How Do I Treat a Cold Sore in the Nose?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 March 2014
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The fastest ways to treat a cold sore in the nose is to use an over-the-counter medication and other drying agent, including toothpaste. Most methods will not fully alleviate cold sores, but they may help to speed healing and shorten the duration of the inflammation.

One of the best ways to treat a cold sore that erupts in the nose is to purchase an over-the-counter cream or ointment. These are sold in most pharmacies and act to promote healing and reduce the appearance of the sores. They are usually very affordable and many are safe to use anywhere on the body. Check with a medical professional or pharmacist before using a product in the nose, however, to make sure that it's safe to do so.

It is usually a good idea to avoid many home remedies when treating a cold sore in the nose. Substances like rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover often emit fumes that may be harmful if inhaled. They may also burn the nasal passages and lead to further injury. If you must use a home remedy, you can try a small amount of toothpaste directly on the cold sore. Using an option with a mild scent is generally a good idea.


If you have a cold sore that lasts for more than a week, you should have it checked by a medical professional. In some cases, another medical condition may be to blame. Cold sores are caused by a form of herpes simplex virus, so there are no cures for them aside from your body's own immune system. You may be able to boost your immune function by taking vitamins and other dietary supplements, so you should discuss these options with your healthcare provider.

Other conditions in the nose, such as acne or an injury, may resemble a cold sore. Do not attempt to squeeze or pick a sore, and be sure to wash your hands thorough after applying medication to avoid spreading the infection to other areas of the skin. If the sore begins to drain or ooze, clean the area carefully with warm water and apply an antibiotic ointment to avoid a bacterial infection.


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