People who have fever blisters or those who know people suffering from them, wonder about how long is a fever blister contagious for. Let's look into the causes, symptoms and treatment of this infection…
A fever blister is one of the many labels given to the herpes virus infection, with other names like cold sores and herpes labialis as alternatives. It is highly contagious in nature and can be transferred from one person to the next, through either physical contact, or by touching the infected person’s personal items. It can leave the body in a span of two weeks when not treated, but with a high chance of it recurring, if one isn’t careful about sanitary habits and contact with those that may have it.
Any kind of contact, be it household items or things that tend to get exchanged while in the presence of the infected, can pass on the virus to those who are unaware of its presence. Many people live out most of their lives not knowing about if they’re carrying around this deadly virus, with most people never hearing about this infection spreader.
The real question here is – for how long is a fever blister contagious? To answer that, we will first take a look at how to identify these sores. They occur usually around the face, on one’s lips, cheeks, chin, mouth area (around the outside) and even the chin. These blisters or sores take on a bumpy, crust like appearance, often red in color and can be filled with pus in some cases. A fever blister is contagious for as long as one can see the sores visibly. If they aren’t visible to the naked eye, then they aren’t as contagious.
These can range in size but can be easily identified as a sore. There is no cure to completely rid the body of the virus, since these can leave and return once you’re affected. We’ll look into what treatment options are available to keep it under control, along with prevention tips on how to stay clear from this virus, and what to do when infected.
Causes of Fever Blisters
Fever blisters are painful, troublesome crop ups that when under the symptoms of their occurrence, can be quite a problematic period. It is important to have these treated with medications and topical creams to help lessen pain, blisters, and of course keep them at bay.
The sores/blisters occur because the herpes virus reactivates itself once in the body, making its way to the central nervous system where it remains inactive before turning rampant. When they do reappear and start causing trouble, they make their way to the facial region, attacking the tissue in the surrounding area and resulting in painful, bad blister attacks. It can be brought on by aggravating the virus due to:
- Prolonged sunlight exposure
- Trauma to the skin
- Lip tattooing
- Neural surgery
Symptoms of Fever Blisters
To read the signs of this infection, it is first important to know what is it you’re looking at when the blisters occur.
- Lesion formation on the facial region and sometimes even in one’s throat, mouth or gums.
- Painful red bumpy formations on a patch of skin.
- Swollen glands in the neck area.
- Small blisters contain yellowish pus filled boils.
- Fever and sore throat at the first symptoms that occur when infected.
- Blisters tend to ooze pus and break after a while.
- Rash appears around the mouth, lips or gum area.
- Small blisters tend to form larger ones when formed together.
- Hurts when one swallows.
- Itching and burning sensations.
- Skin turns pinkish in color once the crusty blisters heal later.
- Tingling sensation just before the onset of lesions.
Treatment of Fever Blisters
The treatment consists of options that help patients cope with the virus’s existence, where creams and medication can help with the blisters and pain.
Penciclovir and acyclovir are topical creams that are prescribed to patients, to use every 2 hours while they’re going about their day-to-day routines, which is an antiviral cream that is applied on the affected area. It helps with the blisters and reduces their recurrences by a day or a few hours.
There are medicines that can help stop the blisters from occurring like valacyclovir, acyclovir and famciclovir. The medications can help stop sores from forming by first being initially treated to check if you’re infected with the virus.
Fever Blister Prevention and Warnings
There are ways on how you can help yourself and others exercise healthy and hygienic habits when it comes to everyday doings. To take care of your body and make sure that others don’t get affected as well, these tips on how to be careful will serve you well.
- It is important to stay away from those who have sores around their skin, where items of use by the infected have to be thoroughly washed to avoid infecting others who may use them.
- Apply lip balms that contain zinc oxide in them, to avoid breakouts or put on a trusted brand of sunblock before stepping out into the sun. Avoiding direct sun is essential for those who are infected.
- Avoid sexual contact of any kind, including kissing or face to face greetings that involve cheek contact.
- Avoid sharing cosmetics that require skin touching like lipsticks and lip balms.
- Use an antiseptic soap when washing your face, should you have the blisters already.
- Avoid sharing cutlery with infected individuals.
- Clean blisters using only a cotton swab and some moisturizing cream, and avoid using your fingers to carry this act out.
- Don’t pick and peel away scabs that form once the blisters crust over.
Fever blisters aren’t a pleasant sight, and calls for extra caution when dealing with those who are infected, or those who don’t have the virus if you are infected. Be sure to get yourself tested for this virus since it can be quite bothersome over a period of time. Have a healthy tomorrow.