The saffron of over-the-counter medications

Well, according to the Mayo Clinic, cold sores can be triggered by excessive exposure to sunlight, and so I think I brought this on myself — when I was out at Walmart on Saturday, selling tickets for the Cancer Sucks! Crawfish Festival to benefit the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, I failed to take the cancer society’s own good advice and wear some sunscreen. I got burned as red as those crawfish in our festival logo. And now, I have a cold sore.

I had a lipstick-sized pump of Abreva, the saffron of over-the-counter medications, and I’ve used up every last molecule, even breaking open the pump and scraping around in it with a nail file for the last little gobbets. I went to several of the chain pharmacy web sites today to remind myself just how ridiculously overpriced Abreva is, and CVS had it on sale for online purchase — but that apparently doesn’t mean it’s also on sale in the brick-and-mortar stores. CVS charged $20.99 in store for either the pump or the tiny little tube, and Rite Aid charged $19.99. I didn’t feel like I needed to spend the money this week, and so I bought some ointment with zinc, lysine and beeswax — none of which the FDA will let them list as active ingredients — from our good friends at Placebo Industries. Hopefully, the 24 hours when I was putting Abreva on the sore will have given it a head start on healing up, and this cheapo oinment will distract me with the notion that I’m actually doing something for the cold sore.

Man, I can’t wait for Abreva to run out of patent and go generic. Because it really is effective; it’s just way overpriced.