Q:

What is the best topical treatment for cold sores?

A:

Quick Answer

Abreva is a commonly used topical treatment to reduce outbreak length and is available over the counter, according to WebMD. Other treatments include Zovirax, Famvir and Valtrex, which are available by prescription.

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Full Answer

Cold sores cannot be cured because they are the result of the chronic herpes simplex virus, but they can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications that relieve discomfort and shorten the length of an outbreak, states WebMD. Anesthetic medications reduce pain, while antiviral medications speed healing. Active sores should be kept clean and dry to prevent bacterial infection, and any topical medications should be reapplied regularly as directed by a doctor.

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