Using essential oils for cold sores is something that really works, only keep in mind that they are only acting on the symptoms and not the disease. You may read the most used home remedies for cold sore on that article because here we will talk only about essential oils for the outbreaks. Next, we will recommend you a list of essential oils you may use, how to use them and will tell you more about the safety measures. These extracts are very potent, and you need to be careful when using them so that this cure won’t become potentially irritant or toxic.
1. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint has a strong antiviral effect and may fight well the virus that causes the blisters to erupt. Anytime a blister shows up and breaks, particles of the virus will be present in it and on your skin. Unfortunately, you cannot treat herpes simplex virus by ingesting peppermint oil as a prevention method. It only works if the virus resides outside your skin.
A lot of people used peppermint essential oil to treat cold sores, and they testified that they felt better and that the healing process of an outbreak was faster. Even scientific studies (like the one published in Phytomedicine, in 2013) certified that this oil can inhibit the development of both herpes simplex viruses, HSV1 and HSV2. The study demonstrated the antiviral effect in a proportion of 99% after three hours of virus incubation. You should use it right from the beginning, when you first notice any sign of a possible herpes episode, to get best results.
- Clean the infected area to make room for the oil to act.
- Soak a small cotton pad in cold water, and then pour a few drops of peppermint oil. This dilution is beneficial for your skin because it eliminates the probability of irritation.
- Place the cotton pad on the blisters and keep there for a couple of minutes.
- Rinse with warm water after that.
- Repeat the process of applying the remedy twice a day until you get rid of the cold sore outbreak.
2. Geranium Essential Oil
Ancient Egyptians used geranium oil for keeping their skin healthy because it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. They passed away their knowledge from generation to generation and so modern people still use this herb to treat various skin conditions. It is a mild oil, similar to lavender one; it doesn’t have an irritating effect, and it isn’t toxic. Also, it can heal wounds and acts as an antiseptic and antidepressant. Because of these facts, geranium essential oil is a good candidate to treat a cold sore outbreak. Just like for the peppermint oil, the ideal use is a topical application.
- Only wet a cotton swab and drip some oil drops.
- Apply on the sore spot and leave it to act for three to five minutes.
- You should clean the area after that with warm water and use a bit pf petroleum jelly.
Caution: Don’t use geranium oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding because it may have an effect on the hormone secretions. Also, it is not recommended for people with high blood pressure or who present a risk for cardiovascular diseases as it can contract the blood vessels, leading to the slowdown of the blood flow.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender brings us another mild and non-toxic oil which is safe to use even on children. It also has had multiple uses along the centuries, from religious to cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Scientists haven’t performed a lot of studies on it, but folk experience suggests that we may benefit a lot from lavender especially when we talk about skin issues. This delicately scented herb has the power of healing wounds and even burns, restoring the pH balance of the skin, reducing acne and eczema, slowing the aging process and reducing stress and anxiety. If you want to treat a cold sore outbreak with lavender essential oil, you may try to prepare a solution by combining multiple beneficial ingredients.
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- 16 drops of each tea tree and oregano essential oil
- 6 drops lemon essential oil
- 12 drops chamomile essential oil
- 4 ounces of coconut oil
- Take a small jar and place together all the above ingredients. Stir to combine evenly.
- Wet a cotton pad, and then dip it into this mixture.
- Apply it on the cold sore blister and leave it to act for four to five minutes.
- Repeat the process for as long as you feel the need or until the blister is gone.
4. Melissa (Lemon Balm) Essential Oil
Also known as “Sweet or Common Oil” and most often as lemon balm, Melissa essential oil is widely used in a lot of cosmetic products due to its beautiful healing properties and its sweet scented flavor. It is helpful and widely used in treating all sorts of skin problems and lesions because it acts as a mild sedative and a potent antibacterial agent. Melissa chases away stress and fatigue, and it was used for soldiers to help them relax after a stressful fight. Polyphenols in Melissa essential oil are very effective in combating cold sores. Researchers note that the frequency of the outbreaks reduces when using balms or creams containing this oil. They also noticed a faster healing process as well as the fact that the infection doesn’t spread anymore. People who use this remedy say that they feel a great relief after applying it on the infected area.
When you want to use Melissa essential oil for a cold sore outbreak, it would be better to create a homemade cream. The following recipe will provide instant relief.
- 2 ounces of sweet almond oil
- 6 drops of each Melissa, Roman chamomile, eucalyptus, bergamot, lavender and geranium essential oil
- 4 drops of tea tree essential oil
- Mix all the ingredients with a small spoon and apply on the blisters.
- Keep in a cool and dry place and shake well before each use.
- Use the remedy three to four times each day until you feel better.
Caution: Even if this oil is considered non-toxic, it can be irritating to sensitive skin. Don’t use it on pregnant women or small children. Make sure to test it first on a small surface.
5. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Melaleuca or tea tree is commonly known in Australia for its powerful healing powers. Natives used it for centuries in folk medicine, and over three hundred late studies have confirmed what they already knew: this plant has a tremendous antibacterial and antiviral effect. It is the reason why many manufacturers include it in the list of ingredients for a wide variety of cleaning and cosmetic products. Tea tree oil can treat a lot of conditions, from skin problems like irritations, sunburns, insect bites, acne, eczema, cold sores and many others to fungal infections and head lice. It is then an excellent idea to include tea tree essential oil in your list. It is very simple to use this oil to treat cold sores:
- You may apply it directly on the blisters but if you feel a burning sensation, rinse it away.
- In this case, the alternative is diluting a few drops in a ½ teaspoon of coconut oil.
- Gently place a dab of this mixture on the pustules and let it take action for at least five minutes.
- After that rinse with warm water.
Caution: just like for the other essential oils, you need to be careful when using it. First of all, you should never take it internally. Use it only for topical application and test on a small area first. Keep it out of the reach of children since it has a high degree of toxicity.
If you learn to use these extracts and follow all the safety measures, essential oils can become a great ally in your fight with cold sores. Outbreaks won’t frighten you anymore, and you will notice that they will occur less often if you make use of these precious ideas.
In the end, we will say that using any of these 5 essential oils for cold sores will help you heal the blisters faster and in a more natural way. It is your own decision which one you will choose to use.
PS: You may want to read our list of 20 home remedies for a cold sore outbreak.