Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 33, Issue 7, pp 1423–1430 | Cite as

Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in management of recurrent herpes labialis: a systematic review

  • Sadeq Ali Al-MaweriEmail author
  • Butchibabu Kalakonda
  • Nader Ahmed AlAizari
  • Walid A. Al-Soneidar
  • Sajna Ashraf
  • Saleem Abdulrab
  • Eman Saleh Al-Mawri
Review Article


Recurrent herpes labialis (RHL) is a highly prevalent viral infection that affects the oro-facial region. Current treatment options have limited efficacy in reducing healing time and recurrence rate of the disease. Recently, low-level laser therapy has been proposed as a potential treatment alternative for the management of RHL with no side effects. This systematic review aims to evaluate the effectiveness of laser therapy in the management and prevention of RHL. A comprehensive search of Medline/PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science was carried out to identify published clinical trials comparing laser intervention to active and/or non-active controls for the treatment of RHL. Due to marked heterogeneity of available data, studies were assessed qualitatively, and no statistical analysis was performed. Of the retrieved 227 articles, six clinical trials met the eligibility criteria. The wavelengths, the power output, and energy density ranged between 632.5–870 nm, 5–80 W, and 2.04–48 J/cm2, respectively. All included studies found laser to be effective in the management and prevention of RHL, without any side effects. The findings of this review suggest that laser is potentially a safe and effective treatment alternative for the management of RHL. However, due to high variability in study designs and inconsistency in laser parameters among the included studies, more well-designed randomized clinical trials with standardized laser parameters are highly warranted.


Recurrent herpes labialis Laser therapy Efficacy Systematic review 


Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the ethical committee at AlFarabi Colleges for Dentistry and Nursing, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Owing to the fact that this is a systematic review, no consent form was needed. Moreover, this article does not comprise any studies with human subjects or animals conducted by any of the authors. This study was self-funded by the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10103_2018_2542_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 27.9 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic SciencesAlFarabi CollegesRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of Preventive Dental SciencesAlFarabi CollegesRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of Restorative DentistryAlFarabi CollegesRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  5. 5.Department of Oral Medicine, Faculty of DentistrySana’a UniversitySana’aYemen

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