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.