What is a cold sore?
Cold sores are a common viral infection (typically herpes simplex virus type 1) that often begin with sensations of tingling, itching, or burning. They most commonly then develop into a fluid-filled blister on or around an individual’s lips. They are transmitted by person-to-person contact and can take 1 to 2 weeks to heal completely.1 While there are various methods available to manage cold sores, laser therapy is emerging as an optimal treatment option.
Causes of Cold Sores
Once an individual contracts the herpes simplex virus, it remains in their body indefinitely. Most of the time, the virus will remain inactive (dormant). However, it can be triggered and activated by things such as sunlight, fatigue, injury to the affected site, stress, and hormones which can lead to an outbreak. The frequency of outbreak depends on the individual.2
What is Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses a high-intensity light to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. The laser emits a specific wavelength of light that is absorbed by the tissues in the affected area, stimulating cellular activity and promoting blood flow. The increased blood flow helps to speed up the healing process, reducing pain and inflammation.3
How does Laser Therapy treat Cold Sores?
Laser therapy has been found to be effective in treating cold sores by reducing the intensity of symptoms and stimulating faster healing. When used to treat cold sores, the laser is focused at the affected area, targeting the virus directly. The laser energy heats up the virus, causing it to break down and reducing its ability to replicate and spread.
Laser therapy has been shown to be extremely effective at reducing the duration of cold sores, with some studies reporting a drastic reduction in healing time. Additionally, laser therapy can also help to reduce pain and inflammation associated with cold sores, making it a popular choice for those looking to manage their symptoms.4
Benefits of Treating Cold Sores with Laser Therapy
There are several benefits of using laser therapy to treat cold sores. First, it is a non-invasive treatment, meaning there is no need for incisions or injections, reducing the risk of infection and scarring. Second, laser therapy can be completed quickly and easily, with most treatments taking only a few minutes to complete. Finally, laser therapy has been shown to be effective in reducing the severity of symptoms and promoting faster healing. In some cases, treatment can also prevent the reoccurrence of a sore in the same location.5
Are there any Side Effects of Laser Therapy for Cold Sores?
Laser therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for cold sores with few reported side effects. Some individuals may experience mild redness or discomfort at the treatment site, but these symptoms typically resolve within a few days. It is important to note that laser therapy should not be used on individuals with certain medical conditions, such as those with active skin infections, as it may increase the risk of complications.
Is Laser Therapy Right for You?
Laser therapy is a promising treatment option for those looking to manage their cold sore symptoms. With its ability to relieve symptoms and promote faster healing, it is an attractive alternative to traditional treatments. If you experience cold sores, we welcome you to call our office and explore the ways that Dr. Dickerson can support your healing with our Solea laser! 720.842.7002