WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Skin Diseases
(1997; 132 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsParasitic infections
Open this folder and view contentsInsect and arachnid bites and stings
Open this folder and view contentsSuperficial fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsSubcutaneous fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsBacterial infections
Close this folderViral infections
View the documentWarts
View the documentHerpes simplex
View the documentZoster and varicella
View the documentMolluscum contagiosum
Open this folder and view contentsEczematous diseases
Open this folder and view contentsScaling diseases
Open this folder and view contentsPapulosquamous diseases
View the documentCutaneous reactions to drugs
Open this folder and view contentsPigmentary disorders
Open this folder and view contentsPremalignant lesions and malignant tumours
Open this folder and view contentsPhotodermatoses
Open this folder and view contentsBullous dermatoses
View the documentAlopecia areata
View the documentUrticaria
Open this folder and view contentsConditions common in children
View the documentAcne vulgaris
View the documentPruritus
View the documentTropical ulcers
Open this folder and view contentsAntimicrobial drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntifugal drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntiseptic agents
Open this folder and view contentsKeratoplastic and keratolytic agents
Open this folder and view contentsScabicides and pediculicides
Open this folder and view contentsAnti-inflammatory and antipruritic drugs1
Open this folder and view contentsAntiallergics and drugs used in anaphylaxis
Open this folder and view contentsUltraviolet radiation-blocking agents (sunscreens)
Open this folder and view contentsMiscellaneous drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex
View the documentSelected WHO Publications of Related Interest
View the documentBack cover
 

Warts

Warts (verrucae) are caused by the human papillomavirus and may regress spontaneously at any time within months or years of their first appearance. However, particularly in immunosuppressed patients, they may become widespread and difficult to cure.

Treatment

Many common, plane and plantar warts can be left untreated, but painful or unsightly lesions generally respond to application of paints or lotions containing salicylic acid. Where available, liquid nitrogen applied with a cotton-tipped swab or a spray is highly effective. However, caution is required, since freezing can cause temporary or permanent depigmentation of the skin.

Genital warts (condylomata acuminata), which are transmitted by sexual contact, should always be treated, even though they frequently recur, since they may increase the risk of cervical cancer. Podophyllum resin, 10-25% in compound tincture of benzoin, should be applied carefully and sparingly to external genital, perianal and vaginal warts at weekly intervals up to a maximum of four applications; normal tissue should be avoided. Resin applied to the vaginal mucosa should be allowed to dry before it comes into contact with normal epithelium. Where it is available, podophyllotoxin is a less toxic alternative that can be applied by the patient. Trichloroacetic acid may be applied directly to the wart, but it is less effective and the treated area should be powdered with talc or sodium bicarbonate to remove excess acid.

External applications of podophyllum resin and podophyllotoxin should be removed by washing after 1-4 hours. Podophyllum resin is readily absorbed, locally destructive and teratogenic. Neither podophyllum resin nor podophyllotoxin should be applied to large skin surfaces, nor should they be used during pregnancy.

Surgical removal, electrocautery, cryosurgery and laser treatment may be used for genital warts when topical applications have failed or are contraindicated. Topical application of fluorouracil, 5% ointment, and intralesional or systemic administration of an interferon are also reported to be of value in resistant cases, but these treatments are expensive.

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