Don't Wait

Apply Abreva® Cream at the first sign of a tingle, bump, or itch for the best results. Don’t wait until a blister or scab forms. ii

Cover Completely

Use either your finger or a cotton swab to apply Abreva® Cream. Completely cover your cold sore and the surrounding area. Make sure to wash your hands after applying.

Don't Skimp or Skip

Apply Abreva® Cream five times throughout the day with a cotton swab or your finger. Use an ample amount to completely cover the sore itself and the surrounding area. Rub it in gently and completely. If you miss a dose, just apply it as soon as you remember and continue on schedule.

Use For 10 Days Max

Keep using Abreva® Cream until your cold sore is fully healed, for a maximum of 10 days. If the cold sore persists, talk to your healthcare professional.

How to Use Abreva® Cream: Tips

Keep It Clean

Remove any cosmetics before applying Abreva® Cream. Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after treating your cold sore so the virus doesn’t spread to other parts of your body.

Don't Share

Cold sores are contagious. Don’t share your Abreva® Cream tube or pump with anybody else.

Use Makeup Carefully

You can apply cosmetics, such as lipstick, over Abreva® Cream after it has completely dried. Always use a separate makeup applicator, such as a cotton swab, to avoid spreading the virus.

Abreva® Uses – Your Questions Answered

Dealing with cold sores needn't be a chore. Discover how and when to use Abreva® Cream so you can ditch the cold sore and get on with your life.

How Should I Apply Abreva® Cream?

Use your finger or a cotton swab to apply Abreva® Cream at the first sign of a tingle, itch or any other indication that you feel a cold sore coming on. Completely cover the area and reapply five times per day, rubbing it in gently. If using your finger to apply the cream, be sure to wash your hands before and after applying Abreva® to avoid spreading the infection.

Woman looking in mirror applying Abreva cream to her lip

Are There Any Abreva® Uses to Avoid?

Abreva® Cream should not be used internally – inside the mouth, nasal passages, eyes, ears or genitals. If your cold sore is on the nostrils, however, Abreva® Cream can be used.

What Happens If I Lick Some Abreva® Cream?

Accidentally licking a little Abreva® Cream from your lips or getting small amounts just inside the lip should not be cause for concern. If in doubt, however, consult your doctor.

How Often Can I Use Abreva® Cream?

If you’re wondering how often to use Abreva® Cream, you should know that five times per day is the recommended amount. If you miss an application time, just reapply immediately and then again after a few hours.

When Should I Use Abreva® Cream?

Knowing when to use Abreva® Cream is key to getting the best result. By applying the cream as soon as you feel a tingle, itch or burning or any other symptom you associate with an oncoming cold sore, you can reduce the length of time a cold sore takes to heal by several days.

Can You Use Abreva® While Pregnant?

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, consult your physician before using Abreva® Cream to treat cold sores.

Can Children and Infants Use Abreva® Cream?

While you may be able to use Abreva® Cream for a child under 12, you must first check with your doctor.

Can Abreva® Be Used Inside the Mouth?

Abreva® Cream is for the treatment of cold sores only and cold sores do not occur inside the mouth. If you have a painful area inside your mouth, it is most likely a canker sore or an ulcer, which is not caused by the herpes simplex virus and requires a different treatment. Remember, Abreva® Cream is intended only for use on the lips and the area around the lips.

How Long Can I Use Abreva® Cream For?

Knowing how long to use Abreva® Cream and when to stop using it is important. Abreva® should be used for a maximum of 10 days. If your cold sore hasn't healed after two weeks, seek professional medical help as it could be a sign of a more serious infection.

Abreva uses

Using Abreva® Cream correctly will help reduce symptoms quickly and effectively, meaning fewer days with a cold sore.

When applied at the first sign, Abreva® is clinically proven to heal a cold sore in as few as 2½ days *, compared with seven to 10 days with no treatment i. It also contains the only non-prescription ingredient the FDA has approved to shorten cold sore healing time.

Abreva® Cream is available in tube (ideal for use at home) or pump form (perfect when on the go) and both use the same formula. You can buy Abreva® cold sore cream in your local drug, discount, or grocery store.

  • *Median healing time 4.1 days. 25% of users healed within 2½ days when used at the first sign.back to content


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