Cantharidin Podophyllin Salicylic Acid Treatment of Cutaneous Warts in Children

Topical application of CPS1 solution proves to be a safe, effective, and promising treatment for the management of cutaneous warts, particularly in children.

Cantharidin 1% podophyllin 2% salicylic acid 30% solution (CPS1) is a safe and promising treatment modality with high clearance and patient satisfaction rates for the management of cutaneous warts in children, according to study research published in Dermatologic Therapy.

Combinations of CPS1 solution, cantharidin 1% podophyllotoxin 5% salicylic acid 30% (CPS2), and cantharidin 1% podophyllin 20% salicylic acid 30% (CPS3) solution are available for the treatment of warts with cure rates ranging from 64% to 100%. However, even with a wide variety of treatment modalities, a safe and effective treatment with painless application for cutaneous warts in children is lacking.

Researchers evaluated treatment outcome, side effects, and patient satisfaction after topical application of CPS1 solution in 52 children and 83 adults with cutaneous warts. They observed complete clearance of warts in 86.5% of children and 62.7% of adults (P <.01), partial resolution of warts in 3.9% of children and 24.1% of adults, and no resolution in 9.6% and 13.2% of children and adults, respectively. Side effects were present in 41.2% of children and 46.3% of adults (P =.7), with the most common side effects reported as blistering, pain, and a burning sensation. The median satisfaction score on a 10-point scale was 9.0 for children and 8.0 for adults, respectively (P <.01).

Related Articles

Limitations of the study include its retrospective nature, lack of a placebo group, and potential recall bias attributable to a long follow-up period, the investigators acknowledged.

The investigators concluded that, “This study established topical application of CPS1 solution as a safe, effective, and promising treatment modality for the management of cutaneous warts, especially in children.” They added that a large prospective (placebo controlled) randomized trial is thus warranted.

Follow @DermAdvisor


Nguyen AL, Quint KD, Bouwes Bavinck JN, Erceg A, de Kort WJA, Körver JEM. Real-life treatment of cutaneous warts with cantharidin podophyllin salicylic acid solution. Dermatol Ther. 2019;32(6):e13143.