Toothpaste on Cold Sores: Does It Work?

A cold sore often starts with itchy skin around your mouth, but before long, some water-filled blisters appear at the same place. There is no single treatment available to cure this contagious skin disorder, but you can try certain home remedies to relieve pain and itchiness. Different people have different remedies for cold sores, and many find toothpaste quite effective. Should you really apply toothpaste on cold sores? Are there other better remedies available? Keep reading to find out more.

Does Toothpaste Help Relieve Cold Sores?

While toothpaste may help relieve some discomfort, it is definitely not a miracle cure for cold sores. The reason is that you develop cold sores when you are infected with the herpes virus, and toothpaste is not going to kill that virus. Toothpaste may help make your sores less noticeable by drying them out, but it will provide temporary relief only. While there is no evidence of how effective toothpaste can be, there are even studies showing that toothpastes may contain irritants. These irritants, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, may aggravate your cold sores and even turn them into canker sores. It means that if you are really going to use toothpaste, be sure to select the one that does not contain any ingredients that may irritate your sores.

How to Relieve Cold Sores by Toothpaste More Effectively

You may consider applying ice before applying toothpaste on cold sores. This helps reduce the swelling. When applying toothpaste, always opt for a white paste instead of gels. You need to clean the area properly to trigger healing. You may also find people talking about several other remedies which are not clinically proven–one such remedy is to mix some salt and toothpaste and apply it directly to your sores. You can try it if that does not cause a lot of pain. Rinse it with cool water if you feel any discomfort.

Other Remedies for Cold Sores

If you are not convinced to use toothpaste on cold sores, you can take some other steps to help relieve pain and discomfort. For instance:

  • Soak a towel in cool water and wring it well. Place it on your sores thrice a day for 20 minutes each time to reduce swelling and redness.
  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce pain. Avoid aspirin if you are younger than 20.
  • Get a mouth rinse that contains baking soda and use it to soothe your sore mouth.
  • Avoid citrus fruits and anything that contains acid.
  • Try products like Zilactin and Abreva to accelerate healing.
  • Use Anbesol or Orajel to relieve pain by numbing sore areas.
  • Do not expose your affected area to direct sunlight and wear sunscreen all the time for protection.
  • Do not kiss or maintain intimate contact with people who have genital herpes or cold sores.
  • Avoid foods like chocolate, nuts, and gelatin to have fewer outbreaks.
  • Do not share razors, towels, toothbrushes, silverware or other objects of personal use with others.

Other People's Experience on the Effectiveness of Toothpaste on Cold Sores

It's been three years now since I've been dealing with cold sores every now and then. They are embarrassing, hurt a lot, and look gross. The other day I experience a strange tingling and felt as if my lip was swelling. I used Germ-x and ChapStick constantly and then applied the mixture of toothpaste and salt to the cold sore. That combination of toothpaste and salt works quite well for me and helps relieve the pain. It even helps decrease the size of my cold sores.

I have been dealing with cold sores since I was 6. I am currently dealing with a bad one. I have already tried every natural remedy I knew, but it seems quite stubborn. Salt, toothpaste, lancing and Zovirax have failed miserably. In fact, they have made my sores worse. They are spreading.

When I woke up this morning, I noticed a blister on my top lip in the left corner. I rushed for Virasorb, the only cold cream I had. It now seems that I took too long to treat it because it has already doubled in size and is very red. I have also tried salt and toothpaste trick but it has done nothing.

I have had my issues with cold sores. I have recently started using toothpaste on cold sores and I must say that it is working well for me. It dries up my cold sore quite quickly and this helps reduce its size. Mine responded well to OTC treatment, but that often proves quite expensive, especially when I opt for Aveeno. I am happy with this toothpaste thing because it is an inexpensive way to deal with cold sores.

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