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Laser wart removal for adults and children

Medical expert of the article

Dermatologist
, medical expert
Last reviewed: 17.10.2021

Various neoplasms on the skin can not only spoil its aesthetic appearance, but also cause certain physical inconveniences. If you can find something attractive in a small dark spot above the lip or on the shoulder, called a mole, then a flesh-colored bump on any part of the body will be out of place. It is these unwanted bumps that are warts that bring their owner a lot of trouble, ranging from psychological discomfort and ending with increased injury to nodules and pain while walking, if such "happiness" appears on the sole or toes. Removing warts with a laser or other possible methods is the only way to get rid of a dermatological defect. And although this method does not have great therapeutic value, from a cosmetological and psychophysical point of view, it is fully justified.

Etiology of warts

Warts are small outgrowths on human skin that have an oval or rounded shape. They can appear anywhere on the body, including the genitals and soles of the feet. Warts on the sole are often confused with corns, although these phenomena are of a completely different nature.

The appearance of warts and their size can also vary greatly. Dermatologists distinguish between:

  • flat warts (juvenile), located almost flush with the skin on the back of the hands and face,
  • common warts in the form of elastic tubercles and raised flesh-colored plaques (they can be found all over the body),
  • senile warts (loose, soft plaques of different sizes and colors: from grayish to brown and almost black).
  • warts that form on the mucous membrane of the genital organs, which are small in size and often have a sharp tip; they are called genital warts. The color of genital warts corresponds to the color of the mucous membrane, so it is not so easy to see them on the internal genital organs of women.

Most warts have a viral etiology, i.e. They arise as a result of the penetration of the virus into the body. But not any infection of a viral nature, but a specific one, called human papillomavirus infection. That is why warts are often called papillomas. And their widespread prevalence is explained by the resistance of the papillomavirus, which cannot be removed from the body. [1]

A person infected with  human papillomavirus infection becomes a source of infection for other people. True, for the transmission of the virus, it is necessary that there is a wound on the skin, and the protective barrier should be lowered. This infection is especially easily transmitted sexually, given the increased sensitivity of the mucous membranes and their vulnerability under the influence of the slightest negative factors, for example, during friction during intercourse. [2]

Most  warts,  with the exception of senile warts (age-related keratomas), arise as a result of the introduction of papillomavirus into the body. Keratomas are darker in color and are usually located on the face and neck - areas with more delicate skin exposed to sunlight, less often on the trunk. In appearance and color, they are more reminiscent of convex soft moles. There is no special need to remove them, because they do not carry a pathological basis in themselves. [3]

Removing warts at a young age is justified by a cosmetic and some therapeutic effect, because together with the wart, the active virus that has settled in the skin cells and causes them to divide (multiply) is also removed. Despite the fact that the procedure for removing warts does not have a systemic effect, i.e. Does not contribute to the complete removal of the virus from the body, it reduces the number of active virions.

True, the removal of a wart with a laser or other methods on one small area of the skin does not guarantee that neoplasms will not reappear somewhere near or in a distant area of the skin. Only strong immunity is capable of restraining a viral infection.

Indications for the procedure

Warts can be of different localization and do not always cause psychological or physical discomfort to their owner. Some neoplasms, for example, in the area of the internal genital organs, may not even be suspected. In women, they are often detected by accident during a full gynecological examination. It is clear that the attitude to the tubercles, almost imperceptible from the side, is in most cases even, and one might even say careless.

Yes, the prevalence of papillomavirus is high enough that people simply stop reckoning with it and fear the consequences. In most cases, there are no consequences other than the appearance of warts (and even then not always). But the problem is that the formation of unusual flesh-colored growths on the body can cause various types of the virus (and there are more than 100 varieties), and not all of them are safe.

There are a number of highly oncogenic strains of papillomavirus, including those that provoke the formation of genital warts. The word "highly oncogenic" means that a wart caused by this type of virus, under appropriate conditions, may well develop into a cancerous tumor. [4]It is clear that such conditions are not always present (we are talking about a predisposition to cancer, radiation, etc.), but sometimes even a minor injury to a wart can cause its degeneration and uncontrolled growth. [5],  [6]So check for yourself the possibility of such changes is not worth it.

Laser removal of warts, especially when it comes to genital warts (the gynecologists themselves insist on this), should be considered as the prevention of cancer. But not only. Any bumps on the skin are more prone to injury than the rest of its areas. A wound forms at the site of the injured wart, into which a bacterial infection can easily penetrate, causing pain and suppuration. [7]

Dermatologists recommend removing any warts that cause a person some discomfort. Indications for the procedure, in addition to the risk of malignancy (degeneration into a malignant tumor and spread to other parts of the body), are:

  • High risk of neoplasm trauma. Particular attention should be paid to the growths on the cheeks in men (they can be damaged during shaving), in the armpits (again, the problem with shaving the armpits, which many women and even men practice today, as well as the risk of injury to the wart as a result of rubbing with coarse seams of clothing ), on the neck (risk of collar injury). Genital warts can be injured during hygiene procedures and intercourse, in addition, in this case, there are medical indications. And warts on the back are often grazed and rubbed with bra straps, causing discomfort among the fair sex.

It is better to remove the uncomfortable wart right away than to worry about it turning red, inflamed, or bleeding.

  • Cosmetological defect. Warts on exposed parts of the body can give their owners many unpleasant moments, affecting their self-esteem and behavior. This is very important in adolescence, when such defects become an obstacle in the relationship between the sexes. Some warts can disappear on their own under the influence of the immune system, but if this does not happen, it is better to take measures that will help make the neoplasm less noticeable, or it is better to completely remove it.
  • Prevention of the spread of warts to other parts of the body and infection of people in contact with the carrier of the infection. Warts are highly infectious foci of active infection on the surface of the skin, and if removed, the infection can be prevented from spreading to other parts of the body or passing it on to another person.
  • Relief of pain and discomfort while walking. Plantar warts, which are very problematic to remove with alternative methods, because they are localized on the hardened skin, sometimes cause a change in a person's gait. Their painfulness when pressed makes a person dodge in order not to step on a build-up, restricts the ability to move and physical activity, and affects the ability to work. By removing plantar warts, a person gets the opportunity to move normally and do the usual work.

As you can see, there are more than enough reasons to start fighting ugly and potentially dangerous skin growths. It remains only to choose a method that will help to solve this problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. [8]

Should a laser be used to remove warts?

Warts are growths on the skin, the acquaintance of a person with which happened many centuries ago. Then people still did not know and did not understand the reasons for the appearance of bodily tubercles and did not suspect about their danger, although at some period they perceived them as punishment of the gods. Later, a person began to think about how to correct a cosmetic defect visible from the outside by other people. Today, a person is more interested in how safe neoplasms are, and when it turned out that they can cause cancer, attention to the search for various methods to combat the manifestations of the virus increased. [9]

If you cannot remove the virus itself, then you should at least get rid of its active foci. If earlier it could be done surgically or with the help of alternative recipes, then in the modern world many more effective and safe ways have been developed to say goodbye to warts:

  • Thermocoagulation.
  • Electro- or diatormocoagulation. [10]
  • Cryodestruction .
  • Laser removal of neoplasms.
  • Radio wave therapy.
  • Photodynamic therapy. [11]

Today, there is a lot of talk about the removal of neoplasms with a laser, as one of the most affordable and effective methods. Laser therapy is practiced both in medical institutions and in many cosmetic clinics. But there is a lot of talk, but I want to choose the best for myself. A comparison helps to determine the best method for removing warts.

Alternative treatment is the most financially available method and includes many ways to combat warts that have been developed and tested over the years. Some methods are less painful, others suggest patience in order to achieve results. But in most cases, the main disadvantage of alternative methods is that they have to be applied repeatedly to get the desired result. Not all methods are equally effective, so you often have to try one way of dealing with warts in order to have a result. 

Moreover, the virus under the influence of alternative means may not die, but only hide for a while, so you have to rely only on a temporary effect. Other agents (more aggressive) can leave behind burns on the body, which later turn into ugly scars. [12]

But the most unpleasant fact is that the preliminary steaming of the wart, which is recommended before its removal, is a factor in the spread of the infection to nearby tissues. The virus does not die at this temperature, but it gets the ability to easily invade nearby tissues. The same thing happens when a wart is cut, i.e. Removal of its top, while the active virus can be located in deeper layers. It is not surprising that sometimes the wart not only does not disappear, but even begins to increase in size. [13]

The surgical way to combat warts is more reliable and time-tested. But it has its drawbacks. Firstly, this is the painfulness of the procedure, because the tissue has to be cut alive. Anesthesia is indispensable here. Secondly, there remains a certain risk of wound infection if all aseptic requirements are not met. Thirdly, after surgery, a suture is often applied to the wound, in the place of which a scar is often formed later. Another danger is bleeding if a large vessel is affected.

Thermocoagulation involves the removal of growths using a hot loop. It is also a very painful procedure that requires anesthesia. The risk of wound infection is lower, but still remains. In addition, a scar may remain at the site of the burn. During thermocoagulation, it is very difficult to regulate the depth of penetration of the loop into soft tissues, so as not to damage healthy tissue and at the same time completely remove those infected with the virus. A plus can be considered coagulation (cauterization) of blood vessels, which reduces the risk of bleeding. [14]

An interesting option for thermocoagulation is electrocoagulation. In this case, there is no metal-to-skin contact, which significantly reduces the risk of infection. Cauterization of the growth occurs under the influence of high-frequency currents. This somewhat reduces pain, makes it possible to regulate the depth of penetration, and shortens the procedure time. The wart mark will be noticeable only with a large area of the growth. The disadvantage can be considered a rather long period of wound healing, the risk of damage to healthy tissues, limited use for large warts and on open parts of the body. [15]

During cryodestruction, not thermal, but the opposite effect is used. The neoplasm is not cauterized or excised, but frozen with liquid nitrogen. Applicators of different sizes are used for the procedure, which reduces the risk of damage to healthy tissues. The duration of exposure to nitrogen is extremely short (1-2 minutes), so the whole procedure takes no more than 5 minutes. Painful sensations usually occur in people with a low sensitivity threshold, who are offered anesthesia. Good indicators are also a low risk of infection and a high rate of recovery of damaged skin, as well as a low risk of bleeding and a small proportion of scarring. 

Radio wave therapy is a non-traumatic method of dealing with neoplasms, which does not imply contact incisions, moxibustion or freezing of the skin. There is no skin contact with the electrode. The wart is destroyed by the action of high-frequency radio waves, which seem to evaporate its structures from the inside. The risk of infection and bleeding is minimal, pain is absent, and healthy cells remain practically unaffected. Wounds heal quickly, rarely leaving behind traces of scars. The disadvantage of the method is considered its low prevalence and high cost, so usually a person has to choose between other methods. [16]

Laser removal of various neoplasms on the skin and mucous membranes is a relatively new, but already well-established direction in modern cosmetology and medicine (surgery, gynecology). By adjusting the laser power, you can both treat the human body and make surgical incisions or remove neoplasms, cutting out or drying them out and at the same time sealing the vessel to avoid bleeding. [17]

Laser exposure also implies the disinfection of the tissue of the wound formed at the site of the removed wart, which reduces the risk of suppuration and scar formation. With laser exposure, the risk of wound infection during the procedure is minimized. Complications can occur only in case of improper skin care of the affected area after the procedure.

Is it painful to remove warts with a laser? It all depends on the sensitivity threshold. In this case, there is no strong pain, but such sensations are subjective. People with a low sensitivity threshold are usually offered anesthesia, but it is not at all necessary. Pain relief can also be carried out for people who are not psychologically inclined to endure pain, more precisely, they are afraid of it. [18]

Having considered various methods of dealing with the manifestations of papillomavirus and age-related changes, you can decide what is the best way to remove a wart: with a laser or nitrogen, radio waves, a metal loop, electric current, a surgical knife or alternative means? Considering the advantages and disadvantages of the methods, it can be concluded that the most effective and justified are radio wave therapy, electrocoagulation, cryodestruction and laser removal of warts. But given the fact that radio wave removal of neoplasms is offered by a limited number of clinics, we will choose between three methods. [19]

What is the best way to remove warts: laser or electrocoagulation? In both cases, we are talking about cauterization of the growth, but it is believed that the laser exposure is less traumatic and leaves fewer marks on the skin. With laser removal, pain is noticeably weaker, moreover, it can be used to remove warts in any places and of different sizes.

When choosing between laser surgery for removal of warts with liquid nitrogen, you should pay attention to the body's response to cold. Often, patients complain of tissue swelling for several days after the procedure, redness of the skin around the wound, although there is no question of infection. With a large area of the wart, especially if it is located on the palms or soles, it is very difficult to calculate the depth of penetration, therefore it is easy to damage the vessels of nearby healthy tissues, which is fraught with the formation of painful hematomas. [20]

Another disadvantage of cryodestruction is that it may take 3 to 5 procedures to completely remove the wart. [21]Laser treatment implies the complete and irreversible removal of the wart in one short procedure. In this case, the cost of both methods of dealing with warts will be approximately the same. 

Whatever it was, but we can only give our reader information about the different options for removing warts and papillomas. We have no right to dictate the final decision. Each person should choose the methods of treatment in accordance with their capabilities, state of health (different methods have their own contraindications), wishes. [22]

Preparation

Our goal is to acquaint the reader with some of the most effective and popular methods of dealing with skin neoplasms. This is the removal of warts and papillomas with a laser. This method has become widespread for a reason. It is easy to use, affordable, and does not require any special training.

And yet, like other methods, laser therapy has certain contraindications, even if not absolute. Therefore, before you come to the procedure, you should make sure that you do not have any. When choosing a method for removing warts, you must definitely read the list of contraindications and consult your doctor about this. [23]

The laser therapy procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Nobody will demand the results of blood and urine tests, forms of instrumental examinations (ultrasound, ECG, etc.) from the patient, but this does not mean at all that it is not necessary to take into account the patient's condition at the time of the procedure. Any discomfort can be considered an obstacle to instrumental removal of warts.

The psychological attitude is very important. If a person is afraid, his nervous system and receptors are on high alert, so even minor pain is strongly felt. In addition, sudden movements and jerking during an operation that requires high precision can negatively affect the result. If you can't pull yourself together, you should take a sedative or postpone the procedure to another time. [24]

Since the removal of warts implies exposure to human skin, it is clear that the day before it is worth carrying out thorough hygiene procedures, despite the fact that immediately before removing the wart on the skin, it and the area around the growth will be pre-treated with an antiseptic. [25]

Another important element of preparation is the determination of the patient's sensitivity threshold. Testing is carried out using a laser, which will be used to remove the warts. If the patient is calm during the tests, he can do without anesthesia during the procedure. In people with a low sensitivity threshold, the tests cause noticeable discomfort, therefore they are offered local anesthesia. In this case, it is worth clarifying the tolerance of anesthesia.

In some clinics, as a preparation, they offer to undergo a short (20-minute) diagnostic examination of warts (dermatoscopy), which makes it possible to determine the nature of the neoplasms on the body and their tendency to degenerate into a malignant tumor.

Who to contact?

Technique of the laser wart removal

The very procedure for removing warts with a laser is not difficult. After treating the surface of the skin or mucous membrane with an anesthetic, either anesthesia is performed, or the procedure is started immediately. [26]

General anesthesia in such cases is not advisable, because the pain is not so strong, and the operation is generally bloodless. It is enough to reduce the sensitivity of the area near the wart as much as possible. This is possible in two ways:

  • an injection into the base of the wart (popular anesthetics are usually used: lidocaine or novocaine),
  • applying a special cream or gel with an anesthetic to the skin (often used for anesthesia in children).

When the sensitivity of the skin in the area of the wart is sufficiently reduced, a laser beam is directed at it, which heats up and burns out the tissues of the wart, in the place of which a brown crust forms.

It must be said that different types of laser can be used in different salons and clinics, so you should inquire about this issue in advance. The fact is that different types of lasers can have a different effect from others, which determines the effectiveness and safety of their use in different parts of the body.

Having asked which laser is used to remove warts in different clinics, we received different answers. A laser is a collective term that refers to a device used to remove warts. But the structure and principle of operation of such devices may differ.

The action of one group of lasers, which includes carbon dioxide (CO2 laser),  [27]erbium and neodymium devices, is based on the absorption of laser radiation by water in our tissues:

  • Carbon dioxide laser is a long-wave (up to 11 thousand nm) high-power gas device rarely used in beauty parlors. It can work in two positions: a focused beam (used instead of a scalpel or a surgical knife) and unfocused radiation (the action is based on coagulation of the vessels feeding the wart). It is useful for removing warts in hard-to-reach places (for example, under the nail plate), on coarse skin, large area warts. When using a focused beam, the soreness is higher and the speed of wound healing is slower.
  • Erbium laser (Er: YAG laser) is a solid-state laser with a wavelength of 2940 nm. It is based on ytrium alumina garnet activated by erbium ions. Its wavelength is much lower, due to which the absorption of rays by water increases. The efficiency of the procedure with an erbium laser is even higher, and the thermal radiation of such a device is less traumatic, so the risk of scarring is less. [28]
  • The neodymium laser (Nd: YAG laser) also belongs to solid-state devices and is created on the same basis as the Er YAG laser, but the activator is neodymium ions. The wavelength is 1064 nm, which further increases the absorption of laser radiation by water. Like the erbium laser, it coagulates blood vessels and disrupts the nutrition of warts. It works gently, leaving almost no scars. [29]
  • Diode laser with a wavelength of 980 nm is one of the most efficient converters of electrical energy into laser light. Diode lasers can be used for coagulation, vaporization and welding. Ultrapulsed diode lasers have found applications in dentistry, urology, gynecology, dermatology, and vascular medicine. [30]

Removal of warts with a neodymium laser is practiced in many beauty salons, where the cosmetic effect comes to the fore. It works well for removing warts from exposed parts of the body, including the face and neck.

The second group of devices includes pulsed lasers (liquid devices), which use dyes that are absorbed not by water, but by oxyhemoglobin. They contribute to the adhesion of the capillaries, which also disrupts the nutrition of the wart. The positive side of such lasers is the almost complete absence of discomfort during the procedure and scars on the body. Their action in its effectiveness is akin to cryodestruction, but the area of application is usually limited to flat juvenile warts. For other types of neoplasms, a pulsed laser is less effective. [31]

Removing plantar warts with a laser requires a special approach, because the procedure in this case is more painful. It makes no sense to use a pulsed laser, and a gas laser, although it makes it possible to get rid of a build-up that penetrates deep inside, requires serious anesthesia. When using other types of laser, they often resort to step-by-step (layer-by-layer) removal of the wart, which also gives a good effect. [32]

Features of laser wart removal for a child

Benign growths called warts can occur at any age. Often, not knowing about the presence of infection in their body, mothers pass it on to their children during childbirth. Subsequently, a baby with unstable immunity may have warts on the face, hands and body (in rare cases, on the mucous membranes of the mouth and larynx).

Despite the fact that children in the birth canal come into contact with warts, they rarely develop just such neoplasms. At least we are not talking about genital warts. They usually appear when a teenager begins to have sex life. Until this time, ordinary or filiform (on a thin stalk) warts are found, and during puberty they are flat. [33]

And it's not at all about the notorious frogs. The myth that warts on the body appear after contact with these amphibians has no basis. The true cause of a cosmetic defect in children is the papillomavirus, which has no age preferences.  [34]

Children are extremely active little people, which is why their bodies are often covered with multiple wounds and scratches, through which a virus transmitted from other children or adults can also easily penetrate. Often it is the contact with the wart that causes the start of the pathological process in the child's body. Do not assume that these growths are safe for others.

Whether to remove warts from a small child is up to the parents of the baby. But at the same time, one must take into account the high risk of injury to neoplasms that rise above the surface of the skin. And this is bleeding, infections, the spread of the virus to nearby tissues and the growth of a wart. It is not worth discarding the likelihood of the degeneration of a benign growth into a malignant tumor, if there is a predisposition, i.e. There were cancer patients in the family. [35]

When the child goes to school, other problems will appear. This is dislike for the child on the part of classmates, who will be afraid to even shake hands during a greeting or at the teacher's request, may be teased, etc.

In adolescence, flat and common warts become the cause of withdrawal and low self-esteem. True, you should not rush to remove them. Most often, with the normalization of the hormonal background, youthful warts, like acne, go away on their own. But if they really strongly affect the psycho-emotional background of a teenager, leading to neuroses and depression, it is worth taking care of cleaning the skin.

Most parents try to remove warts in children using alternative methods that are more affordable financially, and, it seems to them, have no contraindications, unlike the instrumental methods used in cosmetology and medicine. Some do not understand the seriousness of the situation, believing that children's warts cannot be of a viral nature. This means that we are talking about the removal of "excess" skin, and not the focus of the virus, which, if approached incorrectly, can spread to other parts of the body.

Others do not want to admit that alternative recipes may have even more contraindications than in the case of laser or radio wave removal of warts. And some popular methods cannot be called safe. The same celandine, which parents often use to cauterize their children and themselves with warts, is actually a rather toxic plant. It may kill the virus, but penetrating into soft tissues and blood, it also poisons the body of a little person. [36]

Many instrumental methods are also not recommended for children. Painful surgical removal, thermal method and electrocautery are not the best choices, although they are quite affordable. Cryodestruction, which is not very painful in adulthood, can be frightening and uncomfortable in children. Baby's skin is softer, thinner and more sensitive. The extremely low temperature during freezing and the risk of damage to healthy tissues (it is difficult to calculate the depth of penetration) make the procedure unpopular in childhood.

The safest treatments are laser therapy and the radio wave method. At the same time, laser removal of warts is considered more affordable. Having no age-related contraindications, the method allows you to get rid of warts in just one procedure. This is very important, since any manipulations of people in white coats, especially if they are accompanied by even the slightest discomfort, represent psychological trauma for children (even if they are mild). It is incredibly difficult for children to endure and wait, especially since they are not yet fully aware of the need to remove neoplasms. Laser treatment allows you to get rid of warts quickly and reliably, which is very important in this situation. [37]

Laser radiation does not have a negative effect on the child's body, especially when you consider that we are talking about a local effect on the defect. At the same time, the risk of damage to healthy tissues is very small, scars on the skin are extremely rare, because wound healing proceeds very quickly and, with proper care, is not accompanied by inflammation and tissue edema.

As for the pain of the procedure, the pain experienced by children is rarely stronger than when a mosquito bites. However, in order to avoid sudden movements, crying and whims, children are most often given local anesthesia. And even during its implementation, the baby does not experience pain, because an injection is not required if there is a gel that is simply applied to the skin of the warts, making the area insensitive, and the procedure for removing the wart with a laser is painless.

Features of laser wart removal during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a happy and at the same time a very hectic period in a woman's life. It is characterized by the restructuring of various functions and systems of the body, carried out with the assistance of sex hormones. The hormonal background of a woman changes, and together with it, the protective function of the body undergoes changes.

Any fluctuations in the hormonal background can be considered as a blow to the immune system, which plays into the hands of a viral infection. She can doze for a long time in a woman's body, but the weakening of the immune response provides fertile ground for the activation of the virus. It is not surprising that expectant mothers so often complain about the appearance of warts during this period. Previously, before conception, they were only virus carriers, and now they have become a source of active infection, which has quite definite external manifestations.

Moreover, warts can have very different localization and appearance (with the exception of senile keratomas, which are age-related neoplasms). To remove them or not during pregnancy is not an easy question, because it all depends on the location of the defects and the degree of their safety in terms of injury.[38]

Ordinary warts on the surface of the skin are a defect that is unpleasant only for the woman herself and her environment. They cannot affect either the development of the fetus or the process of the baby's passage through the birth canal, because such growths are dangerous only in contact with the skin (in the case of the presence of large or microdamages on the skin). You can not rush to remove them if they do not cause psychological discomfort and are not subject to frequent trauma.

Peace is important for a pregnant woman, and removing warts can be seen as stressful. Pain that appears to one degree or another, the need to tune in to the procedure, the fear of complications - all this knocks the expectant mother out of a rut and affects the course of pregnancy, therefore, doctors do not recommend, unless absolutely necessary, to carry out treatment during this period. [39]

But on the other hand, the presence of genital warts is already a problem that is unsafe for the baby. As long as the fetus is in the womb, nothing threatens him. But after a certain time, the child will ask to be born, and the passage of the birth canal will become a risk factor for him for contracting the papillomavirus. In this case, the gynecologist will even insist on removing genital warts.

Since there is no particular rush, because until the moment of birth, warts are not terrible for the child, you should not risk removing neoplasms in the early stages of pregnancy. Given the localization of genital warts and their proximity to the place of temporary residence of the baby, the woman's great sensitivity to negative factors and the increased risk of termination of pregnancy before placentation, gynecologists insist on waiting and removing neoplasms no earlier than 28-30 weeks of pregnancy. But it is not worth pulling to the last, the mucous membrane must be given time to recover in order to avoid complications during childbirth. [40]

When choosing a method for removing warts, it is important to understand that in most cases pain is present in one way or another, but the possibilities of anesthesia are limited. If, when removing skin growths, you can resort to gels and ointments with an anesthetic (although they do not help much in the area of the hardened sole), then when removing warts on the mucous membrane, it is not so easy to provide anesthesia, and the proximity to the uterus says that this is undesirable. [41]

In any case, it is better for the expectant mother to avoid the effects of chemistry on the body. And this can be done by choosing less painful methods of dealing with neoplasms, for example, removal of warts with a laser, which can be carried out without anesthesia, because the force of pain is small. Neodymium, erbium and pulsed lasers will be able to cope with neoplasms without causing severe pain.

Speaking about the safety of laser treatment, it should be noted that such an effect will bring much less trouble than taking antiviral drugs and immunostimulants during pregnancy. The latter affect the immune system, and it is difficult to predict how it will react to the fetus. The safety of many alternative remedies is also in doubt, especially since most of them are not suitable for combating genital warts. [42]

It turns out that laser removal of warts is the best option for treating the manifestations of papillomavirus (HPV) during pregnancy. Even so, a certain amount of caution is required. Before removing warts, it is necessary to conduct a study of the growth (biopsy and histological analysis of the biopsy) to determine the type of HPV and the degree of its oncogenicity.

The fact is that after the removal of warts with a laser, there is no material for such a study, and in the case of incomplete removal of a virus of a highly oncogenic type, there is a risk of condyloma degeneration into a cancerous tumor. This is dangerous both for the woman herself and for her child, who at the time of childbirth can receive such a dangerous "gift" from the mother.

Often, when a virus of a highly oncogenic type is detected, they resort to caesarean section, and condylomas on the internal genital organs are removed (surgically or with a laser) after childbirth, prescribing a special antiviral treatment for the woman, and, if necessary, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. [43]

The sooner a pathological formation with a high risk of malignancy is detected, the easier it is to prevent dangerous consequences. And even if the degeneration has occurred, in the early stages of the disease, removal of the tumor gives quite decent results. True, the removal of individual warts cannot be considered a full-fledged treatment, therefore, a person with a highly oncogenic type of virus will have to be careful, maintaining immunity at a high level throughout his life, taking into account the possible presence of inactive virions waiting in the wings.

Contraindications to the procedure

As we already understood, pregnancy and childhood are not contraindications to the removal of warts using laser radiation. It is just that during these periods it is especially important to take into account some of the features of the human body and the processes occurring in it.

But are there any barriers to using a laser to remove warts, if this procedure is allowed even during periods of life that are so sensitive to any impact? On the Internet you can find information that laser treatment has many contraindications. In fact, everything is not so categorical, because in most cases we are not talking about diseases, but temporary states of the body. In such cases, they talk about relative contraindications, which take place for a limited time. [44]

Relative contraindications include:

  • increased body temperature
  • the presence of infectious diseases in the acute stage, including colds of viral and bacterial etiology
  • general malaise of unknown origin,
  • exacerbation of herpes infection, which can manifest itself on the lips, in the corners of the mouth and nose, on the genitals (the appearance of external symptoms in the form of a bubbly itchy rash indicates the activation of the virus),
  • increased blood pressure on the eve of the procedure (excitement can contribute to this),
  • inflammation of the tissues around the wart or the growth itself (preliminary examination is required),
  • unstable mental state of the patient.

These contraindications are temporary and aim to avoid deterioration of the human condition. They also help to make the procedure for removing warts effective and safe, to avoid inaccuracies as a result of the excitement of both the patient himself and the specialist conducting the procedure.

It must be said that the above conditions are an obstacle not only for the procedure using a laser. They are common to all methods of instrumental removal of neoplasms. They should be taken into account when resorting to alternative recipes. [45]

The only absolute contraindication to laser removal of warts can be considered changes in the composition of the blood. Most often, doctors pay attention to the inability of blood to clot. If it is disturbed, there is an increased risk of bleeding during the procedure, which will be difficult to stop. With hemophilia, this is almost impossible to do. [46]

Care must be taken when removing warts in people with diabetes. Only in this case we are talking not so much about complications that are possible during the procedure, but about unpleasant consequences.

The fact is that with high blood sugar, there are problems with the healing of any wounds. They heal for a long time, so the risk of tissue infection, the development of purulent and purulent-necrotic processes increases. In this case, very careful wound care is required. In addition, it is recommended to remove only those warts that are already prone to injury, cause severe discomfort (for example, interfere with movement) or are capable of degenerating into a malignant tumor. [47]

Sometimes you can see information that laser removal of warts is not recommended for cancer. It should be understood that the laser beam itself does not change the biochemical properties of cells around the affected area, removing only those affected by the virus. Infrared treatment used in lasers, unlike sunlight, is not capable of provoking active tumor malignancy; on the contrary, laser removal of tumors is becoming more and more popular. But it is possible only after a biopsy and special studies to assess the depth and prevalence of the pathological process. In addition, such an operation can be performed only in special clinics for cancer patients, but not in a cosmetology office. [48]

If we are talking about removing warts that do not consist of malignant cells in patients with oncology, then there are no obstacles at all, because we are talking about a local effect that does not affect abnormal cells and cannot in any way affect their behavior.

Consequences after the procedure

One of the important advantages of the laser method for removing neoplasms is the low risk of wound infection. Pre-treatment with an antiseptic, the absence of direct contact of the device or the doctor's hands with the patient's skin, as well as significant heating of the tissues in the wart area does not leave infection and the slightest chance. But it is quite logical that after removing the wart with a laser (especially if it was large), a wound will remain, the condition of which will depend on the correct care for it. [49]

For a long time, the wound will be covered with coarse necrotic tissue. After laser removal of the wart, a crust forms almost immediately and can last from 5 to 14 days. It all depends on the size of the wound and compliance with the requirements of the doctor (cosmetologist). Wound healing is carried out directly under the crust, which is characteristic of any burn, and this is how the skin and the laser, and the electric current, and the red-hot loop, and even the radio wave knife act.

It is impossible to answer unequivocally the question of how long the wound heals after laser removal of a wart, mole or other neoplasm. Wounds can have different localization, size, healing conditions. For example, in the air, in low humidity conditions, the wound dries up and heals faster, which is inaccessible for postoperative erosions on the mucous membrane in the genital area. If the crust is peeled off ahead of time or if the erosion is covered with a dense material that prevents air from entering, healing will be delayed. [50]

Usually, complete healing of the wart wound can be expected a couple of weeks after the procedure. Large wounds that are more than one centimeter in diameter can heal for a month or more. In case of infection, treatment can take several months, often resulting in scarring.

It is illogical to remove the crust just because it contains wart particles. The virus cannot exist in dead cells, and does not pose a threat outside the cells. In other words, there is no active virus in the crust, but it is an excellent protection of an open wound from negative external influences, blocking the path of infection. [51]

A good sign is spontaneous flaking of the crust, from under which ichor or pus does not ooze. When the skin falls off, soft, young, pink skin will be visible underneath. Subsequently, it will become a lighter shade than the surrounding skin, and over time it will become almost indistinguishable. Sometimes a depression remains at the site of the wart, which subsequently gradually smoothes out, like the color of the skin.

Complications after the procedure

Laser removal of warts may be more gentle than some other methods, but it also involves trauma to the skin. At the site of the wart, there is a trace of tissue burn in the form of a wound covered with a crust. And like any wound, this place can hurt for a while. As it heals, the pain subsides and the wound becomes less visible.

The most painful both "during life" and during removal are plantar warts that go deeper than usual. Even after laser removal of the wart, there are often complaints that the heel, on which there was a tumor earlier, hurts and it is difficult to lean on it when walking or standing. Painful sensations in the first days after the procedure are quite normal, because tissue injury has taken place and it takes time to restore them. [52]

If the pain persists for more than a month, it may be a recurrence of the wart. If, after removing the wart, it reappears, this indicates low immunity, or the cause was incomplete removal of the neoplasm. In the latter case, the lack of professionalism of the specialist who performed the procedure takes place.

Natural skin injury is often accompanied by redness and swelling. This does not necessarily indicate the introduction of an infection. If, after removing the wart with a laser, swelling has formed around the wound, it is likely that this is the body's reaction to the injury, but if a finger or a large area of the body around the wound is swollen, this is no longer a normal reaction. Especially if such edema persists for more than a day, it is accompanied by a dull pain and a local (or general) increase in temperature. [53]

A general increase in temperature most often indicates sepsis (blood poisoning), a local increase in wound infection. But there is no need to rush to blame the doctor for this. The very procedure for removing warts with a laser practically excludes infection. Usually the cause lies in post-operative care or an allergic reaction to the healing agents used.

When the wound becomes infected, an inflammatory process occurs, which, depending on the pathogen, can turn into a purulent one. The more inflammation lasts, the more healthy cells die, thereby increasing the size of the wound. Moreover, a long-term inflammatory process is considered one of the main reasons for the appearance of cicatricial changes that are not typical for laser treatment. [54]

The second reason for the appearance of ugly scars is an individual feature of the body's functioning. In this case, removing the warts in any way will leave visible marks. To reduce such consequences, you can apply to the skin drugs that accelerate wound healing and prevent the formation of foci of coarse fibrous tissue ("Baneocin", "Contractubex").

If it was still not possible to avoid scar formation (for example, the wart was too large or an infection got into the wound), you can again resort to laser removal and resurfacing of scars and scars, which gives an excellent cosmetic effect. [55]

Care after the procedure

How quickly erosion lasts after laser removal of warts depends on the correct fulfillment of the requirements of postoperative wound care, and they include the following recommendations:

  • During the first 3 days after removing the wart, you should try not to wet the wound and do not treat it with alcohol solutions. To prevent infection, antiseptics (brilliant green solution, iodine or potassium permanganate solution) are applied to the skin around the wound. What else can you treat a wound after removing a wart with a laser? As a prophylactic agent that prevents inflammation of the wound tissue, you can use water infusions of chamomile and calendula, solutions of chlorhexidine and miramistin. Additionally, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory creams.
  • Can I swim after laser removal of warts? After 3 days, in the absence of complications, it is allowed to take a shower, trying to prevent soapy water from entering the wound. It is recommended to take a bath after the crust has fallen off, i.e. Not earlier than 2 weeks later. Baths, saunas, swimming in pools and public showers should be postponed for a month or more, focusing on the complete restoration of damaged tissues. Swimming in open bodies of water of questionable water quality is especially dangerous if the wound has not healed.
  • When removing warts in the warm season with an active sun, you need to make sure that young sensitive skin does not come into direct sunlight. Under the influence of laser radiation, the sensitivity of nearby tissues also increases, which can easily get burned, so you should not be in the sun for a long time, especially in the first days and months after the procedure.
  • An open wound can easily get infected, so many patients seek to protect themselves by covering the area from the wart with a plaster. This is not necessary, because air penetrates under the patch with great difficulty, a moist atmosphere is created around the wound, which slows down healing. If an infection has previously entered the wound, then in humid conditions it will multiply more actively.
  • If the warts were located in areas with increased sweating, the wound in their place should be covered with special plasters with an absorbent surface. You need to change such patches once a day, giving your skin the opportunity to breathe if possible.
  • It is also necessary to cover the wound if it is on the foot or hands that come into contact with dust and other sources of infection. It is best to wear a bandage that allows air to flow in and remove it every time you rest. Ideally, for the first few days, you need to refrain from work and active movement, allowing the wound to dry out in an open state.
  • The crust on the wound cannot be removed on its own until complete healing, but it can be easily touched, exposing the wound surface. One should try to avoid such accidental injuries. If the wart was on the leg, you need to pay attention to shoes that should not rub the area of the former wart. The same goes for clothing.

If the wart was on the face or under the armpits, while shaving, you should try to bypass this area so as not to accidentally touch the crust and not infect an infection. [56]

  • As for cosmetics, and especially decorative cosmetics, it should not be used until the wound from the wart is completely healed.

It is very important that at the time of healing and restoration of the skin, i.e. Within 1.5 months or more after the laser wart removal procedure, the sensitive skin at the site of the procedure was not exposed to aggressive external influences. Whether it's cold water, rubbing with clothes or a towel after bathing, or too active cosmetics (especially with abrasive particles).

Reviews

Most of those who have experienced the laser wart removal procedure on themselves confirm the information about the effectiveness of this procedure. Usually, the wart disappears after a single exposure, i.e. Repeated procedures are not required. In this case, the duration of the removal of neoplasms with a laser can vary from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of removed elements (up to 10 warts can be removed in one session), their size and location.

Plantar and palmar warts, which are growths on coarser and thicker skin that go deep into the epidermis, are most difficult to burn off. Any wart implies layer-by-layer removal of tissue, but in this case there are a lot of layers, so the procedure is more time-consuming. And the soreness during the session is higher. The pain of removing common and flat warts is minor and can be tolerated by most people without anesthesia.

Many patients write that after the removal of the warts, a trace remains. But this is quite understandable, at the site of any wound, an area with weak pigmentation is observed for some time, but here we are still talking about a skin burn. You need to wait a few months and the trail will become almost invisible. If the wart was large, then no method can remove it completely.

It is possible that a wound after a laser burn heals longer than after cryodestruction, but the possibilities of using a laser are wider. It can be used to remove warts of any location, size and depth. It is used to remove warts in children and expectant mothers. In this case, repeated procedures are not necessary, and the risk of recurrence is usually lower, as well as the likelihood of damage to healthy tissues.

Someone is one hundred percent satisfied with the result, others complain about the appearance of new pathological elements without taking care of maintaining immunity, others point to the possibility of scarring without understanding what reasons could cause them, and whether this is due to the use of a laser. There are always people who like this method and those who remain dissatisfied. And this pattern can be traced regardless of the instruments and techniques used. Until a person tries the chosen method on himself, he is unlikely to receive objective information about its effectiveness without a touch of someone else's subjective opinion.

Laser removal of warts is a procedure, the effectiveness of which is confirmed by the popularity of this method among cosmetologists, doctors and patients. Otherwise, people would turn to other, cheaper methods of dealing with neoplasms. But the laser method has three big advantages: efficiency, availability and safety. They are the main factors influencing the choice of a person.


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