COLD SORE MYTHS AND FACTS
You know you’ve heard them – those cold sore myths that spread almost as fast as the virus itself.
When it comes to acting on a cold sore, you’ll hear advice on everything from home remedies to foods that are linked to curing a cold sore. Learn the facts about cold sores so you can face every cold sore with confidence – from the first tingle until it’s bye-bye blister.
Most nonprescription treatments work the same way.
FACT: Not true. Abreva is different. Based on laboratory studies, Abreva is the only OTC cold sore treatment with docosanol that works by penetrating deep into the skin to help block entry of the cold sore virus into surrounding healthy cells. Abreva works faster* to shorten cold sore healing time and reduces the duration of pain, burning, itching and/or tingling.
Cold sores are only contagious when you can see a blister.
FACT: Not true. A cold sore is contagious from the first tingle until it’s completely healed. Remember to take extra precautions to protect others from encountering the virus.
The cold sore virus (HSV-1) cannot spread beyond the lip area.
FACT: Not true. HSV-1 is a form of the herpes simplex virus that usually affects the lips or mouth, but can spread to the eyes or other areas of the body.
Everyone who contracts the cold sore virus will experience an outbreak.
FACT: Not true. While it’s likely that 67% of adults have been exposed to the cold sore virus, not everyone gets cold sore outbreaks.1 Actually, the majority of people with HSV-1 are not aware they are infected.1
There is no way to shorten the healing time of a cold sore.
FACT: Not true. Abreva cream has been clinically proven to shorten cold sore healing time to a median of 4.1 days whereas if left untreated, a cold sore can last approximately 8-10 days.
Ice helps cold sores heal faster.
FACT: Not true. Ice may temporarily provide relief from your symptoms and help reduce redness and swelling. But don’t expect it to speed the healing time of your cold sore.
Distilled vinegar helps minimize cold sore outbreaks.
FACT: Not true. Vinegar helps with many things, but preventing cold sore outbreaks is not one of them.
Alcohol or witch hazel can heal your cold sores.
FACT: Not true. Alcohol and witch hazel are astringents that will dry out your cold sore. They are also not specifically designed to help shorten cold sore healing time.
Tea bags heal cold sores.
FACT: Not true. Put away the tea bags—unless you’re making tea. They will not make your cold sore go away faster.
- Herpes simplex virus. World Health Organization. (2016, January). Retrieved April 28, 2016 from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs400/en/
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