Campho-Phenique® was first introduced in 1884 as a results of experimentation in 1867 with phenol by Joseph Lister. Lister demonstrated that using phenol to clean a patient’s skin before and after surgery could greatly reduce infections.

After it’s initial introduction, Campho-Phenique liquid isn’t mass produced until 1944 when Sterling Drug acquires the product. The following year, it’s repositioned as a first aid antiseptic and made available to the public. Then, in 1979 Campho-Phenique is re-formulated into a first aid gel.

It’s not until 1984 that Campho-Phenique becomes a cold sore remedy and 19 more years before Campho-Phenique Cold Sore Treatment for Scab Relief is launched.

Today, Campho-Phenique offers three products — Cold Sore Treatment, Pain Relieving Antiseptic Liquid, and Pain and Itch Relieving Antiseptic Gel. Each product utilizes phenol as both an antiseptic to prevent spreading of infection and secondary infection, and as a local anesthetic to numb pain, a common symptom in all these cases.. Each medication can all be purchased as an over-the-counter remedy at local drug stores and online.