At the onset of an oral herpes outbreak, several things can be done to make it less painful and unpleasant. Building the body’s own immunity can help fight the infection and get rid of symptoms more quickly.
Load Up on Vitamins and Healthy Foods
Make it a habit to eat healthy foods rich in vitamins and nutrients. In some cases, this can stave off the oncoming signs of a cold sore. The amino acid lysine may help prevent outbreaks by supporting healthy tissue in the mouth and acting as a balancing force to arginine (another amino acid found in some foods). People who have frequent outbreaks of fever blisters may want to try taking a daily lysine supplement.
On the other hand, arginine is a protein that is needed in production of the herpes virus. Nerve cells share a storage area within the cell specifically for arginine and lysine. By avoiding foods rich in this amino acid and getting a supplemental dose of lysine, the body is makes it more difficult for a cold sore to form. Foods to stay away from when on the verge of a herpes outbreak include shellfish, grains like wheat and oats, nuts and most seeds and fruits such as grapes, oranges and tangerines.
A weakened immune system will be more susceptible to a cold sore in general, so it is always a good idea to try to stay as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, drugs and allergens.
Topical Applications To Reduce Symptoms
When sensing the tingling itchiness that warns of a fever blister outbreak, immediately apply ice or a cold compress to the affected area. This can possibly prevent the outbreak from forming altogether if done soon enough. Tea tree oil is a naturally antiviral and antiseptic substance. Dabbing a few drops on a new cold sore will help dry it out and weaken the virus.
Honey is another one of nature’s antiseptics. It also has antimicrobial powers and can create a barrier to protect the lesion from outside bacteria. If a sore breaks out on the lips, liberally applying lip balm several times per day will keep it from scabbing over and shorten the flare up time. If the fever blister happens to ooze, an activated charcoal or clay mud mask is a great way to absorb the seeping liquid and let it heal faster.
Additionally, coconut oil and lemon balm have similar properties that can reduce the cover and protect the cold sore as it heals.
A more radical approach to getting rid of an outbreak is using heat. The virus does not do well in body temperatures above 98.6 degrees. By imitating a fever with a hair dryer and blowing on the area repeatedly, the heat will weaken the viral infection and assist healing by drying the area.
Many pharmaceuticals are used for the treatment of fever blisters. Usually these will lessen the symptoms and contain an anesthetic to address the pain. Some common over-the-counter brands include:
Above all else, keep stress levels down and be patient. The cold sore fever blister outbreak should go away in a week or so, and until then, not much else that can be done. Avoid squeezing or picking at the sores, as this will only slow healing.