Are you suffering from the pain and inflammation of a cold sore? If so, you may be wondering what the best treatment is. Luckily, there is light at the end of the tunnel: red light therapy is a type of light therapy that is known to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including cold sores. Clinical studies have shown that red light therapy is an effective treatment for cold sores and can reduce the inflammation and pain associated with these lesions. Read on to learn more about red light therapy and how it can help you get rid of your cold sores quickly!
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What is a cold sore? The symptoms and causes
A cold sore is a painful viral infection that most often affects the lips. An area of skin near the upper or lower lip that has cold sores (herpes labialis) will itch and tingle. In addition to tightening and reddening, the skin develops painful blisters. The blisters may also spread to nearby skin, the mouth, or the direction of the nose, and when taking, laughing, or chewing, the blisters are readily broken open, which causes them to ooze fluid. Acidic meals such as beverages can irritate a wound. When a cold sore heals, the wound crusts over and forms a scab. The cold sores are usually more uncomfortable the first time you meet them, which is because your body doesn’t yet have any antibodies against the virus. The resultant severe symptoms could include fever, weakness, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. They might also have severe mouth pain and inflammation in the mouth area, causing bad breath.
After a herpes infection episode, the virus remains dormant in the nerve cells of the skin and may reappear as a cold sore in the same location as previously. A recurrent cold sore can develop into a chronic disease.
The Causes of cold sores
Certain types of the herpes simplex virus are responsible for causing cold sores, i.e., HSV-1 and HSV-2. Usually, HSV-2 is the cause of genital herpes. However, either form can spread through close contact with the face or genitalia. Shared towels, razors, and dining utensils could also spread HSV-1.
Due to the virus’s ease of transmission through contact with infected body fluids, cold sores are most contagious when they are weeping blisters. However, the virus that causes cold sores can infect many people without any outward signs or symptoms, even if you don’t have blisters.
How red light therapy works in treating cold sores
Red light therapy stimulates cellular function, which accelerates the healing process in various skin conditions, including herpes simplex virus infections. Through the use of red light, energy production in mitochondria is enhanced for ulcer wound healing, regeneration, reducing inflammation, and cell repair. A detailed explanation of photobiomodulation (PBM) of red and near-infrared light can be referred to in the article “The Ultimate Guide of Red Light Therapy — Bestqool”.
Red light therapy influences the immune system
Red and near-infrared light will cause low-dose metabolic stress in cells, which results in strengthening the anti-inflammatory and natural defense systems of cells. In turn, as a systematic effect of red light therapy, the body becomes resilient to infections. Red light therapy can influence the immune response in the following pathways: enhancing proliferation, maturation, and motility of fibroblasts; activating macrophages to behave as phagocytes; increasing production of fibroblast growth; promoting proliferation and activation of lymphocytes; releasing pro-inflammatory cytokines and mast cell degranulation; and activating mast cells, which result in reduced inflammation. Typically, there is a systematic overview of “low-dose light therapy on host immune responses.”
Red light therapy reduces inflammation
Red light therapy helps to decrease the number of inflammatory cells, increases the proliferation of fibroblast, which is responsible for the synthesis of collagen and other matrix macromolecules, stimulates angiogenesis, and activates the body’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant response. This is a study on the anti-inflammation activities of red light therapy. Red light therapy can help inflammation by directly regulating the inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. The picture below shows the anti-inflammatory effect of red light therapy on these cytokines.
Red light therapy has antiviral functions
Red light therapy doesn’t directly attack viruses but produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) to damage the viral envelope and degrade the lipids, thus lessening the infectivity of the virus. This study, “Aspects of antiviral strategies based on phototherapy approaches”, thoroughly discussed the effects of light therapy on different viral diseases. ROS, particularly excited state singlet oxygen, are produced as a result of the process, which also stimulates the photosensitizer in photodynamic therapy. Recent studies have demonstrated that ROS can target the viral envelope and be employed as an antiviral medication.
Clinical studies on red light therapy for cold sores
Red light therapy is a form of phototherapy that uses red and near-infrared light to treat cold sores. This treatment works by attacking the virus that causes cold sores, which helps to speed up healing time. In addition to red light therapy, other treatments like antiviral creams or antibiotics can also be used in combination with red light therapy. For best results, it’s important to follow the instructions prescribed by your doctor or specialist. In fact, red light therapy is clinically proven to be effective at treating cold sores and other types of oral herpes infections.
A 2013 clinical trial examined the efficacy of red light therapy for herpes in the mouth region. The patients were split into two groups, one receiving infrared wavelengths and the other receiving a placebo. Patients receiving infrared therapy experienced a considerable reduction in healing time, with an average healing time of 129 hours as opposed to 177 hours for the placebo group.
Another peer-reviewed study in 2018 which involved three trials also verified that using 670 nm and 1072 nm light in oral herpes simplex treatments showed a significant reduction in healing time and pain relief.
An early study in 1999 on the influence of low-level light therapy at 690 nm wavelength with an irradiance of 80 mW/cm^2 showed a significantly lower incidence of local recurrence of herpes simplex infection in the group of patients with recurrent perioral herpes simplex infection.
Why choosing Bestqool
Low level red light therapy has been proven an effective and safest treatment for cold sores including chronic recurrent herpes simplex infection with minimal side effects. Numerous studies show it is indeed a potential approach to suppress recurrent breakouts and reduce healing time.
The mission of Bestqool is to deliver the best at-home red light therapy devices worldwide. For years, Bestqool has been devoted to designing the most reliable red light therapy devices with our advanced LED technology.
Bestqool is truly the medical-grade standard.
Bestqool light therapy devices are official FDA Class Ⅱ Medical Devices manufactured in our FDA-registered factories as well as ETL-certified to meet the highest performance of the industry in this field. Bestqool is able to focus on the specific wavelength within the band of red (at 660 nm) and near-infrared (at 830 nm) lights and submit to the medical standard of irradiance output level. With our latest model of the Y series, Bestqool design is able to achieve an irradiance level as high as 100 mW/cm^2 as direct output.
Although a lot of manufacturers claim to produce effective wavelengths and irradiance, the true fact is that there is a variety of design modeling in LED industrial applications, concerning the difficulty of irradiance modeling of LED. However, Bestqool products are tested by professional devices before delivering to customers. In addition, all Bestqool products offer a three-year warranty, which gives you the answer of trustworthiness beyond doubt.