Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol on Cold Sore?

rubbing alcohol on cold sore

You probably have had cold sores multiple times by now. Cold sores are basically liquid-filled blisters, also known as fever blister, that develops around the mouth.

These painful blisters are common and usually go away on their own. However, there are times when cold sores become rigid, showing no traces of leaving. Especially when you have a major life event coming, cold sores can hamper your confidence.

But, some individuals claim that the best approach to treat cold sores is Rubbing Alcohol. Though does Rubbing Alcohol really treat cold sores? Come let’s find out.

Rubbing Alcohol on cold sore blister- The truth behind it

Several individuals across the world swear by Rubbing Alcohol when it comes to treating Sore Blisters.

Even according to studies done at the University of Michigan, Rubbing Alcohol helps cold sores go away faster.

However, even though Isopropyl dries blisters and speeds up healing, it can sometimes also lead to pain and irritation.

Especially if your sore blisters are already paining, then avoid using Rubbing Alcohol on them.

Should I use Rubbing Alcohol on cold sore scabs?

Cold sores generally last from a week to twelve days.

It has five stages: tingling, blister form, blister breaks, scab, and blister heal.

During the scabbing stage, a protective layer of tissue covers the blister.

Cold sore blisters usually scab for two to three days, and after a few days, the scab flakes off naturally.

While your cold sore is in the scabbing stage, avoid putting Rubbing Alcohol or any liquid on it.

As said above, the formation of a scab is a process of healing in itself. Hence, it does not need Rubbing Alcohol or any other ointment application.

Should I use Rubbing Alcohol on Herpes sore?

Herpes is a contagious sore that often appears either around the mouth or on the genital parts. These sores are caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 and can be transmitted from person to person. From touching, kissing, hugging, and sexual contact, Herpes sore can spread quite easily.

Individuals suffering from herpes can use a number of home remedies for relief. Some of the common ingredients that may help include Aloe Vera gel, Rubbing Alcohol, and Corn-starch.

Due to its cooling and soothing properties, Aloe vera gel is comparatively a superior remedy to the latter two.

For relief from painting and irritating herpes sores, you can also try:

  • Always wear loose and airy clothes. If you are suffering from herpes, consider wearing cotton innerwear.
  • Until the herpes sores are gone, avoid indulging in any type of sexual activity.
  • Consider applying petroleum jelly to the affected area.
  • If your herpes sores are paining excessively, you can take pain killers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Either take a warm sitz bath or a lightly salted bath.
  • Consider applying an ice pack for instant relief.

Herpes in their initial stage isn’t really painful, but ignoring them can invite high discomfort. As soon as you notice such development in your body, make sure you consult your doctor. Leaving the thought for a later stage can make you go through a lot of pain.

Can I Use Rubbing Alcohol for Genital Herpes cure?

We do not recommend using Rubbing Alcohol for herpes simplex or Genital herpes.

Remember, there is no cure for Genital Herpes though medicines can prevent or lessen its outbreak.

Once you have herpes, especially genital herpes, it is going to stay in your body forever.

Hence, no matter how much you believe the Rubbing Alcohol solvent, avoid using it for treating Genital Herpes.

It won’t show any benefit but may cause you pain irritation and can even lead to alcohol poisoning in your body parts.

What kills cold sore virus on surfaces?

Does Rubbing Alcohol kill the cold sore virus on surfaces? Well, Viruses like Cold sores are highly contagious. They not only spread from body-to-body contact but can also transmit upon using the belongings of the suffering individual. The oozing blisters and infected body fluid make it common for the virus to spread.

The virus can even survive for a little while on the things you use. That is why taking personal belonging or sharing things with a cold sore suffering individual is strictly risky.

Though even if you have such individuals at home, make sure you always wash and disinfect the common belongings.

For example, you can clean lipstick, razors, mobile phone, and other common-use items with Rubbing Alcohol.

This chemically alcoholic solvent is an excellent disinfectant and would sanitize your belongings without damaging them. Either take 70% Isopropyl or Alcohol-based wipes. Or for things like clothes, pillow covers, towels, etc., always heat wash them before sharing or using them again.

Also, always keep a layer of petroleum jelly over your cold sores. It will keep the sore skin from getting dry, provide you relief from pain, and keep the infected fluid from spreading around.

How to dry out a cold sore overnight?

Cold sores stay on your body for a number of days. But when you have anything very important lined up, you can try these tips and dry out the cold sore overnight.

Apply ice cubes

Take an ice cube and hold it for a couple of minutes over the cold sore. Repeat this several times a day, and it will minimize itching and swelling and make the sore heal faster.

Dab Tea tree oil

Due to its antimicrobial properties, Tea tree oil can treat cold sores. Killing the viruses and bacteria speeds up the healing process.

Simply take a cotton swab, dip it in pure tea tree oil and dab it over the cold sore. Repeat the process several times a day.

Dab Rubbing Alcohol

If you have a cold sore around your mouth (and not inside), you can also apply Rubbing Alcohol or witch hazel.

Both of these astringents aren’t chemically known for treating a cold sore, but they will definitely dry it out.

Hot water compress

Similarly, like a cold compress (ice cubes), a hot water compress helps in providing relief from cold sores. All you need to do is, take a clean towel, dip it in hot water and apply it over the cold sore. Repeat the process several times a day.

Note: All of the above remedies are for temporary relief only. Depending on individuals, they might work for one but not for the other. Also, remember using anything other than ice cubes, for example, Rubbing Alcohol, etc., can cause you pain and irritation.

How to get rid of a cold sore overnight? Home Remedies

Getting rid of cold sore overnight isn’t possible. Even the fastest treatment requires a continuous process of at least four days before an individual gets rid of sores.

Like the few mentioned above, home remedies will only provide you relief from acute pain and irritation of the sore.

However, for treatment, go with topical medications including 

These are over-the-counter medications and are easily available at the chemist or at the e-commerce stores as well.

Can I use hand sanitizer on cold sore?

No, never use hand sanitizer on the cold sore. Instead of stopping the spread of viruses and bacteria, always wash your hand after touching or treating the cold sores.

Firstly, wash your hand thoroughly with soap and water. Further, use any reliable hand sanitizer for being extra safe.

Wrapping up…

For most individuals, cold sores aren’t serious, and they go away on their own. However, if you have been suffering from cold sores for a long time, we recommend you meet a doctor.

In circumstances when you have a high fever, painful sores, difficulty in eating, and the blisters are spreading on different areas, reach a doctor immediately. Instead of over-the-counter lotions and home remedies, you need expert advice and recommendations.

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