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How to Remove Common Warts


Knowing how to remove common warts is information that can certainly prove useful for the estimated 20-40 million Americans that have warts at a given point in time, since they are one of the most common medical complaints. There are many ways warts can be removed, ranging from home remedies to medical procedures performed by a doctor.

Home Remedies for Warts

Warts can be removed in several ways at home. Soaking a wart in warm or hot water daily for 90 minutes can get rid of warts in a few months. To speed up the process, applying salicylic acid after soaking the wart for 5 minutes can help the wart to start to vanish after 1-2 weeks of daily applications. For warts near the fingernail, applying duct tape or electrical tape to cover the wart for 6 and a half days, then exposing the wart to air for 12 hours, and repeating as needed may also get rid of the wart. However, for this treatment to work, it is essential that the tape does not fall off. There are also over the counter sprays which are meant to freeze the wart so that it falls off in a matter of days, but these sprays do not get the wart as cold as liquid nitrogen at a doctor’s office would.

Medical Treatments for Warts

Doctors have many ways to remove warts which don’t respond to at-home treatments. One of the most common is to freeze and kill the wart with liquid nitrogen. Doctors can also use laser treatments where different light frequencies are employed to penetrate to varying depths beneath the skin to take care of reoccurring warts. A doctor may also choose to remove the wart directly, via surgery. After local anesthetic is applied, the doctor uses a scalpel to cut out the wart. These treatments are effective but can be painful. Alternately, a doctor may prescribe a prescription cream such as Cantharone, which removes warts directly, or imiquimod, which stimulates the body’s own immune system to attack the wart. A doctor may also remove warts via injections of bleomycin, which is very effective but requires local anesthesia. Photodynamic therapy involves a topical application to make the wart sensitive to light, followed by exposure to certain light frequencies which can kill the underlying virus.



Expert Opinion

Quote: “Over-the-counter medications can remove warts. These are applied to the wart every day for several weeks. Do NOT use these medications on your face or genitals. It helps to file the wart down when damp (for example, after a bath or shower) before applying these medications. Do NOT treat warts on your face or genitals yourself. See your health care provider.”

SourcePlane juvenile warts; Periungual warts; Subungual warts; Plantar warts; Verruca; Verrucae planae juveniles; Filiform warts; Verruca vulgaris
PubMed Health



“Warts.” MedicineNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.

“Warts.” eMedicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.

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