Warts Treatment Lasers

When other forms of treatment for warts fail, patients and doctors may turn to laser wart surgery to deal with stubborn warts. Laser wart removal is often recommended for cases involving a large number of widespread warts. Warts on the hands and feet and genital warts are prime candidates for laser wart treatment.

Laser wart treatment is a specialized skill. Before undergoing laser wart surgery, ask how much experience your doctor has with this particular form of treatment for warts.

What is Laser Wart Surgery?

Laser wart surgery usually takes place in a doctor’s office or a clinic. While some doctors numb the immediate area with a topical or local anesthetic, it’s usually unnecessary. Patients describe the sensation as a quick pinch like a rubber band snap.

Laser wart removal uses intense beams of light to destroy warts. Although different kinds of lasers can be used in a treatment for warts, the two most common varieties are pulse dye lasers and carbon dioxide lasers.

Pulse Dye Laser Treatment for Warts

Pulse dye lasers zap a wart’s blood vessels with heat from an intense light beam. This heat seals the blood vessels, which effectively starves the wart and causes it to drop off. Depending on the size and number of your warts, three or more additional treatments may be necessary. A typical appointment for laser wart treatment lasts from 10 to 30 minutes. The pulse dye laser is also approved for use on children.

Pulse dye laser treatment has a success rate ranging from 60 to 85 percent, according to the Warts Information Center.

Carbon Dioxide Laser Wart Treatment

This form of treatment for warts uses a laser as a scalpel to circle the wart, and then vaporizes it. A study in the European Journal of Pediatric Surgery (2003) found that one carbon dioxide laser wart treatment successfully removed warts that had resisted other forms of treatment for warts. Although patients needed four to five weeks to recover, they saw no recurrences of warts one year later.

Advantages of Laser Wart Removal

Some of the key benefits of using lasers as a treatment for warts include:

  • Fewer recurrences
  • Less pain
  • Minimal scarring with pulse dye laser treatment
  • Proven effectiveness against stubborn warts.

Drawbacks to Laser Wart Treatment

Consider the drawbacks before proceeding with laser wart surgery:

  • Greater expense
  • Longer recovery time
  • Scarring with carbon dioxide laser treatment
  • Slight risk of infection.

In addition, laser wart surgery may cancel out immunity in the treatment area and cause once dormant warts to become active again.

Resources

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. (n.d.). Warts. Retrieved June 15, 2010, from: http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/warts.html.

Bunion Busters. (2003). The flashlamp pulsed dye laser is safer, quicker, and painless. Retrieved June 15, 2010, from: http://www.bunionbusters.com/services/pulsedye.asp.

Healthwise. (n.d.). Laser surgery for genital warts. Retrieved June 15, 2010, from: http://www.bsneny.com/kbase/topic/detail/surgical/hw103896/detail.htm.

Laser Center. (n.d.). Wart removal with lasers. Retrieved June 15, 2010, from: http://www.laser-treatment.com/wart-removal.asp.

Rea, C. (2008). Laser surgery for warts. Retrieved June 15, 2010, from: http://www.revolutionhealth.com/conditions/skin/common-warts/laser-therapy.

Serour, F.