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OTC Wart-Freezing Products May Not Be Cold Enough

Temperature of three such products is warmer than liquid nitrogen used in in-office cryotherapy

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients should be cautioned against claims that over-the-counter (OTC) wart-freezing products are comparable to in-office cryotherapy, according to a report published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Craig G. Burkhart, M.D., of the University of Toledo College of Medicine in Toledo, Ohio, and colleagues used a thermometer calibrated from −100 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius to measure the coldness of three commercial wart-freezing products and liquid nitrogen used in clinical practice.

The investigators found that none of the commercial products were as cold as liquid nitrogen, and that they did not lower temperature as quickly as liquid nitrogen. The researchers did not assess the clinical efficacy of any of the products.

"This study did not test all OTC wart-freezing products and one cannot assume that all such products are equivalent," the authors write. "Of note, the method of application with these OTC wart remedies severely limits their cooling effect as the refrigerant must pass through plastic tubing and a foam swab before arriving on the skin surface."

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