Is Abreva effective after cold sore has formed?

Answered by Jason Smith

Abreva® Cream can still be effective even if applied after the cold sore has formed, but its effectiveness may be reduced compared to using it at the early stages of a cold sore outbreak.

Abreva® Cream contains an active ingredient called docosanol, which works by blocking the virus from entering healthy cells and replicating. When applied early, it can help to shorten the duration of a cold sore and reduce the severity of symptoms.

However, once a cold sore has reached the stage of forming an ulcer or developing a crust, the virus has already begun replicating and causing damage to the skin. At this point, the healing process has already started, and Abreva® Cream may not be as effective in speeding up the healing time.

It’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and some people may still find benefit from using Abreva® Cream even at later stages of a cold sore outbreak. It’s always worth trying, as it may still provide some relief and potentially help to reduce the overall healing time.

In addition to using Abreva® Cream, there are other measures you can take to help manage a cold sore outbreak. Keeping the affected area clean and dry, avoiding picking or popping the blister, and practicing good hygiene can all help to prevent further infection and promote healing.

It’s also worth mentioning that cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), and while Abreva® Cream can help to manage symptoms, it does not cure or eliminate the virus from the body. Recurrences of cold sores are common, and it’s important to take steps to prevent spreading the virus to others, such as avoiding direct contact with the affected area and practicing safe sex.

While Abreva® Cream may still provide some benefit when applied after a cold sore has formed, its effectiveness may be reduced compared to using it at the early stages of an outbreak. It’s always best to apply Abreva® Cream as soon as you feel the tingling or itching sensation that often precedes a cold sore.