All warts are caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV) and can infect any location on our bodies where skin is present. Most commonly you will find them on your hands and feet, however they can present anywhere, such as on your knees, elbows or even face. Warts can be a stressful condition for many patients due to their unsightly appearance or because they are painful. They can also be difficult to treat which adds to the frustration. There are many over-the-counter wart treatment options and home remedy recommendations that get passed around. But the truth about wart treatments is that not everybody (or every wart) responds the same.
If you notice a new wart or are trying to rid an old one, it’s worth trying one of the over-the-counter options. High strength salicylic acid is a potent skin exfoliant which can help peel off the skin layers where the wart is residing. Fairly painless, this option does require one to be diligent and patient, as it can take multiple months for wart resolution. Another option you can purchase at pharmacies, are the freezing kits. These are canisters of liquid nitrogen which damages the wart skin and reduces its survival. This treatment option tends to be more painful and also requires repeat treatments.
Still having trouble evicting your wart? Schedule an appointment with one of our Physician Assistants at Clarus Dermatology to create a treatment plan tailored for you. We have multiple treatment options in our tool box, including scraping away the dead skin and freezing it with super powerful liquid nitrogen, prescription creams, and a few injectable medications that can be very successful at ridding warts. Almost all warts will require multiple treatments for successful removal, and there are usually risks for recurrence so closely monitoring the site is necessary.
Chelsea Domeier, PA-C