Fever blisters, commonly known as cold sores, are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Although there are no actual cures for these, there are a few fever blister remedies that can reduce the amount of time that a person will suffer from this type of mouth sore. Over-the-counter medications are the most popular. Patients who suffer from frequent outbreaks, however, may need a prescription fever blister medication.
Over-the-counter (OTC) fever blister remedies can usually be purchased at large retail stores and pharmacies. These often come in tubes or pots similar to lip balm. Along with relieving some pain and itching associated with fever blisters, these medications also help stop them from worsening.
Topical anesthetics are a main ingredient in many types of OTC fever blister remedies. The main purpose of these is to help control the symptoms of a fever blister. When using these products, many consumers report less burning and itching.
Docosanol is often the active ingredient in many OTC fever blister medications. This compound has been found to prevent a fever blister from worsening by stopping the virus from replicating. This, in turn, often reduces the time that a person suffers from a fever blister.
A few other compounds have been noted to speed the healing of a fever blister. Zinc compounds, such as zinc oxide, for example, are also found in many fever blister medicines. Benzylkonium chloride is a disinfectant that is also found in popular fever blister remedies.
Individuals who suffer from frequent fever blister outbreaks may need to see a medical professional for a prescription. Penciclovir and acyclovir are two common ingredients found in prescription fever blister medicines. Like docosanol, these antiviral medications also help limit the duration and severity of a fever blister.
For individuals who prefer a more natural approach, there are also a number of home fever blister remedies. One of the most popular methods involves the use of a simple tea bag. After steeping it in hot water, the cooled tea bag can then be applied to the affected area. This works because the tannin in the tea is a natural antiviral, which helps to inhibit the herpes simplex virus.
After getting a fever blister, the virus that caused it will stay in the body. Many medical experts agree, therefore, that the best way to deal with fever blisters is to prevent them. Since certain things can bring on a fever blister outbreak, these things should be avoided whenever possible. Sunlight, for example, can sometimes trigger a fever blister. Using a lip balm with sun protection can help prevent this. Certain foods, especially acidic food, can also trigger a fever blister.