Does Benzalkonium Chloride for Cold Sores Work?

Millions get a cold sore at least once in their life, and some get them frequently throughout the year. They are no fun at all to deal with, causing both pain and embarrassment. Benzalkonium chloride for cold sores is an increasingly popular treatment.

If you’ve had cold sores before, you’ll know how to identify the first signs. The tell-tale tingling sensation on your lip.  If you get treatment as soon as you feel this sensation, you will be able to avoid the worst symptoms. The key to finding a remedy that works is to look at the active ingredients. The active ingredient in any treatment is the one that will have the most significant impact.

Although the most common place to find a cold sore is on the lip, they can also appear on other parts of the face, such as under the nose or on the cheek, and the chin.

Fever blisters, as they are also called, go through different stages.  First is the tingling sensation, followed by the lump.  Then comes the fluid-filled blister, which can be very painful.  After that, the fluid dries up and leaves a scab in that spot.  This scab can be very itchy, and it can easily crack and let some liquid out in the process.

It is essential to keep this scab moisturized to lessen the chances of this happening.  After the scab comes off, you will probably have a noticeable spot left, but this will fade.  The average life of a fever blister is about 10 to 14 days, and this is why using a treatment from the start is imperative.

In this article, we will be talking more about Benzalkonium Chloride.  We will explain how it works and tell you about treatments that contain it.

How Benzalkonium Chloride for Cold Sores Works

Some ingredients can stop the virus from being able to grow any further, and this is one of them. As an active ingredient in the treatment, it starts to work immediately after application and deactivates the virus.

It has been used for decades, and it’s an active ingredient in other treatments for skin, too. Although you should always apply it at the very start of a cold sore, it is also effective at any stage of the cold sore, allowing it to heal faster.

You may have seen treatments that include Bactine, which is found in skin healing products. It stops itching, alleviates burning, and heals skin.

Some products are very effective at treating cold sores quickly that contain this ingredient. It is FDA approved, which means that it is safe to use.  The only drawback to it is that it has to be rubbed into the sore for it to be able to work fast, which may hurt, depending on the stage. But it cuts the healing time in half, so it is worth it.

While there are prescription medicines that your doctor can give you that contain benzalkonium chloride, you don’t have to go through the time and expense. You can find outstanding over-the-counter products that have this ingredient, and they are much less expensive.

There are others, but the following two over-the-counter treatments contain this ingredient.  You have probably heard of both, and they are very effective.  They also work quickly to heal the fever blister.

Releev 1 Day Cold Sore Treatment

The Releev 1 Day Cold Sore Treatment is a liquid treatment, and it soaks into the sore quickly. It alleviates the pain and starts healing the cold sore immediately. Unlike other ointments, this goes on clear and does not turn white when it dries.

Although it isn’t as popular as other treatments, it works just as well, if not better than, many others. We have written a full review of this treatment, and you can read it by clicking on the product link above.

Store Brand treatments often use this as this active ingredient in fever blister treatments. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work as well, it only means that you can get it at a lower price.

Benzalkonium Chloride

When Not to Use Benzalkonium Chloride

There are a few people that should not use this in any treatment. These include pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding. Also, it should not be used in children.

Read about the inactive ingredients on the label, as you may be allergic to some of them. They mix with the Benzalkonium Chloride to make it work better, but having an allergic reaction to it would be even worse than the blister itself.

Alternative Treatment

There is an alternative to benzalkonium chloride, which is Docosanol. This can be found in products, such as Abreva. Docosanol is FDA approved, meaning that it is safe to use for just about everybody.

You have probably already heard of Abreva. Although the main active ingredient is Docosanol, you should look at the inactive ingredients, as well. Make sure that you won’t find that you’re sensitive, or allergic, to any of them.

To learn more about Abreva, including the ingredients, click the link to be taken to our in-depth review page.

The most effective way to treat a cold sore is to catch it at the start. This will cut down the healing time fast, and you won’t have to go through the blistering and scabbing stages.

The use of Benzalkonium Chloride for cold sores is safe, as long as you use it as directed. Remember that it has to be rubbed into the sore, so that it can penetrate the skin faster, allowing it to attack the virus.

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