Fever blisters are, basically, painful lesions which most commonly appear on the lips, inside the nasal area or on the skin around the eyes. These blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, carried by about 65% of the entire human population.
Fever Blisters Complications
The main symptom related to fever blisters is pain, and the appearance of blisters on the affected parts of the body. However, there is a set of events which lead to the formation of fever blisters.
Namely, initially, people who experience the outbreak of the herpes virus infection have fever and swollen lymph glands in the neck. Once this appears, the areas where the fever blisters will appear become painful and itchy, usually leading to burning sensations affecting the nose and the mouth area. Then, after a couple of hours or days, the affected area turns red and small fever blisters appear, usually multiplying later and becoming more severe, forming a large blister called a cold sore once it bursts and forms a crust.
When the painful and unsightly blister bursts and forms a crust, the healing stage commences. The crust turns yellow-brownish, resembling the one which appears during chicken pox infections. Finally, once this stage is over, the symptoms of the virus disappear and the affected person recovers completely. However, the virus does not leave the body but, rather, becomes dormant until the next outbreak.
Some of the situations which activate the breakouts are skin traumas, menstruations, excessive exposure to sun rays, stress, fevers and many other states of affairs which are related to a compromised immune system.
Even though fever blisters usually have to go through their course in order to disappear, there are medications which can make the whole process less disturbing. These medications are usually oral or topical, helping people who frequently suffer from cold sores or fever blisters to prevent these conditions and protect themselves.
How are Blisters Spread?
Most people get infected with this virus when they are younger than 10. Once infected, the virus stays inside the body of its host for the rest of his/her life, remaining dormant but activating itself every now and then, when the conditions for this are adequate. When this happens, fever blisters or cold sores appear on the surface of the skin.
Fever blisters are contracted by getting in contact with the fluid in the blisters of other affected individuals. Basically, this fluid is full of virus and others may easily get infected through sharing towels or clothes, as well as the eating utensils and any other forms of personal belongings. Kissing is, perhaps, the most direct way of spreading the infection.
Therefore, the fever blister infection is known to be highly contagious and in order not to contract it, you have to pay attention to your personal hygiene quite a bit. Additionally, if you get infected, high levels of personal hygiene may help you alleviate some of the symptoms related to fever blisters.
Bear in mind that, even though this rarely happens, you can transfer this virus to your genital area, triggering a whole different type of health problems. Therefore, do not touch your face when you experience fever blisters and do not touch your genitals without previously washing your hands thoroughly.
Some people who get infected with this virus do not show any of the symptoms of the exposure. In fact, up to 30% of all people experience no symptoms during their initial herpes infection. Once they appear, the fever blisters are usually there to stay for about 10 days, being extremely painful and leading to high levels of discomfort.
In order to prevent this virus from spreading, you are advised to stay away from the mucus from other people's lesions. Also, be careful and abstain from touching your existing fever blisters, let alone squeezing them, pinching or picking them.
When infected and suffering from fever blisters, do not spread the virus onto other people. Rather, do not make physical contact between the outbreak on other individuals and wash your hands meticulously before and after touching the blisters, bearing in mind that, even when you do not have any blisters, you can transfer the herpes infection onto someone else.
If you are not sure how to act regarding the fever blister treatment and prevention of spreading, contact your doctor and ask for information and treatment. He/she will probably recommend a 5% acyclovir ointment. Yet, keep in mind that herpes cannot be cured, only maintained and controlled.
All in all, fever blisters, being small blisters appearing on the facial area, around the eyes, inside the nose or on and in the mouth, as well as on the cheeks and the chin, are very contagious and lead to about 10 days of pain and discomfort. The blisters take place due to the herpes simplex type 1 viral infection. Even though the infection cannot be stopped once the fever blisters occur, you can contact your doctor for advice and treatment suggestions.