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PDL Therapy: An Alternative Tool to Combat Warts

Research indicates that PDL therapy is highly effective in treating various types of warts, including common warts, stubborn warts, and plantar warts. PDL therapy has a success rate of between 56% and 80% in curing common warts, demonstrating promising results in the treatment of stubborn warts, although the outcomes range from 0% to 100%. However, the success rate of PDL therapy for plantar warts is 95.1%.

Evidence-Backed Success

Researchers have conducted three randomized control trials to assess the effectiveness of PDL therapy for warts. In one trial, PDL therapy was compared to cryotherapy and cantharidin. Another trial pitted PDL therapy against a placebo (cryogen spray cooling pulses alone). Lastly, one trial assessed the combination of PDL therapy and intralesional bleomycin against intralesional bleomycin alone. All three trials concluded that PDL therapy is an effective option for treating warts.

Safety First: Few Side Effects

When it comes to safety, PDL therapy generally passes the test with flying colors. There have been few reported complications associated with this treatment. The most common side effects include temporary pain, skin redness (called erythema), and blistering. Luckily, these side effects are usually mild and tend to go away within a few days.

Demystifying PDL Therapy

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how PDL therapy actually works. It involves the use of a special laser that emits a high-intensity beam of light onto the wart-affected area. This intense light is absorbed by the blood vessels within the skin, causing them to heat up and collapse. As a result, the blood supply to the wart is cut off, leading to the wart’s demise and eventual falling off. The beauty of PDL therapy is that it’s a non-invasive procedure that can be carried out in a doctor’s office or a clinic.

What Lies Ahead

While PDL therapy holds promise in treating warts, more research is needed to determine the best parameters for this therapy and to ensure its long-term safety and efficacy. Cost and accessibility can also be limiting factors for some individuals, as PDL therapy may not be readily available in all locations. Nevertheless, it can be a valuable option when more traditional treatments have failed to deliver results.

In summary, PDL therapy is a safe and effective treatment for various types of warts, including common warts, stubborn warts, and even facial warts. Although further research is needed to fine-tune the treatment and understand its long-term effects fully, the current evidence suggests that PDL therapy holds great promise for wart sufferers. If you’ve been battling warts without success using other methods, it’s worth discussing PDL therapy with your doctor to see if it might be the right solution for you.


David Veitch et al. Pulsed dye laser treatment of warts: a review of the literature. Dermatol Surg 2017:43:485-493.