Fever blisters can be extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant problem for anyone. These skin eruptions are caused by infection with Herpes simplex virus type 1 or in rare cases with type 2 of the same virus and they are not curable. However, there are some drugs which can help relieve the symptoms and speed the healing. Doctors and pharmacists may recommend certain prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications and products, either in a form of creams and ointments or as tablets. Some may even suggest certain supplements to prevent more severe symptoms and help the healing process.
Prescription Drugs for Fever Blisters
Antiviral medications are the obvious choice for treatment of fever blisters, due to viral cause of this problem. These medications are available only with your doctor’s prescription and they efficiently decrease discomfort and pain you are feeling. Also, these drugs should speed up healing of fever blisters you have, especially if you use them immediately when first symptoms occur i.e. when the skin starts to itch, tingle or burn.
Your doctor may prescribe some oral drugs (tablets), like famciclovir (Famvir) or Valacyclovir (Valtrex), or some creams or ointments containing antiviral agents, such as acyclovir cream or ointment (Zovirax) or penciclovir cream (Denavir).
The flaw of antiviral drugs is their inability to prevent future fever blister outbreaks. Also, these medications are not approved to be used in children under 12 years of age.
What Else Can be Used to Resolve Fever Blisters?
The Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) has approved just one non-prescription drug to be used against fever blisters. This is docosanol (Abreva) and it should decrease symptoms you experience and promote healing of the skin affected by fever blister(s).
Lysine is one of supplements used for the same purpose, to prevent and treat fever blisters. In theory, it should affect the ability of the virus to multiply and as some studies have showed, it may be more useful to prevent fever blisters than to be used as actual treatment for fever blisters which have already appeared. This supplement is available in a form of tablets, powder, caplets and also in ointments or creams. Oral forms seem to be more effective than topical for prevention of fever blisters. In fact, some natural food also contains plenty of lysine, especially potatoes, beans, fish and poultry, cheese and yogurt, so try to incorporate more of these foods into your menu, if you suffer from frequent fever blister bouts.
Besides these, OTC lip balms, topical treatments with ibuprofen, Aspirin, acetaminophen or Benzocaine may also be someone’s choice to deal with fever blisters. One can also use herb lemon balm and some herbs known to enhance defense mechanisms of the body, such as olive leaf, echinacea or goldenseal.