Hot-Water Treatment for Warts

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RECENTLY Crile1 reported an investigation of the local application of heat as an adjunct to the treatment of cancer. His methods suggested the use of heat locally for treating some dermatologic conditions, one of which is the common wart, verruca vulgaris.

Our reason for choosing to treat warts by local heat was based on these facts: (1) verrucae are circumscribed lesions caused by viruses growing within and being confined to the epidermal cells; (2) viruses as a heterogenous group of organisms are inactivated by heat, (3) the skin can take definite amounts of local hyperthermia without blistering.

It seemed logical that it might be possible to inactivate or to slow down the growth of viruses within the skin—a wart—by external application locally of heat below blistering temperature. To aid the process, the wart would be pared so as to eliminate the keratotic overgrowth and to enable the heat to penetrate deeper within the lesion.

Since it was our purpose to study the effect of a 45 to 48 C. range of temperature on warts, the hot-water bath provided an easy means of application. It offered several advantages. The heat would simultaneously conform to all contours of the lesion. It would treat both the obviously infected tissue and the apparently normal but possibly infected skin surrounding the lesion. It would expose the skin to the highest temperatures where the infection was localized; the corium would be exposed to milder degrees of heat. It would offer good cosmetic results; and. . .



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