The use of smallpox vaccine for the treatment of verrucae has been reported recently.1,2 The Committee on Cutaneous Health and Cosmetics considers this procedure to be an old and discredited technique. The hypothetical mechanism of interviral antagonism was conceived and applied many years ago,3 but this explanation is still unproved. Furthermore, the vaccinia virus can multiply in the cytoplasm of cells simultaneously infected with intranuclear viruses, such as the wart virus; thus, it is doubtful that the vaccinia virus has any direct antagonistic effect on the wart virus.
In the recent reports,1,2 the investigator claimed that the technique was practically 100% effective, that it incurred no significant side effects, and that it produced no scar formation at the wart site. However, other investigators who studied this problem concluded that the technique does not provide such a high percentage of remissions (30% to 60% may be a more
Treatment of Verrucae With Smallpox Vaccine. JAMA. 1968;206(1):117. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150010065016