Does Red Light Therapy Help Cold Sores?

Cold sores can be quite painful. But does red light therapy help cold sores?

Cold sores are contagious and are considered a common viral infection. Since they are tiny blisters filled with fluid, they are also called fever blisters. They are caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus).

Furthermore, the blisters typically break. Next, a scab forms that can last for a couple of days. Therefore, cold sores typically take two to three weeks to heal. In addition, they rarely leave a scar on the previously affected area.

So, can RLT help treat cold sores? Continue reading our article and discover the answer to this common question.

Does Red Light Therapy Help Cold Sores?


Does Red Light Therapy Help Cold Sores?

Red light therapy is one of the most popular light treatments. It’s mainly used for treating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Therefore, using red light might help heal cold sores too. In this process, doctors usually use red light with 650-680 nm wavelengths

To properly heal fever blisters, you must discover what’s triggering you that leads to an outbreak. Certain foods, increased stress, menstruation, colds, allergies, and other factors may contribute to developing cold sores.

RTL may provide you with therapeutic relief. So it may reduce the pain you feel due to the blisters. Moreover, since RTL is a low-light therapy, it’s generally safe to use at home. Therefore, you can use some at-home red light devices to treat cold sores.

In this case, it’s recommended to apply the light on the affected area for three minutes. In addition, you can use the red light device up to three times a day. But you cannot use it for more than two days. RTL might speed up the healing process and prevent the symptoms from reappearing.

So now that you know whether red light therapy helps cold sores, let’s see whether you need to see a doctor for the cold sores.

Related: Does Red Light Therapy Heal Herpes?

When do you need to see a doctor?

Cold sores are nothing unusual. Typically, they are not severe, and you shouldn’t be worried. However, they can be pretty painful, and their healing can last several days to a week. 

Besides, if you are experiencing fever blisters for the first time, you may also feel burning and pain inside your mouth. Moreover, you may experience headaches, an upset stomach, or a sore throat.

In addition, a few symptoms can serve as a warning. So if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you must see a doctor: 

  • You don’t see improvement after two weeks
  • You are getting cold sores very often
  • You feel very weak
  • You are experiencing severe symptoms 
  • Your eyes are irritated
How Does Red Light Therapy Work


How Does Red Light Therapy Work

If you were wondering does red light therapy help cold sores, you might also be wondering how the process works. Red light therapy is also known as low light therapy, biostimulation, soft light therapy, etc. 

Usually, during this treatment, professionals such as doctors and dermatologists treat patients with red light lasers or lamps. These devices typically function on low red light wavelengths. So chances of the skin getting hurt or burned by the red light are super low. 

However, during the treatment, the device emits a very bright light. So you may feel a bit uncomfortable. In this case, you can always wear glasses for protection. Also, when using RLT, you shouldn’t wear make-up or clothes.

As previously mentioned, red light therapy is usually used for treating skin conditions. So besides cold sores, it may also help you reduce wrinkles, acne, and scars. This treatment might also be suitable for treating headaches and migraines.

Next, it may promote hair growth. So it may help treat alopecia or side effects from chemotherapy. RLT may also improve your memory and sleep and reduce stress levels, making you more relaxed.

Possible health risks 

Red light therapy is a generally safe treatment. That’s why nowadays, the market offers many red light devices that you can easily use at home. However, before engaging in red light therapy, you must know that it has some possible health risks.

Therefore, you may experience itching or even dry eyes after this treatment. To avoid this side effect, you shouldn’t wear makeup or contact lenses during the treatment. Moreover, if you have a previous eye problem, you must consult with a specialist before using RTL.

Equally important to know is that red light therapy might increase inflammation and make you feel irritated. In addition, if you are exposed for too long under a red light device, your skin might get damaged. 

Besides knowing the possible health risk, you should also know that insurance does not cover red light therapy. So, you may want to call your insurance company before you go for such a treatment.


Cold sores or fever blisters can make you quite uncomfortable. Not only do they affect the appearance of the skin, but they can be painful too. You must react fast and find the proper remedy for yourself.

Red light therapy might be an ideal option. The treatment is non-invasive. In addition, you can use a red light device at home. This type of treatment may reduce the symptoms and provide fast healing.

Disclaimer: The mentioned possible health benefits of red light therapy in this article may not apply to all. If you are experiencing more severe symptoms of cold sores, you must contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Leave a Comment