If you are experiencing a painful sore on your lip, you may wonder what causes fever blisters.
What Causes Fever Blisters
Fever blisters are tiny cluster eruptions in the skin that appear on or near the lip. The virus that triggers the outbreak is the herpes simplex virus type 1. This virus transfers from one person to another through contact with body fluids like saliva and blood. Fever blisters will make their appearance a few days or a few weeks after contact with infectious fluids. Once the initial outbreak occurs, the virus will enter a dormant state. Herpes simplex virus 1, or HSV-1, will settle in the roots of the nerve endings near the original affected spot. HSV-1 may also infect the eyes, fingers, and the genitals.
Who Gets Them
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Americans contract 100 million fever blisters every year. Children and adults may contract the blister-causing virus. HSV-1 is very contagious during outbreaks. Statistically, the average age for infection is 10 years old. Scientists believe this is because children are less likely to wash their hands after sneezing or coughing.
Ways to Contract Fever Blisters
In order to prevent becoming infecting, you need to know how to HSV-1 spreads. Here are activities you should abstain from when you or others experience open or oozing blisters. If you see someone with a fever blister, you should avoid physical contact with them.
- Drinking after others
- Oral sex
- Contact with blood
- Sharing lipstick
What Causes Recurrences
What causes fever blisters? Fever blisters reappear for many different reasons. Chances are, once you have HSV-1, you will eventually see more fever blisters. There is no cure for any herpes virus, but you can become more prepared for painful fever blisters. There are several causes for outbreaks but a weakened immune system is the chief reason.
- Too much sun
- High fever
- Mouth injuries
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Gastrointestinal problems
Treating Fever Blisters
Since there is no cure, a person with fever blisters will have to endure the various stages of these ugly sores. During outbreaks, keep the blisters as dry as possible. Clean them daily to deter bacterial infections. Avoid touching the sores and wash your hands after treating or touching them. If you plan to spend time in the sun, wear a lip block that contains an SPF of 15 or higher. Eat foods that do not contain too much salt or spices.
Researchers are working on finding treatment for outbreaks due to HSV-1. Scientists believe that the sufferer's immune system is what makes them vulnerable to fever blister outbreaks.
Natural ways to curb your outbreaks are by increasing your lysine intake. Try drinking more milk and eating more fish. Beans, chicken and potatoes are natural ways to increase lysine. Take vitamin C, at least 1000 milligrams a day when blisters first appear. After blisters appear, raise your intake to 1500 milligrams. Apply broken vitamin E capsules to the sore to keep the skin smooth and soft.
Living with Fever Blisters
Fever blisters are embarrassing and tough to hide. If you suffer with frequent outbreaks of blisters, visit your physician. The appearance of recurrent fever blisters may be the result of an underlying health issue.