Red light therapy has taken the world by storm. It can be used for treating a variety of conditions including cold sore. There is no denying that cold sores are painful and can be rather contagious. They tend to pop out of nowhere. Also known as fever blisters, cold sores are caused by HSV-1 (Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1) or HSV-2 (Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2). There is no cure for the sores and it can take weeks for them to clear up.
Although there are home remedies that people can use for treating cold sores, they are ineffective. They only reduce the swelling and numb the pain. As for prescription anti-viral drugs, they can help to a certain extent. But, they also come with unwanted side effects. Thus, people are turning to red light therapy for healing cold soles. It is important to keep in mind that red light therapy does not keep cold sores at bay. It can treat them if they occur.
Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy is widely used today for its anti-inflammatory, skin-regenerating, and healing properties. The red wavelengths are measured in nanometers and they penetrate deep into the skin to accelerate healing and reduce pain caused by HSV lesions. Research reveals that red light therapy holds the answer to treating cold sores.
According to a study in 2009, it was found that red wavelengths in the range of 650 nm to 680 nm helped improve mouth ulcers after a single treatment in 69 patients. Then, there was another study that was conducted in Brazil in 2011 which involved 2 patients that did not use topical anti-viral medicine. Further studies have been conducted over the years which reveal that red light therapy offers the best treatment for cold sores in comparison to medication.
How Does Red Light Therapy Promote the Healing of Cold Sores?
Red light therapy penetrates into the cellular level and stimulates the mitochondria which are the powerhouse of the cells. It addresses the symptoms and the underlying cause. This makes it extremely effective at treating cold sores and other chronic recurring conditions. It heals the condition in the following ways.
Energy Production in Cells
The first thing that red light therapy does is that it produces energy in the cells. The stimulation of energy production starts the healing process within the mitochondria of the cells. As they are the energy powerhouse of the cells, red light stimulates them which results in the production of more energy. Thus, they are better able to perform their functions, repair damage, and protect themselves from damage.
When the mitochondria malfunction, they are unable to produce sufficient cellular energy. The condition is known as mitochondrial dysfunction. It results in individual cells underperforming. The system of the cell is worst affected by it. In certain cases, the condition can even be inherited. However, it is commonly caused by inflammation, disease, and other forms of stress like chronic psychological stress, environmental toxins, and oxidative stress.
A greater risk of infection is a symptom of mitochondria dysfunction that impacts your immune system. Although close to 70% of the world’s population carries HSV-1, most of the individuals that carry the virus tend to be asymptomatic.
In fact, HSV can easily hide from the immune system and flare up once it has been weakened. Therefore, it becomes necessary to correct mitochondria dysfunction for supporting the immune system to ensure optimal health.
Now, inflammation might be normal as it is part of the healing process. However, in case the inflammatory response continues for too long, it would become chronic inflammation which is unhealthy. It causes unwanted side effects over a long period of time. Thus, the body only becomes more susceptible to viruses. If normal inflammation progresses to chronic inflammation, it would cause the following.
- Frequent or persistent viral and bacterial infections.
- Persistent anxiety and depression which are psychological distresses. It would impact the ability of the body to fight off viruses.
- Patients would also experience chronic fatigue due to the inability of cells producing sufficient energy.
Studies show that red light helps reduce inflammation. The Harvard Medical School had conducted a study wherein it was mentioned that red light therapy has anti-inflammatory effects and can be beneficial for the treatment of various conditions.
Increased Collagen Production
Next, red light therapy boosts collagen production which is an essential protein that makes up about 80% of our skin. It offers firmness and strength to the skin. Red light therapy does an excellent job at stimulating collagen production for ensuring healthy new skin takes the place of the cold sores. A study conducted by researchers in Germany found that red light therapy increases collagen density in patients who has significant worsening of skin wrinkle status and roughness.
In addition to the above, red light therapy improves circulation. The truth is that circulation is necessary for eliminating cold sores. Therefore, red light therapy relies on capillaries for boosting circulation to get rid of waste and promote the proliferation of endothelial cells that properly regulate the exchange of materials. Without capillaries, it would not be possible to bring nutrients and oxygen. Once the HSV lesions have healed, the blood vessels would restore healthy skin. Red light therapy boosts the functioning of white blood cells and tissues. It can heal cold sores in as little as a single session. However, it is recommended to undergo several sessions for the best results.
Red Light Therapy Products for Cold Sores
Now that you know more about red light therapy for treating cold sores, it is important that you shop for a red light therapy product such as a red light wand or LED panel from a reputable brand like RedDot LED. It will allow you to perform the treatment from the comfort of your home. The best thing about these products is that you only have to use them for about 10 to 20 minutes every other day for optimal results.