Warts and Lasers
Warts are benign growths caused by human papilloma virus infection (HPV) which infects skin and mucous membranes.
- There is no single solution for warts; management is based on the age of the individual as well as the size, number, and location of warts.
Warts therapies are divided into two groups: destructive therapies and immunomodulators
Destructive treatment involves the physical or chemical destruction of the lesion
- Warts can be anesthetized and then scraped,
- Burned of frozen off
- Surgically excised
- or treated by Laser destruction
A variety of chemicals are also used in treatment of warts:
- In office application of a highly concentrated chemical treatment at regular intervals
- Topical medications might be prescribed for use at home
- Over-the-counter preparations are also available, however many are ineffective, and improper use often results in speeding of warts, scarring or even bigger discomfort than the original wart itself.
Despite numerous treatment modalities, warts quite often require repeated treatments some are more difficult to eradicate.
Treatment of Common and Plantar Warts
- In our clinic we successfully use combination of laser destruction with mechanical abrasion combined with laser assisted shaving and chemical destruction.
- Treatments are repeated usually every 10 to 14 days, until successful elimination of warts.
- We usually don't offer chemical destruction as 1st treatment due to severity of blistering involved post procedure,
- Depending on location, vascular laser are commonly used to cut off and destroy blood supply to the root of the wart which makes it dry out.
- Diode laser destruction is sometimes used for thick warts on soles of feet.
The most popular treatment among patients is the Pulse Dye Laser because of its minimal post procedure discomfort. The average treatment takes about 15 minutes and does not require anesthesia. Immediately after the procedure, a patient can comfortably return to their daily activities. However, it is very important to understand that treatment of warts with a Pulse Dye Laser is a process, not a single event. Due to the substantial depth and viral nature of the lesion, 2-6 treatments are necessary. Nd:Yag vascular laser is also frequently used if deeper penetration is needed.
Some warts on body can be excised, however this method of treatment is not recommended for:
- Plantar warts due to their extreme depth
- Common warts of fingers hands and toes due to scarring and possible disfigurement
- Since warts are viral of nature excision of wart carries risk of new multiple warts formations along the excision site.
Laser destruction procedure will remove existing warts but it will not prevent formation of new ones. Warts destruction procedure will not treat/cure HPV infection.
Treatment of Genital Warts
While cryotherapy and electrodesiccation are often listed as one of methods of treatments those methods are not offered in our clinic.
For patients with single large warty lesion, surgical excision is usually treatment of choice.
If multiple lesions are presents CO2 laser shaving combined with destruction, followed by application of prescription medication for use at home, is often recommended.
Treatment of multiple warts might require 1-3 touch up sessions. Each patient is different. Destruction will only remove existing lesions, warts that have already formed within skin might become visible in few weeks.
Due to viral nature of this disorder, there is a risk of recurrence. The primary function of our immune system is to defend the body from pathogens, weak immune system might have difficulty fighting off HPV infections.
Contact the International Vein & Skin Institute to learn more about the options available to you.
Call: (847) 518-9999
**Every patient is unique, and results can vary between patients. No two laser treatments will get same results – even if performed by the same physician on patients with similar conditions.