Fever blister or cold sores are commonly found the viral infection. These are minuscule, liquid-filled blisters seen on and around the lips. These blisters are often clustered together in patches. Fever blisters are very annoying and contagious as well because its effects are mostly seen on and around the mouth, though it can distress other parts of the body such as lips, cheeks, chin, gums or nostrils also. Fever blisters have a virus to blame for this occurrence. Normally it subsides within a fortnight, but few of the blisters can be real tormentors extending their effects for a longer period.
Causes, Symptoms & Effects on the body
Causes– Fever blisters disorder is caused by the virus ‘herpes simplex’ or oral herpes (HSV-1). This virus lives in the nerves cells and reappears whenever it gets perfect conditions in the human body, such as overstress, hormonal shift, skin trauma, overexposure to the sunlight or even a docile immune system of the body. Thankfully, its second or consecutive attempts are not as potent as the first one.
- Beginning by irritation -Fever blister symptoms are swelling and inflammation, resulting in lots of pain, itchy irritation and the burn like sensation around it.
- Blisters appear– These appear in a bunch of small protrusions on the skin spoiling the loveliness of the face. Soon the cluster gets filled by the fluid.
- Culmination– When the small blisters merge and burst in 3-4 days, the liquid oozes out and forms a tender crust.
Risk factors of fever blister
The majority of people have simplex herpes virus in their bodies, it’s shown by a study after the test carried out, confirmed their presence in the body. The immune system of your body is the reason not able to counter these foreign bodies to thrive and make their homes inside the nerve cells. The following medical conditions and their treatment stand at higher risks with the presence of this virus.
- Cancer chemotherapy
- Anti-rejection drugs for organ transplants
- Severe burns treatment
Effects– When blister bust open after 3-4 days of its formation, a scab is formed after the liquid oozes out, that is contagious. An outbreak, from the first initial tingle to the scab falling off, typically lasts from seven to 14 days.
Effects on other parts of the body- Simplex herpes virus can affect other parts of the bodies too.
- Eyes– The virus has been found to be harmful to the eyes. Recurrence of the infection can cause scars and injuries to the eyes.
- Fingertips– Fingertips can be infected if proper hygienic measures are not taken.
- Skin- The virus infection can affect the whole body, the person is at the high-risk end, especially if one has eczema problem.
- Other parts of the body– Other parts of the body can be the cause of trouble such as spinal cord and brain can be affected too.
Read: how to get bigger lips
How to Cure a Fever Blister at Home
There are few home remedies available that can extend relief in a short time. It can shorten the sufferings by mellowing its intensity and prevent its forceful reappearance. Few medicines are available over the counter that can provide some soothing effect temporarily. Does it lead to the fact that this disease has no permanent cure? Partly right as studies have shown the virus resides in nerve cells and can resurface later on. But the luckily second time it will not be as painful, as in the first time. Mostly the patient can get relief from home remedies as suggested here.
1. Ice packs for Fever Blister
The moment you feel first ‘knock on the door’ the tingling or itching beginning, apply cold ice packs. The swelling and irritation that signifies fever blisters will reduce and the pain will subside to a great extent. You will notice its growth being limited to one small area and not spreading.
- Make an ice pack in a piece of cloth
- Keep it on the spot of irritation for 10 minutes
- Do it at least four- five times a day, spacing sometime between each process
- Each time after the process apply some balmy ointment.
2. Tea Tree Oil
The studies have found that tea tree oil has some anti-virus properties that can take a good measure of the virus, naturally.
- Add water ratio of 1:3 and apply on the itchy area when its symptoms are identified for fever blister.
- Do it three times a day by a clean cloth or cotton.
- You will notice its growth curtailed in a couple of days.
- Tea tree oil mixed with olive oil along with eucalyptus oil is another formula that can be applied to affected area for faster relief.
3. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a well tried disinfectant and pretty useful in eradicating fever blister. The herpes simplex virus that causes fever blister flourish in damp & warm conditions, applying hydrogen peroxide on the affected part keeps
- Dip a cotton ball in 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and dab it over the blisters.
- Leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse the area with a wet washcloth and pat dry.
- Repeat this remedy three or four times a day for two to three days.
- make a paste of two crushed aspirins and one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
- Apply the paste on the affected area using a cotton ball.
- Leave it on for just two to three minutes.
- Clean the area with lukewarm water. Do this once daily for not more than two days.
4. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a wonderful plant having rejuvenating, healing and soothing properties. Though it’s better if the extract is made from the home-grown Aloe vera plant, but having one pure Aloe vera gel from the pharmacy is an easy option. Aloe vera should be applied 3-4 times a day as it takes care of blister and sensitive lips too. Let it get dried on affected area and then clean the same with lukewarm water. This procedure can be repeated throughout the day for 3-4 days.
5. Dairy Milk
Another home remedy for fever blister is the application of dairy milk. It contains immunoglobulins, calcium and monocarpic fat, these all contents have anti- viral properties. Milk also have some catalytic contents that instigate the process to be fast.
- Soak a cotton ball in the cold milk and apply on the affected part.
- Let the cotton stay there for 10 minutes.
- The cold milk will reduce the pain as well as soothe the tingling sensation.
- Do this several times a day for three to four days.
- Take a glass of warm milk with half teaspoon of turmeric in it two times a day for a week. Turmeric has anti-biotic properties and one sure shot way to achieve results on controlling fever blister.
Honey contains fructose and glucose in high density. It has been studied that high concentration of sugar makes its problematic foreign bodies survive. Honey is also a rich source of flavonoids and phenolic acid compounds that eradicate the simplex herpes
7. Mint relief
Peppermint oil is thought to have properties that have the anti-viral strength and very effective against fever blister. Herpes simplex virus usually exists in beneath the skin, prowling and waiting to get activated and attack the vulnerable points. When applied directly to the blister, it heals faster unexpectedly.
- First, use a bit of water to rinse the surface of the blister.
- Then, dip a cotton swab in clean water and then dip it into the peppermint oil.
- This is to dilute it a bit, making it less likely to irritate your skin.
- Try this twice daily until it is no longer needed.
fever blister on lips can easily be healed with white toothpaste which contains sodium lauryl sulfate. Simply apply some toothpaste on the blisters and let it be for some time. For quick relief, repeat this frequently throughout the day and get rid of blisters.
9. Vanilla for treatment!
Real vanilla extract is a natural fever blister remedy, many experimented with it and can vouch for it. Its base is alcohol and its anti-viral prowess can thrash down simplex herpes to the ground. The moment the tingle starts you must take a swab and dip it with pure vanilla extract and apply it four times a day.
10. Tea bags
Tea bags have vitamins, antioxidants, and antiviral properties too. This helps in getting relief from blisters.
- Use any tea bag whether green tea or black one and place it in a cup of boiling water for a minute.
- Now remove the tea bag and let it cool down.
- Press the cooled tea bag on the blisters for a couple of minutes.
- Repeat this method frequently throughout the day.
This super food has antiviral as well as antibacterial properties that help to disinfect and treat blisters.
- Prepare a paste of garlic cloves and apply on the blisters.
- Leave it for ten to fifteen minutes and repeat the same for a couple of times throughout the day.
- This procedure can be used for a couple of days.
- An oral supplement or ointment helps to check fever blister. Use as directed on the bottle. At the home front, the remedy is Yogurt, it contains lysine too. LYSINE is active to deactivate the virus. An egg and yogurt facial mask is one way to soothe and heal the blisters.
- Take one cup of yogurt, one tablespoon honey and an egg.
- mix them together and form a thick paste.
- Apply with a cotton ball on the blister and let it dry off.
- Wipe off with a clean cloth and warm water after an hour once daily.
13. Vitamins and other minerals are the saviors
A range of vitamins has been found to be effective to combat the herpes simplex virus and evict fever blister.
- Vitamin Ais a group of the unsaturated nutritional organic compound. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that improves immune system function and protects the body from damaging free radicals that can cause fever blisters. Vitamin A helps decrease the regularity and harshness of fever blister stimulate healing process eases blister pain.
- The perfect home remedy is in the shape of vitamin enriched foods such as red meat, cod liver oil, eggs, liver, milk, carrots, kale, spinach and other leafy vegetables. Prevention is better than the cure policy is always works, if you regularly take vitamin enriched food.
- Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that is immune system booster and lowers your risk of developing the herpes simplex virus, the virus commonly associated with fever blister.
- Foods rich in vitamin C include strawberries, cranberries, grapefruits, broccoli, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, oranges, and tomatoes etc.
- Zinc is an essential mineral that boosts the immune system to stand up against foreign bodies like herpes simplex virus, it also helps heal skin sores, relieves blister pain and swelling and control the growth of the virus.
- Food rich in zinc include oysters, beef shanks, fortified cereals, low-fat fruit yogurt, baked beans, chickpeas and Swiss cheese.
- Calcium is an important mineral that speeds up the healing process, minimizes herpes outbreaks and strengthens your immune system.
- Food rich in calcium includes plain yogurt, sardines, milk, mozzarella, salmon, tofu, ice cream, pudding, fortified soy milk, tortillas, sour cream, ready-to-eat cereals, and spinach.
14. Unconventional treatment
Chinese traditional medicines
there are few Chinese traditional herbal medicines for the treatment of fever blister. By consultation with experts, you can keep it at home.
- Yin Qiao San- honeysuckle and forsythia powder is used with this Chinese name, it’s anti- biotic and anti-inflammatory. It’s considered good to curtail fever blister.
- Wu Zhu Yu Powder- Traditionally being used in Chinese medical science from the ancient times. Extracted from Evodia tree found in China and Korea, the 1.5- 5gram powder per day is mixed in warm water or sprinkled in food should be consumed. It has been found to cure fever blister.
- Dao Chi-wan- known as red door tea pills, traditionally used for mouth ulcers, sores and fever blister. They advocate balance in the body YIN and YANG (hot & cold), and they think that blisters happen because of excessive heat. This herbal combination helps to maintain that balance.
15. Indian Ayurveda
Ancient Indian medical science has been using Cow Urine as effective anti- cancer and anti- biotic agent. This is very effective in fever blister. The medical benefits of cow urine have been patented also in the USA. Another ancient herbal combination is ‘Chyavanprash’ which is very good for the fortifying immune system.
16. What food to avoid
- Arginine food content– Arginine is an amino acid which is found in food such as Chocolates, Garbanzo beans, Soya beans, turkey, Pork Loin, Spirulina and dairy products. These foods might trigger the fever blister outbreak.
- Salty food- When fever blister aggravates avoid salt enriched food. As excessive sodium hampers, moisture’s balance in the body. Salt intake should be less than 1500 mg sodium, means 0.75 teaspoon or 3.75 grams salt per day. Some home remedies call for the direct application of salt along with some other element, this is not advisable as there is no evidence to back the claim. Moreover, adding salt to the wound is always considered painful.
- Spicy food– There is a section of people that consider spicy food the root cause of blister’s outbreak and find it irritant to the wounds. Spicy food certainly aggravates the condition of fever blister. If you love jalapenos or hot pepper or paprika in your food, avoid them till you are well again.
- Junk food– Potato chips, pretzels, and other junk food even rough textured crunchy cereals and bread have been found to be very unhelpful when fever blister conditions develop.
Extra Useful Tips to Cure a Fever Blister at Home
- Keep the fever blister lubricated as it heals, with an ointment such as petroleum jelly or lip balm. This will prevent painful scabbing and oozing at the site of the blister.
- Relaxation! It might seem like bizarre advice, but stress can trigger fever blister on the lip. Deep breathing or engaging in yoga or meditation is one sure way to prepare yourself to relax and make you battle fit.
- Consult your doctor if the blister persists, probably the virus is uncontrollable by home remedies. Then, in that case, some aggressive medication such as Zovirax and Denavir may be required or as the doctor will find suitable.
- Oozing out liquid can be contagious, so keep aside your lip balm and personal hygiene items such as towel, creams, utensils, cups, straws, etc.
- Avoid touching affected part by your finger, as it can spread through your finger to other places and persons.
- During the outbreak of fever blister avoid chocolates, nuts, peanuts, and almonds etc.
- Also body contact with other people such as kissing as it can spread to others as well.
- Use sunscreen on your lips as well as sun exposure also causes blisters.
- Once the blisters are healed, change your toothbrush to avoid reappearance of blisters.
Prevention is better than cure
Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication for you to take on a regular basis if you suffer fever blister frequently or some other related complication. If harsh sunlight seems to activate recurrences, apply sun cream on the spot where the blister happens.
In the pursuit to avoid spreading fever blister to other people or even to your body parts, you might try some of the following precautions to check transmittable action.
- Avoid skin contact while blisters on-The virus spreads most easily when liquid secretions from the blisters.
- Avoid sharing items-Utensils, towels, lip balm and other items can transmit the virus when fever blister are present.
- Keep your hands clean-When you have a cold sore, wash your hands carefully with sanitizer before touching yourself and other people and kids.
Time to see a doctor
Fever blister are mostly gets treated by home remedies as suggested, but if virus chooses to be severe on your body and does not go away, then you must see a doctor if following happens.
- Resurfacing of the blisters time and again
- If the blisters don’t subside in a fortnight and
- Irritation in your eyes persists.
- If you have a unfortified immune system, then it’s the time to see your doc.