Fever blisters (cold sores) are skin, fluid-filled lesions that develop as a consequence of Herpes simplex virus type 1 infection. This is a common disease and because of that it is hardly prevented. However, certain level of prevention is possible and even once the condition has developed, one may stick to strategies in order to prevent disease recurrence.
Is it Possible to Prevent Fever Blisters?
Fever blisters are easily spread from the infected individual to a new host both directly and indirectly. The virus is easily transmitted by kissing or sharing inadequately washed eating utensils.
It is estimated that 80% of children and adults in the United States have had at least one episode of fever blisters during their lifetime. Because there are so many individuals who carry the virus, it is no wonder that the primary infection simply cannot be prevented. Recurrent infections, however, may be prevented to a certain extent.
Preventing Fever Blisters
People who have not even come in a contact with the virus may try to protect themselves by avoiding direct skin or mucous membrane contact with a person with the acute infection. Furthermore, infection may be prevented if people do not share items that can be contaminated with fluid from fever blisters. Finally, one should abstain from receiving oral sex from a person with an active infection.
A contact with the content of the fluid filled blisters is a way of transmission of great number of viral particles. Kissing, sharing utensils, drinks, toothbrushes, towels, razors etc. are only some ways of disease transmission. In children infections develop due to a close contact with a family member who is suffering from an active form of the disease.
Prevention of Recurrent Fever Blisters
Even if a person has not managed to prevent fever blisters form occurring, he/she may identify potential triggers of recurrent infections and reduce frequency of fever blister episodes.
Apart from being familiar with triggers of recurrent herpes infection, one should also avoid excessive sunbathing, particularly without adequate protection. Exposure to sun is a major contributor of repeated fever blisters.
In order to prevent repeated episodes of fever blisters one is due to use sunscreen (on the skin and the lips as well) each time he/she is exposed to sun. Reapplying of the product is recommended as well.
Some people know the exact triggers of recurrent fever blisters. There are several identified triggers and these include stress, current illness (usually other infection), fatigue, injury etc. So by avoiding any situation that makes the immune system less efficient and weaker you prevent recurrent episodes of the infection.