An Ounce of Prevention

If you haven't been infected yet, avoid kissing and close contact with people who have active outbreaks; this can easily spread the virus. Never share personal products like utensils, towels or lip balm, which can also carry the disease from one person to another [source: Mayo Clinic].

Home Remedies for Fever Blisters

Before you turn to medication, you may want to ensure that you are doing everything within your power to control your outbreaks. The easy hygiene and self-care tips below may be able to help you control your cold sores.

Be cautious about spreading the virus -- both to other people and to other parts of your body. Washing your hands thoroughly can help prevent this. You should also use caution when touching other parts of your own body, since the eyes and genitals can be especially easy to infect [source: Mayo Clinic].

No one knows every cause of every outbreak, some environmental factors can influence when your cold sores will return. These include having a fever, cold or the flu, spending too much time in the sun without sunscreen, being stressed or experiencing changes in your immune system. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a lower amount of stress and wearing sunscreen on your lips and face while outdoors can help alleviate some of these outbreak causes. If you already have an active outbreak, applying ice or a warm compress to the area can help ease the pain associated with blisters. You should also avoid picking or squeezing the sores, since this can interfere with the healing process [source: Mayo Clinic].

Cold sores are a common ailment; although they can be bothersome, many people have success with the treatment methods listed above. To learn more about how fever blisters work, visit the links on the next page.