Researchers from the University of York compared both treatments in 240 patients with a plantar wart deemed suitable for treatment with either salicylic acid or cryotherapy.
The researchers said: 'We found no evidence that cryotherapy is more effective than patient self-treatment with 50% salicylic acid for the treatment of plantar warts.'
They added: 'However, cryotherapy was associated with higher costs per cured patient, which leads to salicylic acid being a more attractive treatment.'
The only salicylic acid preparation the researchers studied was the 50% concentration, which is similar to that used by podiatrists and is often viewed as a second-line treatment.
The researchers said it was therefore possible that cryotherapy is superior to lower concentrations of salicylic acid.