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Hypnosis and Warts

Below are research articles on hypnosis and warts with the key points highlighted in blue for your ease of reading.

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1988 Apr;9(2):89-91. Hypnotherapy of a child with warts. Noll RB. Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.

Hypnosis was used to treat a 7-year-old female with 82 common warts. The lesions had been present for 12-18 months and were refractory to routine dermatologic treatment. Hypnotic suggestions were given for the facial warts to disappear before warts from the rest of the body. After 2 weeks, eight of 16 facial warts were gone, with no other changes. After three additional biweekly sessions, all 82 warts were gone. To the author's knowledge, this is the first reported case of systematic wart removal in children. Discussion focuses on the relationship between psychological mechanisms and the immune system.

Psychosom Med. 1988 May-Jun;50(3):245-60.Hypnosis, placebo, and suggestion in the treatment of warts. Spanos NP, Stenstrom RJ, Johnston JC. Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

Two experiments assessed the effects of psychological variables on wart regression. In Experiment 1, subjects given hypnotic suggestion exhibited more wart regression than those given either a placebo treatment or no treatment. In Experiment 2, hypnotic and nonhypnotic subjects given the same suggestions were equally likely to exhibit wart regression and more likely to show this effect than no treatment controls. In both experiments, treated subjects who lost warts reported more vivid suggested imagery than treated subjects who did not lose warts. However, hypnotizability and attribute measures of imagery propensity were unrelated to wart loss. Subjects given the suggestion that they would lose warts on only one side of the body did not show evidence of a side-specific treatment effect.

Psychosom Med. 1990 Jan-Feb;52(1):109-14. Effects of hypnotic, placebo, and salicylic acid treatments on wart regression. Spanos NP, Williams V, Gwynn MI. Department of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

Subjects with warts on their hands and/or feet were randomly assigned to a hypnotic suggestion, topical salicylic acid, placebo, or no treatment control condition. Subjects in the three treated groups developed equivalent expectations of treatment success. Nevertheless, at the six-week follow-up interval only the hypnotic subjects had lost significantly more warts than the no treatment controls. Theoretical implications are discussed.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2005 Apr;47(4):259-64. Successful repeated hypnotic treatment of warts in the same individual: a case report. Goldstein RH. University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY 14618, USA.

We report on a case of a female patient who was successfully treated with hypnosis for warts on 2 occasions separated by an interval of 7 years. Of note is the fact that she had low expectations regarding the benefit to be derived from hypnosis and did not at first appear to be highly hypnotizable.


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