Tea Tree Oil for Cold Sores

So I love the sun, and have been indulging a bit the last couple weeks with extra pool time. Except I have been lazy about putting sunblock on where I need it most: my lips!

Add to that a heavy dose of ex-husband child custody drama and you can imagine how not surprised I was to feel that oh-too-familiar buzzy, almost painful, “fat” feeling in my lower lip yesterday that means I’m totally getting a cold sore.

Darn. I was less than thrilled. See, when these little buggers get started, well they sorta take root. And then they can spread, or what my momma calls “going to seed.” And I’ve had that! Oh my, yes yes. Summertime, Ft Sill, OK, and I must’ve had 30 going on. Looked like gangrene. Seriously awful!

Being a lifelong cold sore sufferer, I truly have tried everything under the sun to prevent or shorten the agony, including suppressive doses of acyclovir and other pharmas, alcohol, bleach, campho phenique (will totally spread), Carmex, blistex, abreva, kanka, and lysine, just to name a few.

This time, I tried a new idea. And compared to everything else I’ve tried, if it works like I’m hoping, it might just be the trinity of “Good, Fast, & Cheap”!

I was out driving when I first got the buzzing in my lip, so I just put a little Burt’s Bees Chapstick on. I carry a tube of SPF 20 in my purse. Yeah, I know. An ounce of prevention. (I already confessed to being lazy.)

As soon as I got home, I grabbed an ice cube and held it on my lip for about a minute. I couldn’t take it longer.  Then I ran up to my bathroom and grabbed some tea tree oil (TTO) and put it straight on my lip.

I already use it regularly for my nose as I’m sun sensitive due to having Sjögrens Syndrome, so I’m used to the smell, fumes, etc. (it’s a bit strong if you’re not used to it.) I buy it at Walgreens for about $10 for a small bottle and its 100%. I don’t use a carrier oil.

I’ve had great success using TTO on several rough patches on my arms, nose, cheeks and chest in the past. I kept remembering about the studies I read that convinced me it would work, and keeping a positive mind about an outcome is 80% of success. So it’s my first go to for skin, especially for infection.

When I woke up today, I jumped out of bed (a lie–I more or less rolled over to hubs side so as to shorten the distance to the loo) and checked the mirror. The buzzing had blown out to a blister, so I rubbed more oil in. Gently though, cause it’s tender! And I went about my day. Every time I went to the bathroom, I dabbed some on.

When I was out driving again, I kept Burts Bees balm on my lip to keep it from drying out. And I tried not to mess with it–but my tongue gets curious and I found it licking my lip a few times.

Anyway, I went ahead and rubbed more in after dinner and at bedtime, which is when I put it on my nose too. I really rub it in, not to where it hurts, but enough that I feel like I’m getting it down into the cells more than laying it on the surface.

I took a pic to show how the blister looks today, the first day of a visible blister.

image of cold sore on lip day 1
First visible day, before treating with Tea Tree Oil

I’ll take another tomorrow night to see how the TTO is working out.


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