Squaric acid immunotherapy for warts in children

Nanette B. Silverberg, Joseph K. Lim, Amy S. Paller, Anthony J. Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Background: Warts are a common pediatric skin infection caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Spontaneous clearance of warts involves anti-HPV immunity, which may be enhanced by contact sensitizers. Squaric acid dibutylester (SADBE) is a nonmutagenic sensitizing agent useful for immunothrapy of alopecta areata. Objective: We hypothesized that SADBE home application might be effective therapy for warts. Methods: An open-label, retrospective study of 61 children with warts was performed. Sensitization with 2% SADBE on the forearm was followed with home application of 0.2% SADBE to warts 3 to 7 nights per week for at least 3 months. Results: Complete clearing occurred in 34 patients (58%), with a mean duration of therapy of 7 weeks. Partial clearing occurred in 11 (18%), and no response in 14 (24%). Clearance correlated with plantar distribution, wart duration under 2 years (P<.05), and first-line therapy with SADBE. Mild side effects occurred in one third of patients, were limited most commonly to mild erythema at the site of sensitization, and necessitated discontinuation of therapy in only 2 patients. Conclusion: SADBE topical immunotherapy is a safe, effective option for home therapy of warts in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-808
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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