The Least You Need to Know
Warts are benign growths that
are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV)
and can be spread from person to person.
If you have a wart, make sure you take proper
precautions to not spread the virus to others
around you. Warts
that are on the face or genital areas should
never be treated with at home wart removal kits.
If you have a stubborn wart that doesn't respond
to at home treatments, then consider a doctor's
appointment. A wart will usually go away
on it's own, but it could take months or years.
Over the Counter Wart Remover
For common warts and plantar
warts an over the counter wart removal method
can remove the wart without a doctor visit.
Two popular methods of wart removal are with
salicylic acid as in Dr. Scholl's Clear Away,
DuoFilm Salicylic Acid Wart Remover and
WalGreen's Wart Remover) and with freezing
methods using dimethyl ether (as with Compound W
Freeze Off and Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away).
Salicylic acid removal can be in the form of a
liquid, gel, or a convenient invisible strip
that is placed over the wart. Dimethyl
ether freezing methods usually come in a
canister with single use tips for directing the
freezing liquid onto the wart.
There are many home remedies for
wart removal that have been recorded but the
only natural wart removal that has been medically researched is
the use of duct tape. By placing a small
piece of duct tape on the wart, an immune
response is triggered in the body, causing the
virus to be eliminated from the body. Keep
in mind that this removal method does take
patience as do many wart removal methods.
The average time for a wart to completely go
away is usually 6-10 weeks but could be longer.
When to Call the Doctor
There are times when you may
need to have a doctor examine a wart. If
you are not sure that a growth is a wart, then
you should see a medical practitioner to rule
cancerous growths, especially if you are
over 60. An infant with a wart anywhere on
his or her body should be seen by a doctor.
If you suspect that you have genital warts, then
you should receive a medical exam to begin
Other times to call the doctor
about possible wart removal:
-if the wart becomes red,
swollen, or painful to the touch
-any discharge from the wart
should be examined
-a bleeding wart could be a
sign of a more serious condition
-if a plantar wart makes it
difficult to walk or stand
What to Expect
During your doctor visit, your
wart will be examined to determine if immediate
treatment is needed or if a wait-and-see
approach would be best. In very young
children, many doctors prefer to wait and see if
the wart will go away on its own since
most removal methods can be uncomfortable and
even painful for children. Most warts will
go away on their own in time but a few can be
difficult to deal with. These difficult
warts usually require several visits to the
doctor for repeated treatments to remove the
warts. Several wart removal methods are
Most insurance companies will
provide coverage for wart removal but check with
your insurance provider to make sure your policy
allows for removal and treatment of warts.
Over the counter wart removers also qualify as
an expense for a medical spending account.
Again, check with your insurance provider to
determine your exact coverage since every
insurance company has varying degrees of