While technically the virus that causes herpes is not curable, there are many natural remedies that can put herpes into remission. In fact, many people with the virus don’t experience any symptoms at all, especially long term, once they learn to manage triggers and outbreaks. Here are some simple ways to treat a fever blister once it appears and prevent future outbreaks.
To Get Rid of a Fever Blister:
Zinc is needed in many chemical reactions that help rebuild skin and protect the body from viruses and infections. Research shows that topical zinc formulas have been found to be effective for the treatment of fever sores and for prolonging the remission of herpes.
A 2001 study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that participants who began treatment with a zinc oxide/glycine cream within 24 hours of onset of signs and symptoms of oral herpes cut the duration of fever sore lesions significantly when compared to the placebo cream. The mean duration of symptoms was five days. Zinc oxide/glycine cream also reduced the overall severity of symptoms, particularly blistering, soreness, itching and tingling.
A zinc deficiency can increase your risk of developing a fever blister, so boost your zinc intake with zinc-rich foods like grass-fed beef, chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, chicken, turkey, eggs, salmon and mushrooms.
2. Vitamin E
Research published in Alternative Medicine Review suggests that vitamin E soothes the skin and may help to relieve pain and discomfort from fever blisters. It’s an antioxidant that repairs damaged skin and reduces inflammation.
Vitamin E can be taken as oral capsules, or you can boost your levels with vitamin E-rich foods, such as almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes, avocados, sunflower seeds and olive oil.
L-lysine is an amino acid that helps treat the herpes virus when taken by mouth or applied directly to the skin. It works by preventing the virus from growing. Several studies found that L-lysine appears to be an effective agent for reducing outbreaks, severity and healing time for recurrent herpes simplex virus infection.
Take 1,000 milligrams three times daily and eat foods that contain L-lysine, such as legumes, fish, turkey, chicken and vegetables.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda can be applied to a fever blister in order to dry it out, neutralize acids and soothe irritation. You can make a paste with baking soda using either water or fresh lemon juice. Then apply the paste to the fever blister and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.
5. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil has antiviral properties and can be used on the skin to heal fever blisters. A 2013 study tested peppermint oil’s defense against HSV-1 and HSV-2. Researchers found that peppermint oil was effective against the virus, especially in the early stages of symptoms. To use peppermint oil, apply 1–2 drops directly on the blister twice daily.
6. Melissa Essential Oil
Melissa essential oil, also known as lemon balm, is used in traditional medicine to treat herpes simplex and promote skin health. It’s the #1 virus-fighting essential oil for fever blisters. This gentle oil is often the herb of choice for treating fever blisters because it’s effective at fighting viruses in the herpes virus family. It can limit the spread of viral infections, which can be especially helpful for people who have developed a resistance to commonly used antiviral substances.
Researchers suggest that Melissa oil is a suitable topical treatment for getting rid of herpes because it has antiviral effects and penetrates the skin.
Simply add 2–3 drops of Melissa oil to a clean cotton ball and apply it directly to the fever blister three times daily.
7. Aloe Vera Gel
You can use aloe vera gel on a fever blister to ease the discomfort and speed the healing process. Research shows that aloe vera gel has medicinal skin care properties. It contains antioxidant vitamins, enzymes, minerals, fatty acids and hormones that help with healing and preventing further infection.
8. Cool Compress
To reduce the redness and swelling of a fever blister, place a cool, wet towel on the blister three times a day for about 20 minutes. Applying ice directly to the blister also helps to reduce inflammation and slow down blood flow to the sore, which helps to relieve pain and swelling.
To Prevent an Outbreak:
9. Avoid Direct Sun Exposure and Use Sunscreen
Direct sunlight or sunburns may trigger the return of herpes simplex and cause a fever blister. Using sunscreen or avoiding heavy sun exposure may reduce the number of fever blister recurrences that you experience. The use of sunscreen was studied in a crossover trial in which 38 patients were exposed to experimental ultraviolet light. None of the sunscreen-wearing participants developed fever blisters due to herpes labialis, compared with 71 percent of those using a placebo.
Apply the sunscreen to your lips throughout the day, which is done easily with a SPF lip balm. When you are selecting a product for yourself or your child, opt for 100 percent natural and organic sunscreen, as the majority of sunscreens are toxic and cause more harm than good.
10. Avoid Direct Contact with Fever Blisters
Because the virus can spread from person to person, avoid direct contact with people who have fever blisters. Kissing or sharing cups, glasses, razors, towels, toothbrushes and other objects that a person with a fever blister used can spread the herpes virus.
To help prevent the spread of fever blisters in children, don’t let children share toys that others have put in their mouths and be sure to clean their toys occasionally with a natural disinfectant like lemon essential oil. Children should avoid close contact if one has a fever blister until it begins to scab over.
To Boost Your Immune System:
11. Probiotic Foods
Probiotic foods like yogurt, apple cider vinegar, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and natto work to boost the immune system and promote detoxification.
12. Echinacea Tea
Echinacea is a powerful immune system stimulator that can provide significant therapeutic value, even when trying to fight a virus like herpes simplex. This is especially true for people with a weakened immune system. To boost your immune system and prevent an outbreak, drink echinacea tea throughout the week — it helps to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain too, so don’t stop drinking it if a fever blister does develop.
13. Raw Garlic
Raw garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties that can help to boost your immune system and fight fever blister outbreaks. The World Health Organization recommends a daily dose of 2–3 grams (about one clove) of fresh garlic for adults. Apply it directly to a fever blister to reduce swelling and speed healing. If you feel a fever blister forming, start using garlic right away to prevent it from developing completely.
14. Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano oil is known for its healing and immune-boosting properties. It naturally fights infections due to its antiviral properties. Studies show oregano oil can make it difficult for the virus to infect a person.
15. Tea Tree Oil
A 2001 study conducted in Germany found that tea tree oil has antiviral effects when used against herpes simplex virus-1 and 2. When you feel a fever blister developing, simply add 1–2 drops of tea tree oil to a clean cotton ball and apply it directly to the blister.