“ Brand: Boots / Dosage Form: Treatment „
All I can say is I wish I'd bought one of these years ago! It would of saved me lots of pain and embarrassment over the years, not to mention money. I had a tingle on Saturday night and went to boots Sunday morning to get one , its now Tuesday evening and I have a small scab whereas normally even with patches and Zovirax it would be hugely swollen and very painful! Whoever invented this is a genius, can't recommend this enough! It says use twice a day but more wouldn't hurt, I have been using it about 5/6 times a day and am amazed by the result. I cannot recommend this enough!
I've suffered from unsightly, painful and regularly recurring cold sores for years and have tried most mainstream remedies with little or no resulting benefits. I have even been to see my GP about the condition, such was the frequency with which I was experiencing cold sore attacks, but found no more relief from prescription treatments either. Over the years, I had read increasingly positive reviews of a new way of treating cold sores using infra-ray light so eventually decided that it had to be worth a try and purchased this Electronic Cold Sore Treatment from Boots.
This small electronic device claims to utilise a therapeutic technology involving infra-red light. This supposedly has the ability to prevent an emerging cold sore from appearing or to speed up the healing process. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that repeated use of this treatment helps to lengthen the period of time between cold sore attacks by helping to improve the immune system's response.
This is actually a relatively unassuming little gadget, simply packaged and with pretty straightforward operating instructions. The machine is battery operated but fortunately comes with the necessary battery ready supplied. This is very useful as it takes a single 'PP3' alkaline battery which isn't the sort that most people tend to have to hand for everyday use. These large rectangular batteries are still fairly readily available, however. I've subsequently purchased replacements from both Morrisons and Wilkinsons without any difficulty.
The hand-held device is made from a fairly nondescript white plastic and is quite a compact and slim rectangular shaped gadget, so could conceivably be carried about in a bag for use at any time. (In all honesty, I'd be too embarrassed to carry a battery-powered gadget around with me, just in case people were wondering just what it was!) At first glance, it really wouldn't be clear what this would be used for, as there is nothing printed on the actual device, aside from the familiar Boots logo and ambiguous 'For Personal Use Only' printed on the underside, to reveal what this actually as.
The operating instructions for the machine are easy to follow, with numbered steps and a diagram to indicate correct usage. This includes guidance on keeping the device clean before and after use which is crucial to avoid cross-contamination and further spreading of those nasty cold sores. I tend to wipe mine with an anti-bacterial cleaning wipe shortly before each use so maintenance is pretty simple.
Essentially, this has a single button at the front which activates the all-important infra-red light for a set three minute period. The rim of the gadget then simply needs to be held directly over the affected area, in contact with the skin, where 'light emitting diodes' (which just look like two larger round LED lights) release the infra-red rays directly on to the emerging cold sore. Whilst the machine is 'doing its business', there is a flashing green LED light also at the front which provides some reassurance that 'something' is happening. This is quite useful as the device doesn't actually make any noise during use (aside from an initial beep and a final beep to indicate that the three minutes are over.) This design isn't entirely perfect, however, as when the gadget is pressed up against the lip I struggle to see the flashing LED (without making myself go cross-eyed.) I have also discovered that, as the battery starts to run out, the gadget will often start to flash and then just decide to switch itself off partway through the cycle. This is the only indication that the battery needs to be changed and is more than a little annoying!
The good thing about this method of cold sore treatment is that it has no ongoing running costs (aside from replacement batteries which generally last a year, based on my experience.) The treatment is entirely silent and pain free and the device is small enough to be used anywhere and it doesn't interfere with other activities. (I have been known to sit and watch TV whilst having this held to my lip, although it does really irritate my other half, who thinks I'm trying to communicate with extra-terrestrials!) As this is a chemical-free treatment, there are no potential side effects and there are no risks of over dosing. Recommended usage is pretty vague, with the general advice being to use this as soon as the tingling starts and 12 hours later. It is perfectly safe to use this several times a day, at much shorter intervals without any risks involved.
One of the main reasons why I avoided purchasing this little gadget for so long was the high initial purchase price. I picked mine up a couple of years ago now and paid around the £30 mark, although the price has slowly crept up and it is currently selling for £34.99. Whilst this would no doubt be excellent value for money over the years, compared to the ongoing costs of ineffective creams and patches, I was initially put off by the fact that the device doesn't come with any kind of money back guarantee. Given that the medical claims and the techniques utilised by this device seem pretty vague, I would have expected a company as large as Boots to offer the reassurance of a money back pledge. This would have given me the reassurance that Boots really do believe that this small piece of kit really can deliver everything that it claims.
I did decide that this had to worth the risk, hoping that even if it didn't help to provide any relief from the pain and discomfort that accompanies a typical cold sore, that it might at least speed up the overall healing time. Sadly, I discovered that using this machine didn't have any impact on the level of discomfort nor did it ever have any noticeable effect on the length of time the cold sore lasted for, no matter how quickly I was able to use this device when I noticed the cold sore first appearing.
My other hope was that repeated use would strengthen my own immune system and, over time, help to reduce the frequency with which I experienced cold sores. This was the main reason why I continued to use this machine several times a day during a cold sore attack. In all honesty, I can't say that using this has made any difference whatsoever to the frequency of attacks. I still find that I go through periods when I am continually suffering from cold sores, as they just seem to relocate from one side of my mouth to the other. I can then go for a period of time without suffering from any, before the cycle of repeated infections begins again. Using this device regularly throughout (or in anticipation of) an attack hasn't had any noticeable impact whatsoever, much to my great disappointment.
I've owned this for around two years now, it may even be longer, so I've certainly given this ample opportunity to have some impact but have found it to be totally ineffective. There are examples of other people who have found this to work miracles, however, which is where I feel the reassurance of a money back guarantee would be ideal as this clearly does not work for everybody, as my experience bears out.
Sadly, I have found that cycles of recurring cold sores have more to do with my own physical and mental health and the use of this device makes absolutely no difference to the length of time a cold sore lasts or to the period between recurrences whatsoever. The only benefit is that this is a drug-free treatment so can be used alongside other methods of treatment without any concerns about side effects. For anybody considering this, this could well be an incredible £35 investment that quickly recoups the initial outlay or, as in my case, money down the drain for no noticeable benefit. It is, essentially, a gamble and one that didn't pay off for me.
I got this machine after reading the positive reviews. Because I was put of slightly by the price. However after two days treatment on what was developing into rally bad sore I cannot get over the results. The anger and irritation are gone. There is nowhere near the amount of scabbing I was expecting to develop. I did use the machine more than the instructions say to, and I doubled it with Zoviraks. If you suffer from these curses I honestly urge you to try this machine.
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews I've read about this product, I can't say I'm impressed. As far as I can tell it makes absolutely no difference to severity, healing time or frequency of attack. Aciclovir & lysine are still the best treatments as far as I'm concerned.Having done some reading on this I found that there is only a single scientific paper supporting it. No other research seems to have been done other than that performed by the person who invented the technology and stands to gain from sales.Maybe it does work and I'm just a statistical outlier but I can't recommend this product based on my experience with it. Borrow a friend's before shelling out £30 for it.
As a life long cold sore sufferer, I have had the electronic cold sore treatment since it came onto the market. The first couple of years was fantastic and as soon as I felt a tingle, the zapper came out and contained the infection. Last year, I waited a couple of days (not sure if the sensation was a cold sore or not) and by the time I used the zapper it had no impact at all. The cold sore just kept growing and taking over my face! I would therefore strongly suggest using the electronic treatment as soon as you get a tingling lip. If you wait until the cold sore has established itself then just use tried and tested creams like Zovirax, which will have more effect on an established sore.
I am the most skeptical person you will come across - remember Boots also sells nonsense like homeopathic cures! - and I am very aware of the placebo effect but just had to try this. Cost is a no brainer when you factor in how expensive patches and creams are. What swung it for me is this does not claim to be a miracle cure and it isnt. Cold sores attract "snake oil" salesmen because each varies in severity making a"cure" difficult to judge accurately? All I can say is having used for 2 months, whilst continuing with creams and patches I have experienced reduced frequency and severity of outbreaks,which now last around 5 days instead of 10. Slightly embarrassed to use it as my partner thinks I am a hypocrite bearing in mind my criticisms of alternative cures in the past! Only 4 stars as help not a cure.
I've suffered from cold sores for as long as I can remember and I've tried pretty much everything with varying degrees of success. I bought this product while suffering from a particularly nasty bout that felt as though it had taken over my face and would quite honestly have tried anything!
I was very impressed with the device. My cold sores seemed to clear up quicker than I was expecting and the annoying mark where they have been phase was a lot shorter than usual (a day rather than a week plus).
I am unlucky in that I never get the tingling phase they just appear. In a most recent bout I was able to use the device as soon as the cold sore appeared and the cold sore barely got to the blister stage. Where the cold sore has appeared over night and is in blister stage the device is still beneficial (see above paragraph).
I tended not to follow the instructions of using 12 hours apart on the first day only and tended to use it 3 times a day for the duration whilst also using a combination of patches and Boots lotion.
It was also great to have another method of treatment that didn't include messy creams or "invisible" patches.
Yes it is quite a large initial outlay and yes you do look a little odd using it but I feel that it is well worth the money, even if it is a psychological effect of feeling as if you are doing something.
I have suffered from cold sores most of my adult life, both my Dad and I are sufferers and for me I tend to get them when I have got or just had a cold or when I am quite stressed and around five months back I noticed that my top lip had become itchy. Whenever I get a cold sore it is always around the same place, never on my bottom lip, usually on the top right hand side, right where someone can and usually notice them. I usually carry round a tube of Zovirax and some compeed patches which over the last year have become my saviour, but like with most things you soon become immune to their effects and they eventually become less effective or you don't get to the itching in time to prevent the cold sore appearing on your lip. So I went to Boots for some advice, I got sick and tired of feeling a bit like a leper and wanted some advice as to whether there was anything I could do to prevent them or whether there had been any new treatments on the market which I was yet to try, products such as Blistex and Cymex have never worked for me and I was rapidly losing faith in Zovirax. Then I was introduced to Boots Electronic cold sore Treatment!
For anyone who has never so much as suffered from cold sores, you have no idea how lucky you are. cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus which is also known as the HSV-1 Virus and around 20% of the population suffer from it. The virus itself can only be transmitted by close personal contact such as kissing someone who is prone to the virus and for those of us who are prone to it they are usually triggered by a weakening of the body's defences such as a cold or things such as the weather, stress, fatigue, menstruation to name but a few.
One of the first symptoms for when whenever I am to get a cold sores is a rather unpleasant itching sensation on the lips, it tingles for a few hours and then becomes quite itchy and it is at this stage you really need to have some medication on hand to deal with the cold sore, before it breaks because it is possible to prevent the breakout altogether. However, if it is left to develop, the cold sore will break out into what are best described as fluid filled whitish blisters or what look like a small cluster of blisters which are usually accompanied by redness and swelling to the affected area of the lip. Then after a couple of days for me the swelling begins to go down but as it does, the blisters then turn into a very unattractive weeping crust which scabs over but thankfully never leaves a scar, the temptation to pick it however does sometimes become too much or it can crack if it happens to be on a part of your lip which you use quite a lot. The whole horrid process usually lasts between 7 to 10 days and it can often be longer before any hint or sign of having a cold sore has totally disappeared.
So with all of that in mind, you can probably imagine why I was so desperate to find another treatment which would work much quicker and much more effectively than the treatments I had now become immune too.
Boots Electronic cold sore Treatment is a Boots Branded item and can only be bought from Boots stores or on-line from Boots and although you do not need a prescription to purchase one there is a hefty price tag of £34.99 to pay. The box itself is nothing exciting to look it is a silvery colour and there is an illustration of a face with a red circle on the lips. I found it located next to the other cold sore products and it claims to "Treat cold sores quickly and cleanly" and "work faster than cold sore creams" which already had me sold before I even read how to use the contraption. Opening the box you will find the device along with a 9v battery and a detailed information and instruction leaflet which I would advise anyone to read before even attempting to use it.
The device itself, well unlike a tube of cream, this contraption is made from white plastic and is rectangular in shape, in fact to look at, it reminds me of an Ipod shuffle but on a slightly larger scale. It has one button and an LED light and is slightly curved at one end to fit snugly over the mouth. It also takes one square 9v battery which was straightforward to insert and it comes with a 2 year warranty.
So how does it work? Well the instructions say to use the Electronic cold sore Treatment at the tingling stage of a cold sore appearing and then again 12 hours later, or for more persistent cold sores, it can be used twice a day for three days. They do say though that the treatment can be carried out more frequently without any adverse effect, so the instructions are quite ambiguous in this respect but it is really up to how often you feel you should be using it and how effective it is for you as a person with your cold sores. The science behind it is explained as working by "using an invisible, narrow waveband of light to enhance the local immune response to the cold sore virus. The light treatment reduces the duration of the attack and speeds up the healing time" which makes the whole cold sore sound much worse than it is but I was eager to give it a try.
So to use, the instruction state to place the device over the affected part of the mouth and press the start button. The device will then beep once and the green LED will begin to flash and if you look down at the device itself you can see the green light flashing quite clearly. After the allotted time of three minutes the device will then beep twice to signal the end of the treatment and then the device switches itself off ready to be used next time. Whenever I have finished using the device I always, without fail use an antiseptic wipe to clean it and because I am quite odd I always wipe it clean before I use it, just to make sure that it is totally clean and that no one else has used it.
I bought this product about 5 months ago now and since doing so I have only used it twice! Now that in itself is brilliant value for money even though it might not initially sound like it is. I get cold sores quite regularly as I have already mentioned and it does cost quite a considerable amount of money to treat them and can sometimes be as much as £10 for the use of Zovirax and/or the Compeed strips and I usually buy both just incase I run out of one or the other and spending that amount does sound add up. The first time I used it I was expecting to feel some sort of shock to my lip as the waveband of light touched it, but actually you don't feel anything whatsoever, you are literally just sat there holding this piece of plastic to your mouth and trying not to look really daft, which is actually how I felt. After using it for the first time and doing as I was told to and do it whilst my lip was tingling, I felt the pain go away along with the constant need to touch my lip and itch where the cold sore begins to appear. So feeling good that something new looked intent on working, I followed the rest of the instructions and over the next few days I used it once a day before going to bed and within just a few days there was a remarkable improvement, okay it hadn't gone completely but then this device never actually promised to do that, I just noticed that the fluid filled blister decreased in size quite dramatically and no scab ever formed, I was just left with a smaller looking blister and a slightly less red affected area around it. No throbbing, no itching and no pain.
Then only a month later after a really bad heavy head cold, I felt the tingling sensation that I was used to getting when a cold sore was on its way and luckily I was off work for the day and was able to use my little zapping device immediately and not only was the pain relief was immediate, I used it three times a day for three days running and the cold sore never fully developed past the small blistering stage and it just seemed to go down rather than weep or dry out and form scabs. It wasn't painful at all and my lip did not swell at all. In just a week my lip was completely back to normal, but even during that week my cold sore really wasn't noticeable. Since that moment in time four months ago I have not seen or felt another cold sore upon my lips * touch wood * and this is one of the longest times I have ever gone without having to buy anything whatsoever to deal with a cold sore for the last ten years or more and for me that is enough to make me want to write this review. I am not saying it will work for everyone but it did work for me.
As for the downsides, well unlike a tube of cold sore cream which is quite small in size, this device isn't as easy to conceal in your handbag, should you wish to carry it around with you. I only have it with me if I feel the tingling sensation or if after a cold suspect I will feel the start of a cold sore and for me that is the only slightly downside to it and that in itself is nothing too major which would warrant a loss of the stars I have given it.
I think for people like me who suffer from cold sores and know how painful and inconvenient they are not to mention how they make you feel will hopefully benefit from using this device because for me it improved both the pain and the appearance of the cold sore and for that reason alone I believe it is well worth every penny but for those people who don't get cold sores I don't think it would be a worthwhile purchase. I am glad to have found this device, it is my saviour and I now don't get too stressed out when I feel the tingling sensation, instead I relax and reach for my zapper to control the breakout and rid my lips of the cold sore.
I had experienced cold sores repeatedly for many years and the fact that I am a practicing physician makes no difference to how often I got them. I read about this device in a journal and ordered it immediately a year ago. 12 months on, I can say I have not had a recurrence. It works.. FULL STOP! The science behind it, though initially unclear is now better understood. It is refreshing to come across a simple treatment for such an annoying illness. Confirms my faith in science 100%
As a scientist i had my doubts about this devise, there is still very limited data available and it is very expensive for what is essentially an LED. But like the previous reviewer i was desperate for something to fight my cold sores. I used to get cold sores once a month (could almost set my watch by them), i used acyclovir cream and if lucky could occasionally prevent them. This devise has been like a miracle cure. Since using it on two consecutive attacks, with cream, i have yet to experience a further out break. As the previous reviewer said the pain relief is instant, if you get it early enough the blister never appears and if it does healing time is greatly reduced. This devise means im no longer worried by my cold sores, i know when they come again i have found the solution. Well worth the money as acyclovir cream i not cheap.
A few weeks ago, I took a sip of my morning coffee and experienced a sharp and all-too-familiar pain in my bottom lip. Cold Sore. I am an absolute martyr to them. I've tried everything: Zovirax, Blistex, Cymex, Fenistil, own brand creams, Compeed patches, brown antiseptic paint, aftershave (ouch!), alcohol, even a concoction of essential oils that my lovely, lovely friend made for me once, but unfortunately, like rats become resistant to poison so my cold sores have become resistant to treatment. I can't even 'treat the tingle' because they don't even grant me that bit of forewarning - as soon as I feel something, it's already there, bold as you like.
Boots Electronic Cold Sore Treatment has been on the market a little while and I had toyed with the idea of it for some time, but this particular day on discovering this particular cold sore, just a month or two after the last one, something snapped within me. I would try anything!!
***A LITTLE BIT ABOUT COLD SORES***
Cold sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus and don't necessarily have anything to do with that 'other' type of Herpes (you know the one I mean). People who have never caught a cold sore from someone will not get them. The virus lies dormant in your system until 'activated' through close contact with someone who has one - usually by kissing a relative with a cold sore during childhood. Once activated however, they will crop up of their own accord, whenever they feel like it. They are usually triggered by illness, cold winds, strong sunlight, stress, fatigue, generally feeling run down, menstruation, and so on and so forth. Some people can have one cold sore and then never get another but they are the lucky few and generally, once the beast within you has been awoken, you're stuck with it for life.
Cold sores generally start with an itching or tingling sensation at any point on or around the lips. Around the time of the tingle there may be no visible signs of the cold sore and if caught at this stage it is possible to prevent the breakout altogether, though as I said I seem to bypass that stage now. If left to develop, cold sores break out into a whitish blister or cluster of small blisters, usually accompanied by a swelling of the affected lip and a throbbing pain and general sensitivity of the area. After a couple of days the swelling goes down and the blisters turn into a sort of yellow/green weeping crust. The constant throbbing will probably have stopped but the affected area still hurts if touched, or can crack when you try to smile. After another couple of days the crusting will turn into a more acceptable normal-looking scab and probably won't hurt any more. The scab will eventually come off and you'll be left just with a red mark and/or tight skin on your lip before it disappears completely. From tingle to dropping off stage usually takes 7-10 days, though I've known it be a good two or three weeks before I feel and look completely back to normal.
***A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE CLAIM***
According to the box, Boots Electronic Cold Sore Treatment "works by using an invisible, narrow waveband of light to enhance the local immune response to the cold sore virus. The light treatment reduces the duration of the attack and speeds up the healing time." Further reading on the information leaflet tells us that this "new, therapeutic technology was discovered by researchers who analysed the effect of an invisible, infra-red ray of light on cold sore healing times. One particular wavelength of light was found to enhance the local immune response to the cold sore infection and to either help stop the attack or speed up the healing time."
***A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PACKAGING AND PRODUCT***
Boots Electronic Cold Sore Treatment is a Boots brand and therefore can only be found on the pharmacy counter in Boots stores. No prescription is needed and the cost is £34.99. After the initial outlay, you will also need to buy batteries as and when they need replacing, the 9v batteries that the device takes retail for around £1.50-£2.00.
BECST comes in a metallic silvery and blue box with an image of the lower half of a face with target circles on the lip. The rear of the box gives some brief directions and shows an illustration of the device in use. Inside the box you will find the device along with a 9v battery and a detailed information and instruction leaflet.
The device itself is made from white plastic and is rectangular in shape, about an inch square by five inches long. It has one button and an LED light, and one end is curved to fit snugly over the mouth. This end has a hollow in which you can see a further two LED type bulbs, like the ones you get on the end of a remote control. It takes one square 9v battery (like the type that goes in smoke alarms), and this was straightforward to insert.
BECST comes with a 2 year warranty in addition to your statutory rights. If the product shows any defect in materials or workmanship within two years, and has been used in accordance with the instructions, Boots will repair or replace it free of charge if you return it along with proof of purchase.
***A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW TO USE IT***
The instructions say to use the BECST at the tingling stage then again 12 hours later, or for more persistent cold sores, it can be used twice a day for three days. They do say though that the treatment can be carried out more frequently without any adverse effect.
To use, place the device over the affected part of the mouth (it fits over almost my whole mouth anyway) and press the start button. The device will beep once and the green LED will begin to flash. After three minutes the device will beep twice to signal the end of the treatment.
The instructions state that you should not share the device even with members of your own family, but it also recommends that you wipe the device with antiseptic before use so if you do this I can't see there being a problem. The cynical side of me says that Boots are trying to make everyone buy their own device so that they make more money - surely this couldn't be true??
Finally, there are detailed instructions on how to fit, replace and dispose of the batteries.
***A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE***
Since I bought this product about 5 weeks ago, I have had two separate opportunities to try it out (see, I told you I was a martyr!)
The first time was as described at the beginning of this review- I decided to buy the device upon discovering I had the cold sore. I was busy that day so didn't have chance to read the instructions and try it out until about 6pm, by which time it had developed into a full sore.
I put the device over my mouth and pressed the button. Beep. Then nothing. The green LED on the front flashed intermittently. I pulled it away to peer at the LEDs inside and nothing again. I had a distinct 'Emperor's New Clothes' feeling - I'd spent all this money, but could neither hear, see, feel nor smell this product actually doing anything. And three minutes is a Long Time when you're holding a piece of plastic to your mouth and trying to look inconspicuous.
However, after my first go I felt the pain disappear straight away. This was enough to hearten me and I began using it more often over the next few days, after all the leaflet said there'd be no adverse effects. The cold sore did improve markedly and quickly, and seemed to bypass the horrible yellow crust stage, but I found that using the device as frequently as I did the first time must have fried it somehow and I ended up with quite a bad and noticeable red scab for about a week. Even so, this was better than my normal cold sore experience of yellow weeping lips and throbbing pain.
Then only a couple of weeks after this one had cleared up I was washing my face one morning and felt a sharp pain when I touched my lip. I couldn't believe it - so soon after the last one! I jumped straight out of the shower and looked in the mirror. I could see three tiny separate blisters already formed. I grabbed my zapper and again the pain relief was immediate. Having learnt my lesson from over-using it the last time, this time around I used more sparingly - morning, lunchtime, teatime and before bed. I think the combination of the fact that I'd caught this one early and wasn't blasting it quite so harshly made a massive difference. The cold sore never fully developed past those three tiny blisters and they just seemed to go down rather than weep or dry out and form scabs. It wasn't painful at all and my lip did not swell at all. In just a week my lip was completely back to normal, but even during that week my cold sore really wasn't noticeable.
I feel I should point out that I did use the device alongside a cream, just to be sure, but I've definitely had a much better cold sore experience than normal both times.
The main drawback with this device is that although it's not that big or heavy, it is a little too cumbersome to carry about in your handbag every day (I always carry a little tube of cold sore cream with me just in case, so I can get it as early as possible). Also, there is no way of locking the device in the off position, so it has on occasion pressed against something in my bag and switched itself on. Once on, you have to wait for it to run its course, so three minutes of flashing of the light will wear the battery down unnecessarily, albeit only a tiny bit.
I think people who don't get cold sores probably regard them much like an occasional spot - annoying but really nothing. But fellow sufferers will know how painful they are and how ugly and dirty they can make you feel, and this device improves both the pain and the appearance of the cold sore and for that it's worth every penny to me.
I'm not really sure what's stopping me giving it five stars to be honest, I guess it's just the niggling feeling that I can't be 100% sure that it's all down to the device...
It works by using an invisible, narrow waveband of light to enhance the local immune response to the cold sore virus. The light treatment reduces the duration of the attack and speeds up the healing time.