Pros: It works, shortens a cold sore, promotes healing, relieves pain
Cons: Prescription only, expensive if you don't have insurance
Life is so funny sometimes! I have been a sufferer of cold sores for many years, but haven't had one, (until last week), for many months, maybe even a year. It's been so long I can't remember!
However, when I was in my dermatologists office recently, I picked up a brochure on Zovirax, which is a prescription medication for cold sores. I explained how I suffer from these, and he said it's best to have the product on hand to catch my cold sore as soon as it starts to develop, and gave me a prescription for a tube. As it turns out, I broke out with my cold sore mere days (7 to be exact), of learning about Zovirax!! I found this quite coincidental, and even comical.
Zovirax is a cream that comes in a small white and green colored tube, containing 2 grams of product. It's a small tube, as it contains less than one ounce! This cream works on the virus that causes cold sores (the herpes simplex 1 virus), because it is an antiviral cream.
Zovirax cream contains 5% of the active ingredient acyclovir, (the same ingredient in Valtrex). It is intended for adults and children 12 years of age and older. It should be used on externally on the lips.
How To Use Zovirax
I have found this to be true with all cold sore medications, no matter if they are a prescription or a natural home remedy, and that is to apply the product at the first sign of an outbreak
Tingling, itching or burning of the lip are the symptoms that signal a cold sore is about to rear it's ugly head. Apply Zovirax as soon as possible to shorten your pain and itching, as well as soothing the area and promoting faster healing.
Anatomy of A Cold Sore
Cold sores typically start with a tingling, burning or itching sensation on the mouth. Soon after, small bumps appear that will blister if not treated immediately.
These blisters then fill with fluid, and when this happens, you have a full blown cold sore. The time that these blisters stay around before rupturing can vary from person to person, but they will eventually rupture, leaving shallow red wounds on the lips. By the way, according to my pamphlet, this is when they are the most contagious.
Eventually these sores or lesions will scab over, and the crusty scab will fall off, sometimes leaving a red, tender spot on the lips. In time, the redness fades and your cold sore is returned to a "dormant state".
Why I Recommend Zovirax
I firmly believe that certain antiviral drugs work quite well. When my husband came down with shingles back in November, our Dr. immediately caught it in the early stages and gave him an antiviral medication, which cut his duration with the condition in half!
Zovirax does the same thing for cold sores. It nips them in the bud, so to speak, and prevents the virus from multiplying. Ever had more than one cold sore at the same time? I have, and I know they do spread, but Zovirax will help stop that from happening.
Before finding Zovirax, I used a variety of natural products, including Tea Tree Oil, which I thought worked quite well. These however tended to dry out the cold sore, leaving me with a small scab that sometimes came off in the shower (only to leave my lip sore and bleeding), and sometimes when the scab came off I was left with a small scar on my lip, which can take a while to fade. Zovirax is a nice white cream, without much odor, and it spreads easily on the lips. I rub it gently until it is absorbed into my skin, which doesn't take long as long as I don't get too much.
I love Zovirax and am so thankful that I saw this brochure in my dermatologists office! It does what it says in that it helps cut down the duration of the cold sore, it relieves the pain and itching associated with cold sores, and it heals without causing a scab to form! Catching my cold sore early, at the first sign of tingling, Zovirax healed it in about 3 days! That is truly amazing, because even when using Tea Tree Oil, it would take a few days, but would leave my sore with the scab, which was unsightly, and took even longer to fall off, leaving a red mark or light scar behind.
I can't speak to how well Zovirax works if you wait until the blisters have formed, because I always catch mine immediately, but considering it is an antiviral product, I would imagine it still cuts down drastically on healing time, and prevents the virus from spreading. If anyone has used Zovirax after blisters have formed, please leave a comment telling us how effective it was.
If you don't have good health insurance, especially prescription drug insurance, Zovirax might be a little too expensive for you to consider. My pharmacy charges just over $66.00 for this tiny tube, but luckily our copay is only $10.00, so it's very affordable for us. Still, the tube should last a long time, because controlling one cold sore really uses very little of the tube.
I believe that cold sores, at least for me, are caused in part by stress. I have had some health concerns lately that have been causing a good deal of stress, so I'm not surprised that I got this cold sore when I did. I think of all the years that I suffered with this miserable virus, and in the past, it has taken up to 2 weeks for these to go away! That's not only miserable, but embarrassing. It's like a breakout of acne. I always want to look my best, and hate having these cold sores on my lips. Zovirax is a great product, and I highly recommend it to all cold sore sufferers.
5% Ccyclovir, Poloxamer 407, Cetostearyl alcohol, Sodium lauryl sulphate, White soft parrafin, Liquid paraffin, Propylene glycol, Purified water.
* Promotes faster healing of cold sores
* Relieves pain, itching and burning
* Stops the virus form replicating
* No known drug interactions with other topical or oral drugs
* Is expensive without insurance