Fever blisters, also known as cold sores, are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and are more common in children although cases do still frequently occur in adults. In rare cases fever blisters can also be caused by a person having oral sex with an individual who suffers from herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) or more commonly known as genital herpes. This virus can also be passed from person to person by saliva either directly or possibly by drinking from the same cup, or alternatively by skin contact. An outbreak usually occurs on or around the mouth and typically is fully healed within two to three weeks.
If you’re unsure whether or not what you are experiencing is, in fact, a fever blister always make sure to visit your GP. Or if the blister does not clear up within two weeks or seems to be spreading severely. Always better to be safe than sorry!
Fever blisters can become a lifelong irritant, since the virus can lie dormant within the body throughout an individual’s life. Outbreaks can be triggered by stress (mental and emotional stress included), overexposure to sunlight, trauma to the skin, hormonal changes or weakened immune system due to illness or other factors. Although, sometimes there is no known reason for a visible return of the virus. Fever blisters can be extremely painful and inconvenient to everyday life, making it difficult to eat or even speak in some cases. Tingling and burning sensations along will swelling and inflammation characterise the sores. They appear as a cluster of white blisters varying in sizes and commonly manifest on the same spot or within the same region whenever the virus reappears. These blisters can become a real issue not only due to the pain they incur but also to a person’s self confidence in their looks each time they manifest.
Many over the counter medicines have little to no effect on reducing the visibility or pain of the blisters and usually take over a week to begin working effectively. So, instead of spending your hard earnt money on these expensive medicines and treatments you can try some natural home remedies that help provide relief in just a few days.
Firstly, here are some common symptoms to look out for in order to identify whether or not you are suffering from fever blisters.
Symptoms to look out for:
Tingling sensations: This is a key symptom indicating you may be about to have an outbreak. The tingling sensation should begin to happen around the area where the blisters usually appear, giving you a perfect sign that action should be taken straight away.
Pain or burning sensations: This is another key factor that should highlight the beginning of another eruption of the virus. Intense itching has also been noted by some individuals.
Signs of the flu: Fever blisters are sometimes accompanied by sore throats, swollen glands and a fever depending on the severity of the epidemic and how equipped your body is to deal with the illness.
Headaches: If you are suffering from the herpes simplex virus type 1 for the first time you may develop a headache usually beginning around a week from exposure.
Producing more saliva: Producing more saliva than is normal for you personally is another symptom of the virus.
Bad breath: Halitosis or bad breath is also another common symptom that is mostly suffered by adults with the illness.
Nausea and vomiting: In extreme cases the virus can cause an individual to start being sick or feeling that they may need to be sick at some point.
Complications can also occur if you practice poor hygiene when concerning any contact with sores and washing your hands afterwards. For example, it is important not to touch your eyes after touching your blisters as it may encourage these sores to begin to form on your eyelids and inflammation of the eye area as a whole. If left untreated this can then result in blindness. So remember to be vigilant with washing your hands after every time you touch the infection. Although it should be noted while it is important to maintain good infection management and containment such cases are extremely rare and should not be worried over excessively.
Within 24 to 48 hours of experiencing any or all of these symptoms the blisters should begin to appear, these blisters can pop and form cold sores. The sores are eventually covered by crusts and scabs which shed and form again while the area is healing. These symptoms may also persist during the period of time that the blisters and sores are present, especially the burning and tingling sensations.
Two to three weeks is a long period of time to be suffering from these unsightly and painful sores on your face with little relief and thus there enters our 7 home remedies for getting rid of fever blisters. For best results, taking action quickly is highly recommended, use these remedies as soon as you notice any symptoms as they will then have a greater impact upon reducing the severity and duration of an outbreak.
Our home remedies:
So, let’s have at it! Here’s our list of 7 brilliant home remedies for removing and reducing those pesky irritants and restoring your natural beauty. We hope they work for you as they have done for many of us here at Balance Me Beautiful.
Apply tea tree oil to the blisters
Tea tree oil can quickly and effectively treat fever blisters as a result of it’s antiviral properties, making it a perfect and easy treatment.
- Dilute the tea tree oil by combining one part oil and three parts cold water. Using a cotton ball or a cotton bud apply the diluted mix to the blisters up to three times a day. Within a few days the blister should have healed almost completely, showing a significant improvement and a happier you!
- Additionally, mix equal amounts of tea tree and olive oil, adding a small amount of eucalyptus oil. Also apply this solution up to three times a day, for four to five days, directly onto the blisters.
Here is another very simple treatment and delicious too! Whole milk tastes amazing and drinking it has so many benefits attached to it. Enriched with calcium it helps with children with their bone development and the elderly fight osteoporosis but it also helps with fever blisters too. Whole milk contains immunoglobulins and calcium, together these two factors help to fight the virus that causes the fever blisters. Additionally, whole milk contains a type of fat known as monocaprin which has antiviral properties. Milk can also positively help accelerate the healing process.
- Soak a cotton ball or cotton bud in whole milk and apply on the sores. Leave on for around 10 to 15 minutes. The coldness of the milk will also help to soothe the itching, burning and tingling sensations you may be experiencing as well as reducing the pain and hopefully some of the inflammation. Do this several times a day for three to five days for the best outcome.
- Furthermore, it has been recommended to drink a glass of milk with a spoonful of turmeric mixed in, twice a day for a week. The turmeric in the milk should help reduce the pain.
Beware that this solution, unfortunately is not a recommended solution for lactose intolerant individuals or those that suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) caused by dairy products.
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural disinfectant and therefore is extremely effective in killing the bacteria. The blisters thrive in moist, warm environments so using hydrogen peroxide will keep the area dry and clean. Always make sure you are not allergic to the solution before applying to your face.
- Dip a cotton ball or bud in 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and dab over the blisters. Leave on the affected area for no longer than 5 minutes and then rinse the area with a wet washcloth and then pat the area dry. Repeat once daily for two to three days.
- On the other hand, you can make a paste of two crushed aspirins and one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Apply this paste on the affected area and leave on for two to three minutes then wash off with lukewarm water. Do this once daily for no more than two days.
Perhaps not exactly the kind pictured above, but you get the idea! Licorice has an active ingredient named glycyrrhizin that has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that make this herb an effective treatment for fever blisters. Minimising redness, swelling and pain alongside helping to speed up the healing process overall.
- Make a thick paste using one tablespoon of licorice root powder and one-half tablespoon of water. Dab the paste on the outbreak, leaving on for a few hours and then wash off with a warm wet washcloth. Reapply 3 to 4 times a day for several days until the blisters are completely gone.
- You can also drink licorice root tea if you or take supplements to speed up the healing.
However, if you suffer from high blood pressure licorice based remedies are to be avoided.
Aloe Vera is another very effective way to treat fever blisters quickly, whilst at home. Aloe Vera has natural healing powers and antibacterial properties that work to disinfect the infected area, as well as soothing any irritation and pain that is present. The gel produced from an Aloe leaf contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants including those that belong to the family named ‘polyphenols’. These powerful antioxidants within the polyphenols family, alongside several other compounds within the Aloe Vera plant, can help to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans thus giving the plant it’s brilliant antibacterial properties.
- Cut an Aloe Vera leaf and extract the gel.
- Apply the gel on the area with your fingertip and allow it to dry freely.
- Then clean the area with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel.
- Repeat the process several times a day for around 3 to 5 days until the epidemic is completely healed.
This method will prevent the area from cracking which promotes further infection and results in a longer healing period, as well as keeping it cleaner hopefully killing all the harmful bacteria in the blister / sore.
How awesome is toothpaste? Not only does it help with sparkling teeth but helps with a ton of conditions too. You may have heard of applying toothpaste to your pimples, so applying it to your fever blister would make sense too right? That’s because toothpaste contains ingredients such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and menthol which can collectively help to dry out blisters quickly. Another ingredient found in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate which works brilliantly in reducing the size of your sores and blisters in just two days!
- Apply a small amount of toothpaste on the blisters, leave on overnight or for a minimum of two hours. Wash off with a damp washcloth and then apply petroleum jelly to prevent the area from cracking.
- Or you can mix the toothpaste with one-half tablespoon of salt to further dry out the blisters quicker.
Only use white toothpaste for this method, no gels or coloured versions of the product.
Vanilla extract (we mean the real stuff) is not only used in baking tasty treats but it’s a natural sore and blister remedy that many people swear by. Vanilla extract is alcohol based and therefore makes it difficult for the virus to survive and lessens the severity of the epidemic greatly. Plus, it might even make you smell sweeter as an added bonus so even though you might not look great currently at least you can smell it! No? Okay, fair enough…
- Soak a cotton pad or bud into the pure vanilla extract until thoroughly saturated and then apply directly to the area. Hold the bud or ball in place for two minutes. Do this 3 or 4 times daily until no longer necessary.
Fever blister prevention and ways to minimise the infection spreading.
Now you’ve learned 7 different home remedies for treating your fever blisters you may want to know how to prevent the use of them being necessary in the future -as good as they are! So here are some tips and ideas on how to both avoid the virus or how to avoid future cases of it.
The best way for avoiding the virus if you have never suffered from it before, is to not come into contact with someone who is experiencing a fever blister outbreak as the virus is highly contagious. Therefore that means no kissing (especially no kissing anyone if you suffer regularly and they never have!) or sharing utensils, cups, towels or any other item that may be able to transfer the virus from person to person. If you do already carry the virus there are steps you can take in order to minimise the chances of an epidemic. Studies have shown that wearing sunscreen on the normally affected areas reduces the likeliness of blisters forming. It is also recommended, although not proven, that lowering your stress levels, taking a supplement called ‘L-Lysine’ or even cutting out certain foods such as nuts and chocolate can help keep the blisters at bay.
Do not share any over the counter medications or batches of the same home remedy alike. Sharing of medications or home remedy mixtures / cotton pads can cause the virus to worsen and spread between the two individuals, whilst dramatically prolonging healing periods for both people. Always remember to wash your hands after applying treatments to the affected area to prevent spreading or worsening of your condition.
Lastly, if you’re aware of any personal triggers (such as stress or poor dietary choices) for the outbreak of the virus try your best to avoid situations which will cause another episode.
There’s no need for you or your child to miss work or school respectively due to fever blisters, so long as you follow these simple rules to prevent the virus from infecting those around you. Unless you are suffering from some of the more severe symptoms such as vomiting. So, sorry! As ugly as you may feel you still have no excuse to take a few days off
Our 7 home remedies for fever blisters are brilliant methods in healing and reducing the severity of outbreaks. A combination of these methods or perhaps just persistent use with one favoured remedy can solve your issues in no time, restoring your beauty and confidence in one go.
We know fever blisters are damn right pain and thus we hope this article benefits you in helping you to recover faster and easier. Because, afterall we just want to help our readers live a healthier, happier, pain free life!
Feel free to tell us in the comments below which remedy works best for you and any alterations to the methods you made -if any! Although we think our home remedies are great all on their own. We look forward to hearing from you.