Rule #: Dont Touch It
Touching the sores can increase the chance that you spread the virus to other parts of your body or to other people. Make sure to wash your hands frequently. Also, you can use a cotton swab or a finger cot to apply cream or ointment to the affected area instead of your fingers to avoid spreading the virus to other regions .
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Can I Use Abreva Cream Longer Than 10 Days
No. It is not recommended for use Abreva cream longer than 10 days. Also, it could be the sign of a more serious infection.
You should contact your doctor if your cold sore has not healed within 10 days while using Abreva cream. Getting the doctor to look at it will ensure that you receive an updated diagnosis and possibly additional treatment.
Cold sores are caused by a viral infection.
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How Effective Are Topical Herpes Treatments
Studies have found that topical creams and ointments like and arent so great at preventing lesions from oral herpes . Theyre also really expensive and usually have to be applied several times a day.
Two new topical medications for oral herpes may hold more promise, but they come at a cost.
includes acyclovir 5% cream and 1% hydrocortisone and works better than either ingredient alone. Interestingly, Xerese cream has been shown not only to shorten healing time but also to make it less likely that the lesions will return. Unfortunately, Xerese is expensive and rarely covered by insurance. But it is a combination of 2 cheaper generic creams, so talk to your doctor about making your own combination.
is a different form of acyclovir that can also be used to treat an oral herpes outbreak. It is an adhesive tablet that you place on your gums. Sitavig delivers a high concentration of acyclovir directly to your lip, the site of the cold sore. But again, itll cost you.
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Treatment For Oral Herpes
The antiviral medications available in pill form have been specifically developed for the treatment of genital herpes. However, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers to prescribe the antiviral drugs to those who have frequent or severe outbreaks of oral herpes.
A recent study found valacyclovir to be effective for treating oral herpes in a one-day treatment of 2 grams taken at the first sign of a cold sore, and then again about 12 hours later.
There are two topical antiviral medications prescribed for the treatment of oral HSV symptoms: acyclovir ointment and penciclovir cream. Both work to speed up the healing process and reduce the viral activity. These topical drugs are put directly on the lesions themselves, but can also be used at the onset of prodrome.
Other topical treatments for oral herpes are available over-the-counter , but are not antiviral compounds like acyclovir and penciclovir. Some also contain ingredients that numb the area and induce temporary relief from the discomfort of an outbreak. Unfortunately, some OTC treatments may actually delay the healing time of symptoms because they can further irritate the area with repeated applications. There is only one OTC FDA-approved cream, called Abreva®, which has been clinically proven to help speed the healing process.
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, with the cap on and tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture . Never leave this medication in your car in cold or hot weather.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDAs Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
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Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Some people use natural therapies to treat herpes, either on their own or to support standard medical care. The research supporting their use is generally weak, with little evidence that they can reduce either the severity or duration of an outbreak. Even so, many people swear by their effectiveness and consider them a vital part of managing herpes outbreaks.
Complementary and alternative therapies sometimes used to treat herpes include:
- Propolis: This is a sticky substance produced by bees that may help speed the healing of genital herpes. A 2017 study found that people who used propolis ointment experienced better healing by the 10th day of treatment compared to those who used a sham ointment.
- Algae extract: Lab studies suggest that algae extract can inhibit the growth of HSV-2 in test tubes. Whether it can do so in humans has yet to be proven.
- Acupuncture: A 2011 study concluded that acupuncture was mildly effective in reducing pain caused by the herpes zoster virus , the type of herpes virus that causes shingles. While this suggests that acupuncture may be useful in easing genital herpes pain, this has yet to be proven.
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How Is Genital Herpes Treated
There is no cure for genital herpes. However, it is possible to reduce the symptoms using anti-viral medicine. This is most effective when started within 72 hours of the first symptoms.
Medicines can help control outbreaks if they are frequent or severe. Anti-viral medicine can reduce the risk from passing the virus on to a sexual partner.
The symptoms can also be helped by:
- gently bathing the area with a warm salt solution
- pain medicine, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- local anaesthetic ointment or cream
- urinating while sitting in a warm bath, if urination is painful
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Is It Illegal To Not Tell Someone You Have Herpes
Is it Illegal to not tell someone you have Herpes? No, it is not illegal to not tell someone you have herpes. However, if you are in an intimate relationship with someone, it is best to let your partner know that you have an STD. This will allow you both to take precautions to minimize the spread of the STD. via
Cold Sores Kissing And Sex
If you get cold sores, that doesnt mean you should totally avoid intimacy, whether thats dating, kissing or sex. But the American Sexual Health Association advises that you should wait until a cold sore heals and the area looks normal again before performing oral sex or kissing someone directly on the mouth .
Because most adults have oral herpes, we do not advise that a person stop giving or receiving affection altogether between outbreaks simply because they have oral herpes, the ASHA says. However, using a barrier or condom when performing oral sex can reduce the risk of contracting genital herpes.
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How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores As Quickly As Possible
Cold sores generally clear up on their own, without any medical intervention, within two to four weeks. But there are things you can do to speed the healing process. Several antiviral medications are available, which can shorten healing time. Antiviral drugs prescribed for cold sores include valacyclovir , acyclovir , famciclovir and penciclovir .
What Is The Dosage Of Acyclovir Vs Abreva
Acyclovir may be taken with or without food.
- Adult oral doses for treating genital herpes are 200 mg every 4 hours for 7-10 days or 400 mg three times daily for 5-10 days.
- Herpes Zoster is treated with 800 mg every 4 hours for 7 to 10 days.
- The dose for treating chicken pox is 800 mg 4 times daily. The usual adult intravenous dose is 5-10 mg/kg every 8 hours for 7-10 days.
Directions: adults and children 12 years or over:
- wash hands before and after applying cream
- apply to affected area on face or lips at the first sign of cold sore/feverblister .
- early treatment ensures the best results
- rub in gently but completely
- use 5 times a day until healed
children under 12 years:
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Etiology Of Herpes Simplex Labialis
The most common cause of herpes simplex labialis is the type 1 herpes simplex virus, abbreviated as HSV-1.3 HSV-1 is the causal agent in more than 95% of patients who experience recurrent fever blisters.4 The remainder of cases are caused by HSV type 2 , the infective agent associated with genital herpes. Having oral sex with a person infected with HSV-2 can result in HSV-2 herpes simplex labialis.
Can I Kiss Someone While A Cold Sore Is On My Lips
Since cold sores are contagious, kissing should be avoided during a cold sore outbreak. Getting up-close and personal spreads cold sores. At any stage of an outbreak, when you kiss your loved ones, especially on the mouth, youre very likely to pass on the virus. And remember, though not as common, cold sores can spread to other parts of the body, too.
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How Should This Medicine Be Used
Topical acyclovir comes as a cream and an ointment to apply to the skin. Acyclovir cream is usually applied five times a day for 4 days. Acyclovir cream may be applied at any time during a cold sore outbreak, but it works best when it is applied at the very beginning of a cold sore outbreak, when there is tingling, redness, itching, or a bump but the cold sore has not yet formed. Acyclovir ointment is usually applied six times a day for 7 days. It is best to begin using acyclovir ointment as soon as possible after you experience the first symptoms of infection. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use topical acyclovir exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your symptoms should improve during your treatment with topical acyclovir. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
Acyclovir cream and ointment are for use only on the skin. Do not let acyclovir cream or ointment get into your eyes, or inside your mouth or nose, and do not swallow the medication.
Acyclovir cream should only be applied to skin where a cold sore has formed or seems likely to form. Do not apply acyclovir cream to any unaffected skin, or to genital herpes sores.
Does Abreva Work After The Blister Appears
Based on how Abreva works, once your cold sore blisters are out, proud, and there for everyone to see, Abreva isnt going to do much.
Docosanol works by preventing the herpes virus from infecting new, healthy skin cells. When the cold sore blisters are already out, the viral infection is at its peak. The virus has basically infected as many cells as its ever going to.
So stopping new cells from being infected isnt going to do much for cold sores already in the blister stage beyond perhaps stopping them from getting even bigger. Just dont hold your breath for Abreva to have much of an impact on existing cold sores.
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Abreva Reviews From Real Life Cold Sore Sufferers
If science has found docosanol to be an effective treatment, what do real life cold sore sufferers have to say?
Just like the scientific literature, user reviews of Abreva are all over the map. Read reviews on Amazon or stories from people on Reddit and it seems Abreva is either the greatest cold sore medicine ever, or it doesnt do anything. Heck, some people claim that it even made their cold sores worse!
But given that the positive reviews of Abreva generally outweigh the negative ones, its safe to say that its effective more often than not.
As for those claiming that Abreva made their cold sores worse, well, how do they know?
When youre treating a cold sore, you dont know how big it would have gotten had you left it untreated. So even though you get big, nasty blisters with Abreva, how do you know they wouldnt have been even bigger and nastier without the Abreva?
Plus, I seriously doubt that Abreva can actively make a cold sore worse. My guess is the people who said so in their reviews either didnt use it early enough in their outbreak, or they would have gotten an outbreak twice the size had they not used it.
How To Use Abreva
This article was medically reviewed by and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA. Dr. Litza is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Wisconsin. She is a practicing Physician and taught as a Clinical Professor for 13 years, after receiving her MD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in 1998.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 54,303 times.
Cold sores can be painful and embarrassing, but fortunately there is an easy treatment for them. Abreva is the brand name of docosanol, an antiviral that treats the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores. Sold as a topical cream, Abreva can help relieve pain and discomfort caused by your cold sore and may help it to heal faster.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source Applying Abreva is easy, but you do need to use it several times a day and should follow basic safety precautions.
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Are There Any Abreva Alternatives
Ever since its been available, Abreva has been basically the only cold sore treatment containing docosanol on the market. I can only assume thats how theyve gotten away with selling it for twenty bucks a tube for so long, when all the other over-the-counter cold sore treatments sell for half that.
However, there is now an alternative to Abreva, and it costs significantly less money too. Its called Docoshield.
Like Abreva, Docoshield contains docosanol as its active ingredient. The big difference between both products, though, is that while Abreva is designed more as a treatment you use when your get a cold sore, Docoshield is a lip balm designed for everyday use.
Is it better than Abreva? Well, given that it contains the same active ingredient, I dont see how it can be all that much better.
That being said, its designed for everyday use. And if you apply docosanol on your lips every single day, even when you dont have the slightest hint of a cold sore, youre virtually guaranteed to catch any potential outbreak long before you get that tingling sensation. In that sense, Docoshield is like having armed guards constantly patrolling the perimeter of your house for criminals, while Abreva is like calling the cops after a burglar broke a window and sneaked into your house.
Plus, for roughly the same price as one single tube of Abreva, you get three Docoshield chapsticks. So at the very least, its easier on the wallet.
Can I Apply Cosmetics On Top Of Abreva Cream
Yes. For best results, remove any cosmetics prior to applying/reapplying Abreva. Then, re-apply lipstick, over Abreva cream. However, use a separate applicator, like a cotton swab, to apply cosmetics or sunscreen over an unhealed cold sore to avoid spreading the infection.
Cold sores are caused by a viral infection.
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