Extracts of the marigold plant seem to offer an effective treatment for planter warts on the foots of patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), who do not respond well to other therapies due to their weakened immune systems.
Plantar warts are a common occurrence among otherwise healthy adults. However, in HIV-infected patients, they are often harder to treat, more numerous and less receptive to common treatments such as cryotherapy or surgical removal.
Tracey Vlahovic, a podiatrist at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, investigated the use of Marigold Therapy in three of her HIV-infected patients as an alternative treatment for the small skin lesions called verrucae.
She found that the treatments either cleared or greatly reduced the number and size of the warts in four to six sessions, after other treatments had failed to do so.
"Mainstream treatments are sometimes not an option for HIV-positive patients because they have weakened immune systems and invasive procedures can further compromise them," said Vlahovic.
"But alternative therapies like Marigold Therapy don't pose that threat." Further study is planned for a larger sample size with a standardized treatment regimen," she added.
Marigold Therapy involves a line of creams, ointments, tinctures, and oils that contain extracts of several types of the marigold plant.
"All the mixtures work differently. One mixture will have antiviral properties, which works best for treating a wart. Another mixture will have kerolytic qualities, which work best in treating corns and calluses," said Vlahovic.
She presented her study at the American Academy of Dermatology's Annual Meeting on February 1.