Peter C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D. Diplomate of the American Academy of Dermatology

Cold Plasma Treatment Killed Warts Painlessly Interview with:

Peter C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D. Diplomate of the American Academy of Dermatology

Dr. Friedman

Peter C. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D.
Diplomate of the American Academy of Dermatology What is the background for this study and case series? Would you describe nonthermal atmospheric pressure plasma?

Response: Plasma is essentially ionized gas, the fourth state of matter: molecules or atoms move freely in gas state but in a higher energy state atoms shed electrons and both electrons and ions then move freely and independently. If this material has a temperature close to room temperature, we call it non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma, or cold plasma.

It has been established in countless in vitro and animal experiments that cold plasma has a significant effect on living cells and tissues, for example: selective destruction of cancer cells, helping normal tissue development, inhibiting bacterial, fungal and even viral proliferation. In the handful of clinical trials it could improve wound healing, treat nail fungus. Our group was able to cure precancerous actinic keratosis lesions in a number of patients in a prior study.

Based on some of the basic science data regarding the specific molecular and intracellular effects of cold plasma, we theorized that it may be able to cure warts, which are caused by human papilloma virus infection. What are the main findings? How would the nonthermal atmospheric pressure plasma treatment compare in cost and pain to liquid nitrogen?

Response: The main outcome of the study is that cold plasma works, and it seems to work better than some other treatments: the treated warts resolved without pain, blisters, side effects, and recurrences.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of cold plasma is that it is entirely painless, something that we learned during or previous precancerous keratosis study. There is no discomfort during the treatment and there is no after effect: no blisters, no swelling, no scabs. This is especially important when treating warts, as it is a condition most common in children. In fact, we have just completed a pediatric case series, which is awaiting publication.

The device is incredibly easy to use, requires no maintenance. While the equipment we had for the study is a complex one, developed with research in mind, a goal oriented machine can be produced at a cost that is way lower than the average laser in a dermatology office. What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: The message is the cold plasma cures warts painlessly and when it becomes an available treatment option, anyone who treats warts should take a serious look at it. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Clinical trials are about numbers. High numbers prove a point, but they also allow more detailed analysis. It will be interesting to see if there is a difference of responsiveness to cold plasma between various types of warts: hands versus feet, other skin surfaces, flat warts, really thick warts, etc. Do we need to change cold plasma treatment settings and protocols for better outcome based on different targets? Only large, well designed trials can answer these questions, but these questions must be answered to create the perfect wart treatment tool. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Cold plasma researchers have accumulated an enormous amount of laboratory data, but there are limited clinical applications, so far. This is about to change as the few recent clinical trials have opened the flood gates: expect many new cold plasma studies popping up targeting different diseases as now it is the clinicians’ turn to translate what we have learned in the laboratory to daily medical applications. 



  1. Successful treatment of actinic keratoses using nonthermal atmospheric pressure plasma: A case series
    Friedman, Peter C. et al.
    Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 76, Issue 2, 349 – 350

2. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2019 Jun;44(4):459-461. doi: 10.1111/ced.13790. Epub 2018 Sep 27.
Use of cold atmospheric pressure plasma to treat warts: a potential therapeutic option.
Friedman PC, Miller V, Fridman G, Fridman A.




Last Modified : Oct 6, 2019 @ 5:37 pm 

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