Is Hydrogen Peroxide A Cure For Cold Sores? July 31, 2015

Are you tired of those pesky sores that pop up every time you have a cold? Well, worry no more, as there are many effective home remedies to help you get rid of them. And one of those is hydrogen peroxide, which is highly recommended to treat the condition.

Would you like to know more? Read on!

Cold Sores – A Brief:

A cold sore, which is also called a fever blister, is a lesion with fluid in it. It is actually an infection that is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. According to experts, cold sores cannot be cured. However, their duration and frequency can be reduced (1). You can do that with hydrogen peroxide.

Herpes Simplex Virus:

Different parts of the body are infected by HSV, or herpes simplex virus. The most areas affected by it are lips, nose, cheeks and in some cases, the eyes. Once you contract HSV, it remains in your body throughout your life. When it gets activated, blisters, known as cold sores, are produced, and they appear near the mouth. In some people, it results in frequent flare-ups. In others, it may show up with no further activity, or there may not be any sign of infection at all. HSV is infectious and can spread from person to person even there are no cold sores.

Symptoms Of Cold Sores:

Needless to say, cold sores can be unsightly, and they are often quite painful too. There are warning symptoms that you can look out for before you actually see a cold sore. The warning symptom phase, also known as prodrome (2), is not always recognizable or present. It consists of itching, redness, tenderness, and tingling. Between a couple of hours and one day after the appearance of prodrome symptoms, you will notice fluids blisters that are filled with fluid. They may appear to be pus-filled or cloudy. These blisters are often mistaken for bug bites or pimples.

Once the sores are “mature”, they will burst and fluid, in some cases, blood, will ooze out and finally, scabs will form. Sometimes the scabs fall off and reappear before the skin is completely healed. While this is happening, new blisters or sores can appear, and the person affected by it becomes contagious, which means that the HSV can infect another person when the fluids come in contact with their skin.

Home Treatment Of Cold Sores With Hydrogen Peroxide:

When you use home treatments for cold sores, they typically consist of methods that help in alleviating pain and drying the sores so that the healing process is speeded up. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective home remedy for these blisters. According to medical experts, it can be used as an antiseptic that cleanses the skin, preventing the sores from getting infected and promoting healing. It works by increasing the oxygen amount that is available in the areas that are affected.

When you use hydrogen peroxide for cold sores, you should mix it with an equal amount of water (3). You can swish the solution around in your mouth if that is where you are affected by cold sores. If they are located on the outside of your face, you can apply the hydrogen peroxide solution on them using a cotton ball or swab.
When you apply hydrogen peroxide on the cold sores, you will hear a bubbling sound. That is the antiseptic doing its job. You may also experience a little pain or tingling sensation. If you are swishing the solution in your mouth, do not do it so vigorously that a scab gets dislodged. In fact, you should use the peroxide when it is at the blister stage up until the early stage of scabbing. When scabs are still soft and wet, you should not use the treatment as it will only prolong the sore’s existence.

Things To Remember:

Here are certain things that you should keep in mind if you are using hydrogen peroxide to treat cold sores:

  • This treatment will not prevent new blisters from forming. It will also not make an infected person any less contagious.
  • You should use hydrogen peroxide for cold sores only if it is advised by a health care professional.
  • Always use 3% hydrogen peroxide as it is not too strong and will not cause damage to your skin (4), provided you use it properly.
  • Use the solution to clean the affected area several times a day.
  • Make sure that you keep your skin clean at all times and always use sterilized cotton balls or swabs to apply the peroxide solution.

Other Home Remedies For Cold Sores:

Home remedies are an effective and inexpensive way to treat cold sores. Some OTC medications may work, but they are full of chemicals that do quite a lot of harm to your skin. Hydrogen peroxide treatment is just one of the remedies you can use. Others include the following:

Vitamin C:

Whether you take it orally or use it as a topical treatment, Vitamin C is a highly effective remedy for cold sores. It speeds up the healing process and helps in eliminating infection and boosting your immunity. When you take it regularly, it can prevent sores from recurring.

Myrrh Oil:

This is another effective remedy for cold sores and other skin ulcers. It helps in relieving irritation, soothing your skin and eradicating infection. Myrrh oil helps in shortening the duration of the infection and relieving the pain that comes with cold sores.


This is an amino acid that you can use for the effective treatment of cold sores. It helps in eradicating the herpes simplex virus that causes this problem (5). You can use L-lysine as a topical treatment or take it orally.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

This is a great home remedy for many skin problems, and it works wonders on cold sores. It eliminates the infection and shortens the healing time as well. All you need to do is apply the vinegar on the affected area with a cotton ball or swab several times a day.


This is one of the most recommended remedies for cold sores (6). It works very well and does not cost you a thing. All you need to do is place an ice cube on the affected area for about 10 minutes and do it at least 2 times every hour.

Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent home remedy for many skin conditions. Cold sores do not have to be a major problem for you anymore when you have this antiseptic. You can gain relief from the pain that comes with the blisters and speed up healing time.