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TREATING COLD SORES

Breakthrough advancement in LED technology results in a new treatment for cold sores.

WHAT ARE COLD SORES?

 

A lot of people think that cold sores are a relatively minor issue. Unless you have cold sores.

When you have a vacation, or a wedding, or a big presentation at work coming up, an outbreak can be more than uncomfortable. It can be crippling.

The good news is, you now have the ability to effectively treat them.

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters or oral herpes (HSV-1), are tiny, fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips.

These blisters are often grouped together in patches. After the blisters break, a crust forms over the resulting sore.

 

WHAT CAUSES COLD SORES?

Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), which is the oral form of the virus.

It is not well known that 67% of the world population under age 50 has HSV-1.(1)

The virus’ high level of contagiousness is responsible for its reach. Once you are infected, the virus never leaves your body. Most people cannot remember when they first encountered the virus.

NEED A QUICK OVERVIEW OF

HOW LIGHT CAN TREAT COLD SORES?

Short on time? Watch this short video that summarizes of some of the key findings resulting from recent clinical trials.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GET A COLD SORE?

For the majority of people, HSV-1 remains inactive throughout their lives and they may never know they have contracted the virus.

Approximately 1 in 4 people will experience recurrent infections.(2)

This occurs when the cold sore virus “wakes up,” infects the skin cells in or around the lip or mouth and causes a visible and contagious sore.

This usually happens after something has triggered the virus. It’s usually contracted in early childhood where symptoms may not appear for years, if ever.

 

HOW DO COLD SORES SPREAD?

The oral herpes virus is spread through direct contact with the skin. It can be contagious even when a cold sore is not visible.

Most people first contract the cold sore virus (HSV-1) when they are children, usually by skin-to-skin contact with an adult carrying the virus.(1)

The virus can spread in various ways: through kissing, or by sharing objects like toothbrushes, water bottles, drinking glasses, and silverware.(3)

It is also possible to spread the virus from the mouth to the genitals, eyes, and other parts of the body.

If you think you might have oral herpes but are unsure, please speak to a healthcare professional for an examination. They can identify whether or not you carry the oral herpes virus (HSV-1) through signs, symptoms, and your medical history.(4)

 

COLD SORE TREATMENTS

Unfortunately, there is no cure for cold sores. Treatment options have to date been limited to home remedies, creams, ointments, numbing lotions and just waiting for them to heal.

In severe cases, sometimes antiviral therapy is prescribed with acyclovir, famciclovir (Famvir), or valacyclovir (Valtrex).

But the good news is that Low Level Laser Therapy, or LLLT, has been proven through clinical studies to be a highly effective treatment which can both shorten healing time (by roughly half), and lower the chance of additional outbreaks occurring.

The problem is that using lasers is both cost and time prohibitive, as they can cost thousands of dollars and must be operated by trained medical staff.

LLLT is conducted by applying specific wavelengths of light to cold sores with a specific energy output measured in milliwatts per centimeter squared (mW/cm2).

However, LED (light-emitting diode) technology has recently advanced to where LED’s are now able to produce the same specifications of light as what was previously only possible with lasers.

Luminance Medical has leveraged this LED technology to create the Luminance RED.

An examination of clinical studies allows us to better understand how this treatment works. 

 

CLINICAL STUDY #1

Low-Intensity Laser Therapy is an Effective Treatment for Recurrent Herpes Simplex Infection. Results from a Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study

Authors: Andreas Schindl and Reinhard Neumann

Link to Study: https://www.jidonline.org/article/S0022-202X

Summary: In this study, researchers selected a group of participants who not only had HSV-1, but had a “recurrent infection,” defined as having at least one herpes attack per month for more than 6 months, independent of any known triggering mechanism such as fever, sun exposure, or menstruation.

The results found that patients who received treatment averaged 37.5 weeks (263 days) before their next cold sore episode, whereas those who did not receive treatment averaged 3 weeks (21 days).

What caused the treatment to have such a big impact?

When assessing why treatment had such a substantial impact on reoccurrence, an indirect effect of LLLT on cellular and humoral components of the immune system involved in antiviral responses rather than a direct virus-inactivating effect was proposed*.

This means that the treatment is suggested to actually strengthen the immune function against the HSV-1 Virus which prevents future outbreaks from reoccurring.

*The Nuts and Bolts of Low-level Laser (Light) Therapy ; Hoon Chung, Tianhong Dai, Sulbha K. Sharma, Ying-Ying Huang, James D. Carroll, and Michael R. Hamblin

 

CLINICAL STUDY #2

Comparing the effect of diode laser against acyclovir cream for the treatment of herpes labialis

Authors: Marieh Honarmand, Leila Farhadmollashahi, Ehsan Vosoughirahbari

Link To Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC547

Summary: In this placebo controlled study, researchers found that patients who received treatment had a 49% reduction in time to heal compared to those who had no treatment. The treatment group took an average time to heal of 2.2 days while the non-treatment group took 4.3 days.

 

CLINICAL STUDY #3

Comparing the effect of diode laser against acyclovir cream for the treatment of herpes labialis

Authors: Marieh Honarmand, Leila Farhadmollashahi, Ehsan Vosoughirahbari

Link To Study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC547

Summary: One sham (placebo) controlled study found that when patients received treatment, they experienced an average 77% reduction in pain the next day, versus a 9% reduction in the group who received placebo treatment (none).

By day two, 77% of patients who received treatment had reached Epithelialization, where none of the non-treated group had.

 

SUMMARY

The overwhelming amount of data produced from well-constructed, clinical trials demonstrating efficacy in treating and
preventing cold sore outbreaks is persuasive.

However, the light must be applied at both the proper wavelength and irradiance (or power) to achieve these results.

The Luminance RED was designed specifically to meet these specifications and boasts a 75 mW/cm2 irradiance output, producing a 637.5 nanometer, red light wavelength.

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(1) Herpes simplex virus. World Health Organization. (2016, January). Retrieved April 27, 2016, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs400/en/

(2) Oral Herpes. American Sexual Health Association. (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2016, from http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/herpes/oral-herpes/

(3) Fever Blisters and Canker Sores. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (1992, July). Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://publications.usa.gov/epublications/fever-blister/fever-canker.html

(4) Cold Sore Causes. Mayo Clinic. (2015, May 15). Retrieved April 28, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cold-sore/basics/causes/con-20021310