How to Get Rid of a Swollen Lip From Cold Sores
Fever blisters, or cold sores, are mouth lesions caused by the herpes simplex virus 1. Once your lesion heals, your lip may remain swollen due to the infection and irritation that was present. This may still cause discomfort, even after the cold sore blisters are completely gone. Icing and some anti-inflammatory herbs may help reduce the inflammation, but contact your doctor if the cold sores reoccur frequently, as you may need prescription medication to treat your virus effectively 1.
Use alcohol to clean the area of your lip where you had a cold sore and are now experiencing inflammation. Alcohol helps disinfect your skin to prevent further out-brakes of the herpes simplex virus. You can use any hard liquor, such as vodka or rum, for this step.
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Wrap a couple of ice cubes in a thin and clean hand towel. Apply the towel to the inflamed area of your lip.
Put a drop of aloe vera lotion on your index finger and apply it generously to your inflamed lip. Aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory plant that also relieves dryness and redness. Reapply aloe vera lotion to your lip as often as needed, until the inflammation on your lip is completely gone. The inflammation should reduce in size with one to two applications.
If you have an aloe vera plant, cut the tip off one of its leaves and apply the gel found inside directly onto your inflamed lip. Aloe vera gel is safe to swallow, although the taste may be bitter and unpleasant if you are not used to it.
If your lip does not respond to your aloe vera treatment, ask your doctor before taking any other home remedies, as you may need medication to treat your condition.
Terminate the use of your herbal treatment if you experience pain or any signs of an allergic reaction, such as a rash or itching.
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- Mayo Clinic: Cold Sores
- "Family Herbal - A Guide To Living Life With Energy, Health and Vitality"; Rosemary Gladstar; 2001
- Ramchandani M, Kong M, Tronstein E, et al. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Shedding in Tears and Nasal and Oral Mucosa of Healthy Adults. Sex Transm Dis. 2016;43(12):756-760. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000522
- Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Cold sores: Overview. 2018.
- Montgomery-cranny JA, Wallace A, Rogers HJ, Hughes SC, Hegarty AM, Zaitoun H. Management of recurrent aphthous stomatitis in children. Dent Update. 2015;42(6):564-6, 569-72. doi:10.12968/denu.2015.42.6.564
- Krissel JD, Bhatia A, and Thomas A. Cold sore susceptibility gene-1 genotypes affect the expression of herpes labialis in unrelated human subjects. Hum Genome Var. 2014; 1: 14024. doi:10.1038/hgv.2014.24
- Fatahzadeh M and Schwartz RA. Human herpes simplex virus infections: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, symptomatology, diagnosis, and management. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007;57(5):737-63. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2007.06.027
- Formica M, Kabbara K, Clark R, Mcalindon T. Can clinical trials requiring frequent participant contact be conducted over the Internet? Results from an online randomized controlled trial evaluating a topical ointment for herpes labialis. J Med Internet Res. 2004;6(1):e6.
- American Academy of Dermatologists. Cold sores: Overview.
- American Academy of Dermatologists. Cold sores: Signs and symptoms.
- American Academy of Dermatologists. Cold sores: Tips for managing.
Martha Premie began writing in 2001. She is a licensed acupuncturist in Asheville, North Carolina, where she also teaches yoga and consults individuals on holistic health and nutrition. She has been published by the "Mountain Express Asheville" and "Take 5." Premie holds a degree in literature from SD Mesa College and a Traditional Chinese Medicine degree from the Daoist Traditions School of Chinese Medicine.