Why Fever Blisters Are So Common
Fever blisters typically begin as a nagging, burning or itching on the outside of the lip, though fever blisters can also appear inside the lip. What most people don’t know (or even don’t believe) is that the majority of the bumps that are called fever blisters are actually the manifestation of the Herpes Simplex virus that causes Oral Herpes.
Whether they’re called fever blisters, cold sores, oral herpes, Herpes Cold Sores or myriad other names, these are embarrassing and painful sores that cause the victim no end of misery. So what causes fever blisters and why are they so prevalent? The answer to both questions are answered with a bit of research about the Herpes Virus.
Herpes is thought to be the most common virus in the world. In fact, some health care officials estimate that most people are exposed to at least one strain of the virus by the time they reach adulthood. Some say the potential for exposure is even greater. There are several ways the virus is transmitted and you may not even know you’ve been exposed – or that you’ve picked up the virus. Not everyone who has the oral herpes virus has fever blisters, cold sores or any other visible symptoms of the disease.
If the herpes virus causes these sores, why are they called fever blisters? Typically, a person who catches the herpes virus will show some symptoms. There may be fever blisters or cold sores that pop up and remain evident for days. But even after the cold sores and fever blisters have healed, the virus remains in the body. Some people contract the herpes virus and never show a single symptom. Even in this case, the virus remains in the body.
Then, something will trigger an outbreak. It may be as simple as stress or fatigue or as serious as an illness. In any case, your body (which has been holding the virus at bay) must turn its resources to other matters and the herpes virus is free to become active. Typically, this means that fever blisters will appear. Because fever blisters are often accompanied by fever, and because fever blisters often arrive when the person is already sick with a cold, fever or other illness, the assumption for many years was that the fever blister was a result of the illness. It took time for research to reveal that these fever blisters were the manifestation of the herpes virus.