Abreva Directions

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Abreva ointment is applied to cold sores.
Abreva ointment is applied to cold sores. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Abreva is a non-prescription medication for the treatment of cold sores, which are blisters around the mouth caused by Type 1 of the Herpes Simplex Virus. The medicated cream works by soothing the area surrounding the cold sore and relieving itching and discomfort. It also seeps into the pores to reinforce cell membranes and block the harmful virus from attacking healthy cells. It is made up of 10 percent Docosanol, the FDA-approved medicine which protects against infection.

Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap. Do this whenever you are about to touch your cold sore, so as not to spread harmful bacteria and infection. Wash your face as well. Remove all traces of existing makeup or lotions from the surface of your skin.

Apply a dab of Abreva directly onto your cold sore, as soon as you feel a twinge or tingle of itchiness. Redness and visible bumps will also alert you to the need for treatment. Rub the ointment into the sore; you should feel a soothing sensation immediately.

Wash your hands again once your sore has been treated. Reapply cosmetics as desired, but be sure to use a cotton swab or cotton ball to put lipstick or foundation on top of an unhealed cold sore, to avoid spreading the bacteria further and exposing your makeup to the virus.

Treat your sore with Abreva five times a day, everyday, until it completely heals and your skin restores to its normal, healthy state. Do not apply the medication for more than 10 days in a row.

Tips & Warnings

  • Abreva is only intended for adults and children over 12 years of age.

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