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Treating cutaneous warts: what are the options?

Bruce Tate
OPEN ACCESS

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Abstract

First-line treatments for cutaneous warts include freezing and home topical therapy with salicylic acid preparations combined with plus heating, paring and zinc oxide cream. If prolonged use of these treatments fails or they are unsuitable then a wide range of chemical, immunological and physical treatment options are available.

Key Points

  • Most people develop cutaneous warts at some time in their life; around 65% of warts regress spontaneously within two years.
  • Prevalence of warts is increased in patients with reduced cellular immunity and genetic conditions such as epidermodysplasia verruciformis.
  • First-line treatments for cutaneous warts include freezing and home topical therapy with a salicylic acid preparation plus heating, paring and zinc oxide cream.
  • When prolonged use of first-line treatments fails or is unsuitable, then treatment options include: – chemical therapies such as caustic agents, cantharidin – immune system modifiers such as diphencyprone, imiquimod, cimetidine – physical therapies such as duct tape occlusion, destructive treatments.

    Picture credit: © Shutterstock/xrender. Human papillomaviruses.

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