Cold sores, which usually show up as unsightly, painful blemishes around the mouth, are caused by the herpes simplex virus. The virus often lies dormant in a nerve in the face, called the trigeminal nerve, until activated by stress, sunlight, a poorly functioning immune system, or a high fever. Cold sores usually appear on the lips, but in about 10% of cases they appear on the nose, chin, or cheeks. Cold sores, no matter where they first occur, have a tendency to recur in the same area.
During laser treatment for cold sores, light energy released by the laser is delivered to the cold sore by means of an optical fibre. The light energy penetrates the virus and causes the virus to go into remission.
Laser treatment for a cold sore is a fast, painless procedure. It can be performed by one of our dentists or hygienists to any cold sore lesion on the lips. Laser treatment is most effective if the cold sore is treated at the first sign of outbreak.
Laser treatment at the prodrome or “tingly feeling" stage can prevent the cold sore from progressing to the “full bloom" stage; however, treatment after the blister has formed will still greatly reduce symptoms and shorten the course of the outbreak. Laser treatment also significantly reduces the chance of another cold sore recurring in the area that was treated.
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