No Cure for The Blisters, But Some Treatments are Helpful. Herpes Simplex 1 is the virus that causes fever blisters. About 80 percent of people have herpes simplex antibodies lying dormant in their bloodstream.
About 80 percent of people have herpes simplex antibodies lying dormant in their bloodstreams. Herpes simplex 1, or HSV1, is the virus that causes fever blisters, otherwise known as cold sores. There is no cure for the HSV1 virus and the fever blisters it causes but there are some helpful over-the-counter medications, home remedies and treatment therapies available to help alleviate the symptoms of these painful lesions.
In most cases, people get outbreaks of fever blisters in the same general area of the face. The dormant virus particles reside in the nerve tissue around the mouth. Due to a weakened immune system, these virus particles reactivate, move down the nerve tissue to the facial area and form a fever blister. It is estimated that up to 80 percent of people have herpes simplex antibodies. There is currently no cure for fever blisters but there are some helpful remedies, medications, and treatments available.
These products will not cure or prevent the herpes outbreak of fever blisters. The purpose of all OTC medications is to relieve the symptoms of cold sores–pain, burning and itching. Some OTC medications help to create conditions in the tissues that inhibit or partially suppress the formation of fever blisters.
Medications are also available over-the-counter which have active ingredients that actually restrict the ability of the herpes simplex virus to form a fever blister. Included in this group are Abreva, and similar topical medications which slow the development and reduce the severity of an outbreak. These medications are widely available at most drug stores.
No scientific proof is available for any of these home remedies, but many folks have used these and have obtained good results. Applying ice to cold sores for five to 10 minutes during the tingle stage lowers the temperature in the tissues where the fever blister is forming. This reduces the metabolic rate and constrains the blister’s development.
The tannic acid in tea is thought to have antiviral properties so placing a moistened tea bag on the fever blister several times every hour supposedly keeps the sore from forming. Coating the fever blister with petroleum jelly will moisturize the scabs and keep them from cracking and bleeding. Petroleum jelly does nothing to inhibit or ease the severity of a cold sore.
Zinc, lysine, phenol and tannic acid all supposedly have antiviral properties and should inhibit the ability of the herpes simplex virus to create fever blisters lesions. While products which contain antibacterial ingredients will have no effect on the herpes simplex virus lying dormant in the facial nerve tissues under the skin, these compounds are able to create conditions in the tissues that will promote healing by preventing a secondary bacterial infection.
Long-term exposure to strong sunlight or ultraviolet rays from a tanning booth can trigger an outbreak of fever blisters. There is evidence that suggests using sunscreen or products that contain a sun-blocking agent prevents fever blisters. Products that contain zinc oxide or other ingredients that provide protection from exposure to the sun, particularly on and around the lips, are most beneficial. Apply these UV ray blocking treatments before any exposure to the sun or other source of ultraviolet light.
Since a cure is not yet available for the prevention of fever blisters, treatment is the only option. There are many ways to treat and ease the intensity of an outbreak, including the use of multiple treatments. The key is to implement any treatment as soon as possible, upon the first signs that a cold sore is imminent.