What’s the difference between cold sore cream vs gel?

A woman touching her lip thinking about cold sore treatment and wondering what's the difference between cold sore cream & cold sore gel


Cold Sore

Everyone’s worst enemy, cold sores start as a tingle and can end with a highly contagious blistering sore, usually on the face. If you’re grappling with the discomfort of a cold sore or diving into the realm of lip care, you’ve come to the right place. We’re breaking down the differences between cold sore creams and cold sore gels, to give you the knowledge to choose the right cold sore treatment that works for you. 

What is a Cold Sore?

Let’s start off by answering the main question – ‘What is a cold sore?’ A cold sore is a small, painful blister that typically appears on or around the lips. It’s caused by the herpes simplex virus, which is quite common and can be easily spread. The virus has two types: HSV-1, which usually causes oral herpes (cold sores), and HSV-2, which typically causes genital herpes.

When you get a cold sore, it means the HSV-1 virus has become active. The first time you get a cold sore, it might cause a tingling or itching sensation, and then a blister forms. Over a few days, the blister can burst, leaving a sore that eventually crusts over and heals. 

Cold sore creams and cold sore gels are available to help soothe and speed up the healing process, but what is the difference between the two? 

Cold Sore Cream Texture and Colour:

Cold sore creams are usually a white substance, and they tend to be on the thicker side. Packed with a blend of oils, water, and active ingredients, they help to soothe symptoms and speed up the healing process. 

Cold sore gels are topical gels, they are transparent so the gel goes on your affected area clear, providing discreet relief. Dermal Therapy’s Cold Sore Lysine+ Gel not only provides triple action relief (with propolis, lemon balm and lysine) it gets the job done and goes on clear to spare you from having to shout from the rooftops you have a cold sore. 

Cold Sore Cream vs Gel Application Ease:

Next up is how you apply the cream vs gel to your affected area. Cold sore creams, owing to their thicker consistency, might demand a bit more effort to spread evenly. Whereas cold sore gels have a lighter and more fluid texture, so applying them is a breeze. 

Effectiveness of Cream vs Gel for Cold Sore Treatment & Healing:

The effectiveness of cold sore creams versus cold sore gels lies in their distinct formulations and application methods.  Cold sore creams have a thicker consistency and a white appearance, they offer a comforting feel that covers the affected area. These creams often contain a blend of oils, water, and active ingredients, aiming to soothe symptoms and expedite the healing process. On the other hand, cold sore gels have a topical gel formulation, with a lighter and more fluid texture, to facilitate effortless application, making them an appealing choice for those who prioritise ease of use. The choice between cream and gel ultimately boils down to personal preference, with creams offering a traditional, thicker feel and gels providing a clear, subtle application – both striving to be effective solutions for cold sore treatment and healing. 

Fun fact… according to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 50% of 14-49 year-olds carry the virus so it is more common than you think. **

The key takeaway for creams vs gels? 

Cold sore creams offer a thicker, comforting feel that covers your blister, but they might come with a cosmetic hiccup – that noticeable white layer. Enter cold sore gels, like Dermal Therapy Cold Sore Lysine+ Gel, your go-to for an easy, discreet application. No more worrying about flaunting that white blob on your lip!

The choice between cream and gel is down to your personal preference. Are you a fan of the traditional, thicker feel, or do you lean towards a clear, subtle application? Either way, the effectiveness of these treatments depends on a variety of factors, such as remembering to re-apply the treatment regularly and ensuring proper application to fully cover the affected area. 

Dermal Therapy’s Cold Sore Gel with Lysine

Now that you’re equipped  with the knowledge of cold sore creams vs. gels, you’re one step closer to finding the best cold sore treatment for you. So, here’s to clear applications, triple action relief and fast and speedy healing combatting every stage of your cold sore.

Treat your cold sore with Australia’s first topical cold sore gel with lysine. Unlike other cold sore creams, it goes on clear – so all you see are the results.

  • Triple action relief with propolis, lemon balm and lysine
  • Unique clear gel formulation
  • Menthol and camphor and to soothe and protect
  • Promotes healing at every stage of the cold sore

Try the Dermal Therapy Cold Sore Lysine+ Gel today, for triple action relief against cold sores. 


aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/cold-sores-causes **

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