Fever blister treatment
A Complete Guide To Fever Blister Treatments
Fever blister treatment is a subject near and dear to the heart of anyone suffers from fever blisters .
If you suffer from fever blisters, we don’t have to tell you how painful and annoying they can be. One minute nothing’s wrong. Then you suddenly feel that pain, tingling and burning sensation that says you’re about to have another fever blister. And the next five to seven days aren’t going to be any fun at all.
What Are Fever Blisters?
Fever blisters are sometimes called cold sores. Fever blisters have nothing to do with a fever and they aren’t really blisters and they often have nothing to do with a cold.
What fever blisters are is a common skin condition that affects 15% to 30% of the U.S. population. So, what causes fever blisters. Fever blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and are the most common manifestation of a herpes simplex virus infection.
More fever blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) than herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), which is normally associated with genital herpes. For that matter, and here’s a stunning fact, it is estimated that more than 85% of the world’s population has been infected with HSV-1.
HSV-1 enters and hides in our nervous systems and, when it erupts, looks like a watery blister in the skin or mucous membranes of the mouth or lips. They heal by producing a scab, which is a characteristic of herpetic disease.
How Do You Catch The Virus That Causes Fever Blisters?
Fever blisters, are highly contagious when a blister is present, and are spread by direct contact with infected saliva or droplets in the breath, or by skin-to-skin contact. In short, they are most often spread through kissing.
This means that if you suffer from fever blisters, you can probably thank one of your parents or a close relative as you probably caught the virus from one of them when you were a child between six months and three years of age. You may not remember this but that first infection probably lasted about a week and consisted of pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes and difficulty swallowing.
The worst thing about fever blisters is that there is no cure. Once you have been infected with the virus that causes fever blisters, you will have it for life. This is because after your first fever blister, the HSV becomes latent in the cell bodies of nerves in the area, just waiting to erupt again.
However, there are some good fever blister treatment options available that will at least relieve some of the pain and discomfort associated with the blisters.
If you are experiencing your first fever blister, it should be treated with an oral medication, while a recurring fever blister is best treated with a topical medication. Here are the four topical medications currently available.
Penciclovir 1% cream
This FDA-approved fever blister medicine (brand name Topical Denavir) is applied every two hours to the site of the fever blister for four days. If you can start this fever blister treatment within one hour of an outbreak, this should shorten the time to healing by two days.
Zovirax (brand name Acyclovir 5% Cream) is also FDA-approved for treating recurring fever blisters. There have been studies showing that the frequent application of Zovirax can reduce the time to healing by about a half a day.
Famivir is the genetic name of the drug Famciclovir. This fever blister treatment has been shown to shorten the herpes infection by two days if started at the first sign of symptoms.
This fever blister treatment, brand name Valtrex, is also FDA approved. If you start taking Valtrex 2 twice a day, it can shorten the herpes infection by a little over one day.
These anti-virus medications can
- Reduce the number of lesions if taken soon enough
- Reduce symptoms - especially pain
- Reduce the size of lesions developed if taken soon enough
- Prevent lesions from occurring if taken soon enough
- Reduce the number of lesions developed if taken soon enough
- Decrease the time it takes for cold sores to heal
Helping A Fever Blister Heal
There are a number of over-the-counter fever blister treatments that can help fever blisters heal. All but one of them are topical medications and are said to help with the pain and discomfort of fever blisters – to one degree
of another. In other words, about the only way you can know if one of them will help you is to try it.
Here are some of the more popular of these over-the-counter fever blister remedies :
Abreva is the only non-prescription medication for fever blisters that has been approved by the FDA to shorten healing time and the duration of symptoms. It contains 10% Docosanol, a unique patented active ingredient that, during a cold sore outbreak, helps to protect healthy cells from the cold sore infection. Like the other non-prescription medications, Abreva works most effectively if you can apply it the minute you feel the tingle, redness bump or itch that signals the outbreak of a fever blister.
Cost: $12.99 (.07 oz tube)
Sore Cold XM®
Sore Cold XM (eXtreme Medication) is applied with a roll-on applicator at the first sign of a fever blister. Its manufacturer says that if you apply Cold Sore XM immediately, many fever blisters never break out, as it will stop the herpes virus in its tracks. The company further states that if your catch the outbreak before a blister has formed, you can often stop its progression and heal your skin “in a remarkably quick period of time.”
This fever blister treatment, which is described as all natural, is said to safely eliminate the virus that causes fever blisters and promote the growth of new healthy clear skin. The Terrasil company further says that its product uses natural jojoba oil to soothe and moisturize the skin, organic beeswax to reduce inflammation and essential oils to remove toxins. Terrasil is guaranteed to work or its manufacturer will refund your purchase price.
Cost: $24.00 (14 gm. Jar)
Relieving the pain of fever blisters
The only good news of fever blisters is that you can relieve the pain they cause.
For example, experts say you should keep the blister(s) clean and dry to prevent bacterial infections. You might also eat a soft, bland diet to avoid irritating the sores and surrounding sensitive area. Also, be sure you do not infect others which means avoid kissing them or touching the blister and then touching another person.
In addition, there are over-the-counter medications available that may help the pain of a fever blister. Here are three of them:
Anbesol Coldsore Therapy Ointment
Anbesol uses Allantoin 1%; Benzocaine 20%; Camphor 3%; and White Petrolatum 64.9% to temporarily relieve the pain associated with fever blisters. It is also said to relieve dryness and soften fever blisters.
Zilactin® Cold Sore Gel
If you develop a fever blister before you can do an early treatment, Zilactin Early Reliever Cold Sore Gel is said to form a bio-adhesive that can relieve the pain and burning for up to six hours. It will also promote healing. Zilactin Cold Sore Gel is available in a .25 oz. tube and as 20 single-use Medi-Packs.
Cost: $19.99 (20 single-use Medi-Packs)
Orajel® Medicated Cold Sore Brush
This topical fever blister treatment includes a pain reliever, three moisturizing skin protectants and a prunella vulgaris herbal complex. It is said to moisturize to help speed healing and works to stop the pain and burning of a fever blister. It is applied with a soft tip brush dispenser directly on to the fever blister.
Avoiding Fever Blister Reoccurrences
Given the fact that fever blisters are a herpes simplex virus infection, it may not be possible to avoid recurrences. However, there are factors that experts believe can trigger a recurrence. This includes illnesses such as cold and influenza, eczema, emotional and physical stress, exposure to bright sunlight, gastric upset, or fatigue. However, there is at least one study that has found that a susceptibility to fever blister recurrences is inherited.
If your fever blisters are triggered by sunlight, scientists have confirmed that sunscreen on the lips can prevent sun-induced recurrences of fever blisters.
Do your fever blisters seem to appear when you are stressed out? In this case, you can try to avoid stressful situations. And some researchers have suggested that you might add lysine to your diet or eliminate food such as nuts, chocolate, seeds or gelatin. However, neither of these has been proven to be effective in controlled studies.
Fever blisters are no fun and can literally bring your love life to a halt. Plus, they are a life-long problem. However, as you have read, there are fever blister treatments that can take some of the pain out of your eruptions and help you heal faster.