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Herpes simplex. A topical pain reliever. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Without treatment, a fever blister can last as long as two weeks. Close Share options. A study colld witch hazel may be effective in fighting the herpes virus and in reducing inflammation. They can break open, ooze, and crust over, lasting for around 7 to 10 days.
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If you get cold sores all the time, you can probably tell when an outbreak is coming.
- Fever blisters, also known as cold sores, are caused by the herpes simplex type 1 virus.
- Natural home remedies for fever blisters are effective in healing unsightly and painful cold sores.
- A fever blister is pretty common, as it easily spreads from person to person through direct contact.
- They can be painful, uncomfortable and downright unattractive, beginning as a blister and eventually forming a crust.
- Millions of people suffer from fever blisters also known as cold sores every year.
The virus does not always cause symptoms. The Academy of General Dentistry state that only around 30 percent of those with HSV-1 will show signs of the infection, namely cold sores. While a majority of HSV-1 cases involve oral herpes or cold sores, around 40 percent of cases involve genital sores.
Cold sores usually appear on the upper body, mainly around the lips and mouth, but they can emerge anywhere on the skin, including the tongue. In infants, cold sores are often mistaken for canker sores. Cold sores caused by HSV-1 often last little over a week and then clear up on their own. There's currently no cure, and infections are lifelong.
However there are ways to decrease the length, intensity, and frequency of outbreaks. Drugs are available, but many remedies use common grocery store ingredients and household staples. Compounds that are antiviral, antimicrobial, and immune-boosting are often good for treating cold sores. Some remedies help limit the spread of the virus.
Others reduce the chance of further infections or decrease pain and discomfort. Not every treatment works for every individual, but a wide range of natural products may help reduce symptoms and prevent future flare-ups. Vitamin E helps the body repair damaged skin cells and grow new ones. Vitamin E-rich food choices include nuts, whole wheats, and leafy greens.
Vitamin E oils are also available. Vitamin C can boost levels of white cells, the body's main infection-fighting cells. Vitamin C-rich foods are often red, orange, or deep green in color. These include most berries, tomatoes, peppers, kiwis, broccoli, and spinach. There are also over the counter OTC medications available to treat cold sores symptoms.
Many offer child-friendly dosages. People with cold sores should seek medical care if the sores do not improve within a few weeks, if symptoms are severe, or if sores continue to weep. Complications from HSV-1 are rare but possible. People with weakened immune systems should seek medical advice, as should those with frequent outbreaks. Complications can arise when the virus spreads to others parts of the body. For example, the virus can spread to the fingertips, as with herpes whitlow, or eyes as with herpes keratitis.
Commonly prescribed treatments for cold sores include anti-viral tablets and creams. The American Academy of Dermatology AAD note that the first outbreak of the virus typically occurs within 2 to 20 days after exposure. The HSV-1 virus spends most of its time inactive in facial nerve cells. Outbreaks usually occur alongside events like illness and stress that weaken the immune system. Most people experience a sense of burning or tingling around the edge of lips 24 to 48 hours before blisters emerge.
This is normally followed by a tiny red or inflamed bump. These bumps soon appear on the skin's surface as multiple connected blisters. The bumps appear clear at first, then cloudy as the body's immune cells fight off the infection.
Soon after becoming cloudy, the blisters will normally break. This releases the infected fluid held within the sore. Once the blister has drained, it often dries up, eventually crusting over with a scab.
Keeping the scab in place is important for keeping the sore safe from outside bacteria and stopping the virus' spread. Most cold sores will clear up after 7 to 10 days, although the wound can take several weeks to heal fully. Outbreaks recur in about 25 percent of cases, often in the same location. HSV-1 is extremely contagious, spread by direct contact. The American Sexual Health Association explain that the virus can spread whether cold sores are visible or not.
People with active HSV-1 sores can transmit a form of genital herpes to partners by direct contact. Adopting a good hygiene routine and limiting contact with infected individuals should help stop the spread of the virus. Table of contents Home remedies Medication Life cycle Prevention tips. If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. There is a large range of natural remedies that may reduce cold sore symptoms.
Everything you need to know about canker sores. The first outbreak of the HSV tends to occur within 2 to 20 days of exposure. People with cold sores are advised to change their toothbrush after a cold sore outbreak.
You may also want to notify your dentist or physician if a sore makes it hard for you to talk or swallow, if you develop a fever, or if you experience a second outbreak of blisters. Start the Countdown. Fever blisters, also known as cold sores, are caused by the herpes simplex type 1 virus. Eventually, it breaks open and begins to ooze, and then it dries out and crusts over. The medication must be taken when symptoms first appear in order to be effective. You cannot tell I ever had one. Stress can cause your immune system to become weakened and make you more prone to developing infections.
Natural remedies fever blister cold sore. Other Alternative Treatments for Fever Blisters
You must apply them when you feel a cold sore coming on in order for them to be effective. The most frequent reported side effects of oral antiviral medications are headache and nausea, which depend on the dose and duration of treatment.
Both cyclovir and penciclovir reduce the duration of cold sore pain and time to recovery, but they must be applied several times throughout the day, especially penciclovir.
The good news is that the first fever blisters you experience from either HSV virus will most likely be the worst, and then you can expect immunity against the virus to usually improve over time.
In fact, by the age of 35, the number of relapses usually decreases. While technically the virus that causes herpes is not curable, there are many natural remedies that can put herpes into remission. Here are some simple ways to treat a fever blister once it appears and prevent future outbreaks.
Zinc is needed in many chemical reactions that help rebuild skin and protect the body from viruses and infections. Research shows that topical zinc formulas have been found to be effective for the treatment of fever sores and for prolonging the remission of herpes. A zinc deficiency can increase your risk of developing a fever blister, so boost your zinc intake with zinc-rich foods like grass-fed beef, chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, chicken, turkey, eggs, salmon and mushrooms.
Research published in Alternative Medicine Review suggests that vitamin E soothes the skin and may help to relieve pain and discomfort from fever blisters. Vitamin E can be taken as oral capsules, or you can boost your levels with vitamin E-rich foods , such as almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes, avocados, sunflower seeds and olive oil. It works by preventing the virus from growing. Take 1, milligrams three times daily and eat foods that contain L-lysine, such as legumes, fish, turkey, chicken and vegetables.
Then apply the paste to the fever blister and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing. Melissa essential oil , also known as lemon balm, is used in traditional medicine to treat herpes simplex and promote skin health. Simply add 2—3 drops of Melissa oil to a clean cotton ball and apply it directly to the fever blister three times daily.
You can use aloe vera gel on a fever blister to ease the discomfort and speed the healing process. It contains antioxidant vitamins, enzymes, minerals, fatty acids and hormones that help with healing and preventing further infection. To reduce the redness and swelling of a fever blister, place a cool, wet towel on the blister three times a day for about 20 minutes.
Applying ice directly to the blister also helps to reduce inflammation and slow down blood flow to the sore, which helps to relieve pain and swelling. Using sunscreen or avoiding heavy sun exposure may reduce the number of fever blister recurrences that you experience. None of the sunscreen-wearing participants developed fever blisters due to herpes labialis, compared with 71 percent of those using a placebo.
Because the virus can spread from person to person, avoid direct contact with people who have fever blisters. Kissing or sharing cups, glasses, razors, towels, toothbrushes and other objects that a person with a fever blister used can spread the herpes virus.
Children should avoid close contact if one has a fever blister until it begins to scab over. Probiotic foods like yogurt, apple cider vinegar, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and natto work to boost the immune system and promote detoxification. Echinacea is a powerful immune system stimulator that can provide significant therapeutic value, even when trying to fight a virus like herpes simplex.
This is especially true for people with a weakened immune system. Raw garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties that can help to boost your immune system and fight fever blister outbreaks. If you feel a fever blister forming, start using garlic right away to prevent it from developing completely. Oregano oil is known for its healing and immune-boosting properties. It naturally fights infections due to its antiviral properties.
If your fever blister does not go away within 10 days or you think that you have an infection, consult your doctor. It is important to take precautions when you have an active fever blister to prevent the spread of the virus. Herpes simplex virus can spread easily when the sore is present.
You can also take advantage of these zinc benefits and avoid zinc deficiency — which can increase the risk of cold sores — with certain foods, including grass-fed beef, chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin seeds yogurt, chicken, turkey, eggs, salmon and mushrooms.
It works by preventing the herpes virus from growing. Take 1, milligrams three times daily, and eat foods that contain L-lysine, such as legumes, fish, turkey, chicken and vegetables. Several double-blind and placebo-controlled studies have found that L-lysine appears to be an effective agent for the reduction of occurrence, severity and healing time for recurrent herpes simplex virus infection. Direct sunlight or sunburns may trigger an attack, so using sunscreen or avoiding heavy sun exposure may reduce the number of cold sore recurrences that you experience.
I suggest using lemon balm if you can. Also, be careful when selecting sunscreen, opting for percent natural and organic sunscreen. That can be difficult, as the majority of sunscreens are toxic, so make sure you avoid the common brands that actually cause more harm than good.
It contains antioxidant vitamins, enzymes, minerals, fatty acids and hormones that help with healing and preventing further infection. The antiviral constituents in peppermint oil make it a great tool for healing cold sores. After three hours of incubation of herpes simplex virus with peppermint oil, an antiviral activity of about 99 percent was demonstrated. The oil proved to be more effective in the early stages of symptoms. Apply vanilla oil or vanilla extract to the area of concern as soon as you feel a tingling sensation.
Soak a cotton ball with vanilla extract and hold it in place for one to two minutes; do this four times daily until the cold sore heals. The anti-inflammatory activity helps heal the cold sore and reduce pain. Vanilla oil also helps fight the infection and speed up the healing process.
Look for vanilla Co2 total extract, which is the highest quality. It can be pricey, so using the extract you use for cooking or making a vanilla oil infusion by soaking vanilla beans in a carrier oil or jar of alcohol works too. Echinacea can be especially useful for people with a weakened immune system. A cold sore is highly contagious until it crusts over and heals, so keep your hands off to avoid spreading the infection.
If you use a face towel or cold compress, put it directly in the dirty laundry pile afterward. Apply ice or a cold compress to the cold sore to reduce inflammation and slow down blood flow to the sore.
This helps relieve pain and swelling. You can try tea tree oil in gel form as soon as you feel the tingle of a cold sore to see if it helps you personally — the earlier you apply it, the more significant the results are likely to be. By drying out and cleaning the affected area, hydrogen peroxide may be a useful cold sore remedy. It is thought that peroxide acts with antiseptic quality and may be able to kill off the HSV virus, which is particularly sensitive to the effects of peroxide.
This natural remedy has been found to significantly kill off the herpes virus responsible for cold sores. Interestingly, because of the way that lemon balm works to achieve this, there is no risk of a resistance to the herpes virus forming after repeated uses. Cold sores are often confused with canker sores, but the two are very different, looks aside.
Here is how to distinguish between a cold sore and a canker sore:. A day or two before a blister appears, you may experience a tingling, itching and even burning sensation around the lips.
This is the first sign that a cold sore is developing, typically beginning with that tingle. Within 24—48 hours, a blister, which is a small fluid-filled bump, appears on the border of the lips and skin. Eventually, the blister or blisters will break open and begin to ooze fluid, and this can be quite painful. It will then dry out and crust over, creating a scab that protects the new skin growing underneath.
Each cold sore experience is different, and first-time cold sores can be more painful than recurring cold sores. During an outbreak, you may experience a headache, painful gums, sore throat, muscle aches, fever, nausea, vomiting and swollen lymph nodes.
You may also want to notify your dentist or physician if a sore makes it hard for you to talk or swallow, if you develop a fever, or if you experience a second outbreak of blisters.
What are the infections cold sores stem from? A cold sore develops as a result of the herpes simplex virus, which is an infection that may cause only a single cold sore or an outbreak of several cold sores.
Fever blisters are typically caused by herpes simplex virus type 1, and they can be spread by kissing and sharing face towels, cups, spoons or forks when the sore is present.
Herpes simplex virus type 2, on the other hand, usually causes sores in the genital area and is spread by sexual contact or when a mother with genital herpes is delivering her baby vaginally.
Type 2 herpes can sometimes cause mouth sores, although sores around the vagina and penis are more common. A person with a cold sore from herpes simplex virus type 1 can spread the infection and give a person genital lesions during oral sex.
HSV can also spread and infect other areas of the body, such as the eyes or the brain, but this is rare. Once a person to exposed to HSV-1 , the cold sore typically appears in about a week, and the virus can be reactivated later in life, causing more cold sore outbreaks.
HSV-1 can be activated after a period of stress or illness, as a result of poor nutrition, when dealing with an upper respiratory infection , when menstruating, or even after sunlight exposure. Dental procedures that stretch the lip may also trigger the virus to reappear. To prevent the spread of herpes simplex, do not kiss anyone who has a cold core.
Using sunscreen on the lips may also prevent cold sores that are caused by sun exposure.
Cold sores: Home remedies and other treatment
A fever blister, or cold sore , can last from 10 to 14 days. Fever blisters usually occur in groups and cause red, swollen, and sore wounds. They commonly form near the mouth or on other areas of the face, but they may also appear on the tongue or gums. Fever blisters may release a clear fluid that scabs after a few days.
During this time, fever blisters are most contagious. However, the virus that causes fever blisters can continue to be contagious even when there are no blisters visible. The cause of fever blisters is the herpes simplex virus. A fever blister flare-up can heal without treatment, but there are many effective ways to help relieve the pain and promote healing. This includes at-home remedies and prescription medications.
Studies have shown some essential oils may have antiviral activity against HSV Essential oils and topical treatments can irritate your skin, so you should always test a small area of the skin first before use. The ratio is about one drop of essential oil per one teaspoon of carrier oil.
Use a clean cotton swab or pad when applying these essential oils, which helps avoid contamination and reinfection. Ice can help treat inflammation by reducing blood flow to the area. But this treatment is only temporary and it does not affect the virus in any way or promote healing. How to use: To treat a cold sore, wrap an ice pack with a towel or cloth. Place it on the cold sore for at least 5 minutes and no more than 15 minutes.
Never apply ice directly to the skin as this can cause significant injury. One study found that Melissa officinalis could kill the herpes simplex virus in some cases and affect how the virus attaches to host cells.
How to use: Apply a cream, ointment, or lip balm containing lemon balm to the affected area several times per day. You may also put diluted essential oil on a cotton ball and hold it on the sores for a few minutes. Continue using lemon balm for a few days after your sores have healed.
L-lysine is an amino acid that may help shorten the duration of a fever blister. People report benefits from taking this supplement as a preventative and treatment. According to Harvard Health Publications , lysine can inhibit the amino acid that promotes the growth of the fever blisters.
However, more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness. It may also have a role in limiting fever blister outbreaks. How to use: Research doses range from to 3, milligrams mg. Follow the recommendation on the package. Shop for L-lysine supplements online. Zinc is an essential mineral that can help wounds heal, and topical zinc may help with fever blisters.
One study found that a cream containing zinc oxide and glycine shortened the duration of cold sores compared to a placebo cream. A more recent study showed zinc oxide may also have a role in preventing the herpes simplex virus from entering cells.
How to use: A pilot study saw a reduced frequency of outbreaks when participants took zinc sulfate supplements. They took Shop for zinc cream online. On a cellular level, oregano oil is shown to inhibit different animal and human viruses, including herpes.
How to use: Apply diluted oregano oil to a cotton ball and apply to the affected area. Repeat several times throughout the day, and continue treatment until your blisters heal completely.
Licorice root is gaining popularity as a treatment option for cold sores. How to use: You can apply diluted licorice extract, like this one from Nature's Answer , on your fever blister with a cotton swab or finger tips.
Talk to your doctor before taking licorice root orally, as it may cause unintended side effects. A review of tea tree oil studies suggest that it may be a useful antiviral treatment. It may also help to speed up the healing process and limit plaque formation. How to use: Use topically by adding diluted tea tree oil to a cotton ball. Dab it on the sore spot several times per day, and continue treatment until your skin is completely healed.
Shop for therapeutic-grade tea tree oil online. A study found witch hazel may be effective in fighting the herpes virus and in reducing inflammation. Witch hazel is also an astringent and dries out the area, which may help with healing.
How to use: Apply witch hazel such as Thayers Organic directly to the skin using a moistened cotton ball. Hold it onto your skin using light pressure, and be careful not to rub. Continue treatment until your skin is fully healed. Some people report benefits using apple cider vinegar ACV for fever blisters.
However, it should be used cautiously on wounds given its acidic properties and potential damage to tissue. How to use: Use a cotton ball and apply diluted ACV to the affected area several times per day.
You can hold it there for a few minutes at a time. Continue treatment until healed. Avoid using essential oils on children or older adults. Learn how to treat cold sores in babies. Always begin with a small amount of your chosen remedy to see how your skin reacts, and discontinue use if it irritates your skin with a prolonged burning sensation. Discontinue any home treatments if the outbreak gets worse. Talk to your doctor if you plan on taking oral supplements.
Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with any medications and cause unintended side effects. Without treatment, a fever blister can last as long as two weeks. Unlike natural remedies, antiviral drugs are a set dose and proven to speed up the healing process, as well as lower the amount of virus present.
Typically these medications are given in pill form. For severe or life-threatening herpes infections, people will require hospitalization and these medications will be given by vein IV. According to research, all approved antiviral pills, including acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir, are effective at reducing days of symptoms. Topical antiviral treatments, such as penciclovir, are considered less effective. The herpes simplex virus HSV-1 causes fever blisters, also known as cold sores, and oral herpes.
The virus can infect other parts of the body, including the genitals. The virus can also lie dormant in your system and can recur at any given time. Generally, an outbreak occurs when your immune system is stressed. A fever blister outbreak may be a sign of poor nutrition or of an immunity disorder. Fever blisters may accompany other medical conditions that compromise your health. In more serious cases the virus can infect the hands, eyes, or the brain. Other infections such as shingles can look similar and often require a different treatment course.
You should also visit your doctor if you have:. Your doctor can also help you identify outbreak triggers or the root cause of the outbreaks. They will also determine if the outbreaks increase your risk for other complications. Symptoms will lessen after a few days, but it will take additional time for the skin to completely heal. A normal fever blister episode heals within two weeks. During this time, there are steps you can take.
Usually the first outbreak is the most severe. First time outbreaks can be accompanied by fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and body aches. Future outbreaks tend to be less severe. Currently there is no drug or vaccine for HSV-1 or HSV-2, but there are ways to help keep your outbreaks to a minimum and reduce their frequency and duration. The healthier you are, the less likely you are to have an outbreak.
A healthy diet to support your immune system may also help with outbreak prevention. A healthy diet is low in sugar, alcohol, sweetened drinks, salt, and red meat. Here are eight things you can do in the early stages of a cold sore to help manage symptoms. Cold sores look like blisters that appear around the mouth or on the lips. They can break open, ooze, and crust over.
Flare-ups can occur at any time…. Do you know how to tell the difference between a cold sore and a pimple? Both may look the same and can be uncomfortable. Usually, cold sores come in…. Eczema herpeticum EH is a rare, painful skin rash usually caused by the herpes simplex virus. Cold sores are no fun.