Fever blisters, or cold sores, are common viral infections that usually develop in groups, causing sore, swollen, and red wounds. They tend to form in areas near the mouth or the face, but it’s not uncommon for them to occur on the gums or tongue. They may also produce clear fluids that eventually scab after a couple of days. At this time, they are at their most contagious. However, it’s also possible for the virus behind the fever blisters to continue being infectious, even when the blisters themselves are no longer visible and have disappeared.
Herpes simplex is the virus that generally causes fever blisters. Outbreaks of this infection are relatively commonplace. Globally, over 90 percent of people have either both or one form of the virus in the adult population, namely HSV-2 and HSV-1. In the US alone, around sixty-five percent have already had exposure to HSV-1. While flare-ups of fever blisters can heal naturally and without needing treatment, there are ways to promote healing and alleviate some pain, including prescription medication and home remedies.
In this article, we’ll cover some at-home remedies that can effectively treat and prevent the development of fever blisters.
One of the most effective home remedies for fever blisters is ice, as it can treat inflammation by effectively reducing blood flow in the affected area. In addition, it can also offer some pain relief by numbing the area. For this reason, this method has become a common practice for alleviating the symptoms of cold sores. Although it is worth noting that this form of treatment isn’t a permanent fix, nor does it promote the healing of the condition or impact on the virus causing the cold sores.
To treat fever blisters using ice, wrap a pack of ice using a thick piece of cloth like a towel. Apply it on the area affected by cold sores for five minutes at the very least. However, never leave it on for more than fifteen minutes. It’s recommended to use it three times a day for five days or until the pain is gone. Also, remember never to put ice in direct contact with your skin because this can potentially cause severe injury and further exacerbate the condition instead of relieving its symptoms. Alternatively, you can use a cold compress to reduce swelling and discoloration while numbing the stinging sensation.