ABREVA® CREAM FAQs
When you’re up against a cold sore, having answers to your questions gives you more power to knock them out — cold.
What does it look like?
Abreva® cream comes in a convenient 2.0-gram tube so that you can easily carry it with you and apply as directed. Abreva® cream 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.
How is it packaged?
Abreva® cream 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® cream 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.
How do I use the pump?
After you open a new pump, press the pump completely about 6 to 8 times to get the first dose. For subsequent doses, gradually press the pump until you pump the appropriate amount that’s right for you. Apply Abreva® cream 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.
What is the difference between the tube and pump?
Both the Abreva® cream tube and pump use the same formulation. The difference is in the device used to dispense Abreva® cream. The tube is great for use at home, and the pump offers a clean and easy way to carry your Abreva® cream with you on the go, so you’re ready to fight at the first tingle.
Where can I buy Abreva® cream?
How is Abreva® cream different from other cold sore products?
Abreva® cream is the only non-prescription cold sore medication approved by the FDA to shorten healing time and the duration of symptoms. Other non-prescription treatments like Orajel and Carmex only provide temporary relief from the symptoms of a cold sore. Abreva® cream contains a unique, active ingredient that, when used at the first sign of a cold sore, helps to protect healthy cells from the cold sore infection. Go here to learn more about how Abreva® cream is different than the others.
How much cream dispenses with each pump?
The pump is designed to dispense the right amount of cream for one application of Abreva® cream. Gradually press the pump until you get the amount that’s right for you. More cream may be needed when a cold sore is large and less as it gets smaller. It is okay to include the area surrounding the cold sore so it is not wasted.
How long will a tube of Abreva® cream last for the average cold sore sufferer? How many applications can I expect to get out of one 2.0-gram tube of Abreva® cream?
It is important to apply Abreva® cream according to the package directions and recommended dosage (avoid trying to “stretch” the product to last for an extra episode). Our surveys indicate that a tube of Abreva® cream will last the average cold sore sufferer through 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.
When to use Abreva® cream
When should I use Abreva® cream?
For best results, start fighting with Abreva® cream 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® cream should be used five times a day for up to 10 days. Go here to learn more about how to use Abreva® cream.
If I feel a tingle, but the cold sore hasn’t erupted yet, can I use this?
Yes. Begin using Abreva® cream at the first sign of a cold sore for best results. Based on laboratory studies, Abreva® cream penetrates deep and starts to work immediately to block the cold sore virus.
Will this help if I start to apply it after the blister has developed?
Best results are seen when Abreva® cream 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.
Will the scab on my cold sore interfere with the absorption of the product? Can I peel the scabs on my cold sore?
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. We do not recommend peeling the scab. You could damage the new, delicate skin underneath. Let the scab fall off naturally.
What if I miss a dose?
Apply a dose as soon as you remember and then reapply the next dose on schedule.
How to use Abreva® cream
How do I use Abreva® cream?
Apply five times a day until healed for up to 10 days. You can apply with a cotton swab or with your finger, 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® cream dries clear once rubbed in. Go here to learn more about how to use Abreva® cream.
How should I apply this? Should I use my fingertip or a cotton swab? How much should I apply each time?
You may use your fingertip or a cotton swab. 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® cream.
Do I need to apply this product around the clock or only during waking hours? How far apart should the applications be spaced?
Apply five times a day during waking hours — approximately every 3-4 hours.
How often can I reapply?
Abreva® cream should be applied five times/day, until healed. Apply Abreva® cream after you wash your face.
Can it 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?
No. Abreva® cream is indicated only for the treatment of cold sores caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1.
How thin or thick of a coating should I apply?
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.
Who can use it? Is it safe?
Abreva® cream can be used by adults and children over 12 years old. Abreva® cream has a well-established safety profile. Abreva® cream 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® cream with others. Doing so may spread the infection.
Does the tube or pump contain any latex?
The tube and pump do not contain latex.
Can I use longer than 10 days?
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.
Why should I call my doctor if my cold sore has not healed in 10 days?
You should contact your doctor if your cold sore has not healed within 10 days while using Abreva® cream. If your cold sore 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.
Can I apply cosmetics on top of it?
Yes. Cosmetics, such as lipstick, may be applied 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. For best results, remove any cosmetics prior to applying/reapplying Abreva®.
Can I use it in conjunction with other topical products (i.e., Carmex®, Blistex®, etc.)?
We have not studied the use of Abreva® cream with other topical cold sore products and do not know whether using lip balms or ointments will interfere with Abreva® cream’s effectiveness.
Can I use it if I am pregnant or breast-feeding?
Testing has not been conducted with Abreva® cream on pregnant or breast-feeding women. Consult your physician.
Your label warning says to get medical help if the product is swallowed. What happens if I lick my lips and swallow some of the cream? Will this harm me?
This statement is precautionary in the event that someone swallows a large amount 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.
Can I kiss someone while a cold sore is on my lips?
What can I expect to happen if I get some Abreva® cream on the skin around the sore?
Abreva® cream is safe to apply on both normal skin and cold sores. In fact, applying Abreva® cream both on and around the sore is good as it will ensure both the obvious cold sore and areas still developing are adequately treated.
Why can’t I apply this inside my mouth or nose?
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® cream can be safely applied. It is not recommended that you insert Abreva® cream inside the nose.
What happens if I actually get some in my mouth?
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, rinse out your mouth with water and contact your health professional.
ABREVA CONCEAL® FAQs
When should I use it?
At any stage when you want to hide your cold sore, Abreva Conceal® creates a covered, protected environment for your cold sore. Make sure your cold sore is dry before applying Abreva Conceal®.
What do you mean it’s “non-medicated”?
Abreva Conceal® doesn’t contain any medicine. If you want to hide your cold sore, use Abreva Conceal®. If you want to treat your cold sore, use Abreva® cream.
Why should I Conceal?
Abreva Conceal® is a protective barrier between your cold sore and the world. Now you can cover up with makeup and face the day with confidence instead of hiding out. A cold sore can be unsightly and make you want to hide. Now, you don’t have to. The MicroAir™ technology in Abreva Conceal® allows air in while keeping contaminants out.
What’s in it for me?
With Abreva Conceal®, you can see the “real you” again. You can go about your routine without the world knowing you’ve got a cold sore. Abreva Conceal® provides up to 8 hours of coverage without re-application. You can even cover up with makeup on top.
Is it tricky?
Abreva® cream vs. Abreva Conceal®: What’s the difference?
Abreva® cream is medicated. Abreva Conceal® is not. Abreva® cream is the only non-prescription, FDA-approved cold sore medication that gets to the source of your cold sore and is proven to effectively shorten healing time. Abreva Conceal® is a non-medicated cold sore patch that allows air in while keeping contaminants out. It keeps your cold sore hidden and lets the real you shine through.
How long do I need to hold the patch to make it stick?
If you start with clean, dry skin, 15-30 seconds should do the trick.
When applying makeup, do I still need to use a primer?
The patch actually acts as a primer so you should be good to go.
What kind of foundation makeup works with Conceal?
You can use airbrush spray, or any oil-free foundation in a liquid or cream.
What kinds of makeup should I avoid if I’m using Conceal?
Avoid any tinted moisturizers because they may not have the staying power that you need.
What kinds of application techniques work best?
Apply with a non-latex sponge or brush. And use a stipple technique (using short strokes to lightly dab until blended) when putting concealer over the patch, rather than smoothing it with fingers.
How do I keep the concealer from smearing off of the patch?
Use a powder foundation over top. It should help solidify a cream.
Can I still use lipstick when wearing Conceal?