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Removing molluscum contagiosum using a 1470 nm diode laser: A preliminary report

Radoslaw Spiewak, Piotr Sznelewski

Recommended citation format: Spiewak R, Sznelewski P: Removing molluscum contagiosum using a 1470 nm diode laser: A preliminary report. Estetol Med Kosmetol 2012; 2 (4): 118-121.


Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection of the skin manifesting as solitary or multiple flesh-coloured, dome-shaped, pearly lesions; a characteristic dimpled centre is frequently seen. Although in a typical situation individual lesions heal spontaneously after 1-3 months, new lesions may spread sustaining the clinical disease up to several years due to very easy autoinoculation (e.g. during touching or scratching). Therefore, therapeutic modalities are needed that would rapidly destroy all lesions before the infection becomes disseminated. There is only limited evidence for the effectiveness of the therapeutic modalities available at present, mainly due to lack of properly designed and executed clinical studies. This is especially true for the very popular methods of physical destruction of molluscum contagiosum. Until now, the successful use of potassium titanyl phosphate laser (KTP, wavelength 532 nm) and pulsed dye laser (585 nm) has been reported in a couple of case series and two uncontrolled prospective studies. In the present articled, we propose using the 1470 nm wavelength diode laser for the controlled destruction of mulluscum contagiosum. The use of the laser allows for achieving destruction of the lesion in just one session, with a precision of application superior to that of cryosurgery or topical drugs. Using a 1470 nm diode laser (Swing, Metrum Cryoflex, Poland) with power set at 40 W and spot diameter set at 3 mm, the typical effective treatment consists of one pulse lasting from 10 ms (in the case of small lesions in the genital area) to 80 ms (larger lesions on the trunk or extremities) with total energy of 0.4-3.2 J per lesion in a single dose, the energy density amounting to 5.6-45.3 J/cm2. The sensation perceived by the patient is unpleasant yet bearable, so that even the treatment of multiple lesions in genital areas can be undertaken without anesthesia. The coagulated tissue of the molluscum contagiosum becomes only slowly demarcated, allowing for the formation of a cosmetic scar underneath. In most cases, the treated area heals completely within 4 weeks. In the presented article we report the first experiences with this novel laser application, which are encouraging and indicate that the 1470 nm diode laser single-pulse treatment may be a good therapeutic modality for molluscum contagiosum.

Keywords: molluscum contagiosum, novel therapy, laser treatment, 1470 nm diode laser, coagulation laser therapy

| Reprint (PDF) | Streszczenie | DOI: 10.14320/EMK.2012.025

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© Radosław Śpiewak Instytut Dermatologii (kontakt)
Document created: 5 December 2012, last updated: 9 October 2013