Treating Warts? Patience Perseveres

Treating Warts? Patience Perseveres

Warts are never fun for anyone to deal with - and if you’ve experienced having them before, you’ll know they don’t just disappear overnight! They’re incredibly difficult to treat and notorious for being stubborn. Today, we’ll look at a study that compared common ways to treat them, and which one really is the best.

Let’s break down what they are first: to date, cyrotherapy or laser have been the only options available to treat warts. Cyrotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to freeze warts, whereas laser treatment utilizes an intense beam of light to burn and destroy the wart tissue. While both of these options stack up quite well comparatively in effectiveness, they’re also very painful. And worst of all, they aren’t even 100% guaranteed to work.

A new study carried out looked at another alternative - topical treatments. They looked at a combination of topical imiquimod (5%) with salicylic acid (15%) versus cyrotherapy. The topicals were applied at home five days per week, and patients undergoing cyrotherapy went through in-office aggressive cyrotherapy every two weeks.

After one month, evaluations showed that cyrotherapy was slightly more successful. However, at 3 months, there was an 81% clearance rate for the topicals as opposed to 67.3% for cyrotherapy. This could depend on other factors in the study, but it is interesting to consider that a topical treatment may be more useful in the long-term.

In our practice, we have used these topicals and I can honestly say it’s usually hit or miss and we haven’t seen outstanding results. However, it is wholly dependent on the willingness of the patient - a lot of them may not want to apply a topical regularly twice a day, and would prefer to come in to see a doctor once a month to deal with the pain for a short amount of time. But this study has brought to light the benefits of topical treatment over cyrotherapy.

If you are concerned about wart treatment and want to speak to a provider about your options, please visit our Dermatology specialists at one of our locations in Middle Tennessee: NashvilleFranklinColumbia, and Pulaski.

Share this

Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD