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Blistex for cold sores

Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger HendersonReviewed on 29.04.2024 | 2 minutes read

Blistex cold sore cream contains docosanol which is an antiviral agent. Treatment must start in the early stages of a cold sore before the blisters appear. As soon as you get any of the symptoms, apply a thin film carefully over the entire cold sore 5 times a day. Continue using until the cold sore is healed, usually 4-6 days.

The cause of cold sores is a herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. The infection may break out when the immune system is weakened, during stress or during a menstrual period. The virus causes blisters or sores, mainly on the lips.

Doctor’s advice

Who is it for

Blistex cold sore cream is a white cream used for the treatment of early stages of recurrent labial herpes simplex infection (cold sores) in adults and adolescents over 12 years old.

How does it work?

Docosanol works by preventing the virus entering the cells, which in turn prevents more of the virus from being produced. Unlike other cold-sore antivirals, docosanol does not act directly on the virus, and as such, it is unlikely it will produce drug-resistant mutations of HSV.

Pharmacist recommended products

How do I use it?

Start treatment as soon as you notice the first symptoms or signs of a cold sore, for instance, itching, stinging, burning or prickling in the affected area. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after treatment to avoid spreading the infection.

Apply a thin film carefully using a fingertip or a cotton bud over the entire cold sore 5 times a day. (Approximately every 3 hours during waking hours) Avoid touching the end of the tube after you have touched the cold sore.

Continue treatment until healing is complete, usually between 4-6 days. If you notice no difference after 10 days you should stop the treatment and contact your doctor. Do not lend the tube to anyone as you risk spreading the infection to others.

Should anybody avoid taking it?

Do not use this product if you are immunocompromised, or if you may have had an organ transplant. If you are immunocompromised and you develop a cold sore please consult your doctor immediately. Do not apply the cream if the cold sore has already formed a blister or has an ulcer-like appearance.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 29.04.2024
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