If you suffer from cold sores, then chances are you’ve tried (or at least considered) lots of home remedies to soothe the pain. There are lots of home remedies for anything that ails you, even cold sores. Be very careful with home remedies. Some are great, some are worthless, and still others are downright harmful. Nail polish remover for cold sores, or for anything other than removing nail polish, for that matter, falls into the last category.
Why you should NEVER use nail polish remover on cold sores
Some cold sore sufferers swear by nail polish remover as a remedy for cold sores. The theory is that the chemicals in nail polish remover kills the virus and dries up the sore. While it does work, and there are some positive effect from doing this, the remedy can cause far more harm than good.
The first thing to be aware of is that putting nail polish remover on a cold sore is incredibly painful. If you’ve ever accidentally gotten it into a hangnail or papercut, then you have an idea of how painful it can be. Now just imagine this pain on your lip. If you’ve never had this experience (count yourself lucky!) and imagine getting vinegar, salt or lemon juice into a paper cut and translate that to your lip. Yikes!
Nail polish remover contains chemicals that can cause damage to tissue, which can result in a sore taking longer to heal. Your cold sore could go from taking a couple of weeks to heal, to lasting a couple of months. Not exactly what most people are looking for.
Bottom line, while nail polish remover can help a little, it’s made from harsh chemicals that can cause a great deal of pain and can cause significant damage to your skin. Never use nail polish remover on ANY skin condition, especially not on your face or around your mouth.
Natural cold sore treatments are a better choice like supplements with Lysine and other antiviral herbs. They are most effective when you feel the first tingle that signals a flare up. Once the blisters erupt things like antiviral creams are little help. Even better, minimize your chance of outbreaks by reducing your stress, keeping your immune system strong, eating a nutritious diet and taking a high quality multivitamin every day.