A randomised double-blind study comparing the effect of 1072-nm light against placebo for the treatment of herpes labialis

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2006 Sep;31(5):638-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2006.02191.x. Epub 2006 Jun 15.


Background: Previous research demonstrated that 1072-nm narrowband laser light is effective in the treatment of cold sores.

Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of an over-the-counter cold-sore treatment device (Virulite CS) incorporating 1072-nm light-emitting diodes.

Methods: A randomised, prospective, double-blind, self-reported study was performed to compare the efficacy of at least six 3-min treatments of 1072-nm narrowband light against placebo, in the treatment of herpes labialis.

Results: The 1072-nm light-emitting diode device reduced cold-sore healing time to 6.3 days compared with 9.4 days for placebo (P=0.048). The time the cold sore took to form a crust was also reduced from 2.00 days for those treated with 1072-nm light, compared with 2.88 days for placebo (P=0.059)

Conclusions: The significant difference between the mean healing times in the two groups demonstrates that the Virulite CS device is an effective means of treating herpes labialis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Double-Blind Method
  • Herpes Labialis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Phototherapy / instrumentation
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Prospective Studies