How Effective are Creams and Tablets to Treat Cold Sores?

Cold sores are blisters that form inside the mouth or around the lips. The infection is generally caused due to exposure to Herpes Simplex Virus type-1 (HSV-1 virus) and can cause physical as well as emotional discomfort. They are also known as fever blisters, lip ulcers, and cranked sores.

The virus is contagious and spreads through oral contact. The virus has no cure. Once a person gets infected, it remains dormant in their body and may get activated due to stress, sun exposure, fever, etc.

There are numerous medications available in the market, both in the form of oral tablets and creams. These medications can help relieve the symptoms of the disease and can also reduce the healing time.

Effectiveness of cold sore medication.

As we mentioned earlier, HSV-1 has no cure, which means that medication can’t kill the virus completely. Hence, even after the blisters heal, there are chances of outbreaks in the future.

However, there are medications for fever blisters that can shorten their duration and alleviate the symptoms. Both creams and tablets are effective in treating colds sore and can make the blisters go away a day sooner. However, the effectiveness of the medication depends on how soon you start taking them.

Commence your fever blister medication within twenty-four hours of the first symptoms. The sooner you start the treatment, the better it is.

The medication for fever blisters is available in two forms: topical creams and oral medicines. Topical ointment and creams need to be applied directly to the affected area, and the antiviral medication needs to be consumed orally.

1.  Topical medication

Topical medication for cold sore includes creams, gels, and ointment. They contain the drug called acyclovir or penciclovir and are effective in deterring the growth of fever blisters.

These medications can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. You can also buy them online and get them delivered to your doorstep.

Creams and ointments can shorten the healing time by a day. They can also improve the appearance and severity of the outbreak.

You need to apply the medication multiple times a day with a gap of two to three hours. The medication needs to be applied for five to seven days. The treatment also helps in dealing with crusted and painful sores.

Use a cotton swab to apply the medication and dispose of it. This will stop the virus from spreading to other parts.

Topical medication may not be suitable for people with recurrent outbreaks. Also, they need to be applied several times a day, which may not be possible for someone with a busy schedule.

Another alternative for the treatment of cold sores is oral medications.

2.  Oral antiviral medication

There are several oral antiviral for cold sore medications. The most common ones are acyclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir. These medications can make cold sores go away a day sooner and help you deal with the symptoms effectively.

The antivirals attach themselves to the virus and prevent it from replicating. This will contain the outgrowth of blisters and accelerate the healing process.

These medications are equally effective for people with recurrent episodes and severe cold sores. However, these drugs are only available with a prescription.

The medication needs to be taken once or twice a day for one to seven days. Your health care provider will recommend the antivirals based on the severity of your symptoms. A higher dose of antiviral may be recommended for people with a weakened immune system.

The medication does not have any side effects. However, people with kidney issues need to take a lower dose of antivirals.

Both creams and tablets are effective in treating cold sores and can alleviate the symptoms. If you have frequent episodes of cold sores, it is advisable to purchase the antiviral medication in advance and start the treatment as soon as possible.