Have you ever had a Cold Sore or Fever Blisters? Caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1), cold sore or fever blisters are tiny, fluid-filled blisters that typically appear around the mouth or on one side of the lips (1). A crust forms over them once the blister bursts. Irrespective of visibility, fever blisters are contagious and transmitted from one person to another through close contact. Although most cold sores go away on their own within two to four weeks, the symptoms can be bothersome. But you can try out the natural remedies mentioned in this article if you want to shorten the duration of the fever blister and reduce their chances of recurrence. Read on to know more about the causes, symptoms, medical treatments, and preventive tips to tackle fever blisters.
Causes of Fever Blisters:
Here are some of the common causes of fever blisters:
- Herpes Simplex virus is the reason why one gets affected with fever, blisters, or cold sores.
- Cold sores can also cause fever.
- The rise in the infection levels can occur with hormonal changes resulting in cold sores.
- Extreme stress.
- Exposure to strong wind or extreme degree of sunlight.
- Weak immune system.
Symptoms of Fever Blisters (Cold Sores):
These are some of the symptoms you need to look out for if you have fever blisters:
- Severe burns increase the risk of a person getting infected by cold sores.
- Itching, burning, or tingling sensation around the mouth or lips before it forms a blister.
- The blister is usually small and has clear fluid.
- Gradually blisters merge, forming a crust after they ooze over. There is no need for the blister to break for the crust to form.
- Painful gums.
- Sore throat.
- Muscle aches.
- Lymph node swelling.
How to Prevent Cold Sores (Fever Blisters):
Here is how you can prevent the formation of fever blisters.
- Use the prescribed antiviral medications regularly.
- Avoid skin-to-skin contact with the infected area or to the person.
- Don’t try to pop the sore, and wash your hands regularly.
- Avoid using utensils or any other things used by the infected person.
- Use sunblock daily.
- Try to remain stress-free.
- Wait until the blisters heal before you want to have oral sex.
- A cold sore could harbor germs and spread the virus, so change your toothbrush if you develop a cold sore. Once the sore has healed, it is better to get a new toothbrush.
As discussed earlier, Herpes Simplex Virus causes fever blisters or cold sores, which can be bothersome and painful to deal with. Although most of the cold sores go away on their own, it is necessary to start treating them right away to avoid the chance of spreading. The home remedies for fever blisters mentioned in this article will help soothe and reduce its pain. However, for the cold sore to not reoccur, it is necessary to follow the preventive tips diligently.
Best Home Remedies for Fever Blister (Cold Sores) on Lips:
Home remedies to get rid of fever blisters can be an excellent way to stop the fever blisters from spreading further. Consult a doctor to prescribe antiviral medications for faster results if the cold sores persist even after using the home remedies.
One of the most popular fever blister home remedies that work is oregano oil. According to the study conducted in 1996 (9), the effect of oregano oil on HSV was substantial. Furthermore, according to a more recent study, the compound carvacrol found in many aromatic plants has antiviral properties, also found in oregano oil (10).
- Few drops of oregano oil.
- One tbsp of carrier oil.
- A cotton swab.
- Apply the diluted oregano oil to the cold sore to reduce inflammation and size.
According to a lab study, thyme oil has antiviral effects on HSV because it is a potent agent (11). However, although thyme oil can be effective, the virus could reactivate if the trigger to it is still present, be it extended sun exposure, stress, or fever.
Ginger oil is said to have components that naturally help you get rid of cold sores symptoms (12). Topical application of diluted ginger oil heals your cold sore by soothing the irritation, and it feels warm on the skin. Make sure to dilute the ginger oil with any carrier oil to reap the benefits.
Chamomile oil effectively treats drug-resistant strains of HSV by acting as a potential antiviral agent (13). Once you feel the cold sore starts to form, apply diluted chamomile oil to treat it effectively and soothe your skin. It is best to dilute chamomile oil to avoid any reactions.
Sandalwood oil has components that help treat the cold sore virus along with its distinctive and potent scent, according to a study (14). If you use sandalwood oil to treat your cold sore, make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil which helps you deal with the strong scent.
According to the cell structure tests done in a lab, you might be able to reduce the severity of a cold sore by using Eucalyptus oil (15). It is always recommended to dilute eucalyptus oil before applying it to the site of a cold sore. Make sure you don’t use this remedy more than four times a day.
Licorice root helps you to heal a cold sore quickly and is quickly gaining popularity. According to a study, the antiherpetic activity found in licorice helps deal with the fever-blister-causing virus, according to a study (16).
It also helps inhibit the growth and replication of the virus with the help of a compound called glycyrrhizin (17). In addition, the healing process of a cold sore increases up when combined with petroleum jelly.
- One tbsp of licorice root powder.
- Two tbsp of petroleum jelly.
- Place the ingredients in a bowl and combine them properly.
- Apply the mixture to the cold sore and leave it there.
- Use this remedy every few hours for relief.
Witch hazel helps reduce inflammation and is effective in fighting the herpes virus, according to a study. Witch hazel also helps in the healing process by drying out the affected area with its astringent properties. It also helps reduce pain and swelling associated with fever blisters with its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
- Cotton ball.
- Witch hazel solution.
- Use a clean cotton ball to apply the witch hazel solution to the cold sore.
- Let it dry completely.
- Use this remedy once or twice a day for effective results.
Caution: Do a patch test near your elbow to rule out any allergic reactions to witch hazel.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar’s antimicrobial and antibacterial properties help eliminate a naturally cold sore on the lip (20). It helps remove the cold sore once they reach the scabbing stage and prevent the escalation of infection any further.
- Cotton swabs.
- One tbsp of Apple cider vinegar.
- Use a clean cotton swab to apply the ACV to the cold sore.
- Use this remedy thrice a day for effective results.
Caution: The acidic properties of ACV may cause skin irritation if used in large amounts.
Kanuka honey is native to New Zealand and is derived from the flowering Kanuka tree nectar. The wound-promoting and antiviral properties of kanuka honey help soothe inflamed and irritated skin associated with an infected fever blister (21).
- ½ tbsp of kanuka honey.
- Use a clean fingertip to apply honey to the cold sore.
- Let the honey stay in the affected area for about 5 minutes.
- Use water to rinse the area.
- Use the remedy twice a day for effective results.
Aloe Vera Gel:
Aloe vera is one of the best remedies for fever blisters on the lips with its soothing nature and antiviral properties (22). This is the reason why we can find aloe vera in many remedies.
- One tbsp of fresh aloe vera gel.
- Cotton swab.
- Use a clean cotton swab to apply the aloe vera gel to the cold sore.
- Let it dry out.
- Use this remedy twice or thrice a day for effective results.
Petroleum jelly helps prevent the cracks, bleeding, and pain associated with fever blisters making it one of the best ways to treat cold sores. The blister caused due to dried-up skin will be soothed by using petroleum jelly. It also helps reduce the further outbreak of cold sores by reducing the itching and burning sensation.
Lysine is a necessary amino acid that is not produced in our body and should be acquired from foods or supplements but is essential for good health. Although more research is needed in this regard, lysine might be efficient in curing cold sores quickly by killing HSV and helps manage fever blister symptoms (23). Here are some of the lysine-rich foods:
- Red meat, poultry, pork.
- Parmesan cheese.
- Cod and sardines.
- Fenugreek seeds.
- Deflated soybean flour, soybeans, isolated soy protein.
Over the Counter Creams:
Here are some of the over-the-counter creams prescribed by doctors that can be an effective treatment for fever blisters.
Rhubarb and Sage Cream:
According to research, the antiviral medication acyclovir in topical cream form is commonly used to treat cold sores. The rhubarb and sage topical cream can be as effective, according to research (24). The heal score is 6.7 days for rhubarb and sage cream, whereas the healing time is 6.5 days with acyclovir cream, as per the study.
Zinc Oxide Creams:
You can also reduce the tingling, itching, soreness, and blistering by using zinc oxide cream. The use of Zinc oxide creams might shorten the duration of cold sores when applied topically. On average, when compared to the people treated with placebo, cold sores treated with zinc oxide went away one-and-a-half days sooner (25).
Vitamin C helps speed up the healing process of cold sores because it has flavonoids. It helps eliminate the herpes simplex virus that is the root cause of fever blisters. Vitamin C also helps strengthen your immune system preventing the occurrence of fever blisters in the future.
Vitamin E Oil:
Vitamin E oil helps reduce cold sores by soothing swelling, inflammation, and pain with the help of its anti-inflammatory nature. You can prevent recurring viral infections by oral intake of this vitamin oil (26).
- Vitamin E capsule.
- Cotton swab.
- Use the cotton swab to apply the vitamin E capsule liquid to the sore.
- Let the liquid dry off.
- Use this remedy multiple times a day to treat fever blisters.
Baking soda dries out the blister and helps soak up all the acid making it one of the best homemade fever blister treatments. It also relieves symptoms like itching associated with fever blisters.
- One tbsp of baking soda.
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl, forming a smooth paste.
- Apply the paste to the affected area.
- Let it dry for about ten minutes.
- Use cool water to rinse it off.
Lemon balm or Melissa officinalis oil is a natural remedy for fever blisters with antiviral properties that help heal the fever blister quickly by eliminating the infection-causing virus efficiently (2).
- Lemon balm oil.
- A cotton swab.
- Use a cotton swab to apply the oil directly to the cold sore.
- Let the oil dry out naturally.
- Wait for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing off the oil from your skin.
- Using this remedy thrice a day can be effective.
Ice is an effective fever blister treatment at home as it reduces blood flow to the affected area helping you treat inflammation. Although ice minimizes the pain in the area, it is not a permanent solution and doesn’t affect the virus in any way.
- Take the ice and wrap it in a towel.
- Gently place the ice-wrapped towel on the cold sore.
- Let it remain on the site of the sore for about 5 to 15 minutes.
- Remember not to put ice directly on your skin and use a towel to wrap it.
The potent microbial properties of coconut oil make it one of the best home remedies for fever blisters (3). It helps eliminate the virus with the help of lauric acid, which is a triglyceride present in the oil(4). Coconut oil cannot be the sole solution and can be an addition to more effective medicine.
- A cotton swab.
- Coconut oil.
- Apply coconut oil directly if you feel a cold sore developing.
- Let it stay there.
- Apply coconut oil every hour for effective results.
The use of essential oils has been gaining popularity because of all the benefits it offers. Although beneficial, you need to dilute the essential oil with a nonabrasive carrier oil when using it as a topical skin treatment. If the essential oil is not diluted, it might further inflame the cold sore, deteriorating the situation.
Tea Tree Oil:
When you are looking to treat a cold sore, the antiviral, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil can come in handy. The tea tree oil has a potent antiviral effect on HSV, according to a study conducted in 2009 (5). But more research is warranted to prove the effectiveness of tea tree oil because this research was done on isolated samples.
- Few drops of tea tree oil.
- 11/2 tbsp of coconut oil.
- A cotton swab.
- Apply the diluted tea tree oil on the area with a fever blister using a cotton swab.
- Let it stay.
- To avoid irritation, avoid using tea tree oil more than twice a day.
Another essential oil that helps stop a cold sore from spreading with its antiseptic properties. Peppermint oil had the potential to calm down the symptoms associated with activated herpes strain, according to a lab study from 2003 (6).
- Few drops of peppermint oil.
- One tbsp of carrier oil.
- A cotton swab.
- Apply the diluted peppermint oil to the cold sore as soon as it appears to prevent any escalation.
Anise oil is extracted from an anise plant that helps inhibit cold sores, according to a study conducted in 2008 (7). Furthermore, the antiviral properties of anise oil come from the chemical present called beta-caryophyllene, which inhibits the development and growth of the virus, according to an in vitro study (8).
- Few drops of anise oil.
- One spoonful of carrier oi.
- A cotton swab.
- Use a cotton swab to apply the diluted essential oil to the affected area.