A recent study published in the International Journal of Dermatology concludes that acupuncture shows promise in the treatment of flat warts. The study used a randomized, sing-blinded controlled research methodology on 60 subjects. A control group of 30 subjects received a topical ointment of tretinoin, often known by its brand names: Retin-A, Vesanoid, Avita, Refissa, Aberela, Airol. Tretinoin is often used for the treatment of acne but is also used in the treatment of warts. In the treatment group of 30 subjects, they received auricular acupuncture. Auricular acupuncture is the application of acupuncture needles to specific acupoints located on the outer ear. Subjects received acupuncture at a rate of one treatment per week for 10 weeks.
One subject in the control group recovered fully from the flat warts with no recurrence after six months. In the acupuncture treatment group, 16 subjects recovered fully with no recurrence after six months. The acupuncture group had over a 53% success rate compared with the control group’s approximately 3.5% success rate. The researchers suggest that a larger randomized trial is required to fully explore the role of auricular acupuncture as a viable alternative for the treatment of flat warts.
Suli Ning BA1, Fajie Li PhD2, Lijie Qian BA1, Dong Xu BA1, Yi Huang BA1, Ming Xiao BA1, Gengli Duan MD2, Yan Li PhD2. (2012), The successful treatment of flat warts with auricular acupuncture. International Journal of Dermatology, 51: 211–215. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2011.05232.x
1 Department of Dermatology of Shanghai Eighth People’s Hospital, Shanghai
2 Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
*Yan Li, PhD Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis School of Pharmacy Fudan University.