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Int J Dermatol. 2001 Jun;40(6):415-9.

Topical formic acid puncture technique for the treatment of common warts.

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Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Father Muller's Medical College Hospital, Kankanady, Mangalore, Karnataka State, India.



Warts are a common chronic skin disorder that can be cosmetically disfiguring and, depending on the location, cause inhibition of function. The presence of dozens of topical and systemic treatments for warts is a testament to the lack of a rapid, simple, uniformly effective, inexpensive, nonscarring, and painless treatment.


The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of 85% formic acid application, an inexpensive therapy, for the treatment of warts.


A placebo-controlled, nonrandomized, open trial was performed in 100 patients with common warts attending Father Muller's Medical College Hospital, Mangalore. Fifty patients received 85% formic acid application and 50 patients received placebo (water) using a topical application/needle puncture technique every other day.


Ninety-two per cent of patients who received formic acid application showed complete disappearance of warts after a 3-4-week treatment period, compared to 6% in the placebo group.


The results show that 85% formic acid application is a safe, economical, and effective alternative in the treatment of common warts with few side-effects and good compliance. A multicenter trial is needed to examine the efficacy and safety of this treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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