(Age) warts and skin tags
Warts on hands and feet (Verruca vulgares et plantares)
These viral warts are mainly localised on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, whitish to skin-coloured, usually pea-sized warts.
Transmission takes place through direct contact with the body and grease or – when localised on the feet – indirectly via moist, warm surfaces, such as bathroom mats, in swimming pools or saunas.
Due to the continuous stress on the soles of the feet, these grow into the depth of the heel or sole of the foot and can be painful when walking (so-called plantar warts).
Genital warts (Condylomata acuminata)
This type of virus warts the genital and anal area. Unprotected sexual intercourse favours transmission. In women, HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 35 in particular are so-called high-risk viruses and can promote the development of cervical cancer.
How to treat viral warts ?
There are several ways to treat HPV-transmitted viral warts.
Commercially available solutions or cold stamps are supposed to destroy the viral warts directly. Since the viruses are not only in the warts but also microscopically in the skin, these treatment options are often not promising. The warts quickly grow again due to the presence of viral remnants.
The most effective treatment option is laser treatment. In the case of large warts, after a short pre-treatment with an anaesthetic ointment, it may be necessary to remove them superficially, e.g. with a sharp spoon.
Then the wart is gently removed by the ablative function of the laser and the remaining virus particles under the skin are destroyed by heat.
Often a follow-up treatment with a prescription solution is necessary to increase the treatment success after a laser treatment and to prevent a recurrence of the wart(s).
Age warts (Verruca seborrhoica)
These are usually black or brown pigmented skin changes with a fissured surface that occur in patients of advanced age. Microscopically, these are so-called horny cysts and horny pearls that store pigment but do not produce any pigment themselves! It is important to distinguish these from melanoma (black skin cancer).
The diagnosis is made on the basis of the clinical picture (below).
The most effective treatment option is laser treatment. In the case of large warts, after a short pre-treatment with an anesthetic ointment, it may be necessary to first remove them superficially – e.g. with a sharp spoon.
The wart is then gently removed by the ablative function of the laser.
What other skin changes can be treated with the laser?
The Erbium:YAG laser is particularly suitable for the ablation of benign skin changes such as:
- Actinic keratoses (precursor of white skin cancer)
- Wrinkles and scars (including acne scars)
- Nail fungus
- Fatty deposits on the eyelids (xanthelasma)
- Benign birthmarks
- Wrinkle treatment and skin rejuvenation
- Upper and lower eyelid lifting
The Erbium: YAG laser is the gold standard for highly precise, fully ablative or fractional ablation of the skin.
The laser is used for surgical treatment and is well suited to selectively remove unwanted tissue without damaging surrounding tissue. Treatment with erbium laser does not leave scars on superficial skin lesions.
The treated skin areas are covered with a plaster or small bandage after the procedure. In the course of the next few days, a crust forms which falls off after about 10 days, so that the wound healing is completed with new skin tissue.
The use of the Erbium laser in fractionated mode has a similar effect for non-surgical upper and lower eyelid lifting, as well as for facial skin rejuvenation or the treatment of acne scars.