HOW TO USE ABREVA®

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

  • How should I apply Abreva® Cream?

    You may use your fingertip or a cotton swab to apply Abreva® Cream. Be sure to apply enough to completely cover your cold sore and follow the directions on the package. If you do use your finger to apply the cream, make sure to wash your hands before and after applying Abreva® Cream.

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  • How often can I reapply Abreva® Cream?

    You should apply Abreva® Cream five times a day during waking hours—approximately every 3-4 hours—for up to 10 days. For best results, apply Abreva® Cream after you wash your face.

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  • Can Abreva® 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?

    Abreva® Cream is indicated only for the treatment of cold sores caused by herpes simplex virus type 1.

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  • How thin or thick of a coating of Abreva® Cream should I apply?

    For best results, use an ample amount to completely cover your cold sore and the area around your cold sore. Per package directions, rub in the cream gently, but completely.

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  • Who can and cannot use Abreva® Cream?

    Abreva® Cream can be used by adults and children over 12 years old. It 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. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, consult your physician before using Abreva®.

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  • Can I use Abreva® Cream longer than 10 days?

    No, it is not recommended to 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. Having a doctor look at it will ensure that you receive an updated diagnosis and possibly additional treatment.

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  • Can I apply cosmetics on top of Abreva® Cream?

    For best results, remove any cosmetics prior to applying or reapplying Abreva® Cream. Then, reapply 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.

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  • Your label warning says to get medical help if Abreva® Cream 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 doctor for advice.

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  • 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, you’re 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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  • 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.

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  • Why can’t I apply Abreva® Cream inside my mouth or nose?

    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. Mucous membranes inside the mouth and nose are very sensitive and you could experience some irritation.

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  • What happens if I accidentally get some Abreva® Cream in my mouth?

    Small amounts of Abreva® Cream that get just inside the lip or 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.

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  • What are the common cold sore triggers?

    Some of the most common factors that may trigger a cold sore include fatigue, stress, fever, a cold, or the flu, all of which can weaken your immune system making you easy prey for a cold sore outbreak. Cold weather, dry air, winter wind, and UV rays can also lead to cold sores by drying out your lips and damaging your skin. Lastly, the stress associated with hormonal changes and trauma from dental procedures can also cause cold sores.

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