Fever blisters, also known as Herpes labialis or more commonly as cold sores are small painful abrasions that usually form on the lips. Fever blisters are cause by the herpes simplex virus (type 1) and will generally occur repeatedly. They are extremely contagious and need to be treated quickly. They can also be found on the chin, nostrils or cheeks. The blisters typically turn yellow and develop a “œcrust” before disappearing in a few weeks. There is no cure for fever blisters but there are a few methods to treat them. There are a few methods to treat fever blisters and to alleviate the pain associates with their appearance.
Making sure you have fever blisters
Fever sores are sometimes mistaken for canker sores. Canker sores are not contagious and are not cause by a virus so treating them as you would a fever blister would not work. Confirm with a doctor that you have fever blisters before trying any form of treatment
Knowing when fever blisters are about to appear
The faster you are able to detect a fever blister outbreak, the sooner you will be able to treat them. Outbreaks usually begin with a burning or tingling sensation around the area of the mouth where the blister will appear.
Quarantine the fever blister as soon as an outbreak is detected
Because fever blisters are very contagious it is important that you stay away from activities that could transfer the virus to others. These include avoiding :
- sharing utensils, cups or straws with others
- touching the sore
Wash hands thoroughly and often with disinfectant soap as the virus can be spread to other areas of the body such as the eyes and genitals.
Wash the fever blister with soap and warm water may also prevent the spread of the virus.
Get a new toothbrush
Keeping the same toothbrush can keep re-infecting you. Get a new tooth brush as soon as there is an outbreak and after it has run its course.
Take medications that are approved for the treatment of fever blisters. These will have to be prescribed by a physical and will help with the pain and shorten the duration of the blister.
Treat the fever
Fever blisters are accompanied as the name suggests by a fever. Treating the fever will help to reduce the severity of the outbreak. Take acetaminophen or other medications to reduce fevers as directed.
Treat the pain
This can be done by taking over the counter pain medications or by placing an icepack on the sore for 10 to 15 minutes.
Tips and warnings
- It is important to remain patient when treating fever blisters. They will go away eventually
- Do not squeeze or pick at sores as this will slow down their healing
- If an outbreak lasts longer than 2 weeks or is extremely severe, seek medical attention immediately
- Applying lip balm / lip gloss throughout the day may prevent the scab from forming and reduce the length of the outbreak
Jenny Richards is a free lancer writer and content builder of http://www.askdeb.com/