How to Use Abreva Rapid Pain Relief

Man applying gel to cold sore on lip

Not only can cold sores stop you from feeling like yourself, especially when you’re out in public, but they can also be very uncomfortable. From getting irritated when you’re eating to feeling pain when you smile, a cold sore can put a damper on your day. When a painful blister gets in your way, reach for Abreva Rapid Pain Relief. Learn how to numb your cold sore pain and get on with your day with this guide from the #1 brand for cold sore relief.

What Is Abreva Cold Sore Rapid Pain Relief?

While Abreva Cream can heal your cold sore faster,* Abreva Rapid Pain Relief starts working immediately to reduce pain. Upon first application, Abreva Cold Sore Rapid Pain Relief starts numbing your cold sore with lidocaine—a powerful analgesic. Glycerin hydrates your cold sore to prevent cracked skin and relieve dryness, while menthol pleasantly cools your skin.**

Although Abreva Rapid Pain Relief doesn’t heal your cold sore like Abreva Cream, it’s ideal for quick relief whenever your cold sore starts to feel dry or uncomfortable. This cold sore gel is also colorless and odorless, so you can use it before leaving your house.

Abreva Cold Sore Rapid Pain Relief Instructions

Like any product, make sure to read the label thoroughly and use as instructed. To use Abreva Cold Sore Rapid Pain Relief:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Push and turn the cap to open
  3. Apply to the affected area using your fingers
  4. Close the cap tightly
  5. Wash your hands again

Adults and children 12 years and older can apply to the affected area no more than three to four times a day. If your child is under 12 years old, consult with a doctor before using the product on them.


Use Abreva®Cream to Heal

Abreva® Cream contains 10% docosanol, a powerful FDA-approved antiviral that blocks the spread and replication of the cold sore virus in its tracks to speed healing.


Choose it for your cold sore treatment when:

  • You feel the tingle of an oncoming cold sore
  • You need to speed healing time
Abreva Cream

Use Abreva® RapidPain Relief to Soothe

Abreva® Rapid Pain Relief soothes and protects your sensitive cold sore with 4% lidocaine HCl for powerful pain relief and 20% glycerin to prevent painful cracking.


Choose it for your cold sore treatment when:

  • You have throbbing pain and need relief fast
  • You have dry, cracking-prone skin around your cold sore
Abreva Docosanol

What’s the Difference Between Abreva Cream and Abreva Rapid Pain Relief?

Abreva Cream and Abreva Rapid Pain Relief are both maximum strength cold sore treatments, but they have separate uses. Abreva Cream reduces the amount of time it takes a cold sore to heal and speeds up your recovery.* Compared to an untreated cold sore, Abreva Cream can help heal your cold sore twice as fast, sometimes in as few as 2.5 days.*** Using its active ingredient—the antiviral docosanol—Abreva Cream works by penetrating deep into the skin^ and protecting healthy skin cells from the cold sore virus.

Unlike Abreva Cream, Abreva Rapid Pain Relief isn’t an antiviral, but a powerful, maximum-strength analgesic gel that numbs and hydrates your cold sore to reduce pain while you wait for it to heal. Try these powerful cold sore treatments to block the cold sore virus and stop cold sore pain.**

  • *When used at the first sign of a cold sore.
  • **Use as directed.
  • ***When used at the first sign of a cold sore. Median healing time is 4.1 days, 25% of users healed in 2.5 days.
  • ^Based on laboratory data