Herpes simplex type 1 virus. This is the culprit to blame if you are suffering from fever blisters, also known as cold sores. If you have an outbreak of fever blisters from time to time, here's some good news \u2013 the symptoms of fever blisters can be significantly reduced with some simple home remedies. The bad news is, though, that once herpes simplex gets into your body, it stays there for good. This doesn't mean that you will constantly have a cold sore, but it may occur whenever you become more vulnerable to a viral infection.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe outbreaks of fever blisters normally happen when your immune system is weakened, e.g when you have the flu, undergo a lot of stress or when your skin gets a lot of exposure to sunlight. There is no vaccine that can protect you from the virus and the outbreaks of fever blisters, but certain medicines and home remedies will help you relieve the discomfort and pain that they cause.\r\nCauses and symptoms of fever blisters\r\nFever blisters normally occur in the same place. The virus that causes them remains dormant in your skin after you heal the first outbreak. When your immune system is impaired, the virus attacks your skin and damages the epidermis, which causes the formation a cluster of small, white blisters filled with fluid. They usually occur on the lips, cheeks, nostrils or chin and the affected area becomes itchy and swollen. Since they occur in such exposed areas, they don't only cause discomfort and pain, but can also make you feel self-conscious. There are no makeup products that can conceal the cold sore completely as the skin in the outbreak place is very rough and peels a lot.\r\n\r\nThe best way to fight a fever blister is to react to it in the initial stage of the viral attack, which usually is signaled by a tingling sensation in the affected area. Whenever you feel that the virus is waking up, react immediately and apply some anti-viral cream or ointment. There are many over-the-counter products that will help you. Just make sure you have one of them at home to be able to inhibit the virus outbreak whenever the need comes. If you already have an uncomfortable, visible fever blister, try one of these verified home remedies.\r\nHome remedies for fever blisters\r\nIce\r\n\r\nIn order to instantly relieve the pain and reduce the swelling on your cold sore, you can apply some ice to it. Take one ice cube and wrap it with a clean cloth. Press it gently against the affected area for three to four minutes. The low temperature shrinks the blood vessels and makes the swelling less visible. It also stimulates the blood circulation, which enhances the healing process. Make sure you don't apply ice directly to the skin and that you always put it in a cloth first. Direct contact of ice with the skin can cause a frostbite.\r\nTeabags\r\n\r\nAnother way to soothe the pain caused by a fever blister really fast is using a teabag. Soak one teabag in hot water, take it out and leave it to cool down for a few minutes. Make sure the temperature of the teabag is low enough for you to comfortably apply it to your fever blister. It's better to wait a few extra minutes than put a hot teabag in contact with your vulnerable skin. Press the teabag gently against the affected skin and hold it for 3-4 minutes. Teabag soothes the inflammation and stimulates the skin cells regeneration. You can repeat this treatment two to three times a day until you see a noticeable decrease in the symptoms.\r\nTea Tree Oil\r\n\r\nTea tree oil is a very effective antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal remedy, therefore, has become a very popular home remedy for various skin problems. When applied to the fever blister, it reduces the inflammation, soothes the pain and stimulates the skin regeneration process. Tea tree oil that you can buy in a health food store or in a pharmacy is normally highly concentrated so if the skin on your fever blister is open, dilute half a teaspoon of the oil with an equal amount of water or olive oil in order to avoid any extra discomfort. Apply the solution on the cold sore two to three times a day to inhibit the spreading of the virus and to speed up the healing process.\r\nGarlic\r\n\r\nSimilarly to tea tree oil, garlic has versatile properties and may help you alleviate the symptoms of fever blisters. Since the occurrence of fever blisters often accompanies a weakened immune system, you should, first of all, give your body a boost by increasing the amount of garlic in your diet. Try to eat 4-5 cloves of garlic a day and you will not only reduce the inflammation in the cold sore area but also strengthen the immune powers of your body and will be better protected from the attacks of other viruses. If you don't like the taste of garlic, you can opt for garlic supplements. They are tasteless and will not give you the bad breath side effect.\r\n\r\nTo 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.\r\nAloe Vera\r\n\r\nThis 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.\r\n\r\nIf 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.\r\nToothpaste\r\n\r\nMany 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.\r\n\r\nApply 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.\r\nBaking Soda\r\n\r\nBaking 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.\r\nWhole Milk\r\n\r\nMilk 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.\r\nHow to avoid fever blisters\r\nWhile 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.\r\nAvoid Close Contact with Infected People\r\nIt'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.\r\nAvoid Stress\r\nStress 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.\r\nBoost the Immune System\r\nYour 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.\r\nWear Sunscreen\r\n\r\nFever 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 \u2013 if fever blister normally affects your lips \u2013 wear a special sunscreen lipstick that will provide extra protection against skin damage.\r\nChange the Toothbrush\r\n\r\nSince 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.