on the second day of my erupted cold sore, third day since I first felt it tingling, I saw that this one had huge potential to get infected.
I had a hunch it was going to be bad because of the combo of sunshine + sun Burn + mega stress. In the past, I’ve had to take antibiotics for cold sores that had the swelling I was seeing in my lip.
But as you can see from my photos, the tea tree oil seems to have halted the virus quickly, and the whole day I was gently dabbing away crystals and sloughing off damaged skin.
I took care to keep a balm on my lips, and I really like the Burts Bees one, as it is thick and not liquid. A liquid has more chance to spread the virus. But I do make sure and warm it a bit in my hand before I apply it.
I have to also acknowledge that, despite knowing the consequences, I had to go back to the pool and swim for a few hours. I wore a hat and faithfully reapplied my sunscreen and lip balm, but my lip still absorbed more UV.
So a blister did form at the end of the day, making it a bit harder to treat. I kept applying TTO but there was some pain from the blister. I put some aloe after sun gel with lidocaine on it and felt instant relief. The aloe formed a layer of blue over the top that I had to gently peel off later.
The biggest challenge is in keeping the blister on my lip as long as possible to keep the raw nerves protected. And so I just tap the oil on using my ring finger instead of rubbing it in.
I bought my tea tree oil locally, and Walgreens doesn’t sell it online, but Amazon does.
And this is what I use over the oil to help protect my lip from more UV:
I had to go swimming on day 3 as well, and even though I took care again with a hat, shade and heavy-duty sunblock, just having a blister get wet makes it far less stable as a cover on my really raw cold sore:
I’m pleased with how the oil has worked to speed the healing of my lip, even as I made it worse by going into the sun and a pool for 4 hours two days in a row.
On day 4 I stayed home and avoided going to the pool because my blister had come loose and my lip was bleeding a little. I just didn’t want to expose that fragile area to more UV and heat.
Now I’m on day five, stayed in again and all the swelling is gone. There is a slight scab where my lip bled yesterday, but it’s small enough I could cover it with lipstick now.
Going out in the sun was a bad idea. I honestly believe if I had stayed in on days two & three, the tea tree oil would have shrunk the sore without breaking the skin. (That’s my goal every time since it heals much faster.)