- Many cold sore creams, available from the pharmacist, are just simply antiseptics or moisturisers to help the natural healing process, as the cold sores go away
- They may then have no further problems from the cold sore virus - or not until many years later.
How do I know if I have a cold sore?
It is usually easy to recognise cold sores once the first recurrence has occurred
- The first sign of an attack is often a tingly or burning feeling in the skin, at the point where the cold sore is likely to appear
- This ensures the active ingredient is carried through the skin, over the cold sore, and into the area where the virus is reproducing
- When this happens cold sores disappear.
Early in a cold sore episode there is less virus around and this explains why the earlier the treatment is started the more effective using Zovirax is likely to be
- Cold sores are caused by a virus
- Many people probably pick up the virus from family members during childhood, as part of the normal process of development
- Nothing is proven to work faster.
In Zovirax Cold Sore Cream, aciclovir, the antiviral active ingredient, is delivered in a specially formulated cream containing an absorption accelerator
- Once it reaches this area it springs into action - making it difficult for the virus to reproduce itself
- When this happens there may be no symptoms at all, or just a slight fever and a sore mouth, that lasts a few days
- There may be nothing visible at this stage except the start of a slight redness
- Later on, when the virus has increased its numbers it is more difficult to overwhelm
- Nevertheless, the antiviral properties of Zovirax Cold Sore Cream are beneficial at blister, and tingle, stage.
What is a cold sore?
Cold sores, known medically as herpes labialis are very common and are easily recognised because they often appear as blisters around the lips and mouth
- They usually seem more noticeable to the individual with a cold sore, than to those around them, and they can make some people feel very self-conscious
- Cold sores are often uncomfortable and can cause some pain
- Then the skin over the cold sore area starts to become a little puffy, as a blister forms
- This itchy, tingling feeling tends to last for about 6-8 hours
- Fortunately, action can be taken to take control of the situation and reduce healing time.
What causes cold sores?
Cold sores are caused by a virus, called the herpes simplex virus - usually by herpes simplex virus I (HSV-I)
- Once the virus is contained in this way, it is easier for the body's natural defences to mop up the virus that is left
- They pop up in response to a viral infection
- They are spread by direct contact with the sores or the saliva of an infected person, often by being kissed by someone, who may be unaware they're starting a cold sore
- So it is important for individuals with cold sores to understand the causes and be able to take control of the situation through appropriate self-medication
- Once the blister bursts and dries the skin then starts to heal and return to normal.
- Some people are lucky and only get them once - while others find they come back several times a year
- It's also common to be quite itchy around this area as well
- Only an antiviral treatment like Zovirax Cold Sore Cream can actually work against the virus itself
Does it matter if I swallow some Zovirax cream by accident?
Always follow the instructions included in the pack. If you accidentally get a small amount of cream in your mouth this should not cause any problems.
Can I use Zovirax to treat shingles?
Zovirax Cold Sore Cream is made available without prescription for the treatment of cold sores on the lips and around the mouth. It is not suitable for the treatment of any other conditions.
Can I use Zovirax when I am pregnant?
You need to consult your doctor before using Zovirax when you are pregnant.
Can children use Zovirax?
Zovirax Cold Sore Cream is available without prescription for the treatment of adults and children aged 12 years and above. The treatment of children under the age of 12 years should be managed by a doctor.
Can I use Zovirax Cold Sore Cream on genital warts or genital herpes?
No. Do not attempt to self-treat either of these different conditions. You should consult your doctor or visit a hospital sexual health clinic, as self-treatment could make them worse and you may have other infections that also need treatment.
Can I use Zovirax once an ulcer has formed?
Treatment with an antiviral cream, such as Zovirax Cold Sore Cream is still effective if applied five times a day at blister stage of the cold sore.
Are there any other medications I shouldn't use at the same time as Zovirax?
Do not apply other preparations at the same time that you apply Zovirax, such as a moisturiser. A moisturiser used in between applications of Zovirax may be soothing, although Zovirax Cold Sore Cream itself has moisturising properties.
Are there any other times I shouldn't use Zovirax?
Do not use this cream if you are not sure if you have cold sores.
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after treating the cold sore so as to avoid making it worse or giving the infection to other people.
Apply the cream liberally to completely cover the whole of the affected area.
Apply to the affected area 5 times daily, about every 4 hours. If you forget a treatment apply some as soon as you remember, then continue as before.
Continue treatment for 5 days. If your cold sore has not healed after this time, treatment may be continued for up to a further 5 days. If full healing has still not occurred after 10 days, or if your cold sore becomes severe, consult your doctor.
Do not exceed the stated dose, see above.
GlaxoSmithKline Nutritional Healthcare
GlaxoSmithKline Nutritional Healthcare