Zovirax ointment cream is a trusted and effective topical medication used for the treatment of various viral skin infections, including cold sores, genital herpes, shingles, and chickenpox. Its antiviral properties make it a reliable choice for those seeking relief from the discomfort and symptoms associated with these conditions. With its convenience, quick results, and proven safety, Zovirax ointment cream offers individuals an opportunity to manage their symptoms effectively and improve their overall quality of life.


Cold sores (Herpes labialis)

Zovirax ointment cream is primarily used for the treatment of cold sores, also known as herpes labialis. Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that typically appear on or around the lips. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) and can be quite painful and uncomfortable. When applied at the first sign of a cold sore, Zovirax ointment cream can help speed up the healing process and reduce the severity of symptoms.

Genital herpes (Herpes genitalis)

Another common use of Zovirax ointment cream is in the treatment of genital herpes, also known as herpes genitalis. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-2). Zovirax ointment cream can be applied topically to the affected genital areas to alleviate symptoms such as itching, pain, and the formation of sores. It can also help reduce the duration of outbreaks and promote faster healing.

Shingles (Herpes zoster)

Zovirax ointment cream is also effective in treating shingles, which is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus responsible for chickenpox. Shingles typically manifest as a painful rash that develops on one side of the body. By applying Zovirax ointment cream to the affected areas, individuals with shingles can experience relief from the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.

Chickenpox (Varicella)

Chickenpox, a common childhood illness caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), can be treated with Zovirax ointment cream. When applied to the itchy blisters that accompany chickenpox, Zovirax ointment cream can help soothe the skin, reduce the risk of secondary infections, and expedite the healing process.

Herpes simplex virus infections

Zovirax ointment cream is effective in the treatment of various other herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections. These include herpes keratitis, a viral infection of the eye, and herpes encephalitis, an infection of the brain. By applying Zovirax ointment cream as directed by a healthcare professional, individuals can benefit from its antiviral properties and alleviate the symptoms associated with these infections.

Other viral skin infections

Aside from its primary uses, Zovirax ointment cream may also be prescribed for the treatment of other viral skin infections, such as herpes gladiatorum (a herpes infection common among athletes) and eczema herpeticum (a complication of atopic dermatitis). These conditions can cause significant discomfort, but with the help of Zovirax ointment cream, individuals can find relief and promote the healing of affected skin areas.

Zovirax ointment cream is generally safe for most individuals when used as directed. However, it’s crucial to pay attention to certain warnings and precautions to minimize any potential risks. By following these guidelines, you can effectively harness the benefits of this medication while safeguarding your skin health.


Allergic Reactions

Before using Zovirax ointment cream, it’s important to be aware of any potential allergic reactions. If you have a known hypersensitivity to acyclovir, the active ingredient in Zovirax, or any other components of the ointment, it’s advisable to avoid using this medication. Signs of an allergic reaction may include itching, redness, swelling, rash, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue use immediately and seek medical attention.

Eye Contact

Zovirax ointment cream is intended for external use only and should never come into contact with the eyes. If accidental contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water and seek medical advice if irritation persists. To avoid any mishaps, exercise caution and apply the ointment carefully, ensuring it doesn’t come into contact with your eyes or mucous membranes.

Open Wounds or Broken Skin

It’s essential to refrain from applying Zovirax ointment cream to open wounds or broken skin. The medication is specifically designed for use on cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. Applying it to broken skin may lead to irritation or discomfort. If you have any open wounds, wait for them to heal before using the ointment.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s advisable to consult your healthcare provider before using Zovirax ointment cream. Although studies have not indicated any significant risks associated with its use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, it’s always best to seek professional advice to ensure the safety of both you and your baby.

Immune System Disorders

Individuals with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, should exercise caution when using Zovirax ointment cream. It’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable treatment approach for your specific situation.


Proper Hygiene

Maintaining proper hygiene is crucial when dealing with cold sores or other HSV infections. Before applying Zovirax ointment cream, ensure that the affected area is clean and dry. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after each application to prevent the spread of the virus.

Avoiding Direct Contact

To prevent the transmission of the herpes simplex virus, it’s important to avoid direct contact with active cold sores or lesions. Refrain from sharing personal items such as towels, lip balms, or eating utensils, as these can potentially transmit the virus to others or to different areas of your own body.

Duration of Use

Zovirax ointment cream is typically prescribed for short-term use, usually up to 5 days. Prolonged or excessive use may lead to adverse effects or reduced efficacy. If your symptoms persist beyond the recommended duration, consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.

Adverse Effects

While Zovirax ointment cream is generally well-tolerated, it’s essential to be aware of any potential adverse effects. Common side effects may include mild stinging or burning sensations at the application site. If these symptoms persist or worsen over time, consult your healthcare provider for appropriate advice.

Drug Interactions

If you are currently taking any other medications, it’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider before using Zovirax ointment cream. Certain drugs may interact with acyclovir, potentially affecting its efficacy or increasing the risk of adverse effects. By providing a comprehensive list of your current medications, you allow your healthcare provider to make informed decisions regarding your treatment plan.

By adhering to the warnings and precautions outlined in this article, you can maximize the effectiveness of this medication while minimizing the risk of adverse effects. Remember to consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance regarding the use of Zovirax ointment cream. Safeguard your skin health and embrace the comfort and confidence that comes with effective treatment.

Side Effects 

Zovirax cream, also known as acyclovir cream, is commonly prescribed to treat herpes labialis, or cold sores. While it is generally safe to use, there are a few side effects that you should be aware of before incorporating this cream into your skincare routine.

Common Side Effects

Like any medication, Zovirax cream can cause some common side effects, which are usually mild and temporary. These side effects may include:

  • Skin Irritation and Redness: Some individuals may experience mild skin irritation, redness, or a burning sensation at the application site. This is a common side effect and should subside within a short period. If the irritation persists or worsens, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider.
  • Dry or Flaky Skin: In some cases, Zovirax cream may cause dryness or flakiness of the skin at the site of application. This is generally not a cause for concern and can be managed by keeping the skin moisturized. If the dryness becomes severe or bothersome, seek medical advice.
  • Itching or Tingling Sensation: Occasionally, users may experience itching or a tingling sensation after applying Zovirax cream. This sensation is usually mild and temporary and should resolve on its own. If the itching persists or becomes severe, consult your healthcare professional.

Rare Side Effects

While rare, some individuals may experience serious side effects from using Zovirax cream. If you notice any of the following symptoms, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Allergic Reactions: In rare cases, an allergic reaction to Zovirax cream may occur. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms, discontinue use and seek medical help promptly.
  • Severe Skin Irritation or Rash: Although uncommon, Zovirax cream may cause severe skin irritation or a rash that spreads beyond the application site. If you notice extensive redness, swelling, blistering, or peeling of the skin, stop using the cream and consult your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Changes in Vision: In rare instances, Zovirax cream may cause blurred vision or other changes in eyesight. If you experience any visual disturbances while using the cream, discontinue use and seek medical attention.

Drug Interactions

Zovirax can interact with other drugs, altering their effectiveness or increasing the risk of side effects. It is crucial to discuss all medications, including prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements, with your healthcare provider before starting Zovirax. Let’s delve into some common drug interactions associated with Zovirax.


Zovirax may interact with certain antibiotics, such as tetracycline and ciprofloxacin, reducing their absorption and effectiveness. If you are prescribed antibiotics while taking Zovirax, your doctor may adjust the dosage or recommend alternative medications to ensure optimal treatment outcomes.

Antiviral Medications

Combining Zovirax with other antiviral medications, such as valacyclovir or famciclovir, can lead to an increased risk of side effects. Your healthcare provider will carefully evaluate the benefits and risks of combining these medications and make appropriate recommendations based on your specific condition.


Patients taking immunosuppressant drugs, such as cyclosporine or tacrolimus, should exercise caution when using Zovirax. The combination of Zovirax with immunosuppressants can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of infections. Close monitoring by a healthcare professional is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of these medications.


Probenecid, a medication used to treat gout and certain types of arthritis, can interfere with the elimination of Zovirax from the body. This interaction may lead to increased Zovirax levels, potentially causing toxic effects. Your healthcare provider may need to adjust the dosage of Zovirax or recommend alternative treatments to avoid complications.

It is crucial to inform your healthcare provider about all medications, including over-the-counter and herbal supplements, that you are taking. By understanding potential drug interactions, you can take proactive steps to prevent complications and ensure the successful management of your viral infection. Always follow your healthcare provider’s guidance and promptly report any concerning symptoms or side effects. Remember, your health is our priority.

How To Use

Zovirax contains acyclovir, an active ingredient that interferes with the replication of viruses. When applied topically, it helps reduce the severity of symptoms and accelerates the healing process. Proper application techniques are crucial for maximizing the benefits of this medication. Remember to consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice and adhere to their instructions for the best outcomes. With proper application and care, Zovirax can help you on your path to a speedy recovery. Let’s delve into some essential tips:

  • Wash the affected area: Before applying Zovirax, cleanse the affected area gently with mild soap and water. Pat dry using a clean towel or tissue to ensure a clean surface for application.
  • Clean hands: Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after applying Zovirax. This helps prevent the spread of the virus to other parts of your body or to others.
  • Apply a thin layer: Use your finger or a clean cotton swab to apply a thin layer of Zovirax to the affected area. Avoid excessive application, as it may hinder absorption and cause unnecessary wastage.

Maximizing the Benefits of Zovirax

  • Apply at the first signs: Start applying Zovirax as soon as you notice the initial symptoms, such as tingling, itching, or redness. Early intervention can help suppress the viral activity and reduce the severity of outbreaks.
  • Frequency of application: Typically, Zovirax should be applied five times a day, approximately every four hours during the waking hours. Follow the prescribed dosage instructions provided by your healthcare professional for optimal results.
  • Stick to the treatment duration: It’s crucial to complete the full course of Zovirax treatment, even if the symptoms subside before the prescribed duration. This ensures that the virus is fully suppressed, reducing the chances of recurrence.

Essential Precautions and Recommendations

  • Avoid contact with eyes, nose, and mouth: Take extra care to avoid getting Zovirax into your eyes, nose, or mouth. In case of accidental contact, rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Do not share applicators: To prevent the spread of infection, avoid sharing the same tube of Zovirax with others. Use separate applicators for each individual or follow appropriate hygiene practices to minimize the risk of contamination.
  • Maintain proper hygiene: Maintain good personal hygiene by regularly washing your hands and keeping the affected area clean and dry. This helps prevent the spread of the infection and promotes faster healing.


Zovirax Ointment cream should be stored in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Avoid exposing the medication to excessive heat, moisture, or direct sunlight, as these factors can degrade the active ingredients in the cream. It is important to keep the cream away from children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

Storing Zovirax Ointment Cream in the Bathroom

Many people have a habit of storing medications in their bathroom cabinets. However, the bathroom is not an ideal location for storing Zovirax Ointment cream. The fluctuating temperatures and high humidity in the bathroom can affect the stability of the cream, reducing its effectiveness over time. Therefore, it is recommended to store Zovirax Ointment cream in a different location.

How to Store Zovirax Ointment Cream While Traveling

If you need to travel and take your Zovirax Ointment cream with you, it is important to ensure that it remains properly stored during your journey. Here are some tips for storing Zovirax Ointment cream while traveling:

  1. Use a small insulated cooler bag: Place the cream in a small insulated cooler bag to protect it from temperature changes. This will help maintain the stability of the active ingredients.
  2. Avoid exposing the cream to direct sunlight: Keep the cooler bag away from direct sunlight to prevent excessive heat exposure.
  3. Pack it in your carry-on bag: When traveling by air, it is advisable to keep your medications, including Zovirax Ointment cream, in your carry-on bag. This way, you can ensure that the cream remains at a controlled temperature throughout the journey.

How to Store Zovirax Ointment Cream at Home

At home, it is important to store Zovirax Ointment cream properly to maintain its potency. Here are some guidelines for storing the cream at home:

  1. Choose a cool and dry location: Find a place in your home that is consistently cool and dry, away from direct sunlight and sources of heat. A cupboard or drawer in the bedroom or kitchen can be suitable options.
  2. Keep it out of reach of children and pets: Store the cream in a location where children or pets cannot access it. Consider using a locked medicine cabinet or a high shelf.
  3. Check the expiration date: Before using Zovirax Ointment cream, always check the expiration date on the packaging. Expired medications may not be effective and could potentially cause harm.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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