Pulsed dye laser versus Nd:YAG laser in the treatment of plantar warts: a comparative study.

Research paper by Abd El-Shakor Ael-S El-Mohamady, Ibrahim I Mearag, Mohamed M El-Khalawany, Ahmed A Elshahed, Hisham H Shokeir, Anas A Mahmoud

Indexed on: 13 Nov '13Published on: 13 Nov '13Published in: Lasers in Medical Science


Plantar warts are common viral infection that are usually challenging in treatment. Conventional treatment methods are usually invasive, have low efficacy, and need long recovery periods. In this study, we compared pulsed dye laser (PDL) and neodymium yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) lasers in the treatment of recalcitrant plantar warts. The study included 46 patients with multiple plantar warts. In each patient, lesions were divided into two groups: one treated with Nd:YAG (spot size, 7 mm; energy, 100 J/cm(2); and pulse duration, 20 ms) and the other with PDL (spot size, 7 mm; energy, 8 J/cm(2); and pulse duration, 0.5 ms). Laser sessions were applied every 2 weeks with maximum of six sessions. The study included 63% males and 37% females with a mean age of 29.6 ± 7.34 years. The cure rate was 73.9% with PDL with no significant difference (p = 0.87) from Nd:YAG (78.3%). The number of sessions required was more in PDL (mean, 5.05 ± 0.2) compared with Nd:YAG (mean, 4.65 ± 0.5) but without significant difference. Complications were significantly higher with Nd:YAG (43.5%) compared with PDL (8.7%). Hematoma was the most common complication recorded by Nd:YAG (28.3 %), and it was significantly higher (p = 0.002) than PDL (2.2%). Relapse was recorded in 8.7% with Nd:YAG compared with 13% in PDL with no significant difference (p = 0.74). Our results suggested that PDL and Nd:YAG lasers are effective in the treatment of resistant plantar warts. PDL is safer and less painful but needs more sessions, while Nd:YAG is more painful and shows more complications.