Fever Blisters, Pictures, Causes, Home Treatment and Preventing
What are fever Blisters?
Fever blisters are a sore area on or within the mouth that may cause bumps or open sores that can last up to a week or so to usually burst and resolve on their own. As interesting note, fever blisters may also occur inside of the nostrils too. While it is more common to experience these sores in the inside of the lips or outside of the mouth around the lips, the roof of the mouth and tongue may also be affected too.
Although, fever blisters can cause significant discomfort to the sufferer they are usually quite harmless, although they are highly contagious with contact to another person. Often these sore sites may itch or burn and sunburn can cause them to recur rapidly.
While they are called fever blisters, they do not always follow a fever; in fact fever blisters are viral in origin.
Fever Blisters Causes
What Causes Fever Blisters?
Fever blisters are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus type 1. This virus is highly contagious and can be spread from person to person with direct contact to the open sores. In fact those with new and open blisters can transfer them to other portions of the body such as the eyes or genitals. Good hand hygiene is advised to avoid spreading the virus to other portions of the body. This virus is always within the body after the first fever blister, but remains dormant until stress; illness or sunburn reactivates it causing these skin infections. In extreme cases or sores involving the eyes a drug called Acyclovir may be recommended to clear up the infection or reduce complications.
Fever Blisters Home Treatment
Home Treatment for Fever Blisters.
Fever blisters most often respond well to home treatment and clear up on their own within several days to one week. If you are experiencing fever blisters the first step to faster recovery is good hand washing and limited contact with the sore areas. The following tips may provide some immediate relief and help the wounds to heal more quickly than without any treatment at all.
- Over the Counter creams or gels, such as Abreva, may speed healing
- Hydrogen Peroxide can disinfect the area.
- Washing the area with a mild soap and water will prevent complications
- Keep the area dry and avoid irritating cosmetics or lotions in these areas
- If sores are in the mouth a mild solution of salt and water may speed healing
- If sores are in the mouth avoid crunchy, spicy foods, or overly acidic foods (such as lemons) to prevent further irritation to the area
- Place a cool, damp wash cloth over the area few times a day for 15 minutes to provide soothing relief and reduction of swelling
- Consider over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil for extra relief
- Orajel or Anbesol may also be a good option for numbing within the mouth too
Preventing Fever Blisters
Controlling and Preventing Fever Blisters.
Once you’ve had a fever blister you are always at risk for more. While some individuals may never have another fever blister, others will be plagued by them on a regular basis. Try these tips to prevent or control your fever blisters:
- Avoid sharing towels or washcloths with those who have active fever blisters.
- Do not kiss anyone with fever blister, whether they are open or not.
- Reduced contact can control the spread of fever blisters.
- Avoid sharing cups, utensils, or eating after those who have active fever blisters.
- Reduce stress and keep healthy.
- Get a flu shot and wash your hands often during cold or flu season to prevent the illnesses which may trigger a fever blister.
- Remember to apply lip balm and a good sunscreen. Prolonged sun exposure may trigger a fever blister.
If you are experiencing frequent fever blister outbreaks it may be a good idea to speak with your doctor about long term medication to control this. While fever blisters are usually not a cause for concern, they may cause significant discomfort.
If you are experiencing fever blisters remember to wash your hands often and keep the area clean speed healing. With the tips above you should be able to prevent or reduce fever blisters dramatically.