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Derm News: 2007.23(2)

Topical zinc oxide vs. salicylic acid-lactic acid combination in the treatment of warts

International Journal of Dermatology, 46(4):427-430
Joe A. Khattar, Umayya M. Musharrafieh, Hala Tamim, Ghassan N. Hamadeh


Warts are a common dermatologic problem. Treatment is painful, prolonged, and can cause scarring.


To evaluate topical zinc oxide for the treatment of warts.


This was a randomized, double-blind controlled trial of 44 patients. Twenty-two patients were given topical zinc oxide 20% ointment, and the other 22 received salicylic acid 15% + lactic acid 15% ointment twice daily. All patients were followed up for 3 months or until cure, whichever occurred first. All patients were observed for side-effects.


Sixteen patients in the zinc group and 19 in the salicylic acid-lactic acid group completed the study. In the zinc oxide-treated group, 50% of the patients showed complete cure and 18.7% failed to respond, compared with 42% and 26%, respectively, in the salicylic acid-lactic acid-treated group. No patients developed serious side-effects.


Topical zinc oxide is an efficacious, painless, and safe therapeutic option for wart treatment.

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