If you’ve never heard of the Virulite Cold Sore Light, well you can be forgiven for being skeptical. And like Compeed, this one is also from the UK. For those that are new it sounds a bit crazy: A device that claims to reduce healing time in half by shining light on your cold sore.
Light can help heal cold sores?
Well, turns out not just any light. The Virulite uses a 1072 nm narrow waveband light, which it claims is the most effective slice of the spectrum to heal cold sores and boost the immune system. They also make the claim that if used at the “tingling” stage, the Virulite even abort a cold sore eruption. So, any truth to this?
In 2001, a randomized double-blind study was conducted comparing the cold sore healing time in days between a 5-minute application of this 1072 waveband light against Aciclovir cream. The study can be found at the US National Library of Medicine’s website: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
A double-blind study is simply one where both the subjects as well as the experimenters do not know who belongs to the study group and who belongs to the control group. These studies are often more reliable as they nearly eliminate subjective bias. Only after the tests are complete do the experimenters learn which group is which.
The results of the study
So which one came out on top, the cream or the light? Surprisingly, the study showed that “a single 5 min light treatment significantly reduced cold sore healing time by 4 days.” What’s interesting about this is the study was not just testing the 1072 nm light against nothing-but an already established and effective cold sore cream. A follow-up study in 2006 against a placebo showed the light reduced the healing time from 9.4 days (placebo) to 6.3 days (Virulite). In addition, the study showed that the time it took the cold sore to form the crust went from 3 days to 2-a 33% improvement.
The conclusion was that, “the significant difference in healing times demonstrates that the Virulite CS device is an effective means of treating herpes labialis.”
Worth a try, certainly. So where can you get the Virulite? All over the web you’ll find affiliated sites selling it for $99 but through this link we’ve found Amazon.com (when in stock) to be the best deal. They only have one source vendor-and they sell through rather quickly. Not sure if you can backorder or not. For reviews, check out Amazon’s page for Virulite.