Campho Phenique Cold Sore Treatment

Updated April 17, 2017

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is the most common herpes simplex virus and is usually associated with cold sores. According to the National Institutes of Health, by adulthood, 30 to 90 percent of people will have antibodies to HSV-1. Campho-Phenique has become a common form of treatment for cold sores.


In 1867, Joseph Lister demonstrated that cleansing of patients' skin before and after surgery with phenol could greatly reduce infections. By 1884, Campho-Phenique Liquid was introduced as an antiseptic.

Key Ingredients

Campho-Phenique contains both camphor and phenol. Campho-Phenique works to block infections that can slow the healing process.

Early Stage Treatment

Campho-Phenique Cold Sore Treatment with Drying Action can temporarily ease the pain and itching of cold sores and keep sores from cracking. It should be applied externally to skin but not bandaged.

Scab Treatment

Campho-Phenique Cold Sore Treatment for Scab Relief penetrates and softens the scab while it heals. It should be applied externally to scab and skin but not bandaged.


Campho-Phenique products should never be taken internally.

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About the Author

Kathleen Buczko began writing professionally in 1986 for publications such as "The News-Observer Newspapers," "MicroTimes" and "DVD Magazine." She began her career as a broadcast journalist at WDIV-TV. Buczko has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Wayne State University.