Home Remedies for Fever Blisters

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home remedies fever blisters

Fever blisters have been around for quite some time – thousands of years, in fact. During ancient Roman days, Emperor Tiberius actually banned residents from kissing at public get-togethers because of an outbreak of fever blisters. In the United States, nearly 100 million cases reoccur on a yearly basis. Learning how to ease the symptoms of this common complaint and becoming familiar with home remedies for fever blisters can reduce your risk of becoming a victim.

What are Fever Blisters?

A fever blister is a small sore that develops on the face or in the mouth, causing pain and other symptoms before it bursts open and crusts over during the healing process. If you are under the assumption that the lips are the only location that fever blisters emerge, think again. Common sites include the chin, cheeks and even in the nostrils. Blisters may even appear on the gums or the roof of the mouth (called the palate).

Causes and Symptoms

You can thank the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) for your fever blisters, as the virus lies dormant in the body until outside factors encourages it to become active. Stress, sunburn, and a fever stemming from an infectious disease (like a cold) are typical culprits for the condition. The infection that causes a fever blister follows the common course of the herpes simplex virus, where the first outbreak is more painful and lasts longer than infections that follow. Thankfully, after the age of 35, recurrences are less common. Triggers that can cause a fever blister include:

• Injury or damage to the lips or mouthfever_blister
• Hormonal changes
• Dental treatments
• Pregnancy
• Cosmetic surgery
• Overall tiredness and fatigue

Typical symptoms of a fever blister include pain, tingling skin, itching, and a burning sensation. In children, they experience pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and the occasional swallowing difficulties. Herpes infections often strikes children between 6 months and three years of age with symptoms usually lasting for about a week – often resolving on their own. Unfortunately, once you contract the herpes simplex virus, it will linger in certain cells of the body and can reactivate at the drop of a dime.

Fever blisters most often appear on the border of the lip and develop three to five vesicles that will grow, ulcerate, and then crust over. The worst of symptoms are seen 8 hours after an outbreak. The majority of people battling fever blisters will experience two outbreaks per year with 5% to 10% of cases facing more than six outbreaks on a yearly basis [1].

Fever Blister Home Remedies

Don’t forget that fever blisters are contagious and easily spread through skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with infected saliva, or droplets found in breath. To ease the irritating symptoms and speed up the healing process, consider the following home remedies for fever blisters that can also stop the spread of this pesky condition:

a) White Vinegar:

To slow down the commotion that fever blisters cause, saturate a cotton ball with white vinegar. Dab on to reduce swelling and enjoy pain relief.

b) Honey:

For centuries, honey has been hailed as an antiviral, antifungal and antibiotic wonder. Directly apply it to a fever blister to assist the healing process.

c) Tea Bag:

Set a plain tea bag in boiling water, allowing it to cool it before applying to your fever blister. Some individuals have reported their blister disappearing within a few days.

d) Salt:

Moisten your index finger before dabbing in table salt. Press your finger to the fever blister for a minute twice a day for 2 to 3 days.

e) Vaseline:

Stop the cracking and bleeding of fever blisters by applying Vaseline to moisturize and soften blisters.

f) Sunscreen:

Apply a sunscreen with SPF 15 or more on the lips to prevent a recurrence of fever blisters associated with sunburn.

g) Sage Tea and Ginger:

Some people have found fever blister relief by drinking several cups of sage tea with an added dash of powdered ginger.

h) Water-Based Popsicles:

The pain of fever blisters can cause children to become dehydrated. To soothe this symptom, deliver hydration and pain relief with water-based Popsicles.

i) Ice Cube:

For ten minutes, run an ice cube on a fever blister every hour at the onset of the sore. This practice may prevent the spread of the virus to surrounding skin.

j) Cornstarch:

Add water to cornstarch to create a paste that treats affected areas.

k) Aromatherapy[2]:

Some people swear that aromatherapy proves effective when treating fever blisters. Typical options to consider include the following essential oils: rose, tea tree, geranium, lemon balm, and bergamot.

l) Aloe:

Aloe has a reputation of jumpstarting the healing process and preventing the growth of sores. Just when you experience the tingling, burning or itching sensation of an incoming fever blister, rub juice from an aloe plant on the affected area. Dabbing aloe gel is also effective.


[1] http://dermatology.about.com/cs/oralherpes/a/oralherpesbasic.htm

[2] https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-aromatherapy/what-is-aromatherapy/


  • Jone

    Treat sores with witch hazel if you’re looking for soothing relief from cold sores. I also heard that changing your diet could prevent triggers – like avoiding chocolate, peanuts, grains, peas, seeds, and oatmeal.

  • Darion

    Thanks. I get fever blisters all the time. The only thing that has worked was something that costs $70 in one little tube that I keep losing. I will try these next time. 🙂

  • Aaron

    As soon as you feel an outbreak.Start taking L-Lysine dietary supplements.and 2 tylonol or equivelent every 12 hours.and keep abriva on the sore at all times.Be carefull not to let the scab to be torn off after showering.this will prevent an out break or greatly shorten the effect.

  • lisa allen

    Throughout my life, exspeacally in my earlier years I’ve put up with the pain of fever blisters. My oldest son is just like my. It seems he got all the bad stuff from me. I fill so bad when he has a outbreak, I try to tell him use honey and take extra Vit. E. He just dosnt believe in home remedies , I sure do ….. Honey works for chicken pox also plus lots more. Look it up.

  • kathy jo

    Ear wax on the sore. sounds gross but it does work. Moy mom tells me this everytime I get one. Finally did it and it helped. I have also used fingure nail polish.

  • Giset

    I’m 18 and my first outbreak was when i was 9. I hate it, because i usually get them during that time of month, or when i stress like crazy. Once i learned to controll my stress, i didn’t get any fever blisters for about a year and a half! but like all good things…they come to an end i guess i started to use the rememdy toothpaste ans salt. it really works for me. I pop the blister and wait no longer than ten seconds to apply rubbing alcohol then the toothpaste and salt mixed together. i hope it works fro everyone out there! i know how much this hurts! good luck!



  • Valerie

    At the first tingle of a cold sore, when you can barely see or feel a bump, begin taking Lactinex. Take 4 at a time about every four hours, or as soon as that tingle comes back. This prevents the cold sore from forming for me. If I can’t get to Lactinex in time, I still take it when I can get it as it shortens the duration of the cold sore. Most pharmacies carry Lactinex. It’s a probiotic kept in the refrigerator. It does not require a prescription.

  • chris

    I am 39 been living with and tried everything. I usually take llyzine wham my lips get chapped and b,12 if it forms I get thar tea bag out use warm water to get the tea and place it onthe lip dont move it around or you can spread it. After few minutes remove and place ice on it. ‘ I make a mixture of menthol toothpaste and abriva place out on the sore with a qtip rub it in well put more ong the other side of quite tips so it is moist crush lyzine and I know it sounds funny deoteran powder and put mixture over sore will draw out moisture from sore so its not so big.leave on as long as possable. When removing use warm water and soap. keep the swelling down with ice or ibuprofen important the more I swells the bigger it will be. Hope this helps

  • Mary

    Lactinex keeps the fever blister from swelling. Use it as soon as you feel the tingle and keep using it for several days, until you feel the tingle has completely subsided. Also, religiously apply generous amounts of Carmex lip balm to your lips, especially covering the area where you feel the tingle. This procedure has worked well for me for years. Abbreva seems to help some too if you are unable to keep the blister from forming.

  • Dorie

    When you see those ugly sores, take some bleach and dampen a small piece of cotton with the bleach and apply to the cold soars every three to four hours, it will start dissapearing within a few days. It also helps stop the pain, it will burn in the beginning but will kill it and the pain will go away.

  • Tayler

    I started using finger nail polish remover.. Once I feel it coming and I can actually see the blister I pop it VERY CAREFULLY so it won’t spread and use a Q-Tip to apply the remover.. It burns but it dries the blister up very quickly. I also carry around Herpecin to use throughout the day and I apply ice when I can at work. I used to have to go get a steroid shot because mine got so bad, but this has really really helped, I still have it for a few days but its not near as big or as painful as they used to be. Good Luck!!

  • Canton

    Cold milk dabbed on with a Q-tip is really helping..

  • Miranda

    I have suffered with fever blisters for years. I read about apple cider vinegar but only had white vinegar. I dab it on my lips several times a day and it never gets really big or painful. I would have never believed it until I tried it. I have spent so much money on more expensive medicines that never worked. I have used it on many now and have never been embarrased because you can hardly see them and they are gone in a few days. Try it, it really works.

  • natasha

    I have used ABreva on my last 2 cold sores. Seems to make it 10x worse. They have never gotten this bad before

  • chrissy

    ummmm i have been to many many many sites… i am 45 and have suffered all my life with these… and i have yet to see the remedy i use now… a match… hurts like hell but reduces the healing time… first tingle… place an unlit match on the spot leave it there for .5 or one min…it will give a burning like feeling but it does work… none of the above work for me but everyone is different to this might not work for you… cause unless i am really really stressed this works as good as abreva… and a lot less expensive…

  • Makisha

    I have also used roll-on deodorant. It dries the fever blister up. I have always gotten them badly ever since i was a kid and someone told me to use it, so I put it on my lips one day and the next they were almost gone! tastes nasty but works! Don’t lick your lips!! haha

  • Marnie

    EAR WAX …. excellent way to keep the cold sore from growing. Kills it instantly. Also, i’ve learned that citrus causes an out break. Like oranges, tomatoes, etc. Once i learned that I rarely get an out break. :-}

  • Pam

    At the 1st sign of the tingling of a fever blister~I apply Tea Tree Oil. Reapply it several times/day. You can buy it at most pharmacies or Health Food Store.It has helped mine to not get big & speeds up the healing process. After a few days when it has dried up then I start applying a Lip Balm to keep it soft.

  • Cindy

    Tea tree oil on a Qtip. Apply several times a day. It will dry it up!

  • Phyllis

    I use rubbing alcohol at the first sign of a fever blister..if you catch it in time it dries it up…

  • Angela

    Cold Greek Yogurt! I put it on as a past on my lips when they tingle and even if there is a blister already I keep the yogurt on until it dries then remove the yogurt with a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel. I do this several times a day when I feel the heat of the blister and wow does it work and feels so good to have the cold yogurt on your lips! Remember there was a reason milk and yogurt have been used on skin since Cleopatra and before <3

  • katie

    My mom gets these ALL the time. We looked up ways to fix it. Our results stated that you:
    1. – put vinegar and honey in a cup
    2. – mix it up!
    3. – warm in microwave for approx. 35 sec.
    4. – mix it up! … again! 🙂
    5. – dip a q-tip in the contents
    6. – apply on all sores …
    hope this helped!!! 🙂


  • Michelle

    Ear wax at the first sign of tingling or blister will stop it in its tracks. It doesn’t have to be yours either. Any will do. Gently use a qtip to get a small amount of ear wax and then smear it on the spot you feel the sore coming out at. Do it two or three times a day and it will not get any bigger.

    • BFOJ

      Wow, it’s just not my family that learned this decades ago. Thanks for sharing.

  • Leigh

    All my life I have gotten cold sores ( fever blisters)and my grandmother always said drink butter milk. Well you don’t have to drink it, take a clean rag, dip into a small bowl of buttermilk , and apply to blister, this is pretty much as rubbing yogurt on the blister. I know it sounds nasty but it does work 🙂

  • Heather

    I get fever blisters at least 4 times a year or more. I’ve tried many different things to help shorten the length of time it’s present. For the past few years I have been using the following remedy: dab a Q-tip (or cotton ball) in hydrogen peroxide, then apply it to the lip. (I feel like it boils out the infection). Then, I take the other end of the q-tip and dip it in 90% rubbing alcohol (The lower 90% don’t seem to work as well.) This will burn like fire for a few seconds. I press the q-tip had on the blister to make sure it gets in there. After that dries I apply Campho-Phenique on the blisters. The alcohol and Campho-Phenique helps to dry it up!

  • Savannah


  • pamela

    I have tried finger nail polish remover and it works it burns like crazy
    but it helps

  • Shannon

    I just tried the vinegar and now my whole lip is white and swollen. Omg!

  • ashley

    can u use all of these tips? like switch every couple of hours?

  • BFOJ

    A natural remedy that works quicker than any other method. Rub earwax on the fever blister, it will be cured within a day. Speaking from experience, my Mom taught me this and it works.