Is Toothpaste Good for Cold Sores?

Cold sores have a specific lifespan, and usually last for between 10 and 14 days. Unfortunately, during that lifespan they are unsightly, embarrassing, and painful. This leaves many people looking for a cold sore treatment that works. Often, these treatments are home remedies, like applying toothpaste for cold sores overnight.

One issue with DIY solutions, however, is their effectiveness. Some people may experience success with an at-home solution, while others may not. Toothpaste is something we all have in our homes and use every day. But, can it actually serve a dual purpose, and help to get rid of fever blisters?

Using toothpaste on a cold sore overnight is a popular remedy, but, does it work? If it does, what makes it so effective, and how can you make sure you’re applying it properly?

This article will cover whether or not toothpaste is good for treating cold sores, and if it can help to get rid of the unpleasant symptoms. We will also mention several additional home remedies you can use to alleviate the discomfort and irritation.

Will Toothpaste Heal a Fever Blister Quickly?

When brought up as a home remedy, many people suggest that putting toothpaste on a cold sore while sleeping can help it to clear up in just 24 hours. While these are claims that may not work for everyone, there is anecdotal evidence that suggests it can help to ease the discomfort.

It’s unlikely that it will completely disappear in just a day. But, by using toothpaste as a home remedy, you may be able to reduce the healing time and ease the discomfort. Just keep a few precautionary measures in mind.

An active ingredient in toothpaste, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is the main reason for its effectiveness. This is a chemically-based ingredient that is found in many regularly-used cosmetic products. That includes things like shampoo, mouthwash, and of course, toothpaste. It is believed to inhibit blisters from growing in cases of the herpes simplex virus. By applying a thin layer of paste on the sore overnight, you can alleviate pain by numbing it.

It will also help to dry out the blister. This can prevent excessive oozing. If you’re able, start using toothpaste at the first sign of a cold sore, before the blister even forms. This can help to prevent the blister from growing so rapidly, and can speed up the healing time. If you’re unaware of the early signs of a cold sore, they are:

Are There Any Side Effects?

Most home remedies are safe, because they use mostly natural ingredients. Toothpaste, as you might expect, is fairly harmless. After all, it’s something you use in your mouth each day. But, the active ingredient that helps to soothe a cold sore can be detrimental for some people.

SLS is used to give toothpaste its ‘foamy’ texture. It also provides a cleansing sensation when we’re brushing our teeth. In some cases, it can agitate the cold sore and surrounding skin. This can be especially true for people with sensitive skin.

If you do have a toothpaste that contains SLS, you may want to test out how it reacts with your skin. Try leaving it for several minutes, first. SLS may not have an effect on everyone, so just be cautious in your use.

Other tips to keep in mind to avoid negative side effects include:

  • Search for toothpaste that doesn’t contain SLS
  • Don’t use gel-style pastes
  • Be sure the area of the sore is completely clean and dry before applying
  • Try applying ice before using the toothpaste. This will help to reduce swelling, and allow the paste to penetrate more deeply.
  • Basic, traditional toothpastes are best. The fewer ingredients, the better.

There have been several claims linked to the idea that SLS can cause cancer. However, there is not enough substantial research to back up these claims. If its effects are something that concern you, the best thing you can do is avoid paste with SLS altogether until further research is performed.

Toothpaste & Salt Cold Sore Remedy

Some people have found that a mixture of toothpaste and salt is more effective. Unfortunately, using salt can sometimes leave a painful sting on an open sore. To get the healing effects of salt and toothpaste without the pain, do the following.

  • Make sure the area is completely clean and dry.
  • Mix a small amount of salt into toothpaste to form a thick paste.
  • Apply a thin layer directly onto the cold sore before bed.
  • Let sit overnight and wipe away in the morning.

Salt works as an antiseptic. Because cold sores are caused by a virus, it’s important to keep them clean. They open up throughout their life cycle, and that can put you at risk for bleeding and infection.

Salt’s antiseptic properties can helped to speed up the healing process. The toothpaste can provide soothing relief and healing at the same time, so your risk of infection lowers, and the cold sore can heal faster.

Popular Cold Sore Home Remedies

  1. Baking soda: Many toothpastes contain baking soda. People used to brush their teeth directly with it, so it’s not surprising it has become a common home solution for cold sores. It works in the same way that toothpaste does – alleviating pain, and drying out the blister. To use, add a some water to the baking soda to make a thick paste and apply a thin layer over the cold sore for several minutes.
  2. Lemon balm: Lemon balm is a member of the mint family (another association with many types of toothpaste). You’ll find that lemon balm can help to reduce swelling. Studies suggest that it can also help to reduce the intensity of future flare-ups.
  3. Aloe vera: Aloe vera is commonly known to soothe cuts and scrapes, but it can also help to soothe the discomfort caused by cold sores. Whether you use a piece of the actual plant, or some type of balm containing aloe, aloe vera can reduce inflammation and discomfort.
  4. Milk: Not only will the coolness of milk help to soothe an inflamed cold sore, but the proteins in the drink can actually help to speed up healing. As with toothpaste, some people have found that a mixture of salt and milk works wonders as a treatment option.

Does applying cod sores to fever blisters reduce swelling?

Precautionary Tips to Reduce Cold Sore Outbreaks

If you have the herpes simplex virus, getting cold sores may be unavoidable. However, there are several things you can do to protect yourself. Some of these tips include:

How to Prevent the Virus from Spreading

There are several precautions to keep in mind if you’re using toothpaste to treat cold sores. These are especially important if you live with someone else. First, keep in mind that the herpes simplex virus is contagious. If someone has been exposed to the virus, they are at risk.

If you’re going to use toothpaste for cold sores, get a tube that’s specifically for that purpose only. Don’t use the toothpaste you regularly use to brush your teeth. If you’ve put the container to your lips, you could contaminate it. This could cause recurrent cold sore flare-ups, or you might give it to your partner, roommate, etc. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after applying toothpaste to a cold sore.

Does toothpaste clear up cold sores?

Does Putting Toothpaste on a Cold Sore Overnight Really Work?

Getting rid of cold sores with toothpaste seems to have worked well for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. As long as you don’t have an irritated reaction to SLS, it can help to dry out the sore so it can heal it faster.

Most people are most concerned about getting instant relief from the pain. Toothpaste can help, especially when combined with salt. It will draw away moisture quickly and help to reduce swelling and redness from the cold sore.

If you’re prone to cold sores, finding simple home solutions can be beneficial. Understanding the ingredients is important, so check out what your toothpaste is made of before deciding if it’s right for you. If you’re dealing with a painful cold sore right now, we strongly recommend 2 treatments. Find out more about the Virulite electronic cold sore machine and HERP-B-Gone cream.