Fever blisters are herpes simplex virus type 1 outbreaks on the lips and other areas of skin. They appear as fluid-filled blisters that ooze and then eventually dry up and scab over.
You can treat fever blisters with natural remedies and medications to reduce outbreaks. Oral antiviral drugs speed healing and lower the amount of herpes virus present.
Apply Cold Compresses
The herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes fever blisters, or herpes labialis, to form on and around the lips. They’re painful and unattractive, but they usually go away on their own in a month without leaving scars.
Licking or rubbing your sores will cause them to stay longer, resulting in more pain and redness. Instead, apply a cold compress to the area several times a day to reduce swelling and itching.
You can also use a special herpes ointment, like acyclovir, penciclovir, or docosanol, to speed up the healing process by about one day. Or, you can take antiviral pills (which require a prescription) as soon as you start feeling the first tingling sensation. Taking these medications will also help reduce the pain and itching.
Fever blisters, or cold sores, are painful fluid-filled bumps on and around your lips. They appear when the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) erupts from its dormant state and oozes, then they dry out and scab over. Although herpes is a permanent infection, there are ways to prevent outbreaks and treat them once they occur.
ACV (apple cider vinegar) has anti-infective properties and can help reduce the length of an outbreak by killing herpes viruses in an open sore. Apply diluted ACV with a cotton ball several times a day to the affected area.
Lemon balm, or Melissa officinalis, can also kill herpes virus cells and affect how the virus attaches to host cells. Apply a gel or ointment containing lemon balm to your sores several times a day.
L-Lysine, an amino acid, may shorten the duration of fever blisters by inhibiting the herpes virus. Add a dietary supplement of this nutrient to your diet or purchase L-Lysine creams to apply directly to your sores.
Fever blisters are red, swollen and painful sores on the edges of the lips caused by herpes simplex virus. They are very contagious and can spread the virus until they form a scab or crust. Avoid kissing, intimate contact and sharing cups, dishes, utensils or towels with people who have fever blisters until the sores have scabbed over.
If you’ve had herpes for years, early treatment with oral antiviral medications can help reduce the number of fever blisters you have and how quickly they heal. These medicines include acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex) or famciclovir (Famvir).
You can also speed up your body’s tolerance to the herpes simplex virus by boosting your immune system and using herbs and natural remedies. For example, echinacea contains powerful immunostimulants that can help reduce the frequency and severity of herpes outbreaks. Tea tree oil has antiviral properties and may help prevent cold sores if applied to the skin three times daily. You can also use aloe vera gel, which contains vitamins and minerals that promote healing, and lysine, an amino acid that supports your immune system.
For most people, cold sores—also known as fever blisters—appear near or on the lips and cause a tingling or burning sensation. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), and can either erupt on their own or be spread through close contact with someone who has one.
Once a sore forms, it begins to ooze and then forms a scab. The herpes virus is contagious until the scab forms, and you can easily transfer it to others by kissing or sharing cups, glasses, razors, toothbrushes, or other personal items.
There are over-the-counter medications you can buy that will speed the healing process, and prevent further outbreaks. However, these products do not cure herpes and they don’t always work long term. Some natural remedies may help you put the herpes virus into remission so you do not get outbreaks long term. These include lifestyle changes, dietary supplements, and antiviral herbs and essential oils. Zinc, for example, has been shown to be effective in preventing herpes outbreaks and may even speed the time it takes for a sore to heal.