Viral warts (English) = Verruca vulgaris (Latin)
Viral warts are common growths that can occur anywhere on the body. They are caused by the human papilloma virus.
Types of warts
Plantar warts - soles of feet
Genital warts - on genitalia
Mosaic warts (soles of feet)
Filiform warts (long warts that stick out like hairs)
Plane warts (flat warts especially on the face)
Treatments available for warts
Duofilm - a liquid containing salicylic acid and lactic acid, that needs to be applied on the warts for several weeks.
Podophyllin - applied by the doctor and washed off in 4 hours. Particularly useful for genital warts
Cantharidin - the fluid secreted by the blister beetle. This is applied directly on the wart. A blister forms and the wart comes off when the blister dries and heals.
Liquid nitrogen - the most common method used by dermatologists
Electrocautery and curettage - this procedure is carried out under local anaesthesia and may scar.
Interferon injections - given three times a week for 3 weeks - 9 injections per wart.
CO2 laser - this procedure produces results similar to electrocautery.
Vascular laser - for resistant warts, this is a useful type of treatment
Bleomycin injections - can be quite painful and not used on the fingers, toes or genitalia.
Candida Antigen treatment of viral warts
Candida Antigen therapy is a novel and amazing treatment for viral warts.
In patients with multiple viral warts, a single wart is injected with Candida Antigen once a month for three months.
When successful, not only the injected wart but all other warts on the body disappear.
Further, the treatment seems to confer immunity to the patient against the development of further viral warts.
The success of the treatment is 70% disappearance of the injected wart while 50% of distant, non-injected warts disappear.
Candida antigen has been available since 1948 as a skin test for immunity. In 1977, Prof Harada from Japan demonstrated that injection of candida Antigen into viral warts result in their successful disappearance. This information was published in the Japanese literature and was unavailable to the West until the early 90's.
The first western report of its successful use appeared in the bulletin of the American Family Practitioners Association in the USA in 1990. Since then, numerous reports have appeared in the literature, demonstrating its successful use.
Visit our photographic gallery to see how Candida Antigen immunotherapy works
PPD (Tuberculin) treatment of viral warts
Candida antigen has become unavailable in South Africa from June 2016.
The practice has now introducted a novel treatment in its place viz. treatment with PPD. This acts the same way as candida antigen by stimulating the body's immune system to get rid of warts.
A success rate of 76% has been reported with PPD.
The treatment requires 4 sessions, 2 weeks apart.
In each session, a single wart (usually the largest) is injected with 2.5TU of PPD.
The treatment is completed in 8 weeks.
Occasionally more than one wart is injected. This happens particularly if the response to treatment is slow.
Side effects of tuberculin antigen immunotherapy include redness, swelling at the injection site and sometimes a slight amount of pain. These typically last for less than a day.
Other treatments will need to be discussed if there is a lack of response to treatment.
To have your warts assessed and to see if you are a suitable candidate for this treatment, please book with the secretary (Tel: 0312651505)or fill in the request form for an appointment
Listen to this delightful and heartwarming story about the disappearance of 76 warts with tuberculin antigen.
Video © Dr N Raboobee
Video featured with patients and parents' consent