Just to be clear, applying a strong chemical that’s not fit for purpose to a cold sore is not advised under any circumstances. While alternative healing methods are popular, putting nail polish remover on cold sores can potentially be dangerous.
While there is likely a small faction who swear by this method, it is important to understand the risks. Placing something on your lip or mouth that removes nail polish within seconds sounds like a panacea, but there are much better OTC cold sore medicines.
As with most alternative solutions, it is wise to consider the risk-reward when using an experimental treatment. The duration of a cold sore outbreak is typically no longer than 10-14 days. That is a relatively short wait in the grand scheme of things.
Introducing chemicals that can cause infection and prolonged suffering is something that requires careful evaluation. It is not a decision that you should make lightly. While taking the fast lane is quite common when it comes to treatment, that road can be highly dangerous.
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If you are wondering precisely why nail polish remover is problematic, it all begins with acetone. Let’s briefly explore this chemical and why it could be risky if applied to an active fever blister.
Classified as a solvent, acetone is a potent colorless liquid. Often used in household products as well as industry settings, acetone is quite powerful. This chemical is manufactured, but it is also found naturally within the environment.
Known for its versatility, acetone can remove paint, grease, rust, and yes…even nail polish. Small amounts of acetone are naturally produced within the human body.
While some nail polish removers are plant-based, many contain acetone. In fact, acetone is the reason why nail polish removers have such a potent odor.
Before you attempt to apply nail polish remover to an active blister, you must first understand the possible pitfalls.
In the same fashion that nail polish remover dries out nails, it will do the same to your blister. This can introduce chapping, cracking, skin breakage, and peeling. This is not good for your cold sore and not good for the surrounding skin.
Although drying out your fever blister will decrease its size, the negatives are more prevalent than the positives. If you are looking for “cold sore healing,” you will not find it in a bottle of nail polish remover. However, what you might get an infection and significant scarring.
While experimenting with alternative methods is okay, the vast majority of those methods are safe. Quite often the only negative result is the remedy failing to provide results. No harm is done. However, the concept of applying nail polish remover on your skin is simply dangerous. This is especially critical if you plan on using a polish remover that contains acetone.
Even though it would be foolish to assume that nail polish remover has not worked for some, this method is simply not wise.
If you encounter infection or scarring, either from nail polish remover or simply a severe cold sore outbreak, treatments are available.
While many of the same OTC (basic) methods used to treat fever blisters will also apply in extreme cases, some treatments can vary. In fact, there are a few OTC selections that are specifically designed to heal damaged skin (scarring) caused by cold sores.
Although infection and scarring can be discouraging, patience can win the day. Unless major complications arise, which are quite rare, your blister should heal in a matter of weeks.
Listed below are just a few OTC options:
We encourage you to research each selection and read the reviews. The more you know about each OTC cold sore healer, the easier it will be to choose the right remedy for you.
The cold sore treatment product market is extensive. This growth in production makes it that much easier to fight both infection and scarring. This is true if your setback has come at the hands of a questionable treatment practice.
Even though some alternative cold sore treatment methods can potentially introduce serious risks, seeking safe alternatives is not bad. In fact, healing your cold sores through natural means is encouraged. Especially if those means involve a change in diet and increased vitamin intake.
Let’s explore and briefly dissect each remedy:
Just because something might work does not mean you should try it. That is the main takeaway from the concept of using nail polish remover as a cold sore treatment.
While polish is potent and can dry out cold sores, the product can also introduce serious issues. These problems can include infection and long-term scarring. This is also in addition to the possibility of damage to the otherwise healthy skin.
Extreme measures should never be taken when treating a cold sore. When natural healing can occur in as little as two weeks, sticking to the basics is wise. OTC creams and ointments can snuff out blisters in a matter of days.
Although you are certainly free to select the best method for you, the introduction of nail polish remover is questionable. We encourage you to put your health first and steer clear of any exotic treatments.