While warts are relatively harmless, they can be painful and unattractive. Sometimes, they go away on their own, but this can take months or even years. Because warts are contagious, you should treat them immediately to prevent them from spreading. Try these at-home options and professional therapies to remove your warts.
At-Home Wart Removal Options
- Salicylic acid: Considered the most effective at-home wart removal treatment, salicylic acid is available over-the-counter as a concentrated liquid, gel or adhesive pad. For the best results, talk to a dermatologist about the type and strength you should use.
- Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice: These mild acids burn off the wart and attack the virus that caused it. Soak a cotton ball in two parts apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and one part water. Tape the cotton ball over the wart overnight. Repeat nightly until the lesion is gone.
- Garlic extract: The antiviral properties of garlic help it remove warts effectively. Place crushed garlic cloves on the wart and wrap with a bandage. Reapply daily, filing down the lesion between each application.
- Duct tape: This unconventional method works by removing warts one layer at a time. Start by placing a small piece of duct tape on the wart, and leave it there for three to six days. Then, remove the tape and scrape down the lesion with a pumice stone or nail file. After leaving your skin exposed to the air for 12 hours, reapply the duct tape for another three to six days. Keep repeating until the wart is completely gone.
- Clear nail polish: This method is thought to suffocate the wart. Apply clear nail polish every other day for two weeks to see the results take effect.
- Liquid butane spray: This technique kills the wart tissue and freezes it off. Before you try it, be aware that liquid butane spray is painful for some people and may not be as effective as professional freezing methods.
Professional Wart Removal Therapies
- Immunotherapy: Antigen injections generate an immune response to kill the tissue and remove the wart. This treatment may cause redness, discomfort and swelling.
- Electrodessication and curettage: After applying local anesthetic, an electrical current is sent into the wart, cutting off its blood supply. Then, the lesion is snipped off.
- Cantharidin: This chemical causes a blister to form under the wart. After several hours, the lesion can be removed. Some patients report that this treatment is painful.
- Cryotherapy: Also known as freezing, cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to remove warts. The technique is sometimes used alongside salicylic acid treatments.
- Laser treatment: This is when a pulsed-dye laser cauterizes the blood vessels in the wart. The tissue dies, and the wart falls off. A scar may be left behind following this treatment.
Arlington Dermatology in Rolling Meadows, IL offers professional, effective wart removal treatments for our patients. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (847) 725-0824.