How to Treat Fever Blisters in the Mouth

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Fever blisters in the mouth
Fever blisters in the mouth (Image: www.flickr.com)

Fever blisters, also known as cold sores, are not only unsightly, but are painful as well. Caused by a virus (herpes simplex 1), fever blisters most often form in and around the mouth, but can be spread to other tissues as well. Fever blisters often appear after any number of incidences that put stress on the body. Fevers, colds, cold weather, hormonal changes and physical exhaustion all wear down the immune system, making one susceptible to the virus. While you can't cure a virus (it leaves the body on its own) there are simple things you can do to treat fever blisters in and around the mouth, and relieve your symptoms.

Things You'll Need

  • Tea bag
  • Ice
  • Lemon balm
  • Salt
  • Cotton swabs

Use a tea bag compress. Steep a tea bag in boiling water for one minute. Drain it slightly, then apply it to the blistered area for one to two minutes. This needs to be done twice a day for seven days. Tea contains compounds called tannins and flavones, which act as antiseptics.

Tea bags
Tea bags

Ice: Chop some ice, or take an ice cube and keep it on the blisters for 10 minutes, three times a day. Ice will help relieve the swelling and irritation associated with fever blisters.

Crushed ice
Crushed ice

Use lemon balm. Like tea, lemon balm contains tannins but it also holds another compound called "eugenol," which kills bacteria and has a numbing effect on tissues. To use lemon balm on fever blisters, take two to four teaspoons of crushed lemon balm leaves and steep them in one cup of hot water for 15 minutes. When the steeped mixture cools, dip a cotton swab into the mix and apply it directly to the fever blisters. You can reuse this mixture all day, and reapply it several times for maximum affect. You can buy a lemon balm plant from a nursery or greenhouse.

Lemon balm leaves
Lemon balm leaves

Hold a cotton swab under hot, running water. Dip in salt and then place it directly on the fever blister. Another way to use salt is to make a salt water rinse for your mouth. Heat one cup of water, and then add 1/4 cup of salt. When the salt dissolves, swish it around your mouth for one minute, then spit out. Both table salt and sea salt will work. Salt is considered a healing agent and antiseptic, and works well on fever blisters. It can cause slight pain and stinging, but it does its job well.

Ordinary salt
Ordinary salt

Avoid spicy foods or foods with a hard texture, at least until your blisters are gone. Going for bland and soft food will cut down on the irritation to the affected areas.

Tips & Warnings

  • Get a new toothbrush if you have fever blisters to avoid introducing the virus again.
  • Avoid kissing and sharing drinks, utensils, napkins and towels while you have fever blisters, and avoid these actions with others who may have them. See your health care provider if blisters do not go away within 7 - 10 days.

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