Date: February 2023
Dr. Scott Froum presents a case example of how low-level laser therapy can be used to reduce the time and severity of herpes labialis infections.
Summary: Herpes labialis, also known as cold sores, is a common viral infection of the lips or mouth area caused by the herpes simplex virus. It is characterized by the appearance of one or more small, painful blisters or lesions on or around the lips. Symptoms may include ulcerations, itching, burning, or tingling around the mouth, and swollen lymph nodes.
Recurrent herpes labialis is a global lifelong oral health problem for patients and dental professionals that has yet to have a cure. It affects approximately one-third of the world’s population, causing episodes of pain and discomfort upon vesicular blistering. It can cause individuals to feel socially restricted as the lips are compromised esthetically, and some may feel culturally stigmatized.
Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir, penciclovir, and valacyclovir in cream or tablet form have not been successful in eliminating the virus or its recurrence. Currently, different kinds of laser treatment, wavelengths, and protocols have been proposed for the management of recurrent herpes labialis. Here, I’ll briefly review and provide a case example of how low-level laser therapy (LLLT) can be used to reduce the time and severity of herpes labialis infections.
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