Fever blisters are commonly known as cold sores. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus, which is highly contagious. Type 1 of this virus causes cold sores, while type 2 causes genital herpes. Type 2 can only be spread through sexual contact. Most people develop type 1 by the time they are 10 years old, even if it never presents itself. Once you get the type 1 virus, you have it for life, however. Home remedies can be effective in treating and preventing cold sores that arise from type 1.
Cold sores or fever blisters usually heal on their own within two weeks. To help the healing process, keep the cold sore area clean and dry. If it isn’t terribly bothersome or painful, simply leave it alone. On the off chance that the infection becomes infected with pus, seek medical attention. You may need an antibiotic.
Replace Your Toothbrush
One of the easiest ways to treat and prevent fever blisters is to replace your toothbrush. Toothbrushes can harbor the herpes virus for days, reinfecting you after the initial cold sore has healed. If you notice yourself getting a fever blister in your mouth area, simply throw away your toothbrush. If you still get the virus, throw away the toothbrush again. Repeat this even after the fever blister has healed. This will cut down the number of fever blisters you experience. Along these same lines, replace your toothpaste, and limit the size of the toothpaste to small tubes to prevent waste.
Protect the fever blister with a light application of petroleum jelly. Use a cotton swab to cover the area, and throw away after use.
Water-based zinc solutions can help speed healing time associated with fever blisters. Apply with a cotton swab to the affected area twice a day to speed healing.
Supplement your diet with lysine. Take between 2,000 and 3,000 mg. of this amino acid per day to help prevent cold sores from forming. Consult with your physician before taking this amount of lysine, as it may have side effects, especially for pregnant women or nursing mothers. Good food sources of lysine include dairy products, potatoes and brewer’s yeast.
Apply a warm tea bag to the affected area for between 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. The tannic acid in the tea has antiviral components to help heal the fever blister. This should resolve the fever blister within five days.