Pulsed Dye Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Warts: A Review of the Literature

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Warts or verrucae vulgaris are common cutaneous infections with currently no definitive curative treatments available.


To determine the efficacy of pulsed dye laser (PDL) in the treatment of warts.


A literature search was performed using the PubMed and MEDLINE databases. A search using {(Wart[s], verruca or condylomata)} AND [(Pulsed dye laser)] was used. Forty-four articles were identified as relevant to this review.


Simple warts were very responsive to PDL, being treated successfully in over 95% of patients. Facial and anogenital warts also demonstrated excellent outcomes. Recalcitrant warts, displayed significant variability in their response, ranging between 50% and 100% across all articles. The response rates seen in peripheral warts (involving the hands and feet) were also very variable, ranging between 48% and 95%. Recurrence rates at 4 months of follow-up were documented as 0% to 15%. Complications have been described as very few and rare, the main ones being topical discomfort and erythema.


Pulsed dye laser is a safe and effective modality in the treatment of warts that can be applied to most body parts. Cost and availability remain a limitation to the use of PDL; however, this modality can be used when other more traditional and accessible treatments have failed.

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