Cold sores or fever blisters are small, red- or brown-colored painful blisters that usually appear on the lips and the mouth. Such blisters are caused by a virus, known as herpes simplex virus, that usually enters the body through the nose and the mouth. After entering the body, the virus migrates to the sensory nerves, where it can lie dormant for several days to years before causing the development of fever blisters.
This condition is characterized by remission periods during which the lesions disappear. But they can appear again due to the reactivation of the virus. What causes this reactivation is not known with certainty, but factors like cold, fever, infections, excessive exposure to sunlight, stress, a high level of arginine, and a weakened immune system can play an important role in triggering an outbreak of fever blisters.
Cold Sore Remedies
There is no cure for fever blisters, though it is possible to speed up the healing of the sores or blisters and reduce their occurrence in future. The best cure for fever blisters can vary from one person to another depending on the severity of the condition, and whether one prefers oral or topical medications. In the following paragraphs of this article, you can find some of the most effective cold sore medicines, ointments, creams, and home remedies.
Ointments or Creams
Denavir is one of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved anti-viral medications for oral herpes or fever blisters. It is often considered the best cold sore cream for treating this viral infection. Even lysine-based ointments can help accelerate the healing process. Apart from these, Viroxyn and Zovirax (FDA approved) are two other creams available for oral herpes treatment. Abreva is another popular medication that is widely used for treating oral herpes. These topical medications should be used immediately on observing the signs of fever blisters.
Sometimes, oral antiviral medications can be required for treating cold sores. The antiviral medications approved by the FDA of the United States for the treatment of fever blisters are, Acyclovir, Famciclovir, and Valacyclovir. Apart from these medications, lysine supplementation is widely used for the treatment of this viral disease. Lysine is an amino acid that can speed up the healing process, and reduce the occurrence of fever blisters in the future.
Fever blisters can be effectively treated with the help of some natural remedies as well. The application of ice can help treat the blisters, and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body. Similarly, herbs with antiviral properties, such as lemon balm, licorice, aloe vera, chamomile, tea, and echinacea can be employed for cold sore treatment. These herbs can help soothe the blisters, reduce the pain, itching, inflammation, and the burning sensation, and ensure quick healing of the blisters. A paste of cornstarch and neem can also be applied on the sores to relieve the itching and the burning sensation.
So, the treatment of this condition depends on how severe the blisters are, and whether you like to opt for the home remedies or the conventional medications. Along with taking medications, it is important to strengthen the immune system to reduce the frequency of fever blisters. A healthy and balanced diet that includes foods rich in lysine, vitamins, and minerals, especially vitamin A, C, zinc, and iron, can help build immunity against this viral disease. However, it is equally important to control the risk factors associated with the sudden reactivation of the herpes simplex virus, in order to prevent the occurrence of fever blisters.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.