Pros:It helps to decrease the healing time for a cold sore.
Cons:Does not relieve initial pain. Expensive. Ridiculous packaging.
The Bottom Line: Abreva is a solution to help cure cold sores. But it is definitely not the best solution. There is a better OTC solution, and prescription medicine is the best.
Hello to the fellow cold sore sufferers.
Recommend this product?
From what I understand, and don't hold me to this, there are three types of people when it comes to cold sores. One group gets cold sores frequently. Another group gets maybe 3-4 a year. Another group is immune to the traditional cold sore.
I'm in the second group. I just had a bout with a couple of cold sores. I didn't kill the virus the first time (got lazy and let it go because it didn't hurt anymore) and then it re-appeared on my lower lip a week later.
There are lots of ways to treat cold sores. I can get a prescription from my doctor. Prescriptions for cold sores can be creams put on the sores or they can even be daily pills to prevent the cold sores. I've used prescription cream before and it works great. But cold sores pop up when I'm not prepared, and when I get one, I don't have time to go to the doctor and get a prescription. Any cold sore sufferer knows that the best way to treat a cold sore is to nip it in the bud as soon as possible!
So how does Abreva work? Well, from what I can tell, it is an over-the-counter (OTC) version of a prescription medicine. It works much like prescription creams I've had, but far less potent, and really the only problem with Abreva is that it does not relieve pain early on for the sore.
Another OTC cold sore medication that I've used is Zilactin. I will write a review for Zilactin another day, but in short, Zilactin works very differently than the cream-style of Abreva and Zilactin definitely relieves the pain.
When my cold sore appeared a week ago today, I caught it very early. I could just barely see the sore, after I felt a little burning there. I had run out of my Zilactin, so I went to the grocery store and got a package of this Abreva, because they didn't have Zilactin, and I guess Abreva's marketing was better than the other choices, because I picked it.
I put the Abreva on, but it did not relieve the burning or tingling. However, perhaps as important as anything, it stopped the virus from growing and the sore from growing. That's the key.
So basically, it works, short of relieving that early pain that is always so annoying and well, painful.
My pain was gone by last Friday, which was about five full days after applying Abreva. By then, the sore had mostly dried up and was mostly a scab. It was still raw underneath the scab and I could tell the virus was still there.
And yes, I am still applying it! I learned my lesson. I'm applying Abreva liberally until this scab is gone.
Other matters worth noting?
You won't get much for what you pay. The medicine is in a tiny 2 gram (.07 ounce) tube. The tube itself is just over an inch long and about a half inch wide (when exhausted). My tube is nearly gone, after liberally applying it for a full seven days now.
The tube comes inside a paper box that is about the size of those anti-itch creams that you might buy for insect bites.
The paper box comes packaged inside a rather large, firm plastic case. The plastic case is about six inches high and about four inches wide. You cannot open the plastic packaging without a scissors. It's impossible. It's the same type of plastic that you might find encasing a USB computer cable or something like that. Very durable.
So basically, it is an insult to your intelligence when you open all the packaging and then this tiny, little tube comes falling out that is an inch long.
Anything else? Yes. This tiny tube costs around $15. That's more than my prescription drug co-pay. It's ridiculous.
Abreva is a solution to curing cold sores, but it is not the best solution. If you're going to use an OTC medication, I would buy Zilactin, if available (for cold sores). Zilactin makes essentially the same medicine in different boxes for canker sores, tooth pain, and fever blisters, whatever those are. Zilactin runs around $15, too.
And if you're really proactive, remember to ask your doctor, next time you're there, to give you a prescription for some cream-style cold sore medicine. That stuff works better than anything. Tell the doc that you want some refills, so you're set for a while. That's what I'm going to do next time I get to the doctor, if I remember (I always forget).
I don't recommend Abreva.
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