Abreva Docosanol 10% Cream Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment - .07 oz. (2g) Original Tube
Abreva Docosanol 10% Cream Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment is the only over-the-counter medication approved by the FDA that is proven to shorten healing time. Abreva Docosanol 10% Cream Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment contains 10% Docosanol — a unique, patented ingredient that speeds healing and helps protect healthy cells against the cold sore infection. Abreva Docosanol 10% Cream Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment penetrates deep to the root of your cold sore to heal it faster.
Abreva in Action
When you use Abreva Docosanol 10% Cream Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment at the first tingle, you’ll notice it immediately soothes your cold sore. The medicine goes deep into the skin to strengthen the cell membranes surrounding your healthy skin cells. Abreva Docosanol 10% Cream Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment actually turns these cells into barriers against the cold sore virus — blocking the virus from entering healthy cells. With Abreva Docosanol 10% Cream Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment , you’ll get cold sore relief and shorten healing time.
Abreva Docosanol 10% Cream Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment uses:
- Treats cold sores/fever blisters on the face or lips
- Shortens healing time and duration of symptoms:
- Tingling, pain, burning, and/or itching
You don’t mess around when you’re fighting a cold sore. That’s why your choice is Abreva, the only over-the-counter cold sore medicine approved by the FDA to shorten the healing time and the duration of cold sore symptoms. It does that by getting to the root of your cold sore.
Quite simply, Abreva speeds healing like a prescription, but without one. That’s why a whole lot of everyday “Abreva believers” have great success stories
Even a busy person like you can find time to fight cold sores. So choose your weapon:
- Abreva Pump
The slim, trim and portable design dispenses the right amount of Abreva at the press of a finger. It’s a clean, easy application for busy people on the go. Slip it into your pocket so it’s within reach at that first tingle.
- Abreva Original Tube
The compact, convenient Abreva tube is designed to keep a low profile in the medicine cabinet. And small enough to take along in a purse, briefcase or car. Keep one at home and carry another with you just in case.
- Abreva Conceal Patches
Abreva Conceal is a clear patch that provides a protective barrier during your cold sore outbreak. Covers to mask the cold sore. Protects cold sore from contamination. Non-Medicated. Can apply makeup over the patch. The patch is non-irritting. Protects Day or Night.
Abreva vs. Others
Nothing else you can buy without a prescription shortens healing like Abreva. Nothing.
Other lip products, like Blistex™ Medicated or Neosporin LT, can’t stand up to your cold sores like Abreva cold sore medication. Abreva is the only over-the-counter medication approved by the FDA that is proven to shorten healing time. Basically, it can shorten the healing time of your cold sore much like a prescription would, but without the hassle of a prescription.
Plus, Abreva comes in a handy tube or an easy-to-use pump to keep with you just in case that first tingle pops up.
How to Use Abreva
You know that using Abreva properly is your best defense—so you can get back to living your life cold sore free. But make sure you use it properly for the best results.
- Don’t Skimp. Don’t Skip
Abreva is recommended for adults and children 12 years and over, and should be used exactly as directed: five times a day until your cold sore is healed, for a maximum of 10 days.
- Keep it Clean
Remove any cosmetics prior to applying Abreva. Apply Abreva directly to your cold sore at the first sign of a tingle, redness, bump or itch for best results. If you wish, you can apply cosmetics such as lipstick over Abreva. And always wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after treating your cold sore.
- Apply Good Sense
To avoid spreading the infection, always use a separate applicator, like a cotton swab, to apply cosmetics to an unhealed cold sore.
And while you’re treating your cold sore, remember:
- Don’t Bug Your Cold Sore
Never, never, never pick, scratch or squeeze your cold sore. This may cause scarring or a longer lasting cold sore.
- Keep Your Hands Clean
Always wash your hands after touching or putting ointment on a cold sore. Thoroughly washing your hands during an outbreak can keep you from spreading the cold sore virus to other parts of your body and to other people.
- Carefully Consider Treatment Options
If left untreated, cold sores generally take 8 to 10 days (sometimes longer) to heal. Know what treatment options are available so you choose the one that’s right for you. With the right treatment, you may be able to speed up healing faster than the 8 to 10 days the body normally takes to fight the virus. Abreva is the only FDA approved over-the-counter treatment proven to significantly shorten healing time.
- Reduce the Risk to Others
Take precautions during a cold Sore Stages to protect the people you care about. Make sure you know the do’s and don’ts of reducing the risks to others so you can properly protect the people around you from getting your cold sore virus.
- Talk to Your Pharmacist
Talk to your pharmacist to get the best treatment advice. It’s also important to talk to your pharmacist or healthcare professional if a cold sore lasts more than 10 days, or if you’re not sure the sore you see and feel is actually a cold sore.
What are Cold Sores?
A cold sore is a blister that forms on or around the lips and is usually caused by the HSV-1. Most cold sore sufferers aren’t exactly sure when they first encountered the virus because HSV-1 is usually contracted early in childhood.
During a cold sore outbreak , which often occurs after you have experienced one of the cold sore triggers, the virus “wakes up” and infects the skin cells in or around your lips or mouth, eventually becoming a visible and contagious sore.
But when you use Abreva at the very first tingle, you’ll help shorten the duration time of your cold sore. That’s because Abreva is the only FDA approved medicine that actually blocks the virus from getting to healthy cells.
Cold Sore Triggers
You’re ready to take on a cold sore. So now it’s time to identify what may cause your cold sore outbreaks, so you’ll have one more weapon in your arsenal .
Remember, not everyone’s cold sore is triggered by the same thing. But there are seven common factors that may cause your cold sore outbreaks. Want to avoid them before things get ugly? Read on.
- Fight Fatigue
Like stress and illness, fatigue can sap your immune system, making you easy prey for a cold sore outbreak. In today’s hectic world, feeling “beat” can give cold sores the advantage. So relax. Exercise. Sleep. And give your immune system a fighting chance.
- Stay Calm
Sure, stress messes with emotions. But stress can also wear down your immune system, giving that dormant cold sore a chance to launch a sneak attack. Fight the urge to stress out. Instead, breathe deeply and relax.
- Keep Warm
Protect yourself from the cold. Wear a scarf or pull up that turtleneck to avoid exposure to cold weather, dry air and winter wind that can dry out lips.
- Shade Yourself
Go on the offensive against sun exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin and lead to a cold sore. So fight back with a good sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat and a beach umbrella.
- Know Your Hormones
For women, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can trigger an outbreak. Pay attention to your own hormonal cycle to manage stress. And give yourself a fighting chance against flare-ups by keeping a tube of Abreva handy when you’re feeling that your hormones may trigger an outbreak.
- Protect Your Mouth
Trauma to your mouth or lips can launch a cold sore outbreak. Could be an injury. Could be a dental procedure that pulls at the sensitive area around your mouth. If this is one of your triggers, make your dentist an ally and join forces to minimize trauma.
- Stay Strong
A fever, a cold or the flu can leave you feeling run-down and on the defense against a cold sore outbreak. When you feel a cold, fever or flu coming on, listen to the experts and get plenty of rest and fluids. It could be just what you need to KO a cold sore.
Cold Sore Stages
When you meet a cold sore face to face, you’ll notice that every day is a new adventure. But you’ll be ready. Believe it or not, one cold sore typically goes through 5 stages during its 8-10 day course, — and sometimes it can hang around up to 2 weeks. When you start using Abreva at the first tingle, you can help shorten the duration of your cold sore cycle. It’s the only over-the-counter medication approved by the FDA that is proven to shorten healing time. And, remember to avoid your triggers during every stage of your cold sore.
- The First Tingle | Day 1-2
Known as The Early Stage, this is when you’ll feel those first few symptoms — the first tingle and maybe an itching and/or burning sensation. You might feel like this is more the “Tingle Stage” and it might last a few hours up to a full day. Your skin could feel like it’s tightening where your cold sore is forming. The area becomes red and swollen because of the inflammatory reaction to the infection.
- Fighting the Cold Sore | Days 2-4
This is The Blister Stage — when you first can see the blister. It probably looks like a group of small, painful lumps that may multiply and/or grow. As your body tries to fight your cold sore, white blood cells travel to the blister to help fight the infection. When this is happening, your cold sore blister fills with fluid which contains millions of virus particles.
- Goodbye, Blister | Day 4
This may be the most painful stage of your outbreak but it’ll only last around one day. During The Ulcer Stage, the blisters burst and a shallow ulcer (open sore) develops. You may also see a red ring of inflammation around the affected area.
- Almost Gone | Days 5-8
During The Scabbing Stage, your cold sore dries out and a golden-brown crust appears, forming a scab. As your scab shrinks, you may experience painful cracks that can bleed. You may also feel severe itching and burning during this stage, too.
- Knocked Out | Day 8-10
Finally, it’s time for your cold sore to heal during The Healing Stage. As your scab starts to come off, you may notice some dry flaking and residual swelling. Your skin may also remain slightly pink or red.
Spreading Cold Sores
You probably already know that HSV-1 is as easy to spread as it is tough to fight. So it goes without saying: keep the virus to yourself. Because it’s contagious,it can be spread through skin-to-skin contact. If the cold sore gets passed to you from someone with the virus, it sneaks into your body through a mucous membrane in your mouth or damaged skin. Then it remains dormant in a nerve in your cheek until a cold sore trigger awakens it.
As you’re reaching for your Abreva, you should also be following these safeguards:
- No Kissing
Cold sores are spread by getting up-close and personal. At any stage of an outbreak, when you kiss your loved ones, especially on the mouth, you’re very likely to pass on the virus. And remember, though not as common, cold sores can spread to other parts of the body, too.
- No Sharing Food and Utensils
Even though you’re not directly making skin-to-skin contact when you share food and utensils, it is still not a good idea to share anything you put your mouth on. That goes for straws, cups and glasses.
- Do Not Touch!
If you find yourself touching your cold sore: stop! But if you just can’t, remember to wash your hands right away. Your cold sore is contagious throughout its entire cycle and super-contagious during the blister stage. When it’s weeping or seeping, stand clear!
And follow these tips:
- Recognize the Signs of an Outbreak
Don’t be fooled by a sneaky cold sore that’s contagious even before you even see it. When you feel that tingling, itching, or burning on or around your lips, it’s go time. Take the same precautions you would as if there was actually a visible cold sore.
- Avoid Your Triggers
Try to limit cold sore flare-ups by knowing your triggers. Then take action to avoid them. Fewer outbreaks mean a lower risk of infecting others, simple as that.
- Protect Young Kids
Kids get cold sores, too. Because the HSV-1 virus is often first contracted during childhood, take the same precautions with children as you do with other adults.
Cold Sore Myths
You know you’ve heard them — those cold sore myths that spread almost as fast as the virus itself. When it comes to fighting a cold sore , you'll hear advice on everything from home remedies to lip balm cures. Learn the cold sore facts so you can face every cold sore with confidence — from the first tingle until it’s bye, bye blister.
- Cold sores are only contagious when you can see a blister
Fight with this Fact: Cold sores are contagious from the first tingle until it’s completely healed. Remember to take extra precautions to protect others from encountering the virus.
- The cold sore virus (Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1, HSV-1) cannot spread beyond the lip area.
Fight with this Fact: HSV-1 is a form of the Herpes Simplex Virus that usually affects the lips or mouth, but can spread to the eyes or genitals.
- Everyone who contracts the cold sore virus will experience an outbreak.
Fight with this Fact: While it’s likely that 90% of adults have been infected by the cold sore virus, not everyone gets cold sore outbreaks. Actually, only 20%-40% of people will experience cold sores.
- There is no way to shorten the healing time of a cold sore.
Fight with this Fact: Some prescription medicines — as well as the over-the-counter medicine Abreva™ — have been clinically proven and FDA-approved to shorten the healing time of a cold sore.
- There is no over-the-counter treatment that can shorten the healing time of a cold sore.
Fight with this Fact: Abreva, with 10% Docosanol, is the only FDA-approved, over-the-counter treatment that is proven to shorten the duration of symptoms and healing time of a cold sore.
- Ingredients like camphor, menthol and phenol can heal a cold sore.
Fight with this Fact: Though these common lip balm and ointment ingredients can soothe or moisturize your cold sore, they’re not clinically proven to heal it.
- All over-the-counter products are FDA-approved to shorten healing of a cold sore.
Fight with this Fact: Currently, the only over-the-counter healing product approved by the FDA to shorten both healing time and the duration of symptoms is Abreva.
- Ice helps cold sores heal faster.
Fight with this Fact: Ice may temporarily provide relief from your symptoms and help reduce redness and swelling. But don’t expect it to speed the healing of your cold sore.
- Distilled vinegar prevents cold sore outbreaks.
Fight with this Fact: Vinegar helps with many things but preventing cold sore outbreaks is not one of them.
- Alcohol or witch hazel kills the viruses in cold sores.
Fight with this Fact: Alcohol and witch hazel are astringents that will dry out your cold sore. Not to mention they are not FDA approved or clinically proven to speed the healing of a cold sore.
- Tea bags heal cold sores.
Fight with this Fact: Put away the tea bags —unless you’re making tea. They will not make your cold sore go away faster.
When you’re up against a cold sore, having answers to your questions gives you more power to knock them out — cold.
Q. What does Abreva look like?
A: Abreva comes in a convenient 2.0-gram tube so that you can easily carry it with you and apply as directed. Abreva is a smooth, white cream that has no smell or taste. It dries clear so that it can be your secret defense against cold sores.
Q. How is Abreva packaged?
A: Abreva comes in a tube or pump, that you can easily carry with you so at the first sign of a cold sore, you can start fighting. Abreva is a smooth, white cream that dries clear. It won't sting or burn and it has no smell or taste. It can be your strongest defense and secret weapon against cold sores. The outside package is composed of polypropylene (a type of plastic).
Q. How do I use the pump?
A: After you open a new pump, press the pump completely about 6-8 times to get the first dose. The pump dispenses the appropriate amount of product with each pump. Apply Abreva with a cotton swab or your fingers, but do wash your hands before and after applying the cream. Rub it in gently, and the cream will dry clear.
Q. Did the Abreva tube packaging change?
A: In April 2006, The Abreva package changed to allow consumers to see the tube through the packaging. The package no longer contains a cardboard carton as the tube is now displayed behind a plastic bubble.
Q. What is the difference between the tube and pump?
A: Both the Abreva tube and pump use the same 10% Docosanol formulation. The difference is in the device used to dispense Abreva. The tube is great for use at home, and the pump offers a clean and easy way to carry your Abreva with you on the go so you’re ready to fight at the first tingle.
Q. How is Abreva different from other cold sore products?
A: Abreva is the only over-the-counter cold sore medication approved by the FDA to shorten healing time and the duration of symptoms. Abreva contains 10% Docosanol, a unique patented active ingredient that, during a cold sore outbreak, helps to protect healthy cells from the cold sore infection.
Q. Is Docosanol an antiviral?
A: Docosanol is not classified as an antiviral. Typically, nucleoside analogues, such as penciclovir (Denavir) and acyclovir (Zovirax), are considered the topical antivirals that are used for herpes labialis. They are classified as antivirals because their activity occurs in virus-infected cells. Docosanol's mode of action is different. Its mode of action takes place only in healthy cells, where it works on the cell membrane to help inhibit the ability of the virus to fuse with the cell membrane. This makes the virus less likely to enter the cell to begin the process of infection.
Q. How much cream dispenses with each pump?
A: The pump is designed to dispense the right amount of cream for one application of Abreva.
Q. How long will a tube of Abreva last for the average cold sore sufferer? How many applications can I expect to get out of one 2.0 gram tube of Abreva?
A: It is estimated that a tube of Abreva will last the average cold sore sufferer though 2-3 episodes (a year's supply for the average sufferer). However, because the duration of cold sores varies among different individuals, your results may vary. It is important to apply Abreva according to the package directions and recommended dosage (avoid trying to "stretch" the product to last for an extra episode).
Q. When should I use Abreva?
A: For best results, start fighting with Abreva the moment you feel a cold sore coming on. Learn what triggers your cold sore and how to recognize the signs of a tingle, redness, bump or itch so you can start to fight as soon as you feel it. Abreva should be used five times a day for up to 10 days.
Q. If I feel a tingle, but the cold sore hasn't erupted yet. Can I use this?
A: Yes. Begin using Abreva at the first sign of a cold sore for best results.
Q. Will this help if I start to apply it after the blister has developed?
A: Best results are seen when Abreva is used early in a cold sore episode. Once your cold sore has reached the stage of forming an ulcer or even a crust, then it may not be as effective in shortening healing time.
Q. Will the scab on my cold sore interfere with the absorption of the product? Can I peel the scabs on my cold sore?
A: Once the scab has formed, your cold sore is nearing its stage of complete healing. Keep applying the product for the 10 days, or until the scab has fallen off, whichever is the earliest. Abreva does not recommend peeling the scab. You could damage the new, delicate skin underneath. Let the scab fall off naturally.
Q. What if I miss a dose?
A: Apply a dose as soon as you remember and then reapply the next dose on schedule.
Q. How do I use Abreva?
A: Apply five times a day until healed for up to 10 days. Apply with a Q-tip or with fingers, but do wash hands before and after applying the cream. Use an ample amount to completely cover the sore and the area around the sore for best results. Per package directions, rub in gently, but completely. Abreva dries clear once rubbed in.
Q. How should I apply this? Should I use my fingertip or a Q-tip? How much should I apply each time?
A: Apply enough to completely cover your cold sore and follow the directions on the package. If you use your finger to apply, make sure to wash your hands before and after applying Abreva.
Q. Do I need to apply this product around the clock or only during waking hours? How far apart should the applications be spaced?
A: Applying five times a day during waking hours — approximately every 3-4 hours.
Q. How often can I reapply?
A: Abreva should be applied 5 times/day, until healed. Apply Abreva after you wash your face.
Q. Can Abreva be used to treat genital herpes, canker sores or shingles? Can I use this on the cracks that form in the corners of my mouth?
A: No. Abreva is indicated only for the treatment of cold sores caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1.
Q. How thin or thick of a coating should I apply?
A: Use an ample amount to completely cover your cold sore and the area around your cold sore for best results. Per package directions, rub in gently, but completely.
Q. Who can use it? Is it safe?
A: Abreva can be used by adults and children over 12. Abreva is considered safe and well tolerated. Abreva should be used five times a day for up to 10 days. And because cold sores are contagious, you won't want to share your tube of Abreva with others. Doing so may spread the infection.
Q. Does the tube or pump contain any latex?
A: The tube and pump does not contain or latex.
Q. Can I use longer than 10 days?
A: No. It is not recommended for use longer than 10 days. Also, it could be the sign of a more serious infection so you should contact your health care professional for advice.
Q. Why should I call my doctor if my cold sore has not healed in 10 days?
A: You should contact your doctor if your cold sore has not healed within 10 days while using Abreva. If an infection has not healed after this length of time, then getting the doctor to look at it will ensure that you receive an updated diagnosis and possibly, additional treatment.
Q. Can I apply cosmetics on top of it?
A: Yes. Cosmetics, such as lipstick, may be applied over Abreva. However, use a separate applicator, like a cotton swab, to apply cosmetics or sunscreen over an unhealed cold sore to avoid spreading the infection. For best results, remove any cosmetics prior to applying/reapplying Abreva.
Q. Can I use Abreva in conjunction with other topical products (i.e., Carmex, Blistex, etc.)?
A: Abreva has not studied the use of Abreva with other topical cold sore products and do not know whether or not using two products together will interfere with Abreva's effectiveness.
Q. Can I use it if I am pregnant or breast-feeding?
A: Testing has not been conducted with Abreva on pregnant or breast-feeding women. Consult your physician.
Q. Your label warning says to get medical help if the product is swallowed. What happens if I lick my lips and swallow some? Will this harm me?
A: This statement is precautionary in the event that someone swallows all of the tube contents. The amount ingested by licking the affected area will be minimal and should not give cause for concern. If in doubt, always ask your physician's advice.
Q. Can I kiss someone while a cold sore is on my lips?
A: Since cold sores are contagious, kissing should be avoided during a cold sore outbreak. Click here to learn more about spreading the cold sore virus.
Q. What can I expect to happen if I get some Abreva on the skin around the sore?
A: Abreva is safe to apply on both normal skin and cold sores. In fact, applying Abreva both on and around the sore is good as it will ensure both the obvious cold sore and areas still developing are adequately treated.
Q. Why can't I apply this inside my mouth or nose?
A: Mucous membranes inside the mouth and nose are very sensitive and you could experience some irritation of the membranes. If your cold sore spreads upward to involve the outside of the nostrils, then Abreva can be safely applied. It is not recommended that you insert Abreva inside the nose.
Q. What happens if I actually get some in my mouth?
A: Small amounts that get just inside the lip/mouth junction by the cold sore should not be a problem. However, if you accidentally place a large amount of cream into your mouth, then remove the cream and rinse out your mouth with water.