The Herpes virus usually lies dormant in nerve cells until an opportunity to create cold sores. Stress and/or a weakened immune system can provide these opportunities to the virus. Although there is no cure against these viruses, there is a new method for cold sore treatment available to help alleviate symptoms and decrease the presence of cold sores.
In the past, our only defenses against cold sores were anti-viral medications (such as Valtrex and Acyclovir). We now have an additional option. This option is the diode laser. The typical diode laser procedure is to zap the vesicles initially with low-wattage intervals of energy, and then with high-wattage intervals. According to a study by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, “Low-Intensity Laser Therapy is an Effective Treatment for Recurrent Herpes Simplex Infection”. The study concluded that “we demonstrated that a total of 10 irradiations with low-intensity laser therapy significantly lowers the incidence of local recurrence of herpes simplex infection. Since this athermic phototherapeutic modality represents a safe, noninvasive treatment, it might be considered as an alternative to established therapeutic regimens in this indication.”2
Until a full cure is discovered, this new laser treatment for cold sores can help to greatly ease the pain and embarrassment of cold sores. Cold sores treated with this technology usually heal within a few days without any scarring, and if the cold sores reappear, they are typically less severe. The use of chapstick and ibuprofen is recommended for any post-procedure pain.
1)“Cold Sore.” Definition – Cold Sore. Mayoclinic.org, n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2014. 2) Schindl, Andreas, and Reinhard Neumann. “Low-Intensity Laser Therapy Is an Effective Treatment for Recurrent Herpes Simplex Infection. Results from a Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study.” Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2014.