Warts are non-cancerous rough skin lesions caused by a virus called HPV (Human papillomavirus). Though warts can occur anywhere, it is commonly found in moist regions of the body like feet, hands, scratches or small cuts on the fingers, and even in the genital areas. There are almost hundred strains of HPV, which can cause different types of warts, such as genital warts, mosaic warts, plantar warts, filiform warts, flat warts, and common warts. Warts are a highly contagious disease that can spread very easily from an infected person to another. Therefore, warts removal is essential to check its spread.
There are many different types of treatment and procedures available for wart removal, but most of them provide only a temporary relief from them. Removing warts permanently can be time-consuming. Prior to the discovery of modern medicine, natural home remedies were also used in the removal of warts.
Both prescription and OTC drugs are available for the treatment of warts.
The best non-prescription drug for the treatment of wart is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid preparations are available in the form of gels, pads, drops, and plasters and are designed to be applied to any kind of warts, big or small. Salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent, which when applied on to the warts dissolves the protein and softens them, so that it can be rubbed off easily.
The use of prescription drugs in the removal of warts is not used widely. The most commonly used prescription drugs for wart removal include:
Cantharidin: It is the most prescribed cream for wart removal. The application should be done in the physician’s office and then covered with a bandage. This wart removal cream comes with a real bonus- it do not leave any ugly marks on the skin after use.
BCA (Bichloroacetic acid): Bichloroacetic acid is a proteolytic agent, which kills the warts by means of protein destruction. This medicine is strongly acidic in nature, so it has to be administered in the doctor’s office carefully.
Retinoid cream: Retinoid creams are another prescription drug that can be used for effective wart removal. However, unlike the other 2 creams, retinoid creams can be applied self in the comfort of sitting at home. It works by disrupting the growth of wart skin cells.
Procedures for wart removal
The following treatment procedures may also be prescribed by the physician to get rid of warts. They include
Keratolysis – It is the process of removing dead cells using immunomodulators, blistering agents, or formaldehyde.
Cryosurgery – Cryosurgery utilizes liquid nitrogen to freeze the warts and then remove it.
Laser treatment – Laser treatment has also become one of best option for the removal of warts. It uses intense laser beams to burn the warts and the procedure is done by a physician in his/her office. Laser surgery is done quick and often leaves little to no scarring after the treatment is over.
Surgery – Surgical removal of warts is another option, when other methods of wart removal fails. One common method of surgical treatment of warts is electro surgery and curettage, where the wart is burnt with an electric current and a sharp knife is used to cut off the wart from the skin.