Cold sores are a tough problem to treat, no matter how you approach the situation. You can try FDA-approved gels and creams, or you can try dietary supplements and dietary changes. You can try anything you like at all, so long as it works!
The latest revolution in treating cold sores, though, is the handheld light treatment device. They are remarkable devices, all the more remarkable for the fact that they’re so simple. All they do is shine a light at a specific frequency at your cold sores, and they disappear days earlier than normal.
Rather than wasting money on tube after tube of gel, light devices are reusable. They can either take batteries or recharge through being plugged into the wall. So, all told, they’re probably one of the best treatments for getting rid of cold sores.
Naturally, there are a few different options when it comes to choosing a light device to buy. The two market leaders right now are LipZor and Virulite, both of which work the same way. They even look pretty similar, but are those similarities only skin deep?
This guide is intended for anybody trying to choose between the Virulite Cold Sore Machine and the LipZor light device for cold sores. So which device is the best, and which should you spend your hard earned money on? Let’s find out!
What Is a Light Device Cold Sore Treatment?
First things first, we think it’s important to define what light devices for cold sores are. They aren’t as easy to get your head around as a simple gel or cream. In fact, the way that it works isn’t immediately obvious, but the devices are clinically proven- so how do they work?
The websites of the various devices are a pretty good place to start to find some information. The Virulite website links to a couple of studies published in the Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology. These studies, published at two different times, shed light on where the idea for light devices came from and how they work.
Virulite’s devices were double blind tested to determine whether they work or not. And, not to put too fine a point on it yet, but they do! But what’s relevant right now is the science behind what makes them tick.
Before infrared light devices were used for treating cold sores, they were already used elsewhere. For instance, infrared light is recognized as a treatment for musculoskeletal disorders and certain kinds of wounds. Documentary evidence and trials are increasingly suggesting that it is effective in this regard.
In 1999, it was first demonstrated to be an effective treatment for recurrent herpes simplex infection. Studies have unequivocally shown that infrared light has a ‘nonthermal photobiological effect,’ at least according to the Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology. And naturally, since it worked for Virulite, copycat companies popped up making the same devices.
But light devices are just one among many treatments for cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. So how do they stand up to the competition?
How Do Light Devices Compare to Other Cold Sore Treatments?
Light devices are a top of the range, latest-technology treatment for cold sores. We firmly believe that they’re far better than the other options available at a pharmacy. And if you don’t agree, stick with us: here are our reasons why.
First of all, light devices can only run out of charge: so you can use them as much as you like. Some, you can recharge through a socket, and others require batteries. But you can easily find some rechargeable batteries, and you’ve got yourself a permanent cold sore remedy!
They’re also exceptionally cost effective if you have frequent breakouts, which is common with cold sores. While they might cost more initially, as we’ll find out later, the amount that you use them can make up the cost. The gel is cheaper, of course, but you might get through one tube just trying to beat a terrible breakout.
Overall, we firmly think that light devices compare favorably to other kinds of treatment. That’s why we think it’s important to choose between the options on offer: starting with the Virulite light device, which we’re looking at first.
What Is the Virulite Machine?
The Virulite cold sore treatment device was the very first light device. It’s only small, weighing in at around a hundred grams and a few inches tall. If you can’t imagine what it looks like, you might mistake it for a stick of deodorant!
Like other cold sore light treatments, it uses a very specific, invisible frequency of light: specifically 1072nm (nanometers). Because it’s infrared, it’s invisible to the naked eye, so you won’t see it working. It’s like the light that TV remotes use, which you normally can’t see either.
Virulite themselves say that it should be used when cold sores are in the ‘tingling stage.’ It can completely prevent eruption if the cold sores are caught in time. But even after cold sores erupt, it can be useful in preventing further breakouts and dramatically reducing the time that they take to disappear.
Because the Virulite device was a part of the studies mentioned above, it is clinically proven. The infrared light, it seems, enhances the local immune response in and around the cold sores. It’s the only device of its kind which is FDA cleared to treat cold sores and has a replaceable battery.
What Do the Good Reviews Say?
There are a number of testimonials on Virulite’s website which are, of course, the best they could find! Virulite has accrued them from across the internet, including from proprietary stores and online marketplaces. But they sum up the reasons why some people think Virulite’s device is the best on the market.
Of course, the main theme of the positive reviews is this: it works wonders, just like Virulite say. First, it stops breakouts from forming before they begin. And second, it can cut down on the time it takes breakouts to go away, which is great news.
Some reviews express surprise at just how quickly it started to help get rid of cold sores. Others point out that it’s a completely painless treatment, and has no side effects. In fact, the vast majority of reviews say pretty much the same thing!
What Do the Bad Reviews Say?
First off, it’s important to say that there are far, far more good reviews out there for Virulite. But there’s one sticking point for most people who leave negative reviews for it. And it’s the price: some people think that it’s far too expensive compared to other forms of treatment.
Leaving aside whether it represents value for money in the long run, it is a lot to spend on any product of this kind. But even aside from price, there are a couple more sticking points to the Virulite device.
Another complaint that seems relatively common is that the Virulite can experience reliability issues. Some people complain that after it arrives, it doesn’t work and needs to be repaired. In fairness to Virulite, this is more of an issue with those who sell and deliver the product themselves.
That being said, the vast majority of customers who do decide to buy the device are happy with it.
What’s Our Verdict?
We think that credit’s due where credit’s due, and Virulite is an effective healing solution. It might seem a little outlandish at first: how can light cure a cold sore? But while we’re still figuring out exactly how it works, it definitely works.
The only drawback, of course, is that it can cost so much as an initial purchase.
But if you suffer from frequent breakouts, then it will pay for itself in no time. Gel runs out quickly, especially as it has to be reapplied so often. Virulite doesn’t run into that same problem as if you have to apply it again, and it doesn’t cost you more.
Overall, we were pleased with the results of Virulite, but because of the initial cost- even though it’s easy to justify if you have frequent breakouts.
Check the Price of the Virulite Device on Amazon.com!
What Is LipZor?
LipZor is yet another light device for cold sore treatment, just like Virulite. It uses the same frequency of light, at 1072nm, and even looks remarkably similar. All in all, we can see why you would need a guide to choose between them!
Again, LipZor is a small, white device which could easily be mistaken for deodorant or a TV remote. The LipZor runs on battery power, but it’s still small and light, at the same weight and height as the Virulite. Because it runs on batteries, it’s a long-term reusable device, just like its competitors.
The LipZor device is nice and simple to use, which is a point we’ll return to later. All you have to do is press the start button, place the LEDs over the affected area, and keep the device there until you hear it beep. It is as simple as that!
LipZor’s cold sore device works fast because all it needs is two treatments a day for three or four days. This should be enough to dramatically speed up the time it takes your sores to heal. At least, this is according to the product description… What do the reviews themselves say?
What Do the Good Reviews Say?
The good reviews are about what you would expect: the LipZor light device for cold sores works. It does precisely what it says it will: it reduces the time that cold sores last. It can also stop cold sores from even forming in the first place, which is almost like not having any at all.
One common theme in the reviews is that the LipZor light device for cold sores is more affordable. So, compared to $10 to $20 for gel, it doesn’t come across as a very expensive purchase.
Considering the price, most reviewers think that LipZor is excellent value for money. This is based on the fact that it’s more effective than gels and can be more cost-effective in the long term.
So, a combination of the fact that it does what it says on the tin, and that it is a cheap but still effective option, means that LipZor has proved popular in most of the reviews we’ve found.
What Do the Bad Reviews Say?
The LipZor light device have a few more negative reviews than does the Virulite. Roughly the same number of customers are disappointed with the price, which is roughly the same. But there are far more people complaining about faulty units than for other products.
Some reviews complain that when the device arrived, it didn’t work straight out of the box. And then, some even say that the replacement they were sent didn’t work either. This could be a fault of the seller, as we talked about above- but it’s not an encouraging sign.
Other reviewers were disappointed that the battery life didn’t seem to be long enough. Because it’s necessary to use the device several times a day, it can drain quickly, and run out while you’re using it. This compromises treatment and makes it difficult to know how long to use it the second time around.
But in fairness to LipZor, it has to be said that the vast majority of reviews are positive. After all, it is based on the same technology as other similar devices. So it would be surprising if, for some reason, it didn’t work at all!
What’s Our Verdict?
Our verdict is this: the LipZor cold sore treatment works, just like the Virulite device. It is based on the same technology; it’s just made by a different manufacturer. The reviews reflect this, because they are broadly positive, and confirm that it works.
The price point for the LipZor device seems to be a little more reasonable than for Virulite. It can be found through online pharmacies at a decent price. So, regarding price, LipZor is pretty much spot on- full marks for them there.
The only problem that we can come back to are those negative reviews. Reviewers complained that the devices were faulty, and even the replacements didn’t work. This could be a reflection of the fact that they are a cheaper product: perhaps they cost less to manufacture than the competition’s version.
Overall, LipZor is a great choice if you’re nervous about shelling out a hefty amount of cash. And, if you do buy one, you’re likely to have gotten your hands on an excellent cold sore remedy. But you might have to be prepared to send it back, because of the reliability issues.
LipZor vs. Virulite: Which One Wins?
Alright, it’s time to give a rundown of which product we think is the best. We’re going to start by directly comparing the products over cost, efficacy, design, and reliability.
The first thing most people will notice is that the LipZor is far cheaper than the Virulite. It’s a significant saving, so much so that the LipZor definitely comes out on top here.
Both products work in the exact same way. They use the same wavelength of light, they both have an on/off switch, and they both use LEDs. Customers report that both work very well, so there’s nothing to split the two here.
Design and Aesthetics
Regarding design, yet again, both products are roughly the same. They’re both white, and they’re both about three inches tall and 1 ½ wide. You could put them next to each other, cover up the brand and not necessarily be able to tell them apart. No winner here.
This is where the Virulite Cold Sore Machine shines. It seems a lot better made than the LipZor, which has many reviews complaining of poor reliability. So the winner is definitely the Virulite, here.
The Virulite Machine vs. LipZor: Which Is the Best Cold Sore Treatment?
Alright, it’s crunch time. We’ve looked at each device, but it’s finally time to choose between them. This is what you came here for, after all!
We would like to say, before we move on, that we think that both devices are an excellent choice. They work using advanced technology, and they’re far easier to apply than gels and creams. And if you have frequent breakouts, they’re by far the most cost effective solution apart from doing nothing at all.
But if we did have to choose between the two products, we would recommend the Virulite Cold Sore Machine. And there’s one crucial reason why: they’ve been around a long time, and seem to be the more reliable devices.
If you’re planning on treating your cold sores long term with one of these devices, that’s a good choice. But that will only be a good plan for as long as your device is in good working order: as soon as it breaks down, what do you do? You can’t have them repaired in a high street shop like having a new sole put on your shoe.
That’s why, even though they both work in the exact same way, we recommend Virulite Device. LipZor is a great option if you can’t afford a Virulite at all, but it’s something of a false economy. The money you save, you might have to spend on a replacement at some point down the line.
Which Model Should I Buy?
The choice of which product to buy is one that only you can make, because only you know what’s most important to you. We recommend that you buy the Virulite Cold Sore Machine, solely because of the reliability issues of the LipZor. But you might want the LipZor because it’s on sale, or you might want another product entirely!
Perhaps you think that the cost of the Virulite is just a little too much for you to pay. But on the other hand, there’s a good chance that you’d prefer a reliable product. If only you could have both, it would be the perfect solution- but the world doesn’t work like that.
The Virulite, and light devices for cold sores more generally, are an excellent replacement for other treatments. Gels like Orajel don’t do anything that these nifty handheld devices don’t, so there’s little point combining them. Although if you want to have the most comprehensive possible treatment for cold sores, we recommend:
- A light device such as the Virulite Cold Sore Machine, which can attack breakouts before they happen
- Gels like Orajel, which can be a secondary treatment for existing breakouts
- Mouthwash and dental hygiene products that can tackle ulcers inside the mouth
- Natural remedies that work like Orajel, but contain no harmful chemicals
If you keep your bathroom cabinet well stocked with products like the Virulite Cold Sore Device, you’ll be fine.