An unsightly cold sore is never on anyone’s wish list, but there are ways to feel better when it does happen. We’ve got you covered with tips on how to treat cold sores and why it’s so important to act as soon as you can once that tell-tale tingly feeling starts.

What is VIRASOLVE® Cold Sore Cream?

Treatment options for cold sores include what’s called a topical cold sore cream. ‘Topical’ simply means that you apply the cream directly to the area where you have a cold sore. Cold sores typically progress through several stages during an outbreak – starting with a tingling, itching feeling before the cold sore appears, followed by the formation of blisters that burst or weep before turning into a scab. Read more about the cold sore stages here.

Unlike other cold sore creams, VIRASOLVE® Cold Sore Cream has a unique triple-action formula that helps to fight cold sores in three different ways – and has you covered at every stage of your cold sore. So, what are the active ingredients in VIRASOLVE®, and how do they help relieve the symptoms of cold sores?

  • Antiviral action – VIRASOLVE® contains the antiviral idoxuridine to help fight the herpes simplex type 1 virus (HSV-1) that causes cold sores – learn more about HSV-1 here
  • Antibacterial action – VIRASOLVE® contains the antibacterial benzalkonium chloride to help prevent cold sores from getting a bacterial infection
  • Anaesthetic action – VIRASOLVE® contains the anaesthetic lidocaine hydrochloride to help relieve pain, itching, and general discomfort of cold sores

When to apply VIRASOLVE® Cold Sore Cream

The unique triple-action of VIRASOLVE® Cold Sore Cream means that it can be used at all stages of your cold sore:

  • Tingling stage – the antiviral action works at the earliest tingling stage to help fight the cold sore virus
  • Blister stage – the antiviral action continues to fight the virus when cold sore blisters start to form, while the anaesthetic action helps to ease any pain, itching, or discomfort you feel during this stage
  • Weeping stage – the anaesthetic action can soothe the affected area as the cold sore blisters start to burst or weep, while the antibacterial action helps to prevent bacterial infection
  • Scab stage – the antibacterial action continues to protect the affected area from bacteria as the cold sore dries out and begins to heal

The most important thing to remember is to treat your cold sore as early as you possibly can. This is because the antiviral agent in a cold sore cream is most effective when it is applied during the earliest stages of the infection when the virus is most active – the tingly stage and early blister formation.* Applying an antiviral cold sore cream when you first feel that tingling, itching, or burning sensation may help reduce healing time.

*Wald A, Johnston C. Treatment and prevention of herpes simplex virus type 1 in immunocompetent adolescents and adults [June 2022]. In: Hirsch MS (Ed). UpToDate. Waltham, MA; 2022.

How to apply VIRASOLVE® Cold Sore Cream

VIRASOLVE® Cold Sore Cream is suitable for adults and children aged 12 years and over, and can be used at all stages of your cold sore to fight the virus, help prevent bacterial infection, and help ease pain, itching and discomfort. VIRASOLVE® is for external use only.

To apply VIRASOLVE®, simply use a clean finger or cotton bud to cover the affected area with a thin layer of cream. Make sure you cover the entire cold sore all the way to the edges. On the first day of your outbreak, you should apply VIRASOLVE® to the affected area once every hour while you are awake. On the second and subsequent days of your outbreak, apply VIRASOLVE® once every 4 hours until the cold sore has healed – usually within 10 to 14 days. 

Because you can never get rid of the cold sore virus once you’re infected, it’s important that while you’re treating your cold sore with VIRASOLVE® you remember to always follow good hygiene practices to help prevent spreading the virus – discover some key tips here.

Always read the label and follow directions for use.

Cold sore treatment FAQs


VIRASOLVE® Cold Sore Cream can be used at all stages of your cold sore – even once the blisters have burst and the cold sore starts weeping. The triple-action formula contains an antibacterial to help prevent bacterial infection during these stages.


When applied at the first sign of tingling, cold sore creams that contain an antiviral agent may help reduce cold sore healing time.


VIRASOLVE® Cold Sore Cream can be used from the first sign of tingling right up until the cold sore goes away. The unique triple-action formula can be used to relieve symptoms at all stages of the cold sore.


 VIRASOLVE® Cold Sore Cream is available from your pharmacist without a prescription.


VIRASOLVE® Cold Sore Cream is suitable for adults and children aged 12 years and older