For anyone who suffers from cold sores, there is a feeling of dread that washes over you when you feel the first sign of pain by your mouth: a cold sore is coming. You can’t plan or prepare for them and they always pop up at the most inconvenient time.

The severity of cold sores can vary from person to person, from outbreak to outbreak. Sometimes they are extremely painful, and at other times they are just an inconvenient embarrassment (and no kissing allowed!).

If you’ve suffered from cold sores, you will no doubt want a quick and easy treatment to diminish pain and get rid of the cold sore quick. As a fellow cold sore sufferer, I totally understand. A few years ago I was keen to find an alternative to over the counter medicines – I just don’t like using them.

After consulting one of my favourite essential oil books (The Fragrant Pharmacy), I found a couple of oils to try…and it worked! So now whenever a cold sore strikes, it’s straight to the essential oil cupboard for me.

Today I’m going to share the best essential oils for cold sores and how to use them.

What is a Cold Sore?

A cold sore, also referred to as a fever blister, is a group of blisters that form on the lips or around the mouth. People can typically feel a cold sore under the skin a day or two before it is visible.

These blisters are small but they can be very painful. Usually the blisters will break open and leak a clear fluid, scab over and clear up in a matter of days. Cold sores are very common and more than three million cases are reported every year in the United States.

What Causes Cold Sores?

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). The bad news is, once you have been infected with this virus, it is always in your body. The only way to effectively avoid cold sores is to never come in contact with the HSV-1 virus.