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woman nervous about cold sores touching her lip
woman nervous about cold sores touching her lip


Lemon Juice

What’s a fever blister?

If you’re stumped, you’re not alone. That’s actually a trick question because fever blisters and cold sores are exactly the same thing . They’re called fever blisters and cold sores for a reason. Because when your immune system is weakened by a fever or a cold, you’re more susceptible to have an outbreak of small, often painful, blisters forming on or around your lips.

Question mark

So what causes them to appear anyway?

In addition to being called fever blisters or cold sores, they’re often called oral herpes because the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is what causes them. This type of viral infection is quite common. In fact, an estimated 90% of adults have been exposed to the cold sore virus. But not everyone will experience an outbreak.

Cream on finger

What’s the best way to treat an outbreak?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for the herpes simplex virus. You may come across many myths and home remedies for treating cold sores, but the only thing clinically proven and FDA approved to shorten the healing time is with fever blister medication. Other than patience, prescription medicines or non-prescription Abreva®Cream are your best weapons for fighting cold sores.


Is there any way to keep another outbreak from occurring?

Once you’re infected, the virus never leaves your body and it can lie dormant until it’s triggered by something like a cold, fever, or flu. Prevention is the key to avoiding one so if you feel an illness coming on, get plenty of rest and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. It might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about getting an annual flu vaccination, too. Aside from colds and fevers, numerous other triggers like stress and fatigue can also wear down your immune system. So be sure to relax, exercise, and get a good night’s sleep.


Is it contagious?

The cold sore virus is most contagious when you have a cold sore that hasn’t healed. Just as you wouldn’t want to spread a cold or flu to friends or family, make sure to avoid kissing or sharing objects like toothbrushes, water bottles, cups, utensils, or things like lip balm when you have one. And remember it can still spread even when not present.1 So, just to be safe, always keep a tube of Abreva® Cream handy in case you feel the tingle of a cold sore coming on.

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