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Treatment of Warts


What are Warts?


Warts are small, rough growths that are caused by the human papilloma virus and are often passed by physical contact. They are most common on the hands, feet, elbows and knees. Although warts may gradually disappear on their own, they can often persist for a long time or spread, and may require treatment by your dermatologist.


Who Gets Warts?


Warts are commonly seen in children, young adults, and those with a weakened immune system. However, they can affect just about anyone. They can spread or reappear sometimes after treatment. In some people, more than one wart or several warts can appear on their hands.


What is the Best Treatment for Warts?


While there are some home remedies that work, recurring or hard to remove warts may require the help of a dermatologist who may offer different treatment options:


  • Cryotherapy or Cryosurgery: Very common office procedure in which Liquid Nitrogen is used to “freeze” and destroy the affected skin. Treatment often results in blisters which gradually crust and heal in 2-3 weeks. Warts may often require a few treatments with liquid nitrogen before complete resolution. Lesions that are larger or on the palms or bottom of the feet tend to be more resistant and may require multiple treatments.

  • Cantharadin: A chemical derived from a type of beetle which is applied to the skin and results in blistering and destruction of the affected skin. Similar to cryotherapy, blisters gradually crust and heal in 2-3 weeks.

  • Bleomycin Injection: Chemotherapy injection which is injected into the lesion and causes direct destruction of the injected skin. This is Not the same as systemic chemotherapy and only works on the affected area.

  • Electrosurgery: Procedure in which an electrical current is used to destroy the lesion.

  • Surgical Excision: The lesion is anesthetized and surgically excised. This procedure is often reserved for larger or harder to treat warts.

  • Prescription Medications: Sometimes a prescription medication may be used at home for an extended period of time to help your body get rid of the wart.


Depending on the size and location of the lesion, repeat treatments may be necessary for complete resolution of a wart.

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