Fragrance products (aftershave and perfume) can dry out cold sores relatively quickly due to the alcohol base. Although mixed with a host of chemicals (that are unhelpful), alcohol is beneficial when it comes to healing fever blisters faster.
While the prospect of drying out a cold sore has its drawbacks, removing a painful blister several days earlier will likely be achieved. The most significant roadblocks are the possibility of skin damage and fragrance sensitivities.
Even though treating your fever blister with the best over-the-counter cold sore remedies should always be the plan, alternative treatments are popular. The use of a fragrance product is likely to be safer than some of the cruder methods that sufferers use to aid healing.
We will look at fragrance products and how they can heal your sore quicker. You’ll also find out about the potential side effects.
Table of Contents:
Both aftershave and perfume, even cologne for that matter, contain alcohol. While these liquids are packed with other ingredients, alcohol can be used to treat a fever blister.
In the same way as rubbing alcohol or salt (sodium chloride), aftershave and perfume can dry out your cold sore. Once a blister is devoid of moisture it slowly dries and begins to flake away.
Although the use of aftershave and perfume should never be your first line of defense, the treatment will likely work. If the primary goal is to heal your sore faster, this simple remedy can be beneficial.
The ideal time to apply cologne to your lip is during the blister stage (before it bursts) and the ulcer stage begins. At the first sign of a visual blister cluster, you can apply cologne to the problematic region.
While you can conceivably apply cologne at any time, you run the risk of some serious complications during the noted ulcer stage. The pain alone would make you regret your decision within seconds.
While drying out a sore removes it faster, the dryness can lead to other issues. Cracking is a big problem.
When cold sore cracks, the pain can be quite intense. Additionally, the cracking can expose other body parts to the herpes simplex virus. This exposure can introduce outside elements which can make matters worse.
Many aftershave products contain an ingredient known as SD-alcohol 40. This base ingredient is an antiseptic. This is the primary tool that allows aftershave to cool and calm your skin and prevent razor burn. Logically speaking SD-alcohol 40 is what could dull any pain and discomfort associated with a cold sore. This ingredient can also sterilize the area to some degree as well as dry out the blister.
While most fragrances are often loaded with chemicals, alcohol is the primary foundation. In fact, many colognes, perfumes, and aftershaves contain as many as 4,000 chemicals. It is possible to see a different formula make up in almost every brand of fragrance product.
By and large, the vast majority of fragrance products are safe. Unless you have pre-existing sinus or skin condition, for example, you should be fine. Not every scent is pleasant, but that alone is not an issue but rather a personal preference.
With so many brands and so many formulas, it is virtually impossible to know what will cause you trouble. The only way to know is to test a product. The aftershave base of SD-alcohol 40 will likely be your safest option. However, even that foundation base is problematic for some.
While searching for a harmful ingredient is like locating a needle in a haystack, the issue of perfume sensitivity is a more common issue. This is where the scent of a cologne or perfume trumps any specific ingredient.
Have you ever been in a crowded room for a gathering and found yourself almost knocked over by various scents? The cologne and perfume “competition” can send you reeling. Although episodes like these impact people in different ways, a sensitivity issue could be to blame.
You might be best inclined to search for the “dull” in the bunch. Meaning, find the product with a more natural or even non-existent scent. Similar to what you see in air fresheners, some products are designed to keep you from smelling bad rather than smelling like a wildflower.
If you are sensitive to harsh chemicals, applying an aftershave/cologne/perfume with limited bite could be the ticket.
The quickest and safest way to recover from an outbreak is with quality OTC treatments. While aftershaves and various fragrances can dry out the sore, the chemicals can introduce issues. This is likely if you have allergies and skin sensitivities where the cons could outweigh the pros.
Cold sore healing recommendations…
While a cold sore, without disruption, will likely heal itself within two weeks, proven treatment options work much faster. It is possible to heal your sore within 3-4 days thanks to an OTC choices.
Although fast cold sore healing is always the objective, safety is more important. Are alternative treatments worth the potential complications? This is a critical question to ask yourself when deciding whether to reach for the Old Spice rather than Abreva.
Whatever you are applying to your lip you will be subjected to smelling. Although that is likely stating the obvious, it could be easy to forget before application. If you are unable to handle certain fragrances, you should skip them as a treatment plan.
All you are after is the alcohol. If you can find aftershave, cologne, or perfume with a limited scent, you will likely have a better experience. Save the wild orchid spice for the party. Apply the “plain Jane” for your cold sore needs.