Red Light Therapy For Herpes: What Does Science Show?

Red Light Therapy For Herpes: What Does Science Show?

Herpes: Understanding the Causes and Effects

Herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can have a significant impact on the day-to-day life of those who are infected. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.7 billion people aged 50 and below are infected with HSV-1, while 491 million people are infected with HSV-2 globally. [1] We look at the potential use of Red Light Therapy for Herpes.

Herpes is among the most contagious and costly STDs around. According to a 2022 study published in BMJ Open, the annual cost of suppressive therapy for herpes can vary between $240 and $2,580. [2] 

"Red light therapy is a favorite of mine. There is nothing better than a non-invasive alternative to support your health and wellbeing. The quality of this product is excellent. The installation was very easy, I didn't need anyone to help me. I also liked the timer feature, it is very useful for this type of therapy to ensure I don't overdo it. Thank you so much." - Marci G.

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Symptoms Of Herpes

Most of the time, Herpes can have mild to no symptoms. This is precisely why the infection is so contagious, as many people spread it without ever knowing they have it.

The most common symptoms include painful, recurring blisters or ulcers, cold sores, fever, bumps, blisters, and more. New infections may cause body aches and swollen lymph nodes, while recurring symptoms may begin with tingling, itching, or burning where the sores will appear. [1]

Symptoms of Oral Herpes may include cold sores (blisters) or ulcers (open sores) around the mouth area, whereas symptoms of Genital Herpes include cold sores and ulcers around the genitals or anus. [1]

Types of Herpes

Herpes virus comes in two strains:

  • Herpes Virus Strain 1 (HSV-1)
  • Herpes Virus Strain 2 (HSV-2)

HSV-1, also known as Oral Herpes, mostly spreads through close personal contact with the infected individual. Newborns can sometimes acquire HSV-1 through close contact with someone suffering from an outbreak.

Some common forms of transmission for HSV-1 include:

  1. Oral-to-Oral Transmission
  2. Oral-to-Genital Transmission
  3. Saliva
  4. Asymptomatic Transmission

HSV-2, also known as Genital Herpes, primarily spreads through sexual contact and predominantly affects the genital and anal areas. It can be transmitted from a mother to an infant during childbirth.

Common modes of transmission for HSV-2 include:

  1. Sexual Contact
  2. Skin-to-skin Contact
  3. Asymptomatic Shedding

Treatment Options

Antiviral medicines like acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are commonly used to treat Herpes outbreaks. [1] There is no cure for Herpes, but these medicines can reduce or shorten the duration of outbreaks.

One vaccine trial showed promising results among women with HSV-2, but only those who were not infected with HSV-1. Despite this, there is currently no vaccine available to prevent Herpes infection. [3]

Red Light Therapy: An Effective Way To Manage Herpes

Red Light Therapy for Herpes is an emerging treatment that has shown great results in treating scars, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. [4]

Red Light Therapy, or RLT, is a treatment that incorporates the use of low-level red light to improve the health of your skin. [4] In initial clinical trials, it has also proven effective in treating skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, age spots, and more. [5]

Studies have shown that Red Light Therapy can be an effective way to manage Herpes outbreaks. [6]

How Does Red Light Therapy Help?

During light therapies such as Red-Light Therapy, patients are exposed to a controlled amount of low-level light (of varying intensities). Low-level lights penetrate our skin, reach our cells & are absorbed by Cytochrome C Oxidase in Mitochondria. [7]

This gives energy to the cell, which promotes healing & growth more efficiently. [8] Furthermore, unlike traditional light treatments which trigger an inflammatory reaction to promote cell-healing. Red Light only penetrates the skin ranging from 2 millimeters to 6 millimeters, and therefore does not cause any trauma to the skin.

Red Light Therapy only penetrates up to 6 millimeters beneath the skin surface, so that is why it does not cause any damage to the cells. [8]

Red Light Therapy: Research & Clinical Trials

Evidence increasingly supports the effectiveness of Red-Light Therapy. In a study, researchers tested a special kind of light therapy to treat frequent oral herpes outbreaks. They used this light on one group of patients for two weeks, while another group got fake treatments. Afterward, they tracked when herpes outbreaks happened. [9] The following were the key takeaways from the clinical trial. [9]

  • Light group had significantly longer time between outbreaks, averaging about 37.5 weeks.
  • Placebo group had much shorter time between outbreaks, averaging only 3 weeks.
  • The study suggests that low-intensity light therapy could be a noninvasive and effective option to reduce the frequency of oral herpes outbreaks.

In another study, researchers aimed to assess the effectiveness of low-level light therapy (LLLT) using low-intensity infrared light in treating herpes simplex labialis (HSL). [6] It was a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 87 patients with recurrent HSL. Patients were randomly divided into two groups.

Groups were given 3-minutes treatments either with a low-intensity infrared (which is invisible to human eye), or with a placebo light therapy. This treatment was administered 3 times a day for 2 days. [6] The following were the takeaways from the experiment.

  • The active group (infrared light therapy) had a median healing time of 129 hours.
  • The control group (placebo) had a longer median healing time of 177 hours.
  • This difference in healing time between the two groups was statistically significant (P = 0.01).
  • However, there was no significant difference in the time it took for lesion crusting between the two groups (P = 0.66).

The study concluded that treating HSL lesions with infrared light therapy significantly reduced the time it took for these lesions to heal compared to placebo treatment. [6]

More Studies...

"Red light therapy is a natural and effective way to deal with herpes simplex virus, as it can reduce the inflammation, pain, and viral load of the infection." (Study conclusion)

Another study in 2009 conducted on 69 patients, showed significant improvement in ulcer healing after just one session of treatment with 670nm-690nm light. Thus, there is a significant body of research that supports the efficacy of Red-Light Therapy.

Lastly, a recent 2023 study examined the effectiveness of 650-nm red-light therapy for myopia control in 164 school-aged participants in Shenzhen. They were divided into groups receiving red-light therapy or conventional spectacle treatment. The results showed that red-light therapy had a significant impact on reducing the progression of myopia, particularly in the severe myopia group. This suggests that low-level red-light therapy may be beneficial in treating severe myopia. [10]

850nm vs 650nm Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy for Herpes is a non-invasive and safe treatment that has been shown to have numerous health benefits. 

For example, the 850 nm penetrates deeper into the skin, it is effective for the treatment of joint pain, arthritis, and muscle pain. [11] Because 650 nm red-light does not penetrate as deeply into the skin, it is therefore used for managing various skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and Herpes. [5]

Here are some benefits of 650 nm & 850 nm red-light therapy.

Benefits Of 850nm Red Light:

  • It is effective for the treatment of joint pain, arthritis, and muscle pain.
  • Emerging research for traumatic brain injury, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Stimulation of collagen and elastin production.

Benefits Of 650nm Red Light:

  • Can help improve skin tone and texture by stimulating collagen production.
  • Can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, and eczema, Herpes.

Next Steps

Review the different red light options from VitaliZEN and test them out. Each comes with a money back guarantee so you have no risk, other than feeling healthier, more attractive and with healthier healed skin.

 “I love this light. Medium sized yet very powerful. I consistently use red light for my skin, lower back pain, knee pain and other issues and recommend it totally. And this light is the best I've used for this size range.” - VitaliZEN customer


VitaliZEN Cosmo Red Light – Targeted Areas Portable 60-Watt Healing Therapy

Take this with you to radiate your lips or other areas with healing red light. It is not as powerful as the other options below, but it is completely portable and one of the top selling devices.

Learn more here.




VitaliZEN Apollo Red Light - Half Body/Targeted Region 600-Watt Healing Therapy

This product is 10x as powerful as the portable device, but needs to be connected to the wall outlet to work. It is ideal to use in the morning or before sleep to target the infected areas, and after your skin is healed, we recommend using it daily to help maintain your optimum skin health. 

Learn more here.




VitaliZEN Max Full Body Red Light Therapy 1200 Watt For Large Area Healing

This device is 2x as powerful as the mid-sized and 20x as powerful as the portable, and It's what customers rave about for it's healing benefits. If you can afford it, we recommend getting because it will not only help optimize your time but delivering more healing red light rays in less time.

 Learn more here

Message From The Founder

My name is Eric, the founder of VitaliZEN. It's not just about healing one's skin, it's about getting relief from the negative effects on one's self-esteem, self-love, and fear.When you forget about these issue and focus on other things, you feel healthier, and happier and are more able to enjoy life!

This is the benefit that I want for you. To help you make the decision to take action today and trial the red light for you, I made a special discount code, HEALME to enter on the checkout to get 10% off red light products.

To your health,


[1] "Herpes Simplex Virus," 5 4 2023. [Online]. 
[2] "BMJ Open," BMJ Journal, 2022. [Online]. 
[3] CDC, "Genital Herpes Treatment and Care," CDC, 2021. [Online].
[4] C. Clinic, "RED LIGHT THERAPY," Cleveland Clinic, [Online].
[5] Healthline, "How Does Red Light Therapy for Psoriasis Work?," Healthline, [Online].
[6] S. Y. L. G Dougal, "Evaluation of the efficacy of low-level light therapy using 1072 nm infrared light for the treatment of herpes simplex labialis," PubMed, 03 Jun 2013. [Online].
[7] M. R. Hamblin, "Shining light on the head: Photobiomodulation for brain disorders," ScienceDirect, [Online].
[8] K. D. Neumann, "Red Light Therapy: Benefits, Side Effects And Uses," Forbes, 2023. [Online]. Available:
[9] R. N. A Schindl, "Low-intensity laser therapy is an effective treatment for recurrent herpes simplex infection. Results from a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study," PubMed, [Online].
[10] Z.-H. Lin, Z.-Y. Tao, Z.-F. Kang and H.-W. Deng, "A Study on the Effectiveness of 650-nm Red-Light Feeding Instruments in the Control of Myopia," Karger, [Online].

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