Salt (sodium chloride) can heal cold sores faster due to its ability to dry out the fluid-filled blisters. It removes all of the moisture from a cold sore and minimizes viral shedding. Unfortunately, the drying process introduces the possibility of cracking, which could prolong the recovery process.
Knowing when to put salt on a cold sore overnight can be the difference between healing and intense burning or skin damage.
In this guide, you will find out how to apply salt to a cold sore. You’ll also discover other ingredients that can be added to sale to optimize the effectiveness. We’ll also take a close look at whether salt is a good or bad part of your day-to-day diet.
Table of Contents:
Salt or sodium chloride can be an effective cold sore healer because it serves as an antiseptic. While it can potentially harm your skin, it is also a sound home remedy. It halts the sore’s development and dries out the site of the cold sore. This process is what transpires when you pour salt over ice.
Although salt can lead to some troublesome side effects, burning and potential skin damage being two, it is safer than most alternative treatments.
The duration of a cold sore salt treatment is a matter of personal preference. Some remedies can last hours while others just seconds. So much will depend on your tolerance for any discomfort (burning) and the extent (coverage area) of your blisters.
The use of powdered salt will make the session more comfortable. The finer the texture, the easier it will be to apply. Large salt crystals are NOT a good treatment option.
Below is an overview of the application process and what to expect during treatment:
You can repeat the process several times per day. You’ll observe visual cues that it is losing moisture. At that time you can stop treatment.
While using salt to dry out your cold sores should never be your first option. Although salt can be beneficial, it is just an alternative to proven over-the-counter medications.
Always use caution when using an alternative remedy. Salt can cause pain if used on an open wound, so it should be avoided.
If you have dealt with years of recurring cold sores, the use of salt is worthy of your consideration. However, if you are in the midst of your first outbreak, we do not recommend this treatment. FDA approved OTC treatments should always be your first plan of action. This is critical if you are dealing with your initial blisters.
Using a salt water rinse rather than dry salt is a personal preference. There is no right or wrong answer.
The only distinction is that a rinse will be less abrasive. Because the salt is mixed with water, the application will be less harsh.
Unless extremely diluted, a salt water rinse will still introduce antiseptic properties and positive benefits. The final results should be similar to that of dry salt since the primary objective is drying up the fluid in the blister.
If you are concerned about the potential for pain with a dry salt application, a rinse could be a better option.
The combination of salt and toothpaste can be beneficial as an overnight cold sore healer.
While it is understood that salt can serve as an antiseptic that can dry out cold sores, toothpaste has a similar quality. Courtesy of sodium lauryl sulfate, an active ingredient in toothpaste, your daily teeth cleaner can also heal your fever blisters.
Sodium lauryl sulfate not only can dry out sores but also numb any pain while preventing virus replication. Combined with salt, a remedy can be formed to help heal your fever blisters.
Noted below is a brief explanation of the application process.
While salt can be used to treat cold sores, it can also be a cold sore trigger. This is one of the reasons why salt can be problematic.
From a general health standpoint, you should always strive to limit your salt intake. Too much salt in your diet can lead to increased blood pressure as well as a host of other health issues.
Having good health can help you to fend off a cold sore outbreak. Weak immune health can trigger an outbreak while a healthy and robust system can prevent fever blisters.
You should make it a point to manage your salt intake. Not only as a means to prevent cold sores but as a good plan for healthy living.
Salt can provide relief. If applied responsibly, salt can heal your cold sore days earlier than would otherwise be the case.
Although there is a risk of burning (upon application) as well as skin damage, these side effects can be remedied. Once your sore has been diminished, it is vital that you rejuvenate your lip with a moisturizing balm. This will help return your lip and skin to a healthy state.