Cold Sore Treatments

Cold sores seem to have a way of appearing at the worst times—the day of your big interview, reunion, or wedding—but biologically, they emerge up to 20 days after exposure to the herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1. Many over-the-counter products help ease their attendant pain, while also helping them heal more quickly. Also see canker sore treatments.

Product Name Percent of Pharmacists' Votes
Abreva 79.0%
Carmex 7.0%
Blistex 3.0%
Campho-Phenique 3.0%
Herpecin-L 3.0%
Orajel Single Dose 2.0%
Anbesol Cold Sore Therapy 1.0%
Orabase 1.0%

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Canker Sore

Canker sores are oral ulcers that can turn talking, chewing, and drinking into painful experiences. The products below help ease pain by numbing the affected area. Canker sores are sometimes confused with cold sores, but they are not the same thing. While cold sores have a very specific viral culprit, canker sores can be caused by stress, vitamin deficiencies, hormone changes, and other factors. Also see therapeutic mouthwashes/oral rinses and oral pain relievers.

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Please consult your doctor or pharmacist for specific guidance on health products that may be appropriate for you. While U.S. News lists the results of the pharmacist survey, U.S. News does not recommend or endorse any health products listed here. Please see Disclaimer and a Note About Your Health. Read about the pharmacist survey here.

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