Laser and light therapy for facial warts: a systematic review

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Facial verruca plana, or flat warts, are benign skin papillomas caused by human papillomavirus infections. A large portion of cases are refractory to treatment and can cause psychosocial distress in patients. Laser and light modalities offer an alternative therapeutic approach that has not been extensively explored. We systematically reviewed PubMed for studies describing treatment of facial verruca plana using lasers, photodynamic therapy and infrared coagulation. Final inclusion and review of eighteen studies suggests laser and light therapies to have considerable potential in the treatment of this recalcitrant condition. In particular, yttrium aluminium garnet lasers, infrared coagulation and photodynamic therapies have been reported to demonstrate efficacy. Further studies with larger power are required to determine which method should be established as the alternative treatment of choice for recalcitrant facial verrucae.

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