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The Luminance RED vs Abreva: Decide What’s Right for You

Luminance RED vs abreva


As somebody who experiences cold sore outbreaks regularly, you immediately recognize the dreaded tingling sensation that means a cold sore is about to erupt. You’d do anything to get rid of that cold sore ulcer quickly. From natural remedies to medications, you’re willing to try them all to get rapid results. 

Two of your best options are Abreva and the Luminance RED. Though very different in design and functionality, both are designed to tackle cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus and help them disappear faster. So when comparing the Luminance RED vs Abreva, which is the right choice for you?

How Abreva Works

Abreva is an over-the-counter (OTC) cream used to treat cold sores. It contains the only non-prescription ingredient approved by the FDA to accelerate the cold sore healing process.

When used at the first sign of that cold sore “tingle,” Abreva can reduce healing time to as little as 2.5 days, or 4.1 days on average. It works using an ingredient called docosanol, which penetrates deep into the skin to block the herpes virus from entering healthy cells and replicating.  

For best results, apply Abreva directly to your cold sore at the first sign of emergence. Repeat this application up to five times a day to keep the area consistently covered, or follow the directions of your doctor.

Abreva can’t stop future outbreaks from occurring. So though this topical medication is helpful in the midst of an uncomfortable outbreak, it can’t help you prevent cold sores from forming in the future.

Luminance RED vs abreva

How the Luminance RED Works

The Luminance RED Lip Treatment Device is designed to help manage cold sores using phototherapy. It shines high-powered light onto cold sores and areas where cold sores often appear.

This handheld, FDA-registered device shines specific wavelengths of medically optimized red light over the affected area. The body metabolizes this light to accelerate the healing process and strengthen its defenses against future attacks. 

The same technology used by the Luminance RED has been tested in hundreds of peer-reviewed clinical studies. They show that light therapy can reduce the pain, shorten the healing time, and minimize the frequency of cold sore outbreaks. 

The Luminance RED Lip Treatment Device is easy to use. Hold the light one centimeter from the treatment area for two 60-second sessions. For best results, use up to three times per day. 

Clinical Research Proves the Benefits of Phototherapy for Cold Sores

Clinical studies have repeatedly demonstrated the power of phototherapy to prevent herpes outbreaks and alleviate active cold sores. 

In a study of participants with at least one herpes attack per month for more than six months, patients who received phototherapy treatment averaged 37.5 weeks before their next cold sore episode, compared to only three weeks for patients who did not receive treatment. 

Another study found that patients who received treatment with light had a 49% reduction in healing time compared to those who had no treatment. The treatment group healed in an average of 2.2 days, while the non-treatment group took an average of 4.3 days.

The Luminance RED was designed to use the wavelength and irradiance specifications studied in these trials to maximize efficiency in treating and preventing cold sore outbreaks. The difference is that the Luminance RED makes this therapy available in your own home versus in a clinic or doctor’s office.

Key Differences: Abreva vs. the Luminance RED

Though Abreva and the Luminance RED both offer important benefits, you may find that one meets your needs better than the other. 

First, Abreva is a cream, while the Luminance RED is a red light laser. It’s easy to quickly apply Abreva before work or in between activities, but it can also be messy and smear off your skin. The Luminance RED is compact and can be used anywhere, anytime, without any complications. Just hold the device up to your cold sores and let the red light penetrate deep into your skin. 

The Luminance RED also offers more flexibility and range of use. Abreva is “indicated only for the treatment of cold sores,” which means it can’t be used to address other kinds of ulcers. Luminance RED, on the other hand, has multiple devices designed for different conditions, such as canker sores and genital herpes.

Perhaps the most significant difference between Abreva and the Luminance RED involves each product’s ability to treat and prevent outbreaks. Abreva can treat cold sores as they emerge and after they’re visible to others. The Luminance RED is designed to both treat existing cold sores and prevent future outbreaks through regular use.

Finally, Abreva and the Luminance RED have different safety protocols. Abreva is approved for use in adults and children over the age of 12. It is not an appropriate treatment for a younger child, and could potentially cause some side effects for adults as well. The Luminance RED, meanwhile, is safe for children and adults, though you should still consult your doctor before using it on a child. 

Which Is Right for You?

Abreva and the Luminance RED both serve important purposes in the fight against painful, frustrating cold sores. Abreva’s topical cream is meant to address active outbreaks to reduce symptoms and healing time, while the Luminance RED’s phototherapy technology is meant to help reduce pain and healing time as well as prevent future outbreaks. 

You may find that one or the other best fits your needs, or you may try using them together. No current research definitively proves they work well together, but no research disproves it either. Try using Abreva and the Luminance RED in conjunction to encourage the best results possible.

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