ABREVA® BASICS

Find answers to frequently asked questions about Abreva® Cream, cold sore treatment instructions, and much more.

  • Abreva® Cream is a cold sore medicine that penetrates deep into the skin and starts to work immediately to block the virus. It is also the only nonprescription cold sore medicine approved by the FDA to shorten healing time, by getting to the source of your cold sore without stinging or burning. Abreva® Cream is a smooth, white cream that dries clear, and it has no smell or taste. You could knock out your cold sore in 2½ days when you use Abreva® Cream at the first sign of a cold sore.*

    *Median healing time 4.1 days. 25% of users healed in 2.5 days.

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  • Abreva® Cream comes in a tube or pump, and uses the same formula. The tube is perfect to use at home while the pump offers a clean and easy way to carry your Abreva® Cream on the go, so you’re ready to fight at the first tingle. 

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  • To use the Abreva® Cream pump for the first time, simply take the top off and press the pump 6 to 8 times to get the first dose. Each time after, just gradually press the pump for the amount you need. You can then apply the cream with a cotton swab or your finger by rubbing it in gently, and the cream will dry clear. Be sure to wash your hands before and after applying the cream.

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  • The pump is designed to dispense the right amount of cream for one application. 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.

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  • Abreva® Cream is available in the cough and cold or oral care section of your local drug, discount, or grocery store. Ask your pharmacist for more information and help in finding Abreva® Cream. For special savings on Abreva® Cream, or a list of online retailers, please visit our where to buy page.

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  • 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. Other nonprescription treatments like Orajel™ and Carmex® only provide temporary relief from the symptoms of a cold sore. Abreva® Cream is the only nonprescription cold sore medication approved by the FDA to shorten healing time and the duration of symptoms. You could knock out your cold sore in 2½ days when you use Abreva® Cream at the first sign of a cold sore.*

    *Median healing time 4.1 days. 25% of users healed in 2.5 days.

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  • Our surveys indicate that one 2.0-gram tube of Abreva® Cream will last the average cold sore sufferer through 2-3 episodes. Which is 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® Cream according to the package directions and recommended dosage. Avoid trying to “stretch” the product to last for an extra episode.

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  • We apologize for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, Abreva Conceal® is no longer available for purchase. Please click here to read articles in our Lip Health section and find alternative ways to conceal your cold sore.