Wart Treatment Options

wart treatment options columbia MD dermatologist

Wart Treatment Options

AWart treatment options- When it comes to warts, most people first try over the counter options like ” Compound W ” and “Freeze Off.” While these sometimes make the warts smaller or flatter, they rarely completely cure them. Sometimes, these home remedies appear to solve the issue, but within a month or two, the warts recur.

Warts are very common non-cancer skin growths, caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV increases cell growth on the skin’s surface leading to raised, firm bumps. Although you often see warts on your hands and feet, they can occur anywhere on the skin. While all warts are caused by the HPV virus, different strains of this virus can lead to different types of warts. For example, HPV types  2 and 7 cause common warts, types 1, 2 and 4 cause plantar warts and types 3 and 10 often cause flat warts.

 

Wart Treatment Options

 

Freezing (cryotherapy):

Involves spraying liquid nitrogen directly onto the  wart. Freezing works by causing a blister to form under and around the wart. The wart is then lifted away from the skin, and the dead tissue sloughs off in about a week or two. It may be a bit painful but it is very effective. 

 

Salicylic acid

In prescription strength, softens the wart and  removes layers at little at a time. 

 

Trichloroacetic acid

Can be used if salicylic acid or freezing does not work. The doctor first shaves the surface of the wart, then applies the acid with a wooden toothpick. It may sting. 

 

Cantharidin

Comes from a green blister beetle. The “beetle juice” is applied directly to form a blister around the wart. 

 

Other Medications

Include bleomycin, which the doctor injects into the wart to kill the virus and imiquimod (mostly for genital warts), which stimulates your own immune system to fight off the virus. 

 

Minor surgery

A good option when other measures have failed. After numbing your skin, the doctor cuts away the wart with a surgical knife. 

 

Laser treatment

Uses an intense beam of light to burn and destroy wart tissues. When the tissue dies, the wart falls off. 

 

Precautions
  • Do not try to treat warts on your feet yourself if you have diabetes. See your dermatologist.
  • Do not try to remove warts on your face or any other sensitive part of your body yourself. 
  • If you are pregnant, see a doctor before using any at-home preparation to remove warts.

 

 

With all warts, early treatment- when the warts are smaller and thinner- is best. For more information, and to discuss your wart treatment options,  call 301-679-5772 or book an appointment online.  Dr. Ife Rodney, a board certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist, is an expert in wart treatment and removal. Eternal Dermatology is located in Howard county MD, and serves Columbia MD, Silver Spring, Laurel, Clarksville, Ellicott City, Bowie and surrounding areas.

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