Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 166-171

A dermoscopic study of cutaneous warts and its utility in monitoring real-time wart destruction by radiofrequency ablation

1 LHMC & Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Dermatology & STD, Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College, Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Niti Khunger
Department of Dermatology & STD, Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College, Safdarjang Hospital, New Delhi.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_47_20

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Context: Cutaneous warts can affect up to 7–12% of the general population. Usually diagnosed clinically, there may be diagnostic dilemmas in atypical presentations or immunocompromised patients. Radiofrequency ablation is a common method of treatment of warts, but recurrences occur due to incomplete removal. Dermoscopy has been used in the diagnosis of various infectious dermatoses including warts. Aims: The study aimed to assess dermoscopic features of various types of viral warts and its efficacy in monitoring the treatment response following radiofrequency ablation. Settings and Design: Prospective non-comparative descriptive study in a tertiary care centre. Subjects and Methods: A prospective study was conducted comprising 60 patients with clinically diagnosed, previously untreated warts, including common warts, plane warts, palmar and plantar warts. Dermoscopic features of a representative lesion were evaluated in terms of definition, background color, vascularity, surrounding halo, dermatoglyphics, and presence of hemorrhage or crust. It was done at baseline and immediately after radiofrequency ablation of the wart to observe for complete removal of wart. Results: Most common dermoscopic features observed were presence of papillae surrounding haloes (61.67%), vascularity (dots>globules>linear vessels>loops; 58.33%), interrupted skin lines (51.67%), and brown colored background (48.3%). Nine cases (15%) demonstrated incomplete removal of the wart that was not visible with the naked eye and picked up only on dermoscopy. On follow up, at 6 months there were four recurrences (6.67%). Conclusion: Dermoscopy shows consistent features in the examination of warts. This can be a quick clinical aid in distinguishing it from close differentials. It is also valuable in reviewing the lesion real time after any ablative procedure to check if it has been removed in its entirety.

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