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Quick Facts

  • Method of Action:

    Destruction

  • Efficacy Range:

    Low to moderate

  • Pain During Treatment:

    Moderate - Does depend on laser type

  • Recurrence Rate:

    Moderate

  • Pain Post Treatment:

    Moderate

  • Patient Satisfaction:

    Low

  • Number of Treatments Required:

    2-10+

More About Laser

There are several different types of lasers that have been or continue to be used to treat non-genital warts: The most common being the CO2 laser, Yag Laser and Pulsed Dye Laser. Regardless of type, the method of action is thermal destruction. Typically considered more precise than other destructive methods, however risks and recurrence are both factors to consider.

  • How does this treatment work?

    Lasers create light which is absorbed into the blood and fluid within the tissue. This absorption creates heat and steam, which eventually ruptures the cell wall, killing the cell. This process eliminates the blood supply to the wart, eventually killing the wart.

  • How effective is this treatment?

    Lack of data continues to make comparisons challenging and results vary widely. Generally speaking, the clearance rates are reported to be similar to that of cryotherapy and salicylic acid, however, is typically reserved for larger and more recalcitrant warts so one would assume that cure rates would be higher on smaller, more naive warts. Regardless of short term resolution, the same challenges with recurrence exist as lasers often do not penetrate deep enough to kill all cells infected with the HPV Virus.

  • What can patients expect when receiving this treatment?

    Typical Treatment Protocol:

    • The podiatrist may trim the wart with a pumice stone or blade prior to treatment
    • Local anesthetic is sometimes administered depending on number of warts to be treated
    • Laser energy is delivered to the targeted site (protocol will vary by laser type)
    • Repeat visits every week for 2-10+ weeks or until the wart appears to have resolved

    Pain:

    • Pain during the procedure can be moderate to high depending on the laser used. Some have cooling mechanisms to keep help protect surrounding tissue.
    • Post procedural pain can remain elevated if the wart is located on the foot due to unavoidable agitation.

    Post Procedural:

    • The laser is superficial, so no blood or drainage should occur.
    • Some patients may experience callous build up due to friction.
    • Pain may limit mobility, but you should be able to continue with most activities.
    • With each visit, most lasers draw more capillaries to the surface of the skin, which may make the wart look bigger.

    Risk(s):

    • Laser plume created through the burning of tissue is harmful and can contain in tact HPV viral matter.
    • Red streaks extending from the area
    • Discharge of pus
    • Scarring of targeted area
    • Small chance of infection
    • Recurrence
  • Where can I receive this treatment?

    Lasers are specialised devices and are only found in select offices. Most clinics will advertise the availability of laser treatments on their websites, however you are best to call ahead to confirm it’s availability.