Listen, I know none of us like talking about things like cold sores, fever blisters and Lupus lip sores, but for many of us, they are a fact of life. In fact, the percentage of people who deal with some version of this, whether from an autoimmune condition or HSV-1, is around 70%. Not only are sores unsightly, but they are also very painful, and even a little embarrassing. So, when I started having a rise in inflammation and flares from the two autoimmune diseases I’ve been diagnosed with (Lupus + Sjogren’s), which resulted in more lip sores, I went on the hunt for natural remedies that would stop cold sores and Lupus lip sores.
Honestly, I thought I’d find something that shortened the life span, but I didn’t think I’d find something that would stop them entirely. But that’s what’s happened for me. Since starting these remedies, I haven’t had any more Lupus lip sores. I considered not sharing this, because this topic is a little embarrassing – but it’s something so many people deal with and I didn’t want to gatekeep this easy remedy. My posts on castor oil packs, stopping headaches, and other natural remedies has helped so many people that I felt it was important to share this and hopefully give you a natural option that might bring you some relief, too.
How To Get Rid of Cold Sores and Lupus Lip Sores:
I am clumping these two together because if you get one, you probably also get the other, or they are very similar. Lupus lip sores typically reference the sores that are inside your mouth only and cold sores are the ones that are on the outside of your lips. When I started getting more Lupus flare-ups recently, I noticed I was getting them in both places concurrently and these new natural remedies helped with both.
The good news is these remedies are painless, affordable, and will probably help you. If they don’t help, they most likely will not hurt you. However, always do your own research. For legal purposes I have to say that I’m not a doctor, this is not medical advice, always do your own research, listen to your body and stop anything that is not helping you. Alright, let’s continue 🙂
Okay, folks, you’re going to love this one, because it’s under $10, packs a ton of other benefits, is the easiest solution ever, and actually helps. Lysine is a powerful natural ingredient that helps with wound healing and the absorption of minerals like calcium. Scientists think that it combats cold sores by blocking the production of another amino acid called arginine, which inhibits the virus and, therefore, outbreaks. It’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory, which helps with autoimmune related inflammation as well.
Plus, this lip balm has echinacea, lemon balm, vitamin E, and sunflower seed oil, all ingredients that help soften lips, alleviate itching, irritation, and reduces the life span and outbreak of cold sores. I put this on every night before bed and love that it makes my lips really soft, but also prevents cold sores from occurring. I started this in conjunction with the supplement below, so I haven’t used just this to manage it.
*Affiliate links are used in this post, which means at no cost to you, I may receive a commission if you purchase through my link. None of these brands have gifted me products or paid me to post about them. I buy them with my own money and use them.
Yup, I double up on the Lysine here. Pure Encapsulations is a brand I trust and I also use them for my magnesium supplement. Their L-Lysine HCI is a free form 500mg capsule that is gluten free, GMO free, vegan and more. Their capsules are made without coating and shellacs, unnecessary fillers or binders, and anything else you don’t need. That means more active L-Lysine going straight into your system without anything blocking it from helping you.
Similar to the Lysine in the lip balm, scientists think this works by preventing the body from absorbing arginine, making it difficult for the virus to grow and reproduce. Lysine is an essential amino acid, but the human body does not naturally produce lysine, so we need to get it from foods or supplements (or both if we need more).
Taking a daily dose of 500mg-1000mg is safe for most people (although check with your doctor if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a known medical condition), although some people start taking it when they feel that tingling in their lips and know an outbreak is coming and continue taking it until the sore is gone. It’s up to you and what works for you.
Personally, I take one 500mg pill a day now. I started taking it when I was in the middle of a bad flare and started with 3,000mg until it was gone. At that point, I’d had several lip flares in a row and was desperate. If I have another flare up (which I haven’t yet), I’ll probably up to 3,000mg a day again until it’s healed and then drop back down to a maintenance dose. I am not a doctor, but here’s an article I used to help me determine a dose for myself.
Here’s a quote on dosing from this article: “There is no standardized dosage of lysine. Some studies have used 300 mg of lysine a day, while others have looked at the effects of 3,000 mg of lysine a day.
In general, dosages range from 500 mg to 1,000 mg daily by mouth to prevent outbreaks. For active outbreaks, higher doses, like 3,000 mg (3 g), may be appropriate for a short period of time.
3. Abreva Docosanol 10 Percent Cream Cold Sore Treatment
When I have an active sore, I also use Abreva once per day, usually in the morning, since I use the Lysine lip balm at night. Abreva is expensive, but you only need a tiny dab and I find it cuts the pain and irritation associated with sores really well and it shortens the life span of the sore.
I’ve had the same tube of Abreva for a long time, so use it sparingly and it’s worth the money. I see complaints that it is too expensive, and it’s not cheap, however, it’ll last you awhile and provide a lot of relief.
Abreva uses docosanol at a 10% dose. Apply this at the first sign or feeling of an oncoming sore for best results. It shortens the life span of the virus outbreak, as well as provides relief for the terrible itching and throbbing pain associated with an active outbreak.
4. Other Natural Remedies:
Other natural remedies you can try are applying propolis or kanuka honey like a treatment oil to the area. I do put a superfood honey in my tea most nights and this helps with a lot of other things as well.
Reduce your stress levels any way possible. This is hard, especially as a mom, so look for anything that you can take off your plate or things that especially stress you out that you can reduce.
Reduce direct sunlight. This is always a good idea if you have Lupus, too. I realized I was outside in direct sunlight a lot more than normal, because we were in the pool or I was taking them to parks to play. Consider a wide-brimmed hat to block your face, drink a lot of ice water to bring your temperature down and try to reduce time out in the hot sun.
Use Ice. Ice helps with inflammation. I like to use an ice roller every morning and was leaving it on outbreaks to help with the pain. So, I was happy to learn that this is actually a good way to reduce the life span of an outbreak.
Red light therapy wands. This is something new I’ve been seeing and haven’t tried yet, because it’s very expensive. But, I have red light face masks that I do wear, so I’ve upped my usage of those in hopes that it may have a similar result.
Answering Your Questions on Lysine:
Can I take L-Lysine Everyday?
Yes, you can, and you also ingest Lysine if you eat certain foods. Here are some of the foods that contain Lysine, although if you’re eating a lot of these foods regularly and still having cold sore outbreaks, it may be time to add Lysine supplementation or lip balms to your daily regimen.
- Parmesan cheese
- King crab
- Ricotta cheese
Vegetarians and vegans tend to have a more difficult time getting enough lysine from dietary sources, but can get Lysine in these foods:
- Navy beans
- Green peas
- Soybean sprouts
- Toaster wheat germ
- Squash and pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Brussel sprouts
- Brown rice
Does Lysine have side effects?
Lysine is typically considered to be very safe, especially since most of us get it in food sources all the time. If you’re choosing to supplement, the lip balm is unlikely to have side effects, but it could happen. Because the supplement will have it in a higher dose, you could possibly see some side effects if you’re ingesting a lot of it for a long period of time. It’s very rare, but if you notice any side effects like stomach issues, nausesa, etc., then drop your dose down to see if that helps.
Health Benefits of Lysine:
Lysine has more health benefits than just stopping cold sores and Lupus lip sores (although that’s enough of a win for me, honestly). Here are some more benefits to upping your intake of Lysine, all of these summarized from this great article:
- Lysine can help reduce stress by blocking the receptors that are involved in the stress response.
- Stress weakens the immune system, which can trigger a cold sore, so reducing stress = reducing the onset of cold sores and Lupus lip sores.
- Lysine supplements may help people with high blood pressure to lower their blood pressure. A 2017 study demonstrated that lysine supplements in adults with hypertension significantly lowered blood pressure levels.
- Lysine is known to help with gut health and gut function. Lysine has anti-inflammatory properties and this helps regulate digestive health and the normal functions of the digestive system. Lysine may also help reduce things like intestinal permeability which causes leaky gut.
- One of the main roles of lysine in the body is to assist with the absorption of calcium. This reduces the amount of calcium in the urine. By helping your body absorb calcium with the help of a lysine supplement, you can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis
- Lysine may help repair some of the metabolic pathways that produce AGEs, and this can significantly decrease the risk of diabetes-related infections.
- Lysine can function like a serotonin receptor. This means lysine can bind with serotonin receptors and this cuts down on anxiety at the source.
- Some preliminary studies have shown that lysine may shrink certain types of cancers. In particular, lysine combined with the antioxidant catechin reduced cancer growth in animal studies.
- Eye health. Some studies on lysine for eye health found that lysine supplements can prevent the formation of cataracts.
Pretty amazing, right?
Answering Your Questions on Cold Sores:
What triggers cold sores or Lupus lip sores?
This is something I really wanted to know, especially this summer when I had the worst stream of flare ups ever. The triggers for both of these is similar. Lupus is highly reactive to stress, inflammation, and hormonal fluctuations, and it turns out these are the triggers for cold sores, too. Here are more of the triggers I found that can result in cold sore/Lupus flare outbreaks:
- hormonal fluctuations (read: your period, ladies)
- excessive sunlight (hello summer!)
- fatigue (aka, motherhood)
- an injury to the area (biting your lip until it creates a sore, something hitting your lip)
- a cold or other illness
I mean, I just don’t know a woman who doesn’t struggle with some of these on a daily basis, which means that managing outbreaks puts us at a disadvantage. I would rather give my body every tool possible to prevent the outbreaks in the first place, knowing that I am going to be under a particular amount of stress and fatigue, and have monthly hormonal fluctuations, no matter what.
I know this isn’t the sexiest topic out there, but for a lot of people, this is real life. And, when you are suffering from a lip sore outbreak, you’ll really try anything to make it go away.
These natural remedies have helped me stop them for the time being, which is the longest stretch I’ve gone in a long time, and makes me feel like I have a solution if there’s a flare up in the future.
But, as always, if you are suffering from a medical condition or have had a reaction to Lysine in the past, please check with your doctor before starting anything new.
I hope this helps you.
Have a fabulous day,