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Send cold sores packing

Send cold sores packing
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Read on to learn how to quickly heal a cold sore and prevent future outbreaks from occurring.

Apply lemon balm essential oil

Apply lemon balm essential oil
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You already know that lemons can clean almost everything in your house, but recent studies have proven that lemon balm essential oil effectively kills the herpes virus. Since all cold sores are caused by the herpes virus, any treatment that directly targets the virus is automatically one of the most effective cold sore remedies. As you feel the tingle of a cold sore forming, put a drop of two of lemon balm essential oil to the area, then hold an ice cube on top of the area for ten minutes. After icing, spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly to protect the sore from bacteria and prevent it from cracking. Repeat the whole process several times a day. Note: Sometimes if you react quickly enough, a cold sore won’t emerge or its severity can be greatly reduced.

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Take an aspirin

Take an aspirin
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Besides offering pain relief, research shows that 125 milligrams of aspirin a day can cut the time a herpes infection remains active by 50 percent.

Don’t try these 11 trusted home remedies that will only make you worse.

Make a cornflour paste

Make a cornflour paste
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A traditional home remedy calls for making a cornmeal poultice for a cold sore, but an easier adaptation is to make a paste of a little cornflour and water and dab it on the sore a few times a day. Cornflour neutralises the pH of the sore (cold sores thrive in acidic environments), which will soothe pain and inflammation.

Try a teabag poultice

Try a teabag poultice
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At the first twinge of a cold sore, apply a damp, cooled tea bag to the area where you expect the outbreak to occur and keep it on for 10 minutes. Repeat three or four times a day to reduce the duration and severity of an outbreak. It’s been said that Earl Grey tea bags seem to be the most effective.

Learn the different types of tea.

Treat with hydrogen peroxide

Treat with hydrogen peroxide
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An open blister on your face is vulnerable to infection, especially if you touch it often. Frequently disinfect the sore with hydrogen peroxide to prevent bacterial infection. The cleaner the sore is, the more likely it will heal quickly without spreading or worsening.

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Make a licorice paste

Make a licorice paste
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Licorice contains anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, and an acid found in licorice root has been shown in studies to stop the cold sore virus cells from spreading and counteract symptoms. Although drinking licorice tea may help, this is more effective as a mouth ulcer remedy. Applying licorice powder topically works best for cold sores. Mix 1 tablespoon of licorice root powder with 1 teaspoon of petroleum jelly, and leave the cream on the sore for several hours or overnight.

Dab on some aloe

Dab on some aloe
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Swab the cold sore with pure aloe vera gel three to four times a day until the sore goes away. Aloe will soothe your sensitive, blistered skin and help protect it from bacteria, which is why it’s also a proven remedy for eczema and psoriasis relief.

Did you know you can also use aloe to boost your metabolism? Here are 50 simple ways to boost your metabolism.

Apply tea tree oil

Apply tea tree oil
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Tea tree oil is anti-fungal, antiseptic, and antibiotic, and can help heal your cold sore. (Witch hazel can similarly help.) Apply tea tree essential oil directly on the cold sore three or four times a day.

Tea tree oil can also help with halitosis. Here are some ways to help cure bad breath for good.

Dab on vanilla extract

Dab on vanilla extract
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Vanilla extract can do more than make your home smell fresh. Some people believe the alcohol in pure vanilla extract makes it difficult for a cold sore virus to thrive, which would lessen the severity of an outbreak. As soon as you feel a cold sore forming, you can try dabbing on pure vanilla extract.

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– The Reader’s Digest team