How to Get Rid of Cold Sores With Rubbing Alcohol

cotton buds image by Alison Bowden from

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, a virus which lies dormant in many people until a dip in the body's defences can cause the dreaded "fever blisters" to appear. They most commonly appear on the lips, and their arrival is preceded by a tingling sensation.

A few days later, the red, painful-looking spot manifests. They are visible for about a week, and during this period the blister bursts and dries up until the scab falls off. Topical alcohol can speed up the process, so that you get rid of your cold sore much sooner.

Pour a small amount of alcohol into the lid of the bottle or a small container. Use benzyl alcohol or isopropyl rubbing alcohol, which are available at pharmacies.

Dip the cotton swab into the alcohol.

Dab the affected area with the cotton swab. This might sting a little. If it's very bothersome, apply an ice cube. The cold can also help to get rid of the cold sore.

Repeat several times a day, until the cold sore starts to disappear, which could be in as little as 24 hours.