Warts are benign, small skin growths that are caused by different kinds of human papillomaviruses (HPV). Since these viruses infect the upper skin layer, warts grow in the epidermis.
They are generally harmless and do not cause pain. However, warts are unsightly and may itch or hurt sometimes. This is especially true for warts on the soles, which make walking very painful.
Different Types of Warts
- Common warts
- Plantar warts
- Flat warts
- Filiform warts
- Genital warts
- Periungual warts
Regardless of the type, it can be a daunting challenge to get rid of warts. While these bothersome skin growths usually disappear spontaneously on their own, it may take a few years. Some persistent warts will not go away on their own though. So, what are the options for warts?
The Best Wart Removal Options
There are different treatment measures for warts and they respond variably to them. Luckily, the most effective treatment options are minimally invasive. Below, you can read about the most effective treatments for warts.
Consider applying cantharidin. Many dermatologists, treat warts with cantharidin. That’s because this chemical can burn away warts quickly and effectively. During this treatment, the dermatologist will apply cantharidin on warts.
After painting warts with cantharidin, the doctor will put a bandage over affected areas. This chemical gets blisters to form under each wart. Once the skin on the blister top dies, the doctor will be able to easily remove the entire wart.
While some pain may be involved, the vast majority of people do not feel any significant pain. Yet, you will experience blistering of warts in about 4 to 7 hours.
Most patients see results in just a couple of days. If warts aren’t gone after this treatment, you may need to consider other methods. Anyway, your doctor will suggest another treatment if needed.
Cryotherapy, freezing with liquid nitrogen, is another common treatment option for warts. By applying liquid nitrogen onto the wart, the extreme cold (that can be as low as –321F) burns the skin and freezes the wart. It can also cause a blister, redness, and a little discomfort.
It should be noted that this can take a few visits to remove warts completely. In most cases, it’s necessary to take 3 or 4 cryotherapy treatments every 2 to 3 weeks. This treatment option is usually very effective. But if there is no improvement, your doctor will probably recommend another treatment method.
Electrosurgery, Curettage, and Laser Surgery
Electrosurgery involves burning warts with an electrical current. Once burned, the doctor will cut out all warts. Some warts may still get back since the blood vessels remain intact. It’s considered a good treatment option for foot warts, common warts, and filiform warts.
Electrosurgery and curettage are often done together. In fact, curettage (tissue removal by means of scraping or scooping) is done after electrosurgery. Curettage means scraping off or cutting out warts with a scalpel or curette. This medical procedure involves local anesthesia.
After drying warts with electric needles, the clinician scrapes them away. Keep in mind that this can leave skin scars. That’s why curettage is usually reserved for persistent warts that do not respond to other treatment options.
When it comes to laser surgery, the doctor burns warts using a device that generates an intense beam of light. It can burn off most warts, so this can be effective sometimes. Nevertheless, laser surgery is only a good choice when other treatment methods have failed for some reason.
Excision Wart Treatment
This is where the doctor simply cuts out a wart. Just like curettage, it requires local anesthesia and is only recommended if warts haven’t cleared up with other treatments. However, electrosurgery is often not required at all.
Removing Warts with Professional Treatment Options
It may take a lot of time for your immune system to eliminate warts naturally. So you need to be patient. However, some warts won’t disappear without an appropriate treatment and maintenance.
Treatment of warts is successful most of the time so that these unsightly growths are gone for good. Yet, some warts can be difficult to treat and don’t have a specific cure. Some are susceptible to come back after a while.
Be suspicious of warts that bleed or grow quickly. Your best choice would be to consult a doctor. That will not only ensure proper treatment but also prevent the affected area from spreading. Contact our office for lasting treatment options.