A guide to warts and how we treat them with laser therapy
At drs skincare Hamilton, ON
At drs skincare, we harness the power of light. Dr. Rahul Shukla uses various laser systems to treat different conditions, from removing unwanted hair and tattoos to softening wrinkles and scars. Additionally, lasers are the “go-to” treatment for warts at our office in Hamilton, Ontario.
Many different types of skin concerns often resemble each other. It is essential for Dr. Shukla to diagnose the nature of your trouble spot accurately. That way, he can recommend treatments that will effectively resolve the problem.
Unlike moles, “age” spots, and some skin cancers that may look similar, warts are caused by an infection and are contagious. They can spread from person to person, usually by skin-to-skin contact with another individual with warts.
As with other viral conditions, children and older people with weak immune systems are at greatest risk of developing warts. It’s estimated that warts affect up to 10% of kids and younger adults. In around 40% of children, warts will clear up on their own within around two years. However, these growths can increase in size, number, and resistance to treatment as time goes on. Warts may also be a source of embarrassment or even quite painful if they are in sensitive areas, such as on the bottom of the feet.
Warts are generally categorized as:
- “Common” – may look like rough, light-coloured (pink, white, tan) bumps and visible dark dots or blood vessels
- Flat – appear small, smooth, and in clusters
- Filiform – growths with lengthy “threads” or “fingers” that project outwards and tend to grow rapidly
- Plantar – affecting the feet and may appear as callused clusters on the soles and resemble contagious Athlete’s foot
The treatment: lasers
Laser therapy may be an appropriate treatment for filiform warts and warts that have not responded well to other treatments, such as “freezing” or scraping or peeling off the wart. We appreciate that laser-assisted therapies can have many advantages over other treatment options, including:
- Precise treatment – The light from the laser beam is precisely directed toward and targets the wart
- Safe – Due to the laser’s precision, tissue outside of the treatment site is not touched for a low-risk procedure
- Tissue-preserving – The targeted nature of therapy conserves healthy, unaffected tissue outside of the treatment area
- Well-tolerated – Any sensations from the laser light making contact with the skin are minimal and temporary. We can further discuss ways to ensure utmost comfort during treatment. For most, this is a laser that is a well-tolerated procedure for warts
- Fast – Laser systems are designed to produce and deliver powerful therapeutic energy efficiently, supporting a convenient and comfortable patient experience
- Effectiveness or efficacy – Laser therapy triggers a process whereby the hemoglobin in the vessels within warts is targeted and heated. Response rates vary widely and are impossible to accurately predict.
If you are interested in learning more, we suggest contacting our clinic by calling (905) 524-1712 to schedule an appointment at our office in Hamilton, ON, today.
Note: As a clinic with a wide variety of lasers that is partly dedicated to the application of lasers for medical dermatology, we are currently restricting wart management to those interested in laser therapy. If you are looking for topical agents such as salicylic acid & cryotherapy, we suggest you connect with a family physician or walk into a clinic, as these treatment modalities are widely available.
Dr. Rahul Shukla
Dr. Rahul Shukla is a modern dermatologist staying in line with the advancements in the field by being a member in numerous associations. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Brock University, and later attended medical school at McMaster University, and completed dermatology residency at University of Toronto. He is Board-certified in dermatology, in both Canada and in the United States. Meet Dr. Rahul Shukla