Hypnosis, placebo, and suggestion in the treatment of warts

Psychosom Med. 1988 May-Jun;50(3):245-60. doi: 10.1097/00006842-198805000-00003.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis*
  • Imagination
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos*
  • Sex Factors
  • Suggestion*
  • Warts / therapy*


  • Placebos