A cold sore is a common infection that affects 90 percent of the population at least once in their lifetime.
Many people do get sores quite frequently. They are painful, irritating, and downright ugly.
Fortunately, you can find useful natural remedies and prescription or OTC medicines for getting rid of cold sores.
Using “toothpaste for a cold sore” is another popular home remedy for managing this crust forming on the lips.
Cold Sores: An Overview
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the culprit responsible for cold sores.
It is a highly contagious infection until the sores become crusted.
If you experience a tingling or itching sensation around the lips, it is a sign of the impending occurrence of cold sores.
For some people, cold sores may occur recurrently for a long period.
The cluster of tiny blisters on the lips and around the mouth can cause pain, itching, and burning sensations.
The first outbreak of blister-like bumps can last up to 2 weeks, but subsequent recurrences of this infection may not last longer than a week.
They cannot be cured completely as the HSV causing this infection can stay dormant in your body for several years.
The blisters forming around the mouth can also make you feel embarrassed and unattractive.
Antiviral creams and oral medications are the usual treatments for healing this infection.
Home remedies for cold sores such as toothpaste, apple cider vinegar, or aloe vera gel may also help dry sores. They may also help relieve pain and swelling and reduce the duration of the illness.
Does Applying Toothpaste To A Cold Sore Help
Good toothpaste contains chemicals that effectively kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay. These chemicals in the paste are also expected to suppress sores caused by the Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1),
Some others say that the herpes simplex virus needs a moist environment to replicate. Applying toothpaste dehydrates the lips and prevents the spread of the herpes simplex virus.
A prominent ingredient in common is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is used as a foaming agent in toothpaste, shampoos, and other soaps.
According to a study report published by the Wound Care Society, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) contained in toothpaste could help suppress the HSV virus’s activities.
Many patients, too, have given positive affirmation on the effectiveness of dental paste in getting rid of HSV-1 infection.
Toothpaste works best for cold sores when the first symptoms of this infection, like tingling, begin to happen on the lips. If used initially, the infection may disappear at the premature stage itself.
Some patients might experience adverse results after using dental paste. A few have claimed that using toothpaste on cold sores increases the outbreak of blisters on the lips.
If you find that toothpaste aggravates the condition, you might switch to a natural or herbal toothpaste free of chemicals.
What do the studies say about using toothpaste for cold sores?
No scientific evidence is available on the possibility of toothpaste getting rid of cold sores.
Only some of the anecdotal evidence shared by patients supports the possibility of fever blister removal with toothpaste. However, you will find numerous articles published by individual bloggers claiming toothpaste prevents and treats cold sores.
On the other hand, some doctors and researchers feel that SLS in toothpaste can aggravate cold sore symptoms.
What do the users say?
Many online portals that publish natural remedy tips suggest sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in toothpaste can suppress HSV, which causes fever blisters.
Interestingly, some write-ups of some bloggers say using old toothbrushes and toothpaste makes the cold sore conditions worse.
Some others claim that only white toothpaste is effective in getting rid of cold sores.
There are only a few advocates for using dental paste to treat sores. The majority of health bloggers discourage putting toothpaste on a cold sore for eliminating HSV-1 infection.
Toothpaste on Cold Sores: How to Use
Applying toothpaste on a cold sore can be done just like other creams you use for this infection.
Apply a thin layer of white, non-gel toothpaste on the infected area where you feel itching. It is most effective if used before the blisters and crusts form.
Apply the toothpaste five times a day, including before going to sleep. Stop applying the toothpaste if irritation or pain increases after using it.
Removing the toothpaste from the lips is easy by rinsing it off in lukewarm water. You can also wipe off the toothpaste using a washcloth soaked in warm water.
Using toothpaste and salt on cold sores
Rubbing salt on wounds and blisters is a traditional remedy for inhibiting viral or bacterial infections on the skin. Applying salt to the wound may cause severe pain and irritation for a while.
The antiseptic properties in salt may help reduce the infection caused by the HSV virus. Wiping your lips with a saltwater solution may help reduce cold sores.
Applying salt and toothpaste to a cold sore is another way to deal with this infection.
Make a mixture of salt and toothpaste and apply this mixture to the cold sores affected area. Repeat the treatment four times a day.
The combined effect of salt and toothpaste is expected to dispel the virus and heal the sores faster.
How To Heal And Prevent Cold Sores
If you have a recurring cold sore infection, it is wise to take precautionary measures to prevent it.
There is no doubt that prevention is better than cure; you can already sense the onset of cold sores with the tingling or itching on the lips before the blister appears. A thin layer of white non-gel toothpaste may help suppress the impending fever blister. It should work for most people; at least you can try it.
Here are a few more tips for managing cold sores worth noting:
- The HSV1 virus thrives when a person is under stress and fatigue, so keep yourself healthy and free of stress.
- Sunlight can trigger cold sores; cover your lips with sun-block creams daily if you have to be out in the sun.
- Avoid anything that can upset your stomach; a troubled stomach increases the chances of getting fever blisters.
- Lack of sleep may cause cold sores, so sleep at least 7 hours a day.
- Docosanol (Abreva) is an OTC treatment that may shorten a cold sore’s duration at the early stage of the infection.
- Applying hydrogen peroxide or alcohol may help to dry out the sores fast; in case of any irritation, stop using them.
- Use natural remedies or OTC products that contain menthol, tea tree oil, and antibacterial agents.
- Use topical or oral numbing cream to relieve pain and irritation.
- Cold packs, ice, or cold drinks may soothe the inflamed area.
The Final Thought
Applying white toothpaste to a cold sore may work for some people.
Toothpaste treatment is most effective only when used at the infection’s beginning stages. If used initially, this treatment could prevent the cold sores from turning into blisters.
No guarantee putting toothpaste on cold sores always works.
Even other natural remedies like hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, or peppermint oil may not be adequate for dealing with cold sores.
Taking personal care to avoid what triggers your cold sores may help you stay one step ahead.
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