Cold Sore & Canker Sore Laser Treatment
Laser Treatment for Herpes labialis
What is a Cold Sore?
Many people suffer from Herpetic lesions, commonly known as “Cold Sores” or “Fever Blisters“. These sores often present on the lip and are painful and unsightly. They are the result of a Herpes simplex- virus usually contracted as a child, which lies dormant for many years. They can be contagious and while we can treat them, those patients who have cold sores will most likely always have the virus, even if it is controlled.
How do I know if I have a cold sore or canker sore?
For those patients who regularly suffer from outbreaks of this virus, they often report a pre-outbreak or “ pro-dromal “ sensation that may include intense tingling at the site of the future sore. If not caught in time, a blister will appear with the cold sores usually breaking open and having a discharge. These sores are usually self –limiting and heal within a 2 week time frame.
What is the best way to treat this problem?
As mentioned above, a cold sore will usually start to heal on its own within a few days of it appearing and then disappear within about 10 days to 2 weeks. But as they can very painful and unsightly, you might want to treat it as soon as possible to eliminate discomfort and unsightly blemishes. Currently there are various approaches to treat this problem including pills, ointments and rinses. If you catch the lesion in time with the Perio-lase treatment, Dr. Gelb can usually prevent the cold sore from breaking out altogether. As soon as you feel that tingling sensation that warns you of an on-coming sore, schedule an appointment for a laser treatment. If you already have a full blown blister, the laser will take away the discomfort usually by the end of the first visit and help it to dry up and heal much faster.
24 Hours After Treatment
How does it work?
By shining the laser light directly onto the area about to break out or where it has already formed, the lasers energy enters the site and kills the virus that causes this outbreak. As the laser does not actually touch the skin, there is no need to have any anesthesia. The procedure takes but a few minutes and usually can be definitive even with in the first visit. If the blister has broken, the laser energy will reduce pain and speed up the body’s own healing process.
While the virus never really “leaves” you, there is some evidence that the cold sore will not return to that spot once treated by the laser energy.