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Fever Blisters – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

A fever blister is a small superficial ulcer which is situated on the face or around the mouth and causes pain, burning, and itching. The most prominent locations where it occurs is on lips, chin, cheeks, and in the nostrils.  Causes of fever blisters

These blisters are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. This virus is dormant in one’s body but is reactivated by several factors such as stress, fever, sunburn, and common viral infections. The recurrence of lesions does happen in some individual who are prone to it- either genetically or due to a highly stressful environment. Some women even get these blisters every month around the time of their monthly cycles.

Symptoms of fever blisters

The symptoms of fever blisters include –

  • Tingling and itching– Many people feel itching, burning or tingling around the lips for a day or so before a small, hard, painful spot appears and blisters erupt.
  • Blisters –  Sometimes small fluid-filled blisters can typically erupt along the border of your lips and can also appear around the nose, cheeks, or inside the mouth.
  • Oozing and crusting–  These small blisters may emerge and then burst, leaving behind shallow open sores that ooze and crust over

 Treatments and Prevention tips

Fever blisters can heal without treatment, however, without proper antivirals can leave a scar. There are some home remedies to soothe the skin in case treatment is unavailable

ICE – Ice can help in treating the inflammation as it reduces the blood flow to the area and numbs it which results in lesser pain. Even though this treatment is temporary it prevents discomfort.

Zinc therapy – Zinc is an essential mineral that can help with boosting immunity and preventing recurrence of viral infections.  Oral zinc and Vit C can help reduce recurrence rates

*It is important to note that sunscreen (SPF 15 or more) on the lips prevents recurrences of herpes from sunburn.

By – Dr. Shireen Furtado, Consultant – Medical & Cosmetic Dermatology, Aster CMI Hospital

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