Comparison of efficacy of 50% salicylic acid versus cryotherapy in the treatment of plantar warts


  • Hafsa Usman Department of Dermatology, Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar.
  • Abdur Rahim Khan Department of Dermatology, Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar.
  • Saadia Naseem Department of Dermatology, Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar.
  • Irum Shaukat Department of Dermatology, Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar.


Cryotherapy, plantar warts, 50%salicylic acid


Introduction Human papilloma virus (HPV), which enters the body through skin breaks and wounds and develops as a lesion on the soles or toes, is the source of plantar warts.. There are many treatment options for plantar warts. Topical treatments are acceptable to the patients in general because of their pain free nature and less cost. Cryotherapy is a second line treatment for plantar warts.  The aim of the study is to compare the efficacy of 50% salicylic acid vs. cryotherapy in the treatment of plantar warts.   Methods A total of 98 patients (49 in each group; Group A and Group B) were enrolled for this study. Group A was exposed to cryotherapy every two weekly with a minimum of 4 sessions and assessed at the end of 12th week of initiation of therapy. Group B was given 50% salicylic acid to be applied daily at home every night and removal of the dead tissues with abrasive stone in the morning for a total of 8 weeks. Final observation for efficacy was done at the end of 12th week. Efficacy was defined here as 50% reduction in the size of wart as measured at baseline. No change in size or less than 50% reduction in size was considered as non-efficacious and partially effective respectively.   Results Complete response was seen in 26.5% of patients in group A and 18.4% patients in group B. Almost similar number of patients did not respond to either of the two treatment modalities. The efficacy was found in 34.7% in group A while in group B, the efficacy was 30.6%.   Conclusion Our study reveals no significant difference between efficacy of 50% salicylic acid and cryotherapy in treatment of plantar warts.  


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How to Cite

Usman H, Khan AR, Naseem S, Shaukat I. Comparison of efficacy of 50% salicylic acid versus cryotherapy in the treatment of plantar warts. J Pak Assoc Dermatol [Internet]. 2024Apr.21 [cited 2024May22];34(2):346-50. Available from:



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