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How to apply alcohol to cold sores

Updated March 17, 2017

Cold sores, or fever blisters, appear on the mouth and are caused by the herpes virus, according to USA Today. Painful cold sores seem to pop up at the most inopportune times, such as when you are planning for a special date or right before you want to have pictures taken. While natural cures such as L-lysine and extra vitamin C offer effective preventive measures for many people, dealing with the cold sore to promote healing can prove to be a challenge. One effective cold sore remedy uses rubbing alcohol to treat the herpes virus. A few basic steps offer a simple treatment for cold sores.

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Pat the cold sore dry very gently.

Use a cotton swab to dab alcohol on the cold sore. Another option is to pour a little alcohol onto the infected area. It will sting but dries quickly.

Repeat once every 30 to 60 minutes.


Apply ice on the cold sore before and after the alcohol application to numb the mouth. Mouthwash and aftershave also work as they both contain alcohol and serve the same purpose: drying out the cold sore and stopping its spread.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol or benzyl alcohol

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