What is the role of lasers in the treatment of nongenital warts?

Updated: Sep 25, 2020
  • Author: Philip D Shenefelt, MD, MS; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

This is an expensive treatment, and is reserved only for large or refractory warts. Multiple treatments may be required. Local or general anesthesia may be necessary. A potential risk of nosocomial infection also exists in health care workers, since HPV can be isolated in the plume and can be inhaled. [40]

Carbon dioxide lasers have successfully treated resistant warts [41] ; however, the procedure can be painful and leave scarring. One retrospective study revealed a cure rate of 64% at 12 months with carbon dioxide lasers. [42]

The flashlamp-pumped pulse dye laser targets the blood vessels that feed warts and has shown mixed results in treating warts, with decreased risk of scarring and transmission of HPV in the smoke plume. [43]

Nd:YAG laser may be used for deeper, larger warts.


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