It seems to be an immutable reality that a fever blister will appear on one’s lip at the least opportune time. In what should be a corollary to Murphy’s Law, which states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, fever blisters seem to crop up just prior to a date, interview, or important meeting. There are home remedies for fever blisters, also known as cold sores, but to a large degree they will not make the sore disappear any quicker than it would naturally. Home remedies for fever blisters can relieve some of the pain and discomfort, but there is no cure.
Fever blisters are a variation of the herpes virus, and as a general rule a virus must run its own course. A couple of prescription, anti-viral drugs do exist that will shorten the duration of a cold sore, but a doctor should be contacted for further information. As for home remedies for fever blisters, they are numerous and have varying degrees of success. Some work well and some don’t. The efficacy of home remedies for fever blisters is really something of a roll of the dice.
Since the virus cannot be killed – once one contracts the herpes virus, it is in his system for life – most people utilize methods that will lessen the sore’s size, redness, and pain. Most home remedies for fever blisters focus on drying the sore. A paste made of cornstarch and water is very popular. Other people boil a regular tea bag, allow it to cool, and then hold it against the afflicted area. A few other pastes and powders applied topically include zinc, witch hazel, and one of the many products containing spirits of camphor.
People who are prone to fever blisters may follow a few common sense rules that will help prevent an outbreak. Not surprisingly, the same tactics one might follow to stave off an outbreak should also be used once the sore appears. Stay out of the sun and avoid foods such as chocolate, oatmeal, nuts, and anything made of whole wheat. Never pick or squeeze a cold sore, for such efforts will only inflame it further and potentially cause it to spread.
One should also keep in mind that the herpes virus that causes fever blisters is extremely contagious; it can easily be transferred to other people and even to other areas of one’s own body. If a person has a cold sore, he should not engage in any kissing. A person should also avoid touching his eyes or genitals after touching a cold sore, and should not share towels or wash cloths. Thorough, frequent, hand washing is a must in order to avoid transfer. The herpes virus is especially dangerous to the eyes, as it can lead to corneal scarring and even blindness if left untreated.