If you have ever experienced a painful fever blister, you'll be relieved to learn that there are many treatments available for this frustrating condition. Although the blisters may heal on their own, different care options can help reduce their severity and ease pain.
Choosing a Fever Blister Treatment
According to Web MD, fever blisters are caused by the herpes simplex sirus, and while they can be managed, there is no permanent cure because once infected the virus stays in the person's body for life. If you have chronic fever blisters, you should visit your physician to get an accurate diagnosis. Even if your cold sores are occasional, visiting a physician can help you decide on the best course of action to manage and prevent outbreaks.
Antibiotics may alleviate some discomfort from fever blisters. Take these oral medications daily or use as prescribed by your doctor. Topical anesthetics numb the sores and relieve some of the pain you may experience. Topical solutions may also help dry up the sores a little quicker and prevent scarring.
The following antiviral drugs are approved by the FDA for treating fever blisters and may reduce the length and severity of an outbreak and help you manage the symptoms. They are available in oral and topical varieties.
- Denavir: This topical cream should be applied directly to the sore immediately upon breakout.
- Zovirax: Available in both an oral and topical medication, Zovirax can reduce the duration of the cold sore and can also limit the amount of pain experienced.
- Valtrex: Perhaps better known for its treatment of the type 2 virus, Valtrex can also be quite effective for the fever blister treatment.
Vitamin deficiency may aggravate cold sores. Add vitamins to your daily regimen to get fewer fever blisters. These supplements may help achieve better lip health:
- Vitamin C: Taking vitamin C tablets may shrink the lifespan of your sores. Take a dose of 200 to 500 mg three times a day.
- Vitamin E: Break open a vitamin E gel capsule and apply the gel directly to your lip area to moisturize the blister. This will relieve some of the pain by making the tight skin more supple as it heals and tightens.
- Zinc: Applied topically or taken orally, zinc may reduce the duration of a fever blister. A homemade zinc paste, made with four grams of zinc sulfate dissolved in half a cup of boiled water, may help dry the sore and ease discomfort. If you choose to take zinc tablets, do not exceed 15 mg per day or 60 mg per week.
Some people use home remedies to treat pain or irritation. These remedies may help:
- Aloe: Some believe that by applying aloe vera directly to the affected area you can speed up the recovery of the sore. Clip a leaf from an aloe plant and squeeze its juice. Apply the juice to the sore. For better results, do this when you first feel your lip tingle.
- Cold milk: Soak a cotton ball in milk and pat directly on the surface of the sore. Leave on for approximately 20 minutes before gently wiping away with a cool washcloth. Repeat this remedy to manage pain.
- Cornstarch: Mix one teaspoon of cornstarch with several drops of warm water. Rub the cornstarch over the infected skin. Leave the soothing cornstarch on the spot for 30 minutes, and then rinse it away gently. This will dry out your cold sore.
- Camphor: Dab a cotton ball with camphor and then touch the cotton ball to your blister. This antiseptic may sting but will dry out the blister.
- Green or black tea: One home remedy involves soaking a green or black tea bag in hot water for one minute before applying the wet bag directly to the sore. This particular treatment can help reduce pain and irritation of the sore.
- Petroleum jelly: Some people suggest covering the sore immediately upon breakout with petroleum jelly. This prevents you from touching or picking at it and may help heal the sore. Dip a cotton swab in petroleum jelly and touch the swab to your lip. This will help stave off tightening of the skin and any uncomfortable cracking.
- Yogurt: Eat yogurt that contains live cultures. Acidophilus, the active ingredient in live-cultured yogurt, boosts the immune system, which may help you heal faster.
Some individuals prefer to skip the pharmacy and try a homeopathic option. You can find many natural products at health food stores.
- Natrum muriaticum: Also known as rock salt, Nat Mur is a tonic that helps dry the blister sacs when mixed with water. Side effects are thirstiness and dry mouth.
- Sepia: Sepia or cuttlefish ink will diminish eruptions caused by the herpes virus. This homeopathic cure is useful for treating those pesky nasal sores, too.
- Hepar sulphuris calcareum: If yellow pus is present in your sore, then chances are your fever blister is infected. Treat the infection with Hepar sulphuris calcareum. Follow the instructions on the bottle for the appropriate dosage.
Some studies suggests a healthy diet low in acidic, salty, and sweet foods should be followed by those who carry the virus. These types of foods may exacerbate the virus and bring about outbreaks. Include items like these in your diet to help manage your symptoms: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and water.
By consuming a wide variety of vitamins and minerals through food, especially dark leafy greens, you can help to prevent recurrent outbreaks. In addition, the complex carbohydrates in whole grains like wheat, quinoa, brown rice, and others can help to improve your overall health. Finally, it almost goes without saying, but water is often the wonder drug of all conditions. Water can help keep your skin clear, help flush out toxins in the body, and generally just keep you healthy.
Finding the Right Solution
While fever blisters are a common ailment, there are many different methods used to treat these uncomfortable blemishes. Consider which methods are best for your individual circumstances to find the one that is right for you. If this is the first time you have suffered an outbreak or are in doubt about how to go about treating your fever blister, contact a medical professional.