Fever blisters, or cold sores, are aching lumps. It appears on your mouth, especially on lips, gums, cheeks, and nose.
Fever blisters are the result of a common infection – Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) type 1.
90% of the world population suffers from this infection at least once in their lifetime. (1)
A fever blister is contagious and may last for 7 to 10 days. It means you cannot kiss your loved ones for that long! If you do so, you’ll infect them with the virus. It can contaminate others if you use common utensils, razors, and towels. (3)
Research and personal experience of patients claim that these natural remedies are cheaper and often more effective in healing the infection.
This article lists some of the best home remedies to cure fever blisters overnight. You’ll also get to know the stages and prevention tips for cold sores or fever blisters.
11 Home Remedies for Fever Blisters
1. Cold Compress
One of the first signs of a cold sore is a burning and itchy feeling on the infected areas. The blisters may show up in 24 hours.
Using a cold compress to freeze the infected areas can reduce the blood flow to the potential sores. It can stop inflammation. The process brings quick ease to the pain and redness of the swelling. A cold compress may prevent or stop the outbreak of cold sores before it starts.
Method of using cold compress for cold sores:
Take few ice cubes and washcloth. Wrap the ice cubes in the washcloth. Place the cold compress on the infected areas for 20 minutes
Do the same three times a day for a quick remedy. You can apply a regular lip balm on the sores after the process.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera is popular for its therapeutic benefits. Medical research proves that this herbal plant is rich with healing properties. It has enzymes, antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins. These components are ideal for speedy remedy of cold sores.
A layer of Aloe Vera gel on the swelling blisters can bring you great relief from the pain. The gel prevents the blisters from turning into an outbreak. (4)
How to use aloe vera gel to get rid of cold sores:
For this, you will need warm water and aloe vera gel. Slit open the Aloe Vera leaf and extract the gel. Take some gel on your fingertips and apply it on the sores. Allow some time for the gel to dry off on the sores
Wash it off using warm water. Repeat the process three times a day.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV, or apple cider vinegar, is a well-known home remedy for cold sores. The antifungal properties in ACV give you speedy remedy from fever blisters.
You can either apply the vinegar on the blisters or consume ACV like a drink for the treatment.
ACV provides you with a strong immune system. It can keep the HSV infection responsible for fever blisters at a distance.
Learn how you may use apple cider vinegar for fever blisters:
Process 1: topical application
For topical application, you will need a cotton ball, 4 tablespoons of water, and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Dilute the ACV with water. Soak a cotton ball in the ACV solution. Press the soaked cotton ball onto the sores. Press it for 10 minutes on each sore. Wash it off using warm water. Repeat the process 8-10 times a day until you are sore-free.
Process 2: Drinking ACV
For this remedy, you will need 1 glass drinking water, 1 tablespoon of raw honey, and 1 tablespoon of ACV.
Take a glass of clean drinking water. Add ACV and honey to the water. Mix the solution well and drink it. Repeat this process thrice a day until the sores heal.
Note: ACV is acidic. So make sure to dilute it with water before you apply it on blisters. Keep the amount of ACV to the least while you consume it as a drink.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is an easy to reach ingredient in your kitchen.
A homemade baking soda paste can work efficiently on your awful blisters. Baking soda is a natural exfoliator. That means it can dry your blisters and remove the dead skins faster.
It soothes the itch of the blisters and helps in regenerating skin on the infected areas. Baking soda is alkaline based. So, it prevents the outbreak of the blisters and reduces the swelling as well.
Baking soda- the fastest way to get rid of a fever blister:
Follow the process below for a homemade baking soda paste. Take 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of water or lemon juice, and a cotton ball.
Mix the baking soda with water or lemon juice and make a paste. Dab the cotton ball on the paste and apply on the blisters. Hold the cotton ball on the infected area for 5-10 minutes. Repeat the process every day.
5. Whole Milk
I bet you didn’t know a lesser known fact about milk: it is a potent agent to kill herpes virus and heal fever blisters. Yes, milk is more than a superfood.
Milk contains substances called immune globulins. These are antibodies that help your body to fight different diseases. Herpes virus is one of them.
Milk has the amino acid L-lysine that can quicken the healing process of fever blisters. This essential amino acid prevents the harmful effects of arginine and stops blisters outbreak.
Methods of using whole milk for fever blisters to go away:
You can apply milk on the sores or drink it as a healing potion for curing the infection. Both the processes are given below:
Process 1: topical application
You will need a cotton ball and 1 tablespoon of milk.
Soak the cotton ball in the milk. Dab the milk-soaked cotton ball on the infected area. Hold the cotton ball on each blister for 5-10 minutes. Remove the cotton and wash off the area with warm water. Do the same 2-3 times a day.
Process 2: Drink milk with turmeric powder
You will need 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder and 1 glass of warm milk.
Add turmeric powder to the milk and stir it well. Drink it twice a day for 1 week.
Note: Turmeric powder has the power to decrease the swelling and pain of the sores.
6. Table Salt
Salt is that one ingredient without which life would be difficult. It has great benefits in home remedies as well. The principal component of salt is sodium chloride. It has antiseptic characteristics to lower the risk of herpes. It also prevents its outbreak.
Salt can reduce the swelling of the blisters and dry them out by sucking in the moisture.
Here is a simple method of using table salt for fever blisters:
You will need a cotton ball, warm water, and ½ tablespoon of table salt.
Soak a cotton ball in the warm water. Dab the soaked cotton ball on the table salt. Press the cotton ball onto the blisters for few minutes. Wash off with warm water. Repeat every day to get rid of fever blisters fast.
Note: If you have sensitive skin or broken blisters, salt may create irritation. In that case, avoid this method. You can try a milder method with aloe vera for the ease and relief from pain.
7. Raw Honey
The germ-fighting components in honey make it difficult for the bacteria or infections to survive and reproduce. (7) That’s why honey is a potent agent to kill herpes and heal your fever blisters. The nutrients in honey can speed up the healing process.
How you may use raw honey for fever blisters:
Take raw honey (as per need). On your fingertips take some raw honey. Spread it like a layer on the sores. Repeat the process three times a day for a week.
Toothpaste is your oral care friend whom you meet every morning. This time it’ll help you with something other than your teeth.
Toothpaste consists of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS. It is a critical component to reduce the swelling of fever blisters and fight the HSV infection. Toothpaste has hydrogen peroxide and alcohol in it. These components can stop the outbreak of the developed blisters.
Learn how you may use toothpaste on cold sores:
Follow the simple process below to use toothpaste for fever blisters remedy.
Take white toothpaste on your fingertip. Apply it onto the blisters. Leave it for 5 minutes. Wash off with warm water. Repeat this process two times daily for an entire week
Note: Application of toothpaste on sensitive skin or broken blisters may create a burning sensation. In that case, avoid using this method. Always use white toothpaste for fever blister treatment.
9. Tea Bags
The antiviral properties of tea such as astringent can bring ease to inflammation. It can also speed up the healing process. The catechins, flavonoids, and phytonutrients in tea can stop the infection of HSV 1. It can regenerate skin cells of the affected area.
How you may use tea bags to cure fever blisters overnight:
Take the tea bag (green or black) and hot water.
In some hot water, place the tea bag for 2 minutes. Remove the tea bag and leave it to cool down. Press the tea bag on the infected area for 5 minutes. Repeat 3 times daily for a week.
Note: Be careful of the temperature of the tea bag before you apply it on the vulnerable skin. You can cool it down keeping in a refrigerator. It’ll be more comforting to the swelling and blisters.
For centuries, garlic has been used as a potent home remedy. Some 2000 years ago, Roman philosopher Pliny stated 61 garlic remedies. (8)
Garlic may stink and sting but never fails to heal you. In recent times science has confirmed many of its health secrets.
Garlic has a sulfur compound called allicin. This is the primary healing agent in garlic. There are also antiviral enzymes hidden in every clove. It can kill the herpes virus and speed up the healing process.
Method of using garlic to heal fever blisters fast:
Take 2-3 raw garlic cloves and smash the cloves to turn them into a paste. With your fingertips layer the paste on your sores. Leave it there for 15 minutes. Rinse off with water. Repeat the process thrice in a day until there’s a good result.
11. Essential Oils
Essential oils are a great source of natural antiviral and antibacterial properties. A mix of coconut oil and tea tree oil can be a powerful combo to fight off herpes virus.
These essential oils can reduce pain from swelling and regenerate the affected skin.
How to use essential oils for fever blisters:
Following is a recipe for coconut oil and tea tree oil to combat fever blisters.
Add both the oils and make a solution. Dab the cotton swab on the solution and apply it on the fever blisters. Leave it for 15 minutes on the sores before you wash off. Repeat the process 3-4 times daily.
Some Internal Support for Preventing Fever Blisters
“Prevention is better than cure.” Here are some lifestyle hacks to help you prevent herpes virus and fever blisters:
- L-lysine rich diet: Lysine is an amino acid. Its deficiency may cause recurrence of fever blisters attack. You should form your diet with lysine-rich foods. Yogurt, cheese, almonds, whole milk are some of the lysine supplements. These lysine supplements can beat fever blisters. (9)
- Avoid fever blister triggers: There are certain things which trigger fever blisters. Such as stress, sunburns, weak immune system, etc. Try to avoid them to prevent fever blisters.
- Avoid stress: Stress is the major trigger for fever blisters. Do not stress yourself too much. Make time for long walks, vacation, light exercise, good family time and sleep. Relax yourself to boost the immune system and prevent fever blisters.
- Strengthen your immune system: Some foods are good for cold sores. Consume foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, D and K such as, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, cod liver oil, kiwi, etc. These can strengthen your immune system against fever blisters and the related virus.
- Avoid close physical contact: HSV is contagious. Avoid kissing, hugging and doing oral sex with someone affected with fever blisters. Oral sex may even lead to genital herpes (10). Do not share the same utensils, straw, and towels with the fever blister victim.
Stages Of Fever Blisters
Fever blisters have four stages (2):
- It starts with itchiness and tingling sensation in the affected area.
- Swellings or fluid-filled blisters make their appearance in 24 hours.
- These may burst and multiply into a host of blisters over the next few days.
- The blisters dry off leaving scabs or crusts. You are completely healed once the crusts fall off.
When to See a Doctor
A fever blister is highly contagious. So you want to get rid of it as fast as possible. These home remedies may soothe the irritation and inflammation. But you must consult a doctor first, especially if you have the following symptoms:
- There are blisters near your eyes
- Excruciating pain
- Trouble eating and swallowing
- Severe outbreak
Fever blisters are not life-threatening. But these little buggers can be an absolute nightmare. The herpes virus remains dormant in your body. So, it can cause future outbreaks of fever blisters.
The natural remedies may prove to be effective and safer than traditional medications in inhibiting recurrence of fever blisters.