Five Ways to Make Cold Sores Hurt Less and Heal Faster

When my lip is puffy, swollen, and sore, I know it's time to be careful about what I eat.

For me, cold sores have been a nuisance since I was a child. Through the years I’ve figured out my triggers include prolonged direct sun exposure, stress, and getting a cold. Fortunately, I’ve also figured out a few ways to reduce the itchiness and pain of a cold sore and how to make it go away a few days faster than usual.

Diet Overhaul
When my lip is puffy, swollen, and sore, I know it’s time to be careful about what I eat. Salty, fried, and greasy foods are off the menu until the tender sore heals. These irritating foods not only aggravate the healing skin but also lower my immunity, making it even more difficult for my body to heal the sore.

Keep It Moist
While a  cold sore heals, it gets dry and cracked. This can be painful and annoying. I find that keeping the sore moist still allows the area to heal but without the pain of cracking skin. I like to use a dab of organic jojoba oil or creamy coconut oil. Jojoba oil contains skin-healing vitamin E, while coconut oil is a natural antibacterial to keep infections away.

Use Ice
Sometimes the sores can throb and feel hot. To soothe this inflammation, I like to use gel-filled cold packs. Wrap a chilled pack in a thin dish towel and gently hold it over the sore. To make sure the towel doesn’t stick to the skin and cause more pain, apply a moisturizer to the sore before using the cold pack.

Try Aloe Vera
Pure aloe vera gel is extremely moisturizing and healing. Try applying a dab of aloe vera directly from the stem of a plant. Or, use aloe vera gel from the pharmacy. Since this remedy is plant based, it’s safe to use near the mouth and won’t make you sick if accidentally ingested.

Reduce Stress
Anxiety, worrying, and stress weakens your immune system. When your body isn’t able to devote 100 percent to healing your cold sores, it takes longer for them to go away. Try reducing your stress by practicing yoga, going for a walk, or overhauling your daily schedule so you have a lighter load.