Objective: The purpose of this work was to study the effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the healing and relapse intervals in patients with recurrent labial herpes simplex infections.
Background data: Several pharmaceuticals are available to reduce symptoms and improbé healing of labial herpes, but only LLLT has been reported to significantly influence the length of the recurrence period.
Material and methods: In an initial study, 232 patients with herpes simplex type 1 virus symptoms were consecutively selected for either LLLT or conventional therapy, including acyclovir cream or tablets. One of the dentists was responsible for the diagnosis, a second dentist for the treatment, and and a third for the evaluation, to allow for a semi-blinded procedure. Patients in the laser group received 670-nm laser irradiation, 40 mW, 1.6 J, 2.04 J/cm(2), 51 mW/cm(2) per blister in the prodromal stage and 4.8 J in the crust and secondarily infected stages, plus 1.2 J at the C2-C3 vertebrae. Patients were monitored daily during the first week to control healing, and monthly for 1 year to check on recurrence. In a consecutive study, 322 patients receiving LLLT were followed during 5 years to observe the period of ocurrences.
Results: An obvious effect of LLLT was found for both initial healing and for the length of the recurrence periods.
Conclusions: LLLTof herpes simples virus 1 (HSV-1) appears to be an effective treatment modality without any observed side effects.