Cold Sore in Nose: Effective Natural Remedies that Actually Work

Cold Sore in Nose: Effective Natural Remedies that Actually Work

Getting a cold sore in your nose can be a painful experience that causes an unsightly blister in your nose. Your nose is a very sensitive area and any kind of sore that oozes fluid and crusts over will cause a lot of discomfort. Cold sores in and around your nose are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). This is the same viral infection that results in cold sores on your lips and mouth.

The herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) is very contagious and the infection can be easily spread from your lips to your nose, and even to the roof of your mouth. One of the first signs that a cold sore is developing in your nose is a tingling and itching sensation. This leads to blisters forming that are very uncomfortable and painful. This may cause irritation and excess mucus in your nose. Itching your nose and constantly blowing your nose may make your symptoms worse.

Although there is no cure for the cold sore virus, there are many natural remedies that work to treat cold sore symptoms in your nose and lips. For example, raw honey, tea tree oil, vitamin C, and Lysine are all natural ingredients that help to treat painful symptoms of cold sores. Also, many cold sore suffers have found that reducing stress and building their immune system help to prevent cold sore bumps forming in their nose and on their lips.

Before we look at the natural remedies for cold sores, let’s examine the reasons why some people suffer from cold sores in their nose and some don’t.

Causes and Symptoms of Cold Sore in Nose

Cold sores are sometimes called fever blisters and are caused by the HSV-1 virus (herpes simplex virus). According to Dr. Gregory Thompson on WebMD, once the herpes simplex virus enters your body, it stays there. The virus can lay dormant for weeks or months and then cause an outbreak of cold sores in your nose or lips.1

Dr. Thompson says that there are many factors that can trigger a cold sore outbreak. These could be stress, overexposure to the sun, a weakened immune system, or upper respiratory infections like the cold or flu.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that the tell-tale symptoms of a cold sore are tingling and itching before a painful spot or bump appears in your nose or on your lips. This then turns into a blister that fills with fluid and becomes sore. Then the blister will burst and ooze fluid before crusting over.2

Sometimes clusters of cold sore blisters can form together and they can affect the inside of your nose and the outside of the nostrils. This may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms like a sore throat, fever, headaches, and muscle aches.

The Best Home Remedies for Cold Sores in Nose

If you are bothered by cold sores in your nose, you can use some of the following effective home remedies to ease the discomfort they cause. These natural ingredients will help to soothe the fever blister in your nose and speed up the healing process.


Honey is a great natural ingredient to help quickly clear up a cold sore in your nose. Raw, natural honey contains powerful antimicrobial properties that can treat symptoms of the herpes simplex virus. Just by dabbing a little honey on the blister in your nose, you can help soothe a painful cold sore blister.

The healing properties of honey in treating recurrent nasal cold sores are backed up by scientific research. The journal Medical Science Monitor reported that honey is an effective treatment for the signs and symptoms of cold sores. In fact, the research found that honey was more effective than acyclovir – a popular pharmaceutical cream for cold sores.3

Manuka honey contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that are effective natural cold sore treatments. The journal Frontiers in Microbiology reported that Manuka honey is an effective treatment for wounds and prevents the spread of infection.4

How to use:

If you are a cold sore sufferer, you can easily use honey to help quickly get rid of the pain and discomfort caused by a cold sore in your nose. This is all you have to do:

  • Use a clean cotton bud to apply a small amount of honey to the cold sore blister in your nose.
  • Apply the honey remedy 3-4 times a day.
  • Repeat the process daily until the cold sore blisters inside your nose or around your nasal openings have gone completely.

You can also use natural honey to soothe fever blisters on your lips or get rid of cracks at the corner of your mouth.


You can use Echinacea to boost your immune system and help get rid of a cold sore in your nasal passages quickly. Taking Echinacea regularly is also a great way to prevent the cold sore from developing in the first place.

The medical journal Planta Medica published a study on the antiviral activity of Echinacea on the HSV-1 virus. The research found that Echinacea root extract was effective in killing off the herpes simplex virus.5

To use Echinacea to prevent cold sores, you can buy extracts and supplements online or at your local health store.

Whenever you get a tingling and itching feeling in your nose or lips that indicate a cold sore is starting, start taking Echinacea immediately. This will give your immunity a great boost and help fight the infection naturally.

Vitamin C

Although vitamin C can’t cure the herpes simplex virus, it can help reduce the severity of cold sore symptoms. Vitamin C supplements and eating fruits and vegetables containing vitamin C can help to prevent cold sores appearing in your nose.

Although taking vitamin C is a great way to help improve your immune system, vitamin C cream can also help manage the symptoms of a cold sore. The journal Medical Hypotheses reported that a topical application of vitamin C is effective in treating symptoms of HSV-1 infection.6

How to use:

You can easily make your own vitamin C topical paste to cure a cold sore in your nose and nasal openings. For this, you will need some vitamin C (ascorbic acid) powder and a little water. Here are the steps to make your healing paste:

  • Mix a little water with a spoon of vitamin C powder to make a paste.
  • Use a cotton swab to apply the vitamin C remedy to the cold sore bump in your nose.
  • Use 2-3 times a day and repeat daily until your cold sore blisters have gone completely.

Always remember to do a small test patch to make sure that the vitamin C paste doesn’t cause any irritation.

You can boost the healing properties of the vitamin C paste by adding a little raw honey. This will also help to soothe any pain that the cold sore is causing to the sensitive tissue in your nose.

Essential oils for cold sores in nose

There are many great essential oils that have antiviral activity and can be used to get rid of a cold sore in your nose fast.

Because essential oils are very powerful, you only need a drop or two in a tablespoon of carrier oil. This helps to prevent irritation to your nasal passages when applying a healing ointment containing essential oils.

Here are the best essential oils for treating the herpes simplex virus:

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has many beneficial uses to heal wounds and kill off bacterial and viral infections. You can use tea tree oil to help dry out a cold sore blister and soften any crust that forms. A study published in the journal Pharmazie reported that tea tree oil has antiviral properties and can be used to destroy HSV-1 infections.7

The same study also showed that eucalyptus oil has a similar antiviral effect on the HSV-1 virus.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is another essential oil with the potential to speed up the healing process of a cold sore in nose. A study published in the journal Phytomedicine found that peppermint oil can kill off all forms of the herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 viruses. The study concluded that peppermint oil can be used as a topical application for recurrent cold sore infections.8

Sandalwood oil

Another essential oil with antiviral activity against the cold sore virus is sandalwood essential oil. A study from 1999 found that sandalwood oil can help to destroy HSV-1 virus. This means that using sandalwood with a carrier oil can be effective in treating the symptoms of a cold sore in nose and on lips.9

How to use essential oils for cold sore in your nose

To use essential oils to help get rid of a cold sore and speed up the healing process, this is what you should do:

  • Add 1-2 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon carrier oil.
  • Using a clean cotton swab, gently apply the essential oil healing ointment to the sore blister in your nose and nasal opening.
  • Repeat 3-4 times a day to help reduce the severity of the infection.
  • Continue applying until you no longer have any symptoms of a cold sore in your nasal area.

The best kind of carrier oil to use in a cold sore treatment is virgin coconut oil.

Coconut oil

Virgin coconut oil is a great natural oil with many benefits for your skin. Although no studies have shown a link between coconut oil and antiviral activity for the herpes simplex virus, it does contain antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, and it’s an excellent home remedy for treating a painful bump inside nose.

A study published on Medscape found that coconut oil can help prevent and treat bacterial skin infections.10 So, using coconut oil together with antiviral essential oils can help to treat cold sore infections and prevent secondary infections from developing.

To use coconut oil as a cold sore treatment for blisters and sores in your nose, please use the above home recipe using essential oils and coconut oil.


There are many reports into the benefits of the essential amino acid L-lysine for treating cold sore lesions that ooze fluid and crust over. L-lysine is naturally found in foods like chicken, turkey, and fish and you should ensure your diet contains this amino acid to prevent recurrent cold sore outbreaks in nose and on lips.

The journal Dermatologica published results of a study into L-lysine therapy for curing herpes simplex cold sores. The small study found that L-lysine helped to reduce the healing time of HSV infection symptoms and prevent recurrent cold sore infection.11

You can purchase creams containing L-lysine to help quickly relieve the suffering caused by a cold sore in your nose and accelerate the healing process.

How to Prevent Cold Sores in Nose

One of the best ways to ensure that you rarely suffer from cold sore outbreaks is to prevent them occurring in the first place. Once the tingling and itching of a cold sore start, all you can do is use effective home treatments to help manage the symptoms and boost the healing process.

However, there are some great natural ways to prevent herpes simplex infections causing sores in your nose or on your lips.

Reduce stress

Stress has a very negative impact on your body and can lower your body’s natural defenses. This means that if your immune system is weak, you are more prone to developing viruses and cold sores. If you are feeling worn out and stressed, the HSV-1 virus can “come to life” and cause blisters and cold sore bumps in your nose, lips, and inside your mouth.

To prevent cold sore blisters in your nose caused by stress, you can use some of the helpful stress-relieving ideas found in my article on the best ways to naturally cope with stress. Using essential oils for stress and anxiety is another way to prevent cold sores appearing in your nose.

Other ways to prevent cold sores in your nose

Here are some practical ways to prevent recurrent nasal cold sores causing you pain and discomfort:

  • Always wash your hands after touching a cold sore to prevent the infection spreading to other parts of your body.
  • If the cold sore is on the outside of your nose or on your lips, avoid sharing towels or cosmetics until the fever blister has completely healed.
  • Don’t pick at the crusted cold sore scab inside your nose. This will just prolong the healing process.
  • If you have a cold sore in your nose, always sneeze into a paper tissue and dispose of it immediately.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources
  1. WebMD. Cold sores.
  2. MayoClinic. Cold sore.
  3. Sci Monit. 2004; 10(8): MT94-98
  4. Front Microbiol. 2016; 7: 569.
  5. Planta Medica. 01 Sep 2002, 68(9):780-783
  6. Med Hypotheses. 1984 Aug;14(4):423-33.
  7. Pharmazie. 2001 Apr;56(4):343-7.
  8. Phytomedicine. 2003; 10(6-7):504-510.
  9. Phytomedicine. 1999; 6(2):119-123.
  10. Medscape. Antibacterial effects of coconut oil.
  11. Dermatologica. 1987;175(4):183-90.

Healthy and Natural World