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Ingredients to look for:

There is a range of effective over the counter products available including Dynamiclear, Zovirax and Betadine.

Cold sores, genital herpes and other herpes skin infections are caused by a virus, so look for ingredients that have “anti-viral” properties which can directly penetrate the cause of the infection. Ingredients which are antiseptic or reduce inflammation may also be helpful.

Look for products containing cupric sulfate, acyclovir or plants such as lemon balm [melissa officinalis], aloe vera (assists skin regeneration, particularly good for the ‘scabbing stage’), calendula (anti-septic and anti-inflammatory,  reduces redness) and Hypericum perforatum (anti-viral). Make sure the ingredients are listed as “actives”, not just excipients added in the ingredients listing for show.

BENEFITS of using Topical creams and gels:

  • Readily available over the counter
  • Can carry in your pocket (portable, convenient) and apply at any time or place
  • Precisely target the site of the cold sore or herpes infection
  • Creams and gels can assist the skin in repairing itself more quickly
  • 1 application gels are now available

DISADVANTAGES of using Topical creams and gels:

  • Can be messy and sometimes visible on the skin
  • Most creams on the market (except Dynamiclear, which is a single application medicine), have to be applied several times per day for several days, which can be a hassle and occasionally embarrassing if you have to apply your cream at work or in front of other people
  • Repeat applications are inconvenient, and it’s easy for a dose to be missed
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