Wart removal: cryotherapy more effective but less safe than 90% TCA

  • Abdel Meguid AM & al.
  • J Cosmet Dermatol
  • 24/10/2018

  • Brian Richardson, PhD
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen is associated with better effectiveness but more complications compared with 90% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) in the treatment of common warts.

Why this matters

  • Warts are a common skin disease with several treatment options, but the best treatment is unclear.

Key results

  • Both cryotherapy and TCA were associated with reduced lesions size (P<.001 for both>
  • Cryotherapy was associated with better effectiveness compared with TCA:
    • mean improvement (90.11% vs 26.19%; P<.001>
    • good response rate (89.2% vs 26.2%; P<.001 and>
    • complete cure rate (83.1% vs 21.3%; P<.001>
  • Cryotherapy was associated with more complications compared with TCA (72.2% vs 34.7%, P<.05 style="list-style-type:circle;">
  • Hypopigmentation (53.8%), blistering (21.2%), scar (13.2%), pain (12.7%), infection (3.3%), and erythema (0.5%) were found in patients treated with cryotherapy, whereas only hyperpigmentation (34.7%) was found in patients treated with TCA.

Study design

  • 35 patients with 414 common warts had their lesions divided into 2 treatment groups (cryotherapy and TCA) and analyzed for effectiveness and safety outcomes.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Limitations

  • Small patient sample size.