Warts Treatment Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a developing form of treatment for warts that activates the body’s own defense system with immunotherapy shots. This treatment for warts works in somewhat the same way as vaccines do.

Since all warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), stimulating your immune system with immunotherapy shots can help your body fight off the HPV virus. The result is permanent wart removal.

Immunotherapy Shots

Immunotherapy is often used on warts that have proven resistant to salicylic acid, cryotherapy and surgery. Before treating patients with immunotherapy shots, doctors frequently test for hypersensitivity to avoid potential immunotherapy side effects.

The medication used in immunotherapy shots may vary, but it is generally a combination of skin test antigens, such as Candida, mumps and trichophyton.

Doctors inject immunotherapy shots directly into your warts to prompt your immune system to make enough of the right kind of antibodies to drive the HPV from your system. Your warts may be itchy or uncomfortable for a couple of days after immunotherapy treatment as the medication takes effect. Immunotherapy shots may be repeated every six to eight weeks until the warts are gone.

Immunotherapy and Wart Removal

A 2005 study published in the Archives of Dermatology showed immunotherapy shots to be an effective form of treatment for warts. More than half of the study participants receiving the antigen injections had 100 percent wart removal. And, for many patients, warts far from the injection site disappeared after immunotherapy shots.

Immunotherapy Shots Contraindications

Immunotherapy shots are not recommended if you’re taking beta-blocker or immunosuppressant medications or if you have:

  • Fever
  • Flu
  • Hives
  • Previous allergic reaction to Candida albicans allergenic extract
  • Recent asthma attacks
  • A solid organ transplant
  • Vaginal yeast infection.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid immunotherapy shots for wart removal.

Immunotherapy Side Effects

Because it harnesses the body’s own systems for wart removal and does not involve cutting or scraping wart tissue, scarring is rare with immunotherapy shots. However, the following are some potential immunotherapy side effects:

  • Itching
  • Localized soreness
  • Pain
  • Swelling.

In rare cases, you might have chills or develop a fever. These usually respond to over-the-counter medications. Severe allergic reactions or hives are rare. To prevent complications, doctors conduct pre-testing before beginning treatment for warts with immunotherapy shots.

Resources

Horn, T., Johnson, S., Helm, R.,