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How To Use Essential Oils For Cold Sores

Essential oils are great to use on your lip at the first tingle from a cold sore! This treatment for herpes or  can help reduce the time it takes for cold sores to run their course. A healthy remedy for fever blisters.

Essential Oils For Cold Sores… Essential oils are great to use on your lip at the first tingle from a cold sore! This treatment for herpes or can help reduce the time it takes for cold sores to run their course. A healthy remedy for fever blisters.

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My Cold Sores Story

I have gotten cold sores since my teens and have tried EVERYTHING to help with them. I don't know if they started because I had mono or kissed the wrong boy, but I have gotten a cold sore outbreak at least once a year for as long as I can remember.

There is nothing worse than that little tingling feeling in your lip when you KNOW that a cold sore is coming, but there is nothing you can do to stop it!

I have tried every cold sore treatment that I could get my hands on… here are my best tips and ideas to help you treat your cold sores.

About Cold Sores

Cold sores are painful and look terrible. Untreated they blister for days, then scab over and painfully break open every time you eat, sneeze or talk. It’s two or three weeks of pain and annoyance.

Over The Counter Remedies for Cold Sores

There are plenty of over the counter remedies, but none are very effective.

Even the most well know, Abreva®, claims to heal in 2 or 3 days, but unless you catch it at the very first hint of a tingle, many have experienced that its not very effective (it doesn't work at all for me other than a moisturizer for the scabbing).

Essential Oils For Cold Sores

However, there is a simple remedy that actually stops cold sores in their tracks. Two simple essential oils.

Because essential oils are rapidly absorbed through the skin a topical application puts the needed treatment directly where it’s needed.

Two oils, Tea Tree oil and Lavender oil, are exceptionally effective on cold sores. Here’s why.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), is a very powerful healing oil, against the three biggest types of infectious organisms; bacteria, fungi and even viruses.

It’s a known immune-stimulant that reduces redness and eases swelling and discomfort.

Typically, it is used in a carrier oil, but the very small amount needed for cold sores it can be used neat, directly on the sore. Warning, it has a strong odor and it tastes terrible!

I have used both over the counter and tea tree oil on my cold sores and they work about the same for me… just the tea tree oil costs a ton less!

Lavender Essential Oils

Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia) is also well known to ease discomfort, reduce redness and swelling. It is great for immediate pain relief. It also helps speed healing of cuts, burns, blisters and abrasions, and is safe to ingest.

Lavender is a gentle oil that can be used without mixing it with a carrier oil as well.

Be careful about how much you use before bed. A drop or two on your cold sore right before bed may help you fall asleep faster, but constantly putting it on all evening will do the opposite. You’ll be calm, but not able to sleep!

Essential Oils for Cold Sores and Fever Blisters FAQs

Is This Cheaper Than Using Medication

The cost over the counter medications about $15 a dose, the two bottles of essential oils cost about $45, but the best part is that you can use the oils for so many other things! Once you open the tube of medicine, it is pretty much a once an outbreak use. 

Do Any Other Essential Oils Work On Cold Sores?

In doing my research for this article I ready a few suggestions that Lemon Balm oil and Peppermint oil (on the sores themselves) can also help!

Additional resource:: How to use peppermint oil for cold sores!

Can You Get A Cold Sore In Your Nose?

Come to find out YES! You can get a cold sore in your nose… I DID! I had the lip tingle thing going on but then it went away and I just thought I had ingrown hair in my nose or something before I figured out the COLD SORE WAS IN MY NOSE… ack!

I got two fever blisters and left them alone for a day or so before putting on tea tree oil … it was SUCH a relief. A little tingly when I put it on but it immediately softened the scabs and the pain has almost stopped.

What Causes Cold Sores?

The herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) which is SUPER contagious so don't mess around with roller balls for this one! Use your finger or a cotton swab to apply the essential oils!

Here is a great post from the Mayo Clinic that talks about all the medical details!

How Do You Get Rid of a Cold Sore Fast?

Cold sores can be active for several days and it could take up to 4 weeks to for the blisters to heal completely. Unfortunately there is nothing that can stop an outbreak (other than keeping your immune system super healthy) so we are we looking at how fast we can help the blisters heal.

Using essential oils can help decrease the amount of time the blisters are active and help them heal faster after the sores are gone. 

Peppermint Essential Oil

Does Peppermint Oil Kill Cold Sores?

According to a study done in regard to Peppermint oil and Herpes (HSV-1) in 2003, Peppermint oil definitely does seem to have an effect on cold sores. There is nothing that can “kill” the herpes virus currently. 

Essential Oil For Cold Sores Recipe

Essential Oils for Cold Sores Recipe .. treat your cold sore with these two essential oils at the first sign of a tingle to help reduce their size and keep blistering to a minimum!

Using essential oils to help relieve the pain and blistering of cold sores.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy


  • Essential Oils
  • Cotton Swabs


  1. Put a drop or two of tea tree oil on your finger or a cotton swab and dab on the cold sore either when you feel the tingle of the virus starting it’s nasty work, or when you first see the blister form.
  2. Follow it up with a drop or two of lavender oil dabbed directly on it as well. Do this at least twice a day. You can do it more if necessary. In a day the blisters will have scabbed over.
  3. Continue once that happens to heal the scab in a few more days. Since you will be catching it early, the cold sore will be smaller (less time to get bigger and bigger blisters) meaning the scab will be smaller as well and heal faster.


I love to use roller ball bottles for all my essential oils but not this time! The cold sore virus is super contagious and so using a cotton tipped swab that you throw away each time is super important.

If you use your hands make sure to wash them thoroughly after applying the oils.

Peppermint oil and Lemon Balm are also recommended for cold sores & fever blisters!


I thought you might like to have some other ideas about how you can use essential oils in your natural living life!

How To Use Essential Oils and Dryer Balls

What Are The Best Essential Oils for Body Butters

Which Essential Oils Help Headaches

Do Essential Oils for Cracked Heels Really Work?

Essential Oils For Cold Sores… Essential oils are great to use on your lip at the first tingle from a cold sore! This treatment for herpes or can help reduce the time it takes for cold sores to run their course. A healthy remedy for fever blisters.
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