“Research findings suggest laser treatments may speed healing and lengthen the time before any sores reappear.” – Dr. Charles Patrick Davis (1)
There is some research, which showed that when laser light therapy (LLT) was used, herpes patients were symptom free for up to 17-months. For example, “two clinical cases are described with recurrent labial herpes for which LLT was used. Following treatment, both patients remained symptom free during the 17-month clinical follow-up period.” (2) Of course, these findings came from case studies.
These results are encouraging, but unfortunately a sample size of just “2” is extremely small. Additionally, Dr. Carlos de Paula Eduardo and colleagues wrote that “according to the literature, none of the laser treatment modalities is able to completely eliminate the virus and its recurrence.” (3)
Actually, it should be noted that MOST treatments against the herpes virus do not eliminate the virus permanently from the body.
Standard treatments today may reduce viral replication, etc. but they don’t get rid of the virus completely. “Two types of antiviral treatments against HSV are available: topical and oral. The treatments include penciclovir, acyclovir, famciclovir, and valaciclovir. However, their effectiveness is limited. For instance, a meta-analysis of five placebo-controlled and two dose comparison studies evaluated the effect of aciclovir, famciclovir or valaciclovir on symptoms.
The meta-analysis showed that oral antiviral therapy decreases the duration and the associated pain of an outbreak by merely one day.” (4)
One day! That’s it?!
Clearly, new treatments need to be developed that are more effective than this. And, it is obvious that research is currently underway to do just that. But, how much of this research is focusing on preventative vaccines vs. antiviral drugs vs. antiviral natural products?
The bottom line?
We tend to think that funding should be allocated equally between all three of these areas.
(1) Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD “Oral Herpes.” Emedicinehealth.com. Last reviewed February 27, 2015
(2) Dennis Carvalho Ferreira, Helena Lucia Barroso Reis, Fernanda Sampaio Cavalcante, Kátia Regina Netto dos Santos and Mauro Romero Leal Passos “Recurrent herpes simplex infections: laser therapy as a potential tool for long-term successful treatment.” Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical 44(3):397-399, mai-jun, 2011
(3) Carlos de Paula Eduardo, Ana Cecilia Corrêa Aranha, Alyne Simões, Marina Stella Bello-Silva, Karen Muller Ramalho, Marcella Esteves-Oliveira, Patrícia Moreira de Freitas, Juliana Marotti, Jan Tunér “Laser treatment of recurrent herpes labialis: a literature review.”Lasers in Medical Science. Published in July 2014