A common wart treatment for the removal of warts involves the use of chemical products. These common wart cures are available either as over the counter products or as medications prescribed by a doctor.
Over the counter wart cures are sold everywhere. Their effectiveness is variable. Some people have decent results with these products, whereas other individuals have no success whatsoever in eliminating their wart problem.
Salicylic acid is the chemical most often found in over the counter products. Another similar acting chemical is retinoic acid. These products can be thick liquids, creams, gels, plasters, or paints. These common wart treatment products are applied to the wart on a regular basis (see the instructions for the specific product) usually after soaking the wart in warm water and after removal of hard dead skin cells on the wart’s surface. Tape or duct tape can be placed on the wart after the applied chemical has dried in order to help increase the treatment’s effectiveness.
The acid destroys the wart skin cells and therefore, periodically the wart needs to be rubbed with an emery board or pumice stone to remove the dead skin cells. This likely will have to be performed once a week. The disadvantage of using these salicylic acid containing products is that good skin cells in the area of the wart can be damaged and irritation in the area will likely occur. If the skin gets painful and irritated, then the wart treatment should be suspended and this in turn reduces the effectiveness of the treatment. Follow the skin wart removal product instructions carefully. Another major disadvantage of this wart treatment is that it can take up to 2 or 3 months of treatment with salicylic acid to remove the wart. These treatments should not be used when facial warts or genital warts are present.
For genital warts, several chemical medications can be used and are available by prescription after consultation with a physician. In addition, the physician may be the one that actually applies the substance to the warts. The chemicals most often used are Imiquimod, Podofilox, or Trichloroacetic acid, and these compounds destroy the cells containing the wart virus or act to halt the growth of virus containing cells.
Another wart treatment involves the injection of the wart with bleomycin (an anti-cancer drug). Immunotherapy can also be used as a common wart treatment. This involves the application of a chemical compound to the wart that the body has a mild allergic reaction to and therefore the wart is attacked by the body’s defense or immune system. Finally, injections such as Gardasil that protect against strains of the HPV virus might help prevent and treat warts.
Additional information on types of warts and other related topics is below: