Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Cold sore coming on?

Zap it good with heat

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DO you want to avoid that ugly cold sore (herpes labialis) before it even starts? Few people who feel that dreaded tingle and know an attack is imminent would pass up that chance. Now, a new therapy called "InterceptCS" employs a revolutionary technique, "Thermal Defense Technology", that prevents cold sore outbreaks.

Herpes labialis is caused by the herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1). Today, about 80 per cent of North Americans are infected with this common virus, which starts early in life but lasts a lifetime.

The first attack strikes between six months and 14 years of age when the virus enters the body through tiny cracks in the skin. But after the initial attack, HSV-1 travels along sensory fibers to the facial and cranial nerves just outside the spinal cord. Then like a bear, the virus goes into hibernation.

But HSV-1 emerges from its slumber several times a year and when it awakens, unlike bears, it's not searching for blueberries. Rather, the HSV-1 seeks out skin, multiplies and causes a cold sore.

Most sufferers are well-aware of the tingling, burning, itching, swelling or numbness that sets the stage for a herpes sore. And sometimes these symptoms will occur along with fever, headache and muscle pain.

What triggers a sleeping virus to emerge? Sometimes it's stress, cold weather, illness, windburn, trauma from shaving or menstruation. But once a sore develops, it's necessary to endure the problem for seven to 10 days.

Several creams and gels are currently available that help to shorten the healing time. But the InterceptCS Prevention System is the only product that prevents the cold sore from making a grand appearance. And I'm sure for many herpes sufferers, preventing an acute attack may sound too good to be true.

So what is so new about InterceptCS? It's a well-known military dictum that it's always prudent to strike an enemy before he strikes you. The weapon in this case that destroys the enemy is concentrated heat.

For centuries, the application of heat has been used to treat a variety of medical ailments. We all know how good it feels to have heat applied to a bruised muscle or aching back.

InterceptCS takes the use of heat a step further by employing Thermal Defense Technology. This small, portable device delivers heat to the affected area with the accuracy of a cruise missile. But this non-invasive method also delivers more than heat.

Research suggests delivering targeted heat to a virus about to strike triggers the skin cell's immune response. It does this by shocking the skin into defending itself by producing increased amounts of human shock proteins. These proteins participate with the immune system to destroy viral infected cells.

To obtain best results with InterceptCS, speed is essential.

Three 30-second treatments are applied to the skin at one-minute intervals.

But it's vital treatment begins within the first two to four hours when patients feel the first skin tingle of an approaching attack. If used when the area becomes red or small bumps appear, it may still shorten the extent of the sore. But once fluid-filled blisters occur, Intercept is not recommended.

Stopping herpes labialis with three 30-second treatments is also sound preventive medicine.

HSV-1 is an extremely contagious problem and can be spread in a number of ways.

Cold sore lesions are filled with virus particles that are capable of contaminating others by either direct contact with an infected person or by coughing and sneezing. Or by carelessly sharing items that have been used by an infected person.

InterceptCS does not have any side effects and can be used during pregnancy and nursing. There's also no need for a doctor's prescription.

So for the first time herpes sufferers can strike fast when they feel the first tingle of a cold sore and stop it in its tracks.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 28, 2007 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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