Many of our patients ask us (often in frustration) if warts can be surgically removed. The answer is yes, and there are times when this is a reasonable option. The procedure can be performed under a local anesthetic and may result in the eradication of the wart. However, with this treatment comes discomfort, the risk of lifelong scarring, as well as the possibility that the wart may still recur.
What To Do If You See A Wart On Your Skin
1. If the wart is rapidly growing, painful, or bleeding make sure you seek a physician’s opinion as it may be something else entirely.
2. Try over-the-counter salicylic acid wart remover. Particularly helpful is the liquid, though patches and bandaids containing salicylic acid are available.
3. Use duct tape. This works very well applied on top of the liquid wart remover every night. If you are pregnant, or if the wart is on a young child, try the duct tape alone and replace it daily.
4. Don’t pick or touch your warts, as this can spread them.
5. If the warts are winning the battle after 6 weeks of diligent home treatment, see your local dermatologist for other options.
Warts have been with humans for thousands of years, and their treatment is a daily challenge for those of us in dermatology, as well as our patients who suffer with them. Someday, we hope to have a “magic bullet” for these stubborn lesions. Until then, we will continue to work with our patients to determine which treatment or combination of treatments will work best for them.