Review of Abreva Cold Sore Cream

Posted May 7, 2014 by in Cream & Liquid
Abreva 1




Total Score

4/ 5


Brand: Abreva


Reduces duration of cold sores, reduces, pain, swelling and burning


Can be relatively expensive for a small amount. Not good for sores close to inside of the mouth. Risk of spreading the virus through finger application. Don't by the pump version.

Abreva is one of the most popular cold sore treatment creams. It is the only FDA approved non-prescription cold sore medicine that shortens healing time and the duration of symptoms.

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Abreva Cold Sore Cream

Abreva is a healing cream for treating cold sores and fever blisters on face or lips. It is the only FDA approved non-prescription cold sore medicine that  shortens healing time and the duration of symptoms.

Abreva reduces the length of tingling, pain, burning and itching sensations, while also healing cold sores from the inside out.

Coming in at just under the $15 price mark, it is a very popular and well-priced cold sore and fever blister treatment.

There are two formats of Abreva – it is available as a cream in a tube, and also in a pump.


How does Abreva Work?

Abreva 3Like all cold sore treatments, you should start applying Abreva as soon as you feel a cold sore developing. That tingle, itching or burning sensation is natures way of telling you to act fast! But even if you miss the tingle stage, apply Abreva as soon as you can.

The active ingredient in Abreva is 10% Docosanol – this ingredient helps to protect healthy cells from the cold sore virus, making it harder for it to infect more skin cells. The result of this is that cold sores heal faster and don’t last as long.

The official directions recommend applying Abreva five times a day until your cold sore is healed, but many customers have told us that they apply it much more frequently – sometimes up to 8-10 times a day.

The stop the risk of spreading the cold sore virus to other areas of your face, you should apply Abreva with a Q-Tip or similar ,rather than with your finger.


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Detailed Review of Abreva

Abreva 1Abreva is one of the most popular treatments for cold sores and fever blisters. It is one of the most recommended products on the market for good reasons.

Abreva cuts down the duration of cold sores quite dramatically. If you manage to detect a cold sore as it just begins to form (usually indicated by a burning or tingling sensation on the lip area), application of Abreva will possibly event prevent the outbreak entirely. Upon a breakout of sores, I find that consistent application cuts the duration of sores from 1-2 weeks to as little as 2-3 days. Although some people don’t have great results with Abreva, the majority of users report that it works, and works well.

Aside from cutting down the duration of cold sores, Abreva also relieves any burning and itching you may get from them, so after a while you may not even realize that they’re there. The cream is comfortable, and it doesn’t sting, burn or itch after application. The white cream can leave a film after application, but if you rub it in strongly the film will disappear.

There are some disadvantages to Abreva, and the most commonly mentioned one is the price. Although Abreva retails for ust under $15 on Amazon, elsewhere it is common to pay around $18 and up for a small 2g (7 oz.) tube of Abreva. The actual size of the tube is quite small, and although many customers love how well Abreva works, a there are many reviews and complaints online that it is a little bit expensive.Another disadvantage is that the packaging of the tube itself can leak. Because the tube is so small, once you open it and apply slight pressure, the cream can start oozing out by itself. When you next go to use the cream and take off the cap, it’s common to find that some of the cream has pushed into the cap itself. For such a small product, this is a significant amount of waste.

Also, for cold sores that appear near the inside of your mouth, Abreva cream isn’t really¬† effective, mainly because you’ll often accidentally lick the cream, or it will be naturally washed away by saliva and fluids that you drink.

Finally, many customers also report that Abreva can dry out your lips and skin quite a lot. It can be a good idea to also use a moisturizing chapstick to help fight this.

Overall though, Abreva is a pretty good product. There is a reason why it is one of the most popular cold sores treatments available. There are some disadvantages to it, but the general opinion is that it works well.


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Should I Buy the Tube or the Pump?

Abreva PumpAbreva cold sore cream is available either in a tube or a small pump bottle. Both cost about the same, so there is no real price difference.

However, most people find that they much prefer using the tube version of Abreva. When using the pump, it is difficult to control how much cream to dispense – there’s no way to push the top of the pump don gently – so even if you just want a tiny bit of cream, you will get way more than you need!

Another drawback of the pump version is that there is no way to tell when it is almost empty – basically it will just suddenly stop working.


Our Verdict

Abreva is one of the most popular cold sore creams and generally works well.

It is definitely worth trying out a few times to see if it works for you. Our opinion is that is you use it at the first sign of a cold sore, that is when it is as it’s most effective.

So don’t wait for a cold sore to start before ordering it. If you suffer from cold sores, purchase some NOW and store it in your medicine cabinet, knowing you’ll be ready to zap a cold sore as soon as it starts.


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