I have to admit, for years I suffered from cold sores, and I never heard of the “toothpaste on cold sore” trick.
I recently learned that many people are using toothpaste for cold sores. I wondered why this could help, as I’m always on the search for more things that work for cold sores.
After doing the research, I see why using toothpaste on a cold sore has helped some people, yet has not worked for others.
In this article, I’m going to teach you why some people use the “toothpaste on cold sore” trick. You’ll also learn how to use toothpaste on cold sores, in case it’s a treatment approach you would like to try.
Herpes Simplex Virus
Before I start teaching you about the pros and cons of using toothpaste on a cold sore, let’s briefly discuss where cold sores come from.
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are groups of small blisters that form on or near the lips. Cold sores are a result of something called herpes simplex virus (HSV).
There are two types of HSV, and both can cause cold sores. HSV-1 typically is responsible for cold sores, and HSV-2 is most often the cause of genital herpes.
However, both types of HSV can cause cold sores or genital herpes (through oral sex).
After primary infection, the virus resides in the associated dorsal root ganglion where it lies dormant until an external stimuli (such as stress or immunosuppression) initiate reactivation of the virus from dormancy.
The virus lives on forever, and that’s why people continue to get cold sores over and over again. There is no cure…only methods for prevention and treatment.
The “Toothpaste On Cold Sore” Trick
After reading many online testimonials of people using toothpaste on cold sores, as well as articles written by doctors, I now have a detailed overview on this subject matter.
Here are the key concepts:
- Some bloggers claim the ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) found in many popular toothpastes can treat cold sores.
- Some doctors claim SLS actually can cause cold sores and canker sores.
- Some online testimonials recommend the use of “white toothpaste” instead of the gels (to help dry out the cold sore).
- For the “toothpaste on cold sore” trick to really work, it’s very beneficial to use at the first sign of a cold sore (tingle, itch, burn).
Now is the perfect place to mention my experience with toothpaste and cold sore outbreaks. Back when I used to get cold sores on a regular basis (every couple of months), I noticed a pattern.
It seemed like my toothpaste could be causing some cold sore outbreaks. It was a regular brand with SLS in it. SLS is a detergent found in many soaps, shampoos, and toothpastes.
Once I switched to a natural toothpaste that didn’t contain SLS, I had less cold sore outbreaks.
How To Use Toothpaste On Cold Sores
Before I teach you exactly how to use the “toothpaste on cold sore” trick, I recommend switching to a natural toothpaste if you don’t already use one.
Check out this passage from an article written by Dr. David Williams:
Want to avoid cold sore outbreaks, and potentially cancer as well? Then check your toothpaste.
One of the main ingredients in most commercial toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), used as a foaming agent in toothpastes, shampoos, and other soaps. I’ve noticed that using toothpaste containing SLS can trigger cold sores in many people.
Another point about SLS is that some claim it can cause cancer. I’m not sure that SLS on its own has that effect. Problems may arise, however, when the compound combines with other ingredients.”
So there you have it. Some good reasons to switch to a natural toothpaste if you’re not already using one. The brand I use is Tom’s Natural Toothpaste.
Okay, now that we’ve covered the basics on the relationship between toothpastes containing SLS and cold sores, it’s time to provide you with instructions on using toothpaste on a cold sore.
Here are the directions for using toothpaste on a cold sore:
- At the first sign of a cold sore (tingle, itch, burn), apply SLS-Free, white toothpaste (not gel) to the cold sore. Herpes simplex virus needs a moist environment to replicate, which is why drying it out with toothpaste can help prevent it from spreading.
- You can take the toothpaste off by using a wash cloth soaked in warm water.
- Apply toothpaste on cold sore every hour or couple of hours throughout the day.
- Leave toothpaste on cold sore overnight while sleeping, then wash off in the morning.
Note: This method works very well for some people. If you put toothpaste on cold sore early before it becomes a blister, this trick can sometimes prevent a blister from ever forming. However, putting toothpaste on a cold sore doesn’t always work. There are many online testimonials of people stating this method did nothing to help their cold sores.
Using Toothpaste For Cold Sores – Conclusion
So there you have it…two more tools in your toolbox for treating cold sores. You could switch to a natural toothpaste that is SLS-Free if you’re not already using one.
And if you feel a cold sore coming on, you could try the “toothpaste on cold sore” trick to see if you get the same positive results that many have raved about.
If it doesn’t work for you, not to worry, as there are plenty of cold sore treatment methods that can help.
The key to cold sores is to prevent them from forming in the first place.
Thus, I encourage you to check out my Ultimate Guide to Preventing Cold Sores.
It’s free and has absolutely everything you need to know.
If you have any questions about using toothpaste for cold sores, please post them in the comment box below.