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What are the Best Home Remedies for Fever Blisters?

By Ron Marr
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments

By SteamLouis — On Jan 07, 2015

I got a fever blister for the first time ever recently. I had no idea that these things are so painful and irritating! I looked up various remedies and decided to try salt. I just wet a finger, cover it in salt and rub it over the blister. It stings a lot but I try to keep it on for a few minutes and then wash off. I did this several times every day for a few days and the blister finally scabbed over. And it skipped the stage where it fills with liquid and pops. So I think it was worth the pain.

By fify — On Jan 07, 2015

@discographer-- This happens because when we're stressed, our immune system is not as strong. And the virus finds an opportunity to become active and cause a breakout.

There is an amino acid supplement called lysine which has been shown to prevent fever blisters when taken at the first symptoms. So when you star feeling the tingling on your mouth, you need to start taking the lysine. Even if it's too late and the blister has formed, lysine can shorten healing time.

Taking a multivitamin regularly, staying away from stress, eating right, exercising and keeping the lips moisturized will all reduce the chance of a breakout.

By discographer — On Jan 06, 2015

I'm one of those people who always gets a fever blister at the worst time possible. It's almost always before a job interview or important presentation. And we all know that once a fever blister develops, it takes about two weeks for it to completely disappear. It goes through stages and healing takes time. So I find myself very embarrassed and try to cover up with concealer and lipstick but its still apparent.

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