Skin Therapy Letter HOME
Written for dermatologists by dermatologists. Indexed by the US National Library of Medicine.
Skin Information
Skin Therapy Letter About STL Subscribe Today SkinCareGuide Network Site Map

Derm News: 2007.17(10)

To freeze or not to freeze: a cost-effectiveness analysis of wart treatment

British Journal of Dermatology, 156(4):687-692
M.R. Keogh-Brown, R.J. Fordham, K.S. Thomas, M.O. Bachmann, R.C. Holland, A.J. Avery, S.J. Armstrong, J.R. Chalmers, A. Howe, S. Rodgers, H.C. Williams, I. Harvey


Several general practitioner (GP)-prescribed and over-the-counter therapies for warts and verrucae are available. However, the cost-effectiveness of these treatments is unknown.


To compare the cost-effectiveness of different treatments for cutaneous warts.


We designed a decision-analytic Markov simulation model based on systematic review evidence to estimate the cost-effectiveness of various treatments. The outcome measures studied are percentage of patients cured, cost of treatment and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for each treatment, compared with no treatment, after 18 weeks.


Duct tape was most cost-effective but published evidence of its effectiveness is sparse. Salicylic acid was the most cost-effective over-the-counter treatment commonly used. Cryotherapy administered by a GP was less cost-effective than GP-prescribed salicylic acid and less cost-effective than cryotherapy administered by a nurse.


Duct tape could be adopted as the primary treatment for cutaneous warts if its effectiveness is verified by further rigorous trials. Nurse-administered cryotherapy is likely to be more cost-effective than GP-administered cryotherapy.

    Back to Current Volume:   Dermatology News 2007.17

The Derm News service provided by the Editorial Consultants of Skin Therapy Letter© and its founding editor Dr. Stuart Maddin.