Trichloroacetic Acid vs. Cryotherapy for Plantar Warts: Which Is More Effective?

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Findings based on four weeks of treatment
Findings based on four weeks of treatment

(HealthDay News) — Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is more effective than cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen for the treatment of plantar warts, according to a study published online April 4 in the Journal of Dermatology.

Fatma Pelin Cengiz, M.D., from the Bezmialem Vakif University in Istanbul, and colleagues treated plantar warts with either cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen (up to four treatments two weeks apart) or 40 percent TCA (weekly up to four treatments).

The researchers found that after four weeks the clinical improvement of the 30 patients in the TCA group was as follows: six patients (20 percent) with no change, one patient (3.3 percent) with a mild response, 13 patients (43.3 percent) with a moderate response, and 10 patients (33.3 percent) with a good response. By comparison, the corresponding clinical responses in the cryotherapy group were: 12 patients (40 percent), four patients (13.3 percent), 12 patients (40 percent), and two patients (6.7 percent), respectively. This yielded a statistically significant difference in improvement between the two treatment groups (P = 0.027).

"According to our results, TCA 40 percent is more effective for clearance of plantar warts, with [a] significantly improved long-term safety profile," the authors write.

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