Fever blisters present a skin condition which is triggered by a viral infection. The virus behind this illness is Herpes simplex virus type 1, capable of being transferred from one person to another through contact with the mucus or saliva.
If you experience painful growths appearing on your lips or somewhere near the mouth area, there is a high likelihood that you are suffering from fever blisters. However, the condition may be confusing. Thus, read the lines below in order to obtain all the important basic information on fever blisters.
Is There a Difference between Fever Blisters and Cold Sores?
Both cold sores and fever blisters are caused by Herpes simplex virus type I. Practically, the two are the same, since a fever blister is the manifestation of a cold sore. Most commonly, people get infected by this viral disease through contact with the glasses which carry the infectious agents. However, most of us get infected during our childhood and Herpes virus never leaves our body, staying hidden until our immune system gets compromised. So, in the vast majority of cases, fever blisters and cold sores affect people from time to time, appearing and disappearing repeatedly throughout one's life.
Herpes virus may become active once we suffer from a common cold or a flu. Also, it may be triggered by stress or some other serious illnesses we might be suffering from.
When this virus affects a person for the first time, however, he/she experiences headaches, nausea, fever and even vomiting. Moreover, sores may appear in the mouth during this time, being open and painful, possibly taking place hand-in-hand with throat soreness.
Almost always, cold sores appear on the border of the lips. Yet, in some situations, these can appear inside the mouth. Either way, initially, the area becomes tingly and swollen and, over the course of 24 to 48 hours, the first tiny blisters start appearing, popping eventually and leading to the formation of sores, which later get dry and covered with crusts, resembling scabs. Then, during the recovery process, while this breakout is disappearing, the crust may fall off and new ones may be created.
All in all, fever blisters appear before cold sores get formed. Nevertheless, both of these signify the same herpes infection and the reaction of our immune system to it.
The treatment of cold sores usually does not involve any specific medical intervention. Still, if the disease results in pain and discomfort, you are advised to pay your doctor a visit, having the best therapy prescribed.
Numerous creams, ointments or even medications may be recommended to you for helping you deal with your cold sore problem, speeding up the recovery process and helping you feel better.
How are Fever Blisters Spread
In order to prevent fever blisters from affecting you, your need to stay away from potential sources of this infection. Thus, do not kiss or get kissed by anyone who has a cold sore or a fever blister or any possible signs of Herpes infection. Keep in mind that most of us got infected when we were children. Thus, we carry this virus within ourselves and may transfer it to all those who have their immune systems weakened.
Furthermore, do not share utensils, drinking cups or any other personal items with other people, especially with people who already show signs of fever blisters, let alone cold sores. Towels, razors, silverware, toothbrushes and all other items which can get in contact with the infected saliva should be avoided. Through these forms of contact, the virus travels from one person to another, spreading the infection and the cold sores too.
Once you get infected, you cannot prevent cold sores from appearing. Also, once they appear, you cannot make them go away before they go through their course. However, bearing in mind that stress, cold or flu are the most frequent triggers of this condition, stay away from situations which cause these health problems and keep yourself protected from cold sores.
When you suffer from cold sores, exposing them to strong sunlight is bound to make matters worse. In order to prevent this, you are advised to use strong lip balms or sunscreen, applying these on your face and the cold sore.
Finally, do not touch the cold sore or, if you have to do this, make sure your hands are clean. Regardless, avoid this form of contact since it may spread Herpes infection to some other parts of your body, such as your genitals, giving rise to a more serious condition.
To conclude, fever blisters are a first stage of cold sores, taking place due to Herpes simplex virus type 1 infection, affecting you once your immune system has been compromised by an illness or some other factors. Fever blisters and cold sores usually come and go away on their own, over a shorter course of time. Yet, if these continue reappearing and affecting you often, seek medical assistance.