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Milk, Licorice, Jelly? Sweet Home Remedies For Cold Sores

Cold sores are reoccurring little annoyances that always come when you have to give an important presentation or – worse – take your picture. These sores that start out as little blister-type annoyances later flame into tender, red bumps surrounded by angry, red, irritated skin, and can last anywhere from a week to two weeks. However, you can use home recipes to help your cold sores to be less painful – which is good news to the 15–30% of the population that suffers from them. If you're looking for home remedies for cold sores, then here's what you need to know.


Milk, with all of its vitamins and nutrients, definitely does a body good – and that holds true for its effects on cold sores. The immunoglobins in milk help to fight off viruses – like the cold sore virus – and the L-lysine in milk can help speed up your cold sore's healing process. For best results, soak a cotton ball in whole milk and place it against the cold sore for several minutes. Additionally, if you can feel the tingling that usually accompanies the start of a cold sore, you may want to drink whole milk to fend it off.


No, not the red, fruity snack in the candy aisle – you'll need actual licorice (identifiable by the phrase "licorice mass" in the ingredients list) to provide the kind of help you desperately want. Real licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid, which can stop the cold sore virus from staying alive in your body at the time, stopping an outbreak in its tracks. If you can't find any food or candy with the phrase "licorice mass" in the ingredient list, try licorice powder; take a little bit of powder and mix it in with a touch of vegetable shortening and dab it on the cold sore.

Petroleum Jelly

One of the most irritating things about cold sores is when they crack and bleed when you talk or even chew too expressively. To counteract this tendency to dry out – and to stop secondary bacteria from latching on to the open wound – apply petroleum jelly to the cold sore every time you see it dry out. The jelly will protect the cold sore against the elements, and can help it to heal faster by preventing it from opening and reopening every time you speak.

For assistance, talk to a professional like Dr Jeff Phillips.