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Health Tip: Understanding Fever Blisters

- Fever blisters, sometimes called cold sores, are small blisters that occur on the lips or in or around the mouth. The sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus, and can be very painful.

Here are some facts and suggestions about fever blisters, courtesy of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery:

  • The dormant fever blister virus can be made active by stress, the sun, fever, hormonal changes or trauma.
  • The virus is very contagious, and can be easily spread to other areas of the body, and from person to person.
  • To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, avoid touching or picking at a blister, and avoid touching other people or other parts of your body until you wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Fever blisters tend to recur, often in the same place.
  • The virus can be spread even when there are no blisters present.
  • While there is no cure for the virus, antiviral ointment applied to a sore can help hide its appearance.
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Posted: September 2007