Bridge Surgery Cryotherapy Update
We have run a liquid nitrogen cryotherapy clinic at the surgery for many years. A recent review article in the British Medical Journal reviewed the use of different treatments for warts and verrucas, and concluded that the best treatment remains the application of topical salicylic acid (such as bazuka, salactac or the many others that are available from your pharmacist). The authors advise soaking the wart in warm water for a few minutes, then paring it down with a nail file and applying a salicylic acid preparation daily for 12 weeks. If this is ineffective then cryotherapy was shown to help clear warts, but not verrucas. This would fit with our experience in the surgery, as many verrucas respond only very slowly if at all.
We plan therefore to change our practice for new patients attending the cryotherapy clinic and will treat patients with warts only after the application of topical salicylic acid for 12 weeks, and not treat any new patients with verrucas. The exception to the 12 week rule will be facial warts as topical salicylic acid is not to be used on the face.
We will continue to treat solar keratoses and the other rarer indications for cryotherapy as before.
If you would like further information there is a helpful summary on:
http://www.patient.co.uk/pdf/4359.pdf or do ask your doctor.