Vitamins and Minerals for Fever Blisters

Fever blisters, also called cold sores, are caused by the herpes simplex virus, type 1. The blisters can occur on your lips, cheeks, chin, gums or nostrils. You might experience a tingling sensation one to two days before the initial fever blister outbreak of fluid-filled blisters around your mouth. These blisters generally last between 10 and 14 days, although they can last longer. The exact cause varies, but illness, sunburn, wind, stress, hormonal changes or a weakened immune system can trigger an outbreak. A variety of vitamins can prevent or fight the herpes simplex virus and banish fever blisters.

Vitamin A

The recommended daily dosage for vitamin A is 900 mcg for men and 700 mcg for women. Foods rich in vitamin A include:

  • beef
  • cod liver oil
  • eggs
  • liver
  • milk
  • carrots
  • kale
  • spinach

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that strengthens your immune system and lowers your risk of developing the herpes simplex virus, the virus commonly associated with fever blisters, according to Phyllis Balch, author of the book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Balch explains that vitamin C also aids in collagen production, hydrates your skin, decreases inflammation, accelerates the healing process and helps repair damaged tissues 1. The recommended daily dosage for vitamin C is 1,000 mg for adults. Foods rich in vitamin C include:

  • strawberries
  • cranberries
  • grapefruits
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • kale
  • Swiss chard
  • oranges
  • tomatoes

Zinc

The recommended daily dosage for zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women. Foods rich in zinc include:

  • oysters
  • beef shanks
  • fortified cereals
  • low-fat fruit yogurt
  • baked beans
  • chickpeas
  • Swiss cheese

Calcium

Foods rich in calcium include:

  • plain yogurt
  • sardines
  • milk
  • mozzarella
  • salmon
  • tofu
  • ice cream
  • pudding
  • fortified soy milk
  • tortillas
  • sour cream
  • ready-to-eat cereals
  • spinach
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