Many people in online forums are raving about the benefits they get from using Neosporin on cold sores. I too have benefited from this over-the-counter medicine.
Back in the day, when I had cold sore outbreaks 4-6 times a year, I used Neosporin for cold sore scabs.
I used other things to treat symptoms and speed healing time, but I loved Neosporin for the scab stage.
After studying anecdotal evidence from satisfied users, it appears as though some people use Neosporin on cold sores the entire duration of the outbreak.
In this article, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about the use of Neosporin on cold sores and cold sore scabs.
This comprehensive Neosporin for Cold Sores Review Article is the culmination of in-depth research, my own personal experiences, and anecdotal evidence from countless other individuals.
Neosporin is the brand name for an over-the-counter antiobiotic cream that contains neomycin, polymyxin B, and bacitracin.
Neosporin is a safe and effective topical agent for preventing infections in minor skin trauma.
Neosporin is typically recommended for:
- Minor skin infections
Along with the traditional Neosporin Wound Care products from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., they also have two other product categories, known as Neosporin Eczema Essentials, and Neosporin Lip Health.
Here is the breakdown of Neosporin product categories:
Apparently, there used to be another product called Neosporin Lip Treatment. On the package, it says “Helps Heal the Symptoms of Painful Cold Sores.”
This product was discontinued by the manufacturer, which is sad because out of 22 reviews on Amazon.com, all 22 people gave it 5-Stars. Click here to read the reviews of the discontinued Neosporin Lip Treatment (LT). There are some disgruntled people that are seriously bummed-out this product is no longer available.
Will Neosporin Help A Cold Sore?
A lot of people ask me, “Will Neosporin help a cold sore?” Here is my loooooong answer…
Neosporin Original Ointment is a topical antiobiotic, nothing more. Cold sores, or fever blisters, are actually the result of something called herpes simplex virus (HSV).
There are two types of HSV, and both can cause cold sores. HSV-1 typically is responsible for cold sores, and HSV-2 is most often the cause of genital herpes.
However, both types of HSV can cause cold sores or genital herpes.
After primary infection, the virus resides in the associated dorsal root ganglion where it lies dormant until an external stimuli (such as stress or immunosuppression) initiate reactivation of the virus from dormancy.
The virus lives on forever, and that’s why people continue to get cold sores over and over again. Since cold sores are viral, Neosporin products cannot prevent HSV from replicating, since Neosporin is an antibiotic.
Antibiotics destroy or weaken certain microorganisms (such as bacteria and fungi), but it has no antiviral activity. The only over-the-counter medicine currently approved by the FDA to shorten the healing time of cold sores is Abreva Cream.
The active ingredient in Abreva Cream is docosanol.
Docosanol is used for the topical treatment of recurrent oral-facial herpes simplex episodes (cold sores or fever blisters).
Docosanol works by inhibiting fusion between the human cell plasma membrane and the herpes simplex virus (HSV) envelope, thus preventing viral entry into cells and subsequent viral replication.
While Neosporin doesn’t have the same mechanism of action to treat the herpes simplex virus, it can still help tremendously…especially the newest addition to their product line – Neosporin Pain/Itch/Scar – which I believe would be the most helpful Neosporin for cold sores and cold sore scabs.
Here are the benefits of Neosporin Pain/Itch/Scar:
- Minimizes the appearance of scars
- Maximum strength pain relief
- Maximum strength itch relief
- No sting formula provides 24-hour infection protection
- Provides a nourishing environment for skin
To me, this looks like it would effectively treat symptoms of cold sores (pain, burning, itching). I believe this product would be even more helpful during the cold sore scab stage.
Years ago, when I actually got cold sores, I would often use Neosporin for cold sore scabs.
It seemed to help with itching, healing, and minimization of appearance of scars.
However, at the first sign of a cold sore, and during the painful blister stage, I would use other products, such as Abreva Cream, Super Lysine Plus Cream, and prescription medications, that were specifically formulated to treat cold sores.
How To Use Neosporin On A Cold Sore
Now that you’ve learned all of these amazing things about using Neosporin on cold sores, you get to decide whether or not you want to try it out.
If you want to use Neosporin on a cold sore or cold sore scab, here are the directions:
- Adults and children 2 years of age or older – Clean the affected area. Apply a small amount of this product (an amount equal to the surface area of the tip of a finger) on the area 1 to 3 times daily. Wash your hands before and after application.
- Children under 2 years of age – Ask a doctor.
The key to cold sores is to prevent them from forming in the first place. Thus, I encourage you to check out my Ultimate Guide to Preventing Cold Sores. It’s free and has absolutely everything you need to know.
If you have any questions or comments about using Neosporin on cold sores, please post them in the comment box below.