WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF A COLD SORE?
When you have a cold sore, you’ll notice
that every day is a new adventure.
But you’ll be ready. Believe it or not,
one cold sore typically goes through 5
stages during its 8-10 day course, and
sometimes it can hang around for up to
2 weeks. When you start using Abreva®
cream at the first tingle, you can help
shorten the healing time of your cold sore
cycle. It’s the only non-prescription
medication approved by the FDA that is
proven to shorten healing time.
The First Tingle - Cold Sore Stages
The First Tingle Days 1–2Known as
The Early Stage, this is when you’ll feel
those first few symptoms — the first tingle
and maybe an itching and/or burning
sensation. You might feel like this is more
the “Tingle Stage” and it might last a few
hours up to a full day. Your skin could feel
like it’s tightening where your cold sore is
forming. The area becomes red and swollen
because of the inflammatory reaction to
Above the Surface - Cold Sore Stages
Above the Surface
Days 2–4 This is The Blister Stage
— when you can first see the blister. It
probably looks like a group of small, painful
lumps that may multiply and/or grow. As
your body tries to fight your cold sore, white
blood cells travel to the blister to help fight
the infection. When this is happening, your
cold sore blister fills with fluid that contains
millions of virus particles.
Goodbye, Blister - Cold Sore Stages
This may be the most painful stage of your
outbreak, but it’ll only last around one
During The Ulcer Stage, the blisters burst
and a shallow ulcer (open sore) develops.
You may also see a red ring of inflammation
around the affected area.
Almost Gone - Cold Sore Stages
Days 5–8 During The Scabbing
Stage, your cold sore dries out and a
golden-brown crust appears, forming a scab.
As your scab shrinks, you may experience
painful cracks that can bleed. You may feel
severe itching and burning during this stage,
Knocked Out - Cold Sore Stages
Getting Back to Normal
Days 8–10 Finally,
it’s time for your cold sore to heal during
The Healing Stage.
As your scab starts to come off, you may
notice some dry flaking and residual swelling.
Your skin may also remain slightly pink or