How can warts be treated?

Treatment Options for Warts: Matthew Mittelbronn, MD: Dermatologist

Usually, getting wart removed in Derby are harmless and will disappear on their own after a few weeks or months. Still, they can be unsightly and bothersome. In addition, they can be painful. Warts can be cured using a variety of treatments.

The cause of warts is a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV), of which there are more than 100 kinds. Hands, feet, and faces are the most common places where warts appear. Anal and genital warts are also common. Warts on the genital area are not covered by this information.

Warts may be treated in a variety of ways, but not all of them work. Due to their inward placement, warts on the soles of the feet can be difficult to treat. No effective treatment has been found for these warts. After successful treatment, new warts may develop if some infected skin cells or viruses remain.

Cryotherapy or salicylic acid are common treatments for warts. Both treatments have been studied extensively.

Salicylic acid is useful for treating warts, but how effective is it?

Over a number of weeks, patients apply salicylic acid solutions several times per day. As a result, the wart becomes thin. Next, the wart is removed. It is also recommended to carefully remove the top layer of the wart. In most pharmacies, salicylic acid solutions can be obtained without a prescription. Lactic acid is also found in some of these products.

Salicylic acid solutions have been proven to be effective based on an analysis of studies. Following 3-6 months, the following results are seen.


  • After using a placebo (fake treatment), approximately 25 out of 100 people did not develop warts.
  • 39 out of 100 people with warts no longer had them after using salicylic acid.

In other words, about 14 out of 100 people who received salicylic acid treatment were able to get rid of their warts faster.

The general tolerance of salicylic acid solutions is good. Minor skin irritations are not uncommon. Discolored or painful skin may occur in rare cases.

A little pain or slight bleeding may occur during the wart filing process.


What are the benefits of cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy involves applying liquid nitrogen to a wart to “freeze it off.” Since liquid nitrogen is extremely cold, it kills skin cells in the upper layer. Liquid nitrogen can be applied in different ways. Liquid nitrogen is often used to treat warts by dipping a cotton swab into it and holding it against the wart. Several sessions of this treatment are repeated with breaks of at least one week between each. A small nozzle can be used to spray nitrogen onto the wart. Hand warts can be treated more effectively with cryotherapy. After three months, studies showed the following results:

  • Warts were gone in about 13 of 100 people without cryotherapy
  • Nearly 50% of people who received cryotherapy were wart-free.

When used to treat soles of the feet with warts, cryotherapy was not more effective than waiting (no treatment).




A bit of pain and blisters are common side effects of cryotherapy. In some cases, it also causes scarring, but after a while, scarring is usually barely noticeable. Mild discoloration or irritation of the skin can occasionally occur.

Wart cryotherapy should not be used by diabetics or people with peripheral arterial disease. It could cause nerve damage or poorly healing wounds on their feet as a result of the treatment. This treatment is not recommended for people with Raynaud’s disease.

Wart-removal pens are also available at pharmacies (without a prescription) which you can use at home. The liquid nitrogen used at the doctor doesn’t get as cold as these pens. Studies have not yet been conducted to determine their effectiveness.