What is the role of salicylic acid for treatment of nongenital warts?

Updated: Sep 25, 2020
  • Author: Philip D Shenefelt, MD, MS; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Salicylic acid is a first-line therapy used to treat warts. [12] It is available without a prescription and can be applied by the patient at home. Cure rates from 70-80% are reported.

A nonblinded, randomized controlled trial compared treatment of plantar warts with 50% salicylic acid topical (Verrugon) applied daily with cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen (up to 4 treatments 2-3 wk apart). The study found no significant difference between the treatments in clearance of the plantar warts at 12 weeks and again at 6 months. [13] The lesser cost of the salicylic acid topical treatment made it more cost-effective than the liquid nitrogen treatment.


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