Putting toothpaste on cold sore overnight has been a widely discussed home remedy to get rid of herpes on lip.
With factors like emotional stress and fatigue can easily trigger cold sore outbreak at anytime, it is understandable that people try to get immediate relief when the nightmare starts – with the hope that solution is existing available in the bathroom.
So is toothpaste good for cold sores as remedy that work fast – in 24 hours?
What are the alternative treatment options?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in Toothpaste That You Should Know
It is worth to first note that a common active ingredient in toothpaste called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) may actually agitate a cold sore, cause skin irritation and other side effects.
Majority of the toothpastes contain SLS as the ingredient that makes toothpaste foamy.
Low levels of SLS are commonly found in shampoo and shaving cream, while more concentrated levels of SLS are found in industrial-cleaning products and engine degreasers, etc.
According to the International Journal of Toxicology, SLS had a degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties, with low levels of skin penetration may occur at high use concentration.
There are medical experts and research that discourage using toothpaste containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. For instances:
- Dr. David Williams noticed that using toothpaste containing SLS can trigger cold sores in many people, and may even cause cancer.
- Mayo Clinic indicates toothpastes and mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulfate can trigger canker sores.
- A 6-weeks research study published by the US National Library of Medicine shows a significantly higher frequency of aphthous ulcers was demonstrated when the patients brushed with toothpaste with SLS than with a detergent-free placebo toothpaste.
As such, SLS-free toothpaste is recommended, as Dr Doug Willen further elaborates in this brief video “Cold Sores Solution: Stay away from SLS”.
>> Check out Cold Sore Free Forever Program for Natural Cold Sore Treatment at Home
Home Remedy Reviews: Is Toothpaste Good For Cold Sores?
Applying thin layer of toothpaste on cold sore overnight has been widely discussed, whereby toothpaste is believed to slow circulation around the sore, help numbing the sore and dry it out.
Some additional tips are:
- Avoid gels and instead use a white paste.
- Gently clean the cold sore area before applying toothpaste.
- After cleaning the area, dab some toothpaste directly onto the cold sore.
- Consider apply ice to help diminish the swelling.
But does toothpaste really work and dry out cold sore on lip?
We combed through the feedback from those who have used toothpaste for cold sores treatment, with mixed results observed.
Here are some positive user reviews and experience that toothpaste works as cold sore remedy:
Sean from Georgia said, ‘Works for me like a charm. It also dries and is hard to wipe off so you can leave it on overnight while you sleep then wash/scrub it off with moist wash cloth the next morning and it dried up and stops developing.
Faz Crawley from UK shared, ‘my very own solution to removing cold sore quickly: Apply toothpaste to the cold sore leave overnight it will dry up straight after apply vaseline or something with aloe vera in that helps it to heal quciker, cold sore will be gone in 3 or 4 days.’
Gitch feedback, ‘I have been getting cold sores for 13 yrs now and have tried every rememdy know to man, the best one i have found is white tooth paste, as soon as i start felling a cold sore coming on i whack down 2 L-Lysine tablets straight away and 2 a few hours later i also put a blob of toothpaste where it is affected… I use warm water and a soft cloth to wipe the tooth paste off after around an hour and replace it with some more, the toothpaste also takes all of the pain and itchiness out and gives a cool feeling. Cold sore using this method if i’m too late to catch it before it manifests will only last 2-3 days before scabbing over.’
krichton commented: ‘I’ve been plagued with cold sores my entire life. Applying toothpaste on the cold directly for 5 minutes two to 4 times a day helps alot to get rid of it. It would appear, sting a little and then slowly begin to die away without ever advancing into the later stages like it usually does.’
In case you are wondering what kind of toothpaste to use on cold sores (also called fever blisters) –
below is the list of toothpaste brands without Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) that you can click to learn more:
- Sensodyne ProNamel Mint Essense Toothpaste
- Auromere SLS Free Herbal Toothpaste
- Squigle Enamel Saver Toothpaste
- Xyliwhite platinum mint Toothpaste
- Kiss My Face Fluoride Free Whitening Toothpaste
- Young Living Aromabright Toothpaste
There are also home remedies that suggest combine other substance with toothpaste for cold sores treatment.
Example #1: Combine Salt with Toothpaste
HolyBeth from Kentucky said, ‘I’ve been getting cold sores for the past 3 years now. There awful, embarrassing, ugly and gross! The other day I felt a tingling and felt like my lip was swilling! I applied Chapstick and germ x constantly, then I mixed toothpaste and salt together, and applied it to the cold sore. I wanted to keep it away and from forming completely. So every now an then I apply toothpaste and salt, and it relieves the pain and it decreases in size.’
Example #2: Nail Polish and Toothpaste on Cold Sores
Jenny said, ‘I’ve been getting cold sores since I was a little girl. Recently I have had another occur below my lip.. When i first felt the tingle i put ice on it for 20 mins then peroxide. When that dried i put some nail polish remover on it and then topped it off with some crest tooth paste. It is now day 2 and i am already at the scabbing stage! thank god. I forgot to mention that I also drank about 3 bottles of water a day.’
Keep in mind that home remedies are not medically proven, and there is no study that confirm what does toothpaste do to cold sores as an effective cure, and does toothpaste really get rid of cold sores based on clinical results.
For example, applying salt to any type of sore is usually painful. If the mixture of salt and toothpaste causes a lot of pain, it is best to gently clean it off and rinse with cool water, then consult doctor accordingly.
Users Experience: Toothpaste on Cold Sores Does Not Work
Indeed, there are also negative reviews that toothpaste does not help in combating cold sore:
Katrina221 feedback, ‘Zovirax and other topical medications just swells up the sores more and make it spread! I have tried it repeatedly. I have had recurrent cold sores since I was about 6. In fact, I have a bad one right now. I have tried everything repeatedly over the years – Toothpaste, salt, lancing, Zovirax, and they all did not work, but instead inflamed the sores and made them spread.’
Mikey of Philadelphia said, ‘The tooth paste salt trick made mines a huge blister.’
Stawberry said, ‘Any body know how to get rid of cold sores? I am now on toothpaste and salt burns like a mother ****er’
Chelsea from London commented, ‘Last night I woke up to a blister on my top lip in the right corner, I immeditatley put some coldsore cream (Virasorb to be exact) to it. Obviously I had treated it too late as now it has doubled in size, very red and extremely noticeable! I’ve tried the ‘toothpaste and salt’ trick and it hasn’t done anything! I’m so desperate for this thing to be gone but most items needed to cure a cold sore.’
Toothpaste on Cold Sore: The Verdict and Alternative
If you do not want to see doctors to get rid of the herpes on lip, applying SLS-free toothpaste on cold sore overnight is a home remedy that may help.
However, keep in mind that home remedies are not medically proven, and there is no study that confirm whether or not the benefits of toothpaste on cold sore are as sound as suggested.
Toothpaste may help relieve the discomfort and alleviate stinging, but it is not a miracle cure for herpes simplex virus HSV-1 that cause cold sores. While treating the symptoms and making yourself more comfortable is a good thing, applying toothpaste does not address the underlying problem, as it may only provide temporary relief.
Electronic Cold Sore Devices
Cold sore devices with advanced technology that offer electronic cold sore treatment (such as pain-free light therapy) has gained popularity over the years, because they are convenient with hygenic application, and re-usable device with a replaceable battery allows unlimited uses and treatment of cold sores for future outbreaks.
While you can learn more by checking out this comprehensive cold sore device review guide, the standout option is Virulite as the only electronic device cleared by US FDA for cold sores treatment.
Virulite cold sore device uses a patented 1072nm light technology to heal the cold sores faster — by stimulating your own body immune response naturally without side effects, and halves cold sore healing time.
The efficacy of this electronic cold sore light treatment device is medically proven with clinical results, supported by actual user reviews and experience.