Multi-colored candy kisses on a fuchsia-colored surface

What Causes Fever Blisters
and Cold Sores?

By Kate Monahan
March 14, 2021

Cold sores and fever blisters are two different names for the same ailment that affects millions of people, ultimately caused by the contagious HSV-1, herpes simplex virus type 1. Fever blisters show themselves as tiny blisters on or around the lips. They are often fluid-filled and can cause discomfort for many people. There is no known cure for fever blisters, but there are fever blisters treatments that can help speed the healing process, ease the discomfort, and better manage outbreaks until they heal on their own. People also often ask if cold sores are herpes, and while cold sores are a type of herpes, HSV-1, they are different from the virus that causes genital herpes, or HSV-2, although they both can affect the same areas.

There are a few warning signs that will let you know when fever blisters are going to appear. First, a few days before the small, hard, and painful blisters actually start to form and erupt, you will likely feel a burning, itching, or tingling sensation around your lips. Once the blisters have formed, they will likely be located at the edge of your lips where it meets the skin, as well as around the nose and possibly on your cheeks. Smaller blisters can merge with each other before bursting, but once any blister bursts, it’ll leave shallow open sores that can still ooze fluids and will take up to 4 days to fully crust over. Fever blisters treatments can help ease the pain, and the outbreak will generally resolve in two weeks or less.

Initial outbreaks of fever blisters are often the worst and can be accompanied by headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, painful swelling, open sores, and sore throat. The good news is that while there is no known cure for fever blisters, there are steps you can take to manage and prevent them.

Minimizing Recurrence of Fever Blisters

One of the best fever blisters treatments out there involves managing your own health so that they do not trigger again in the future. Fever blisters, after the first occurrence, will remain dormant in the nerves of your face, but if you avoiding common triggers can minimize the chance of them resurfacing. Fever blisters can be triggered by periods of illness, mental and emotional stress, sunlight exposure, and changes in your immune system. Keeping your health better managed can greatly reduce your outbreaks, although they can still appear randomly as well.

Avoiding Getting Fever Blisters

Fever blisters are caused by a viral infection that is contagious, and most easily spreadable when blistering; however, it can still be spread at any time. The most common ways for it to spread are through skin-to-skin contact with open sores and blisters, sharing items that have come into contact with the saliva of someone with HSV-1, unclean hands, and kissing someone with fever blister signs. If you get frequent fever blisters, then your licensed medical provider may prescribe fever blisters treatments, like antiviral medication, to prevent them from forming, and you should also consider sunblock when outdoors. Additionally, if you have had a fever blister outbreak, you should replace your toothbrush as the virus can live on its surface for several days and cause an immediate re-infection.

Fever Blisters Treatments

If you are looking for a source of antiviral fever blister treatments, then check out Wisp for virtual access to a licensed medical provider and several antiviral medications that can help prevent the outbreak of fever blisters.

Bottle of Valacyclovir to treat oral and genital herpes outbreaks on a red surface, on a pink background

Valacyclovir (Valtrex) or Acyclovir (HSV-1)

Prescription antiviral pills used to prevent & treat outbreaks

Starting at $45.00

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Bottle of AV Defender, bottle of acyclovir cream, and bottle of valacyclovir tablets to treat and prevent oral and genital herpes outbreaks on a red surface, on a pink background

Cold Sore Trio

Prescription antiviral pills and cream are paired with over-the-counter All-Natural Herbals to prevent & treat outbreaks.

Starting at $45.00

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Bottle of AV Defender to prevent oral and genital herpes outbreaks on a red surface, on a pink background

Antiviral All-Natural Herbals (HSV-1)

Antiviral All-Natural Herbals are sold over-the-counter to help prevent outbreaks


Get Started
Bottle of topical Lidocaine cream to treat oral and genital herpes outbreaks on red surface, on pink background

Lidocaine-Amitriptyline Cream (HSV-1)

Fast cold sore pain relief, without the waiting room.

Starting at $30.00

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