To use garlic externally on the fever blister, you can either cut a garlic clove and rub it gently on the affected area or prepare a garlic paste. Crush one garlic clove and add two drops of olive oil to it. You can prepare it with mortar and pestle in order to achieve a smooth paste. Apply the mixture directly to the cold sore and on the area around it. Garlic will reduce the inflammation and prevent the infection from spreading while olive oil will hydrate and nourish the skin and will stimulate its regeneration.
This natural ingredient doesn’t need any promotion. It’s probably the most widely used natural ingredient of soothing and moisturizing skincare products. Aloe vera speeds up the healing process, soothes the pain and reduces the inflammation. The most effective way to use it on your cold sore is to squeeze the pulp from an aloe vera leaf and apply it directly on the affected area. Leave it on until it dries and rinse off with lukewarm water. Since aloe vera is very gentle to the skin, you can repeat this procedure as many times as you wish during the day.
If you don’t have an aloe vera plant, you can buy a gel in a pharmacy or a health food store and apply it to the fever blister with a cotton ball. Make sure the gel contains only natural ingredients as chemicals can be harsh on the vulnerable skin affected by a fever blister.
Many people recommend applying toothpaste on the cold sore in order to dry it out. It is, indeed, an effective remedy, but must be used with caution. Toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulphate which can be harsh on the skin if you keep it on for too long or if you use the treatment too often. Make sure that for this treatment you choose white toothpaste instead of one in a form of a gel.
Apply the toothpaste with your finger onto the affected area and leave it on for 4-5 minutes. If you fell a bit of tingling, it’s perfectly normal, but if it turns into a burning sensation, rinse the toothpaste off as it means that your skin is too vulnerable for this treatment. It might happen when the skin on the cold sore is broken and becomes sensitive even to hot water or a gentle touch. If you don’t feel any side effects, rinse the toothpaste off after 5 minutes and repeat the procedure twice a day for 5-7 days.
Baking soda paste can be used to achieve the same results as the ones in the toothpaste treatment. All you need to do is mix half a teaspoon of soda with a few drops of water and when it turns into a smooth paste, apply it to the affected skin. Keep it on for 5-10 minutes. Baking soda will inhibit the spreading of the virus, reduce the inflammation and swelling and since it acts as a natural exfoliator, it will remove some dead skin cells and stimulate the regeneration process. For best results, finish the treatment off with a natural moisturising product, like aloe vera or jojoba oil.
Milk has antibacterial and antiviral properties and when you apply it to the skin attacked by herpes simplex, it battles the virus and soothes the inflammation. Soak a cotton bud in whole milk and apply it to the fever blister. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes and rinse off with lukewarm water. For best results, drink two glasses of milk every day during the treatment. You can boost its effect by adding half a teaspoon of turmeric or a teaspoon of honey to your drink. Drinking a glass of milk with honey every day is a simple and powerful method to prevent many viral infections, including fever blisters. You can get the same great results by replacing whole milk with yogurt. For external application choose an unsweetened natural yoghurt.
How to avoid fever blisters
While you can’t get rid of herpes simplex once it becomes your guest, there are ways to avoid the outbreaks of fever blisters. And as we all know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Avoid Close Contact with Infected People
It’s easier said than done. The majority of the adult population are vectors of herpes simplex. We just can’t see this because the outbreaks don’t happen all at the same time in all people. Whenever you see a person with a visible fever blister, try to avoid any close contact with him or her. If fever blister affects your partner, avoid kissing until the cold sore has healed completely. You shouldn’t use the same cutlery or towels either as it’s a very easy way to transmit the virus to another person.
Stress impairs your immune system and makes you prone to viral infection and a fever blister outbreak. If you know that herpes simplex virus is present in your body, try to avoid prolonged physical and mental stress. With the fast tempo of life nowadays it’s not a simple task, but making a conscious effort at relaxing your body and mind will have a beneficial influence on your general well-being as well as will protect you from frequent outbreaks of fever blisters.
Boost the Immune System
Your body needs proper nutrients to be able to protect you from infections and fight them when they occur. A balanced diet rich in zinc and vitamins C, D and E is crucial for assuring an effective protection against outbreaks of fever blisters. It is especially important in wintertime when viruses are ubiquitous and spread from one person to another very fast. Eat a lot of raw and steamed vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts and fish to give your immune system a daily boost.
Fever blisters are a skin condition and like many other skin problems can be avoided or reduced by a regular application of sunscreen. Your skin is exposed to the harmful UV radiation every day and should be protected with a cream with minimum SPF 15 factor. The area where a fever blister has already occurred once is especially vulnerable to sun exposure and should get some extra protection. You should either reapply the sunscreen on that area during the day or – if fever blister normally affects your lips – wear a special sunscreen lipstick that will provide extra protection against skin damage.
Change the Toothbrush
Since your toothbrush comes in contact with your lips, it’s best if you get a new one after you have healed an outbreak of a fever blister. If you keep using the same toothbrush, you may spread the virus to other areas and next time get an unpleasant surprise in the form of two or three cold sores at the same time.