Fever blisters, also known as cold sores, are small sores that cause pain, itching and burning before they burst open and form a crust. They often appear on the mouth region, nostrils, cheeks, and the chin. In rare cases, fever blisters can also appear in the roof of the mouth or the gums. A fever outbreak may point to a poor diet or a weakened immune system.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). You shouldn’t worry when fever blisters get to you; it is quite a common outbreak. Research has shown that over 90% of the world’s population has either one or both forms of the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2).
A fever blister can last up to two weeks. For the most part, fever blisters appear in groups of red, sore and swollen wounds. Symptoms often lessen after a few days but it will take more time to heal completely. To fasten the process, avoid:
- Touching the blister
- Reusing lip products that come in contact with your mouth
- Taking part in oral sex
- Kissing or sharing toothbrushes, utensils, and straws, and smoking or consuming alcohol (they may irritate the sores).
Fever blisters often heal on their own but there are a few tried and tested treatments that can help promote faster healing and relieve the pain associated with them.
According to a study done in 2012, lemon balm, also known as Melissa officinalis, could have the ability to kill HSV. It can also have an effect on how HSV attaches to host cells.
Apply a lip balm that contains the lemon balm, an ointment or cream on the affected area a number of times a day for fast relief. You can also use a lemon essential oil using a cotton ball and pressing it on the sore.
Zinc is a fantastic element that has always been used to heal wounds. One study done on the effectiveness of tropical zinc in healing fever blisters showed that application of a cream containing glycine and zinc oxide reduced the duration of fever blisters compared to placebo creams. Another recent study also revealed that zinc oxide actually helps prevent HSV from getting into host cells. Apply the zinc oxide cream on the fever blister four times a day.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has also been reported to have anti-effective and antifungal properties. People who have applied ACV on their fever blisters have seen tremendous benefits.
Like the aforementioned treatments, pour a little ACV on a cotton ball and apply it on the affected area several times a day. Be cautious using ACV given that it is very acidic. Do not use it for any bacterial infections on the skin.
According to a 1996 study, Witch hazel helps reduce inflammation and fights HSV. Additionally, it can also dry out the area fostering fast healing. Apply witch hazel on the fever blister using a moist cotton ball. Press on it without rubbing or using too much pressure.
Harvard Health Publications revealed that lysine, an amino acid that helps reduce the lifespan of a fever blister, can curb the growth of blisters considerably. It does this by inhibiting the growth of the amino acid that fuels the growth of the blisters. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, lysine may also be responsible for reducing the outbreak of fevers.
Fever blisters are not only painful, uncomfortable and itchy, but they are also really embarrassing. Reduce the pain and make them disappear fast by using the methods above. Watch out for any severe symptoms that last longer as these could indicate a more serious condition that needs medical intervention.