Warts are a very common and benign condition that can occur on any part of the body. In many cases, the treatment of common warts is challenging, as warts are known to be very resilient, despite multiple treatments including cryotherapy, surgical excision, electrodessication, ablation, cauterization, chemical cauterization, or chemical destruction with topical creams. The longer one waits to treat a wart, the more resilient it becomes as it invests in the deeper structures of the skin.
Our office regularly performs a novel treatment for warts that employs a powerful laser to destroy the wart and its surrounding blood supply, thus strangulating the wart and ultimately leading to its destruction.
A study reported in the journal Dermatologic Surgery in 2008 reported the effectiveness of laser in the management of recalcitrant warts. The study was conducted in the Department of Dermatology and Allergy Klinikum Stadt Hanau and studied 73 patients with warts of the hands and feet. The study showed excellent clearance of warts, even at 6 month follow up, after multiple treatments of the laser (from 1 to 10 treatments). Many of the patients received complete clearance even after one treatment. In the study, only one out of the 73 patients had relapse of their wart, which is really a significant and outstanding overall result.
The laser treatment of warts is a major advancement in the management of warts on the face and body. Treatment involves a series of laser treatments spaced two to four weeks apart. The treatments take approximately 20 minutes to perform and are relatively pain-free, barring minor and transient discomfort during the actual laser pulse.
Laser treatment of warts can be performed in our two Los Angeles clinics and requires no pre-treatment planning. After your initial consultation, our clinicians will recommend a home regimen to eradicate the warts during the interval periods between laser treatments.
Many patients will also ask about insurance coverage for laser wart removal. This always presents a difficult question for patients as it is not always clear whether laser wart removal is covered by your insurance plan. It really depends on your individual policy. In general, we have found a very positive response from insurance carriers in the Los Angeles and Southern California area, but this authorization for treatment requires a phone call and request for treatment prior to your procedure(s).
Warts are benign (non-cancerous) epidermal growths that are caused by a very common virus known as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The growths can become large and may cause symptoms such as pain, itching, or enlargement. They are contagious as a result of skin to skin contact.
Some warts are very difficult to get rid of and these are termed recalcitrant, or stubborn, warts. They require multiple treatments including laser, electrodessication, surgery, or cryotherapy. Our office provides all of these options for treatment and cure of warts in the Los Angeles area. Although warts can be treated, it is important to treat them aggressively to prevent recurrence.
The VBeam pulse dye laser is one of the newest and most aggressive treatments for stubborn warts. Treatments are usually not covered by insurance, but individual plans may vary in terms of coverage.
Do you treat all types of warts? Our office is a specialty surgical clinic and we are a referral center for difficult and refractory cases that are not easily managed by other physicians. Although we are available for consultation for most cases of benign warts, our specialization lies in the correction of difficult refractory cases that have been resistant to standard therapy. In any cases, Dr. Karamanoukian and PA-C Kelly Cummings will discuss surgical, laser-based, cryotherapy-based, and medication-based options for wart removal. If you have had a wart for over one year, it becomes increasingly difficult to treat these lesions with a single modality.
If you have resistant warts and have been seen by your primary care physician and would like a referral to our office, please ask your physician to fax over a referral to our Los Angeles office at (310) 998-5533.
Does cryotherapy work for wart removal? Cryotherapy is one effective method of wart removal. However, warts are known for their resiliency and there isn't one specific therapy type that is ideal for all warts. Our Los Angeles office offers wart removal options using at least 5 different modalities, including cryotherapy, to eradicate the wart at its base with minimal recurrence and downtime. The other types of wart removal therapies include surgical excision, topical treatments, electrodessication, and laser.
Do you employ the pulse dye laser for wart removal? Pulse dye laser is a very effective laser modality for difficult to treat warts. The treatment protocols depend on the clinical characteristics of the wart. Most pulse dye laser treatments will require more than one session to eradicate the wart.
What is laser wart removal? A new generation laser known has been shown to be effective in eradicating stubborn warts on the face or body. The laser is best known for treating resistant warts without increasing the risk of scarring. The pulse dye laser works very well for warts that are caused by HPV, or human papilloma virus, the most common pathogen associated with warts on the face and body.
What type of warts does the laser treat? All warts can be treated with the pulse dye laser, regardless of whether they have been resistant to other treatments. The most common areas include the fingers, fingernails, face, and feet.
What are alternatives to laser wart removal in Los Angeles? Alternative treatments include topical chemicals such as salicylic acid, cryotherapy, surgery, and electrodessication or ablation. Warts are difficult to treat and often require multiple modalities of treatment. However, the pulse dye laser is very effective in treating all types of warts.
How does the laser wart treatment work? The laser targets the blood vessels that feed the wart, thereby strangulating the blood supply that supplies nutrients to the wart. Your primary care physician or doctor may have already treated you for stubborn warts, only to find that they have come back. Our office recommends laser wart removal for these types of warts as they are less likely to return with regular follow-up.
Does the laser wart removal procedure hurt? The pulse dye laser is a high energy laser that is effective in treating warts on the face and body. The laser’s energy is targeted on the warts and the result is a transient stinging or pain associated with the laser pulse. This pain subsides within a few seconds. If needed, topical anesthetics are applied to decrease the sensation.
Is there any downtime with the procedure? Pulse dye laser wart treatment may cause some minor bruising along the area of the wart. If needed, a BruisePak may be prescribed to reduce the bruising associated with laser wart removal. Laser wart removal has been shown to be effective in most cases, but our office will have to employ a therapeutic power range to the laser in order to maintain the effectiveness. Some residual swelling, bruising, and soreness may ensue.
Do you perform laser wart removal in Los Angeles? Laser wart removal can be performed in our two offices in Los Angeles. Our office is a regional referral center for difficult to treat warts on all parts of the body. If you have had previous wart treatment and are unhappy with your current treatment results, please ask your physician for a referral to our office or call our office to schedule a second opinion for your wart treatment.
Is laser wart removal safe? There are minimal long term downsides to the procedure. Patients need to know, however, that multiple sessions may be required. Warts are benign growths on the skin and can be eliminated in as little as one single treatment. If you are concerned about the medical implications of your warts, it is simple enough to treat the condition with a laser. Laser wart removal is efficacious and can be performed as an outpatient procedure in our Los Angeles office.
How long does laser wart removal take to complete? Each session will take less than 15 minutes from the administration of numbing cream to completion of the laser wart treatment. Patients will return at 1 month intervals until the wart is cleared by the laser.
What is the cost of laser wart removal? The cost of laser wart removal depends on the complexity of the problem and the location and distribution of the warts. Wart removal with laser is not the first line treatment, but is usually reserved for those patients who have failed other modalities and have resistant warts. In other words, laser wart removal is a very effective treatment that can be used in patients who have failed other treatments and need to control the spread of the warts on the body. The cost of laser wart removal is per session and ranges from 300 to 500 dollars per visit. It is not clear how many sessions will be needed for a particular wart removal, but it is clear that laser wart removal is one of the most effective and time efficient treatments available for warts.