Tea Tree Oil For Cold Sores: Benefits And Ways To Use

It is worth learning about tea tree oil for eliminating cold sores.

Don’t miss the important details we are going to discuss here.

As you might already know, “cold sores” are a common health issue most of us face at one time or another.

The drug store near you has several OTC and prescription medications easily available for treating this infection.

However, it is possible and better to get rid of cold sores or fever blisters with simple natural remedies at home.

Among the many natural remedies, tea tree oil (TTO) is extremely valuable for healing cold sores.

This oil has several benefits.

Knowing the advantages of using essential oils as remedies for viral infections like fever blisters is useful.

This article will give important details about cold sore treatment with tea tree oil.

What Are Cold Sores

Sores are fluid-filled blisters in a red or pink color that usually appear on the lips and around the mouth.

For some people, sores might also appear on the face, nose, fingers, or mouth.

These sores mostly appear in patches and clump together.

This infection may last up to 2 weeks, and then it subsides.

What Causes Them? 

A cold sore is caused by the common strain herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).

This virus partially destroys the skin tissues as they reproduce and multiply. Because of this, weepy sores keep appearing in the infected area.

The hyper-activism of the virus is triggered by stress, exposure to sunlight, fatigue, dental work, pregnancy, menstruation, insufficient sleep, winter weather, lotions, medications, foods, or allergic conditions.

Are Cold Sores Contagious? 

Yes, they are.

This virus infection can spread from one person to another via close physical contact, like kissing or sharing clothes and utensils.

Even the sores that remain hidden in the skin tissues are potentially contagious.

Cold Sore Symptoms

The onset of sores is marked by a slight tingle or even a burning sensation on the lips. The small clusters of blisters will appear after the initial signs.

The blisters are filled with fluid, eventually bursting and forming scabs. The scabs will flake away when new skin begins to appear.

Blistering may become painful and itchy irritation.

Other symptoms that may accompany cold blisters are fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and pain in and around the mouth.

What Are The Treatments

Regular treatments of recurrent cold sores are done with:

  • over-the-counter ointments and creams like penciclovir (Denavir) and docosanol (Abreva);
  • oral antiviral medications, such as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir);
  • Home remedies for cold sores include petroleum jelly, tooth paste, witch hazel, essential oils like tea tree oil and peppermint oil, or aloe vera.

What Is Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree, also known as melaleuca, is well known for its potent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties beneficial for treating wounds.

Tea tree oil (TTO) is extracted from the Australian native plant Melaleuca alternifolia.

The indigenous people of Australia have been using this oil for thousands of years as an important ingredient in folk medicines.

According to some reports, this oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that are useful for treating common infections like herpes, sores, and others.

This oil also works for hemorrhoids, skin tag removal, and even for hair growth.

Benefits of Tea Tree Essential Oil For Cold Sores

Essential oils are one of the best natural remedies for managing fever blisters and sores.

The antiviral and antibacterial ingredients in EOs can help contain the virus that causes cold sores.

According to a Mayo Clinic report, TTO contains antiviral compounds that are beneficial for treating common skin infections.

Tea tree essential oil may not produce overnight results in entirely healing the sores, but it can effectively relieve their symptoms.

Research indicates TTO exhibits broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity in vitro.

TTO accelerates the natural healing process and helps suppress the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) virus that causes the infection.

The astringent qualities of the oil reduce the appearance of sores.

Most importantly, tea tree oil can eliminate and suppress the herpes simplex virus, which is responsible for sores and blisters.

How To Use Tea Tree Oil For Cold Sores

Many people have reported positive results from utilizing tea tree oil for healing sores.

The diluted oil can be easily dabbed on the affected area. It is the simplest way to use oil effectively.

Within a few hours, after you apply the oil, you will experience a significant reduction in the symptoms of the disease.

If you use the TTO wrongly, it might produce adverse results instead of healing your sores.

Here are the few simple steps involved in using TTO for the best results in getting rid of the sores fast:

Choose High-Quality TTO

It is important to ensure that the TTO you buy is 100% pure and original.

Only if you use pure TTO can you achieve the desired result from the treatment.

Many brands sell essential oils, such as Young Living, doTERRA, Eden’s Garden, or Rocky Mountain. Some of these brands are known for selling the best-quality essential oils.

Beware that many little-known brands are selling essential oils. Those oils are not necessarily the original products.

Topical Application

You can dab the diluted TTO with a cotton swab on the affected area.

If you have recurring cold sores, you already know about the impending sores. It causes an irritation or itching sensation on the lips and skin around the mouth. Begin topical application of TTO during the early stages of the disease.

Always dilute the tea tree oil with water or carrier oils like coconut, jojoba oil, or olive oil; Dilute the oil in a 1:9 ratio.

The oil’s strength can be increased if you have highly tolerant skin.

Repeat the treatment.

You must reapply the diluted tea tree oil up to five times daily to draw maximum benefit from the oil.

You could continue applying the oil daily until the scabs disappear and new skin grows.

Usually, it takes more than a week to completely eliminate herpes simplex.

Dressing the cold sores

You should gently remove the loose and crusty material that comes up during the ulcerating stage of herpes simplex.

To remove the crust, you can gently rub it with a damp washcloth.

You can repeat the application of TTO after dressing and clearing off the crusts caused by herpes labialis.

Use moisturizer

Applying tea tree oil gel to sores can make the lips or skin dry. After 10 minutes of applying the TTO, you can moisten the lips or skin with petroleum jelly, shea butter, or Aloe Vera gel.

Use the moisturizer only if your skin or lips are drying up or scaling after using TTO.

Oil blends 

When two or more essential oils are blended together, they provide multiple health benefits and are more potent.

You may combine TTO with other Eos such as clove oil, balm oil, ginger oil, chamomile oil, eucalyptus oil, sandalwood oil, oregano oil, or lavender oil to get rid of cold sore symptoms. The healing time of cold sores will become shorter with the oil blend.

Use tea tree oil lip balm

Prevention is better than cure.

If you have recurring incidences of herpes labialis, you can regularly use TTO lip balm to prevent their occurrence in the future.  Combining it with lavender essential oil can be more effective.

Side Effects, Warnings, and Precaution

You can get fast relief from canker sores or fever blisters symptoms with this oil.

Here are some of the important tips and warnings that are worth following:

Use diluted tea tree oil

Tea tree oil contains highly potent chemical compounds that might burn or irritate sensitive skin.

Before applying the oil to sores, the oil must be diluted in water or carrier oil. Coconut oil or olive oil is a suitable carrier oil for diluting the TTO.

Reduce the strength of the TTO according to your skin’s tolerance level.

Do not ingest or use TTO inside the mouth and nose

Do not apply the tea tree oil to the sores and wounds inside the mouth.

Also, do not drip the oil inside your nostrils, as the mucous membrane in the nose may not withstand the chemical compounds in the oil.

Use TTO to treat fever blisters or sores on the lips, around the mouth, or on the skin.

Do not ingest TTO, as it contains toxic substances that can cause health problems that may require medical intervention.

If you use TTO to treat the sores in your mouth, the oil may get mixed with your saliva, which then goes to your stomach.

Can pregnant women use TTO?

Pregnant women have delicate physical conditions.

The hormone changes in the body may alter the appearance of the skin and cause cold sores.

The delicate skin conditions of pregnant women may not tolerate a powerful essential oil like TTO.

However, pregnant women may use TTO at a reduced strength to treat cold sores. The use of TTO should be stopped if you notice any side effects after using the oil.

How Can I Prevent Herpes Simplex

A cold sore is a contagious infection; proper care and attention are required to prevent the spread and recurrence of cold sores.

Here are a few tips for preventing herpes simplex conditions:

  • Replace your toothbrush after healing the disease;
  • Always wash and disinfect your hands after touching cold sores;
  • Avoid kissing and another physical contact with cold sore patients;
  • Do not share utensils, clothes, razors, or stationeries used by persons with cold sores;
  • Avoid touching the genital area after touching the cold sores, as this might lead to genital herpes;
  • Do not touch your eyes after touching cold sores as it can cause herpes infection in the eyes;
  • Protect your face and lips with sunscreen lotion before prolonged exposure to the sun;
  • Replace your lipstick or lip balm after the infection.

Final Takeaway

Tea tree oil for treating cold sores is one of the most reliable natural treatments.

It is important to dilute TTO before dabbing it on cold sores.

If you do not get significant relief from the symptoms of cold sores after using the oil for 2 to 3 days, you need to consult a doctor.

It is better to use TTO as an addition to the regular treatments prescribed by your doctor or in combination with other natural solutions.

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