Throat blisters are painful swellings that occur on the soft mucous membranes lining the inside of the throat. The blisters usually are filled with clear fluid or pus and might break open, turning into throat ulcers and causing increased pain. Apart from a sore throat, those afflicted by throat blisters might experience fever and other sickness symptoms as well. Most often, these blisters are caused by various viral infections, such as a cold or flu, but they also can be the result of certain inflammatory diseases or other conditions. With so many possible causes, the only way to be sure of what has caused a particular outbreak is to let a doctor examine the blisters.
Depending on the cause, there are various ways to treat throat blisters. If the blisters are caused by a viral infection such as the common cold, influenza, herpes, chicken pox, mononucleosis or the Coxsackie virus, then medical treatment usually will focus on pain relief. Antiviral drugs are sometimes used, such as when the blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus. The most common bacterial cause of sore throat is strep throat, which is often treated with antibiotics, but it usually causes red or white spots in the throat rather than real blisters. Another cause of these types of blisters is oral thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth that usually is treated with anti-fungal medications.
Taking common pain relievers can alleviate the pain caused by blisters. There also are lozenges, medicated mouthwashes and oral sprays that might give relief. Some can be obtained over the counter, but others need a doctor's prescription. Various home remedies might help as well. These include drinking hot liquids such as tea or clear soup, using an air humidifier, getting lots of rest and gargling frequently with a saltwater solution consisting of 0.5 teaspoons (5 ml) of regular salt mixed with 1 cup (250 ml) of water.
There are ways one can avoid throat blisters or at least reduce the chance of contracting them. Cleaning one's hands often, either with soap and water or a disinfectant, is one of the easiest and least expensive ways of avoiding all kinds of viral and bacterial infections, including those causing this condition. Avoiding contact with people suffering from a sore throat, cold or flu also might help, though in many cases, people will be contagious before they show any symptoms. If the blisters are caused by the herpes virus, there are medical treatments available that might help reduce the frequency and severity of such outbreaks, but they commonly require a doctor's prescription.