If you have a group of small blisters around your mouth or lips, you are most likely dealing with cold sores. The very first symptom is having a spot on your mouth that burns or itches until it develops into a blister. The spot may become red, swollen, or sore when the first symptoms go away. These blisters can break open, ooze, and turn into a scab after a few days.

As painful as it may sound, Bright Side suggests some of the easiest ways for you to steer clear of this mess well in advance. You can thank us later.

But before we begin with the ways of prevention, let’s see what causes cold sores in the first place.

Cold sores or fever blisters are caused by HSV or herpes simplex virus. These parasites permeate our body via our mouth or a break in the skin. This infection simply spreads when you touch a person with a cold sore, or when you share their utensils, kiss them, or even touch their saliva. Apart from the mouth, cold sores can also infect other body parts too. But you can prevent it from happening by following the tips below.

1. Steer clear from all infected sources that can give you cold sores.

In other words, you need to avoid coming into contact with things that an infected person may have used like utensils, glasses, towels, toothbrushes, and razors, or even kissing an infected person.

2. Stay away from the triggers too.

While you may believe that these blisters are caused by coming into contact with other infected people, know that you can trigger your own cold sores as well. This happens when you are suffering from cold, the flu, or even stress. You need to try to stay away from any risk factors.

3. Take preventive measures by applying lip balms, sunscreens, etc.

Speaking of triggers, you can also prevent them by applying sunscreens and/or lip balms with SPF 15 or higher. You should also avoid touching your cold sore, unless you are gently dabbing sunscreen on the affected areas. Always wash your hands before applying any remedy onto the fever blister.

4. Home remedies are your best friends.

While applying ice on the affected areas can help in reducing the discomfort caused by cold sores, it won’t cure you of the breakout completely. Applying aloe vera gel on the affected areas will be better at helping you alleviate the symptoms with its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

5. If none of these remedies seems to work, consult a doctor.

Sometimes the symptoms get so stubborn that none of the remedies seem to be working. If that is the case, you need to consult a doctor. They can prescribe you the necessary medications to relieve you from the annoying symptoms in no time.

Paying heed to these preventive measures will certainly eliminate the symptoms of cold sores in a flash. Are you aware of any more easy home remedies to get rid of these blisters? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Illustrated by Polina Koshel for Bright Side