Thursday, April 16, 2009

Treating A Cold Sore Or Fever Blister

After resting up from a nasty head cold, you wake up on a morning where you seem to be feeling much better, fever has broken and head is cleared....but uh...there is a slight tingling and perhaps an itchy feeling occurring on your touch it, stare at it in the mirror, not really seeing anything just yet. You get that distinct feeling you know what it are pretty sure it is the dreaded fever blister or cold sore beginning to rear its ugly head. (I only wish I could look this good when I arise in the morning. Coffee in hand, bed head and fuzzy pink bath robe and slippers, that's me!! Give me a hot shower and I am halfway there. But I digress!)

You lick your lip to be sure...yep....a tiny little hard bump is forming and the more you lick the spot, it seems to grow by the second. Great....your body just doesn't seem to want to cut you a break. Just what you need, right?.... as you get ready to go back to work or get out for some fun on the weekend!

Then as you begin to get up and get ready for your day, take a nice hot shower washing yourself, and your hand grazes the neck area, you realize this cold sore or fever blister is going to be a doozy because you can even feel a mild pain taking up residence in your lower jaw.

It is your body giving you a nice little gift to remind you to take better care of yourself.

Cold sores and fever blisters are typically associated with a virus we have within our immune systems known as the Herpes Simplex virus. Most people (about 80% to 90% of the population) have it and it is brought about by illness and a build up of stress in our lives. In this weakened state our immune system now makes us more susceptible to the otherwise dormant herpes virus. It is our badge that announces to the world I have neglected myself for too long. Even a small injury to the mouth can bring one on, such as chapped, cracked lips or biting the lip.

Some people may only get an outbreak once in their lives and others may have one up to 4 times per year. Doctors can only treat them symptomatically since there is no cure. Typically they will run their course in a period of 7 - 10 days time. But perhaps you can fight back and shorten the time.

This is my personal home remedy that has worked for me over the years and timing is everything.

At the first sign of a cold sore or fever blister, and I do mean the first sign, the itchy, tingly feeling, but no sign of the sore yet, I take a tab of aspirin, 325 milligrams, everyday along with keeping the lip super moisturized, until the sensation subsides. Usually the fever blister or cold sore recedes within 1-3 days, and never comes to its fullest painful potential.

Now if I miss my window of prevention by a millisecond, then I follow the routine of aspirin and treating my lip with Vicks VapoRub. This little miracle worker is usually no farther than your medicine cabinet....I mean who doesn't own a jar of this stuff? This incredible stuff usually keeps it to the tiniest size and it won't reach the full scope of an untreated cold sore or fever blister. I've tried the hot compresses to no avail, usually enlarging it, but it works great for softening the blister and helping it to drain, which in turn can bring about faster healing, but it doesn't do anything for keeping that little sucker from coming forth and growing.

Why this home remedy works can only be attributed to aspirin being an anti-inflammatory and has holistic healing properties, and the Vicks has the holistic plant extracts, Camphor and Eucalyptus in it which act as an antiseptic, they are counter irritants and have anti-microbial, calming and soothing properties. Combined in the Vicks base, it also will keep the lip moisturized well. So even if my fever blister or cold sore has taken hold, Vicks VapoRub works to reduce the size, the pain, and create faster healing time.

Now for the Legal Disclaimer: I make no medical claim as to the benefit of this recipe. The information is not meant to replace those opinions of your doctor. Any concerns should be shared with him or her. The information provided is not intended to prescribe, treat, cure, or prevent certain diseases or ailments and these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I furthermore make no warranty as to the effectiveness of this formula. You may or may not have similar experiences. Results can vary.

Now that I have gotten that out of the time you might feel the symptoms described, even if this is your very first one in your life, you will recognize it and can begin early treatment to stave off the full outbreak. And remember to de-stress your life, take care of yourself and get plenty of rest to avoid an outbreak all together. Also make sure you keep the cold, wind and sun from your lips, especially if you ski whether on water or snow. I don't know how many times I have seen ski enthusiasts sport these lovely little nasties. It is so important to take care of our lips because as some of us have learned, if you crack your lips, it may not be isolated to a single breakout but a few can emerge in one viral attack. And if you treat just one, you may very well be preventing others from emerging. So take good care of the first one even if you don't catch it in time.

Well enjoy our better weather that is headed our way this weekend. Hopefully I will be out riding my bike after getting over a serious head cold myself this past week. It was a doozy and my hubby suffered right along with me. Perhaps that saying is true, "Misery Loves Company" because we were quite the pair.

If you have a favorite home remedy for what ails you, be sure to share it with us since home remedies are sometimes the best!

Take Care and Happy Weekend!

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