH to prevent diseases.
I always recommend using essential oils for cold sores with other natural and conventional therapies. For example, you can use melissa essential oil on cold sores on the lips along with supplementation of amino acids like L-Lysine and L-Arginine. Both these amino acid supplements are extremely beneficial in healing cold sores quickly.
At the first sign of painful bump near the lips, apply this oil and leave it on overnight. The sore will be gone by morning.
Chamomile is another healing essential oil for cold sores on the lips. It cools the inflamed skin and soothes burning pain and inflammation.
Chamomile essential oil may be applied undiluted on the lesions to reduce their duration.
You can also drink the infusion of Chamomile to strengthen immunity from within.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree essential oil is antiviral, analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
At the first sign of cold sore near the lips, apply diluted tea tree oil to it to prevent the sores from worsening.
Tea tree oil will reduce the severity and length of the outbreak.
Drinking an infusion of food grade thyme oil (or a team made by steeping thyme herbs in a pint of boiling water) can prevent duration of cold sores.
You can also apply Thyme oil neat or diluted on the lesions in order to prevent them from spreading.
Of all of the essential oils Melissa is probably the best essential oils for cold sores on lip treatment.
Not only does it reduce the severity of the outbreak, it also prevents future breakouts.
Lavender oil can be applied diluted in carrier oil on the sores to heal the discomfort
Other Essential Oils for Cold Sores
At the first sign of cold sores, begin using any of the following oils. If you use these oils diligently, there is a chance that you may even prevent a herpes outbreak.
- Clary Sage
- St. John's Wort
Essential Oil Recipe Blends for Cold Sores
As stated above, lemon and lemon balm essential oils for cold sores on the lips are one of the most effective of all remedies.
At the first sign of pain and bump on the lips, make a soothing compress using a few drops of lemon balm/Melissa oil mixed with 50 to 75 drops of carrier oil. Apply the compress to the sores frequently.
Soothing Cold Sores Blend#1
- 6 drops each of Roman Chamomile and Bergamot oils
- 4-5 drops of Geranium oil
- 2-4 drops of Eucalyptus oil
- 5 ml of carrier oil like Tamanu or Grapeseed oils
Mix the essential oils with the carrier oil. Using a cotton tip applicator, dab the blend on the blisters.
Cold Sores Blend #2
- 2-5 drops of Ravensara oil
- 1 tsp of Tamanu oil
Mix the oils well. Apply it to the cold sores on the lips and leave it on overnight. The skin would have healed by morning.
Essential Oils for Cold Sores on Lip
- 1 tsp Grapeseed oil
- 4 drops each Geranium and Tea tree oils
In a glass bowl, add the Grapeseed oil first. Next, add the Geranium and Tea tree oils and stir well to combine.
Using a cotton swab, apply this blend to the cold sores. Repeat application 3-4 times a day.
Skin Softening Essential Oil Recipe
Use this remedy for preventing cracks around the sores and keep the skin nourished.
- 1 tsp sunflower carrier oil
- 2 drops each Eucalyptus, Geranium and Roman Chamomile oils
In a glass bowl, add the sunflower oil first. Then drop the essential oils one by one. Stir to combine. Apply using a Q-tip to affected areas to prevent the lips from cracking.
Pain Relieving Cold Sores Blend
- 2-4 drops of Lavender oil
- 1 tsp sunflower carrier oil
Mix the oils well. Apply to the painful sores. Repeat application several times a day until pain subsides.
Once the Blisters Open
- 3-5 drops of any of the essential oils for cold sore treatment mentioned above
- 1 tsp of Sweet Almond oil or Sunflower oil (Sunflower oil works best as it is high in vitamin E.)
Apply the blend of above oils to the open blisters. This will keep the skin moist and prevent it from cracking.
Immune Strengthening Tea
Very few essential oils can be taken internally to boost the immune system and ward off a herpes attack.
Lemon essential oil for cold sores is also available in food grade variety.
Take a few drops of it with a glass of water to strengthen immune system and fight cold sores.
There is no cure for herpes but you can prevent an outbreak by taking certain precautions.
Learn what essential oils are good for cold sores and how they work through strengthening immunity, reducing stress and decreasing inflammation. Try using an essential oil diffuser to reduce stress.
When used as directed they can certainly reduce the duration and the severity of an outbreak.