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ENCYCLOPEDIA INDEX
Injury Disease Nutrition Poison Symptoms Surgery Test Special Topic
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Warts

Overview Symptoms Treatment Prevention
Alternative Names:
Plane juvenile warts; Periungual warts; Subungual warts; Plantar warts; Verruca; Verrucae planae juveniles; Filiform warts; Verruca vulgaris
Treatment:

Over-the-counter medications can remove warts. These are applied to the wart every day for several weeks. DO NOT use these medications on your face or genitals. It helps to file the wart down when damp (for example, after a bath or shower) before applying these medications.

Special cushions are available at drugstores for plantar warts. These pads help relieve any pressure and pain from the warts.

Stronger (prescription) medications may be required for removal of persistent warts. Surgical removal or removal by freezing (cryotherapy), burning (electrocautery), or laser treatment may be needed.

Immunotherapy, done by injecting a substance that causes an allergic reaction, may also be considered by your doctor.

DO NOT attempt to remove a wart yourself by burning, cutting, tearing, picking, or any other method.

Interestingly, placing duct tape over a wart may help it disappear. A small study had people wear duct tape for six straight days, remove it, wet and scrape the wart down using a file, and then reapply the tape the next morning. This was done until the wart disappeared, but no longer than two months. The people wearing the duct tape had as much luck getting rid of their warts as those who had their warts frozen off by a doctor. This method might be worth a try if you have a painless, yet unsightly wart.

Expectations (prognosis):
Warts are generally harmless growths that often go away on their own within two years. They can be contagious, but transmission from person to person is uncommon. Warts may be unsightly or cause discomfort, especially on the feet.
Complications:
  • Spread of warts
  • Return of warts that disappeared
  • Minor scar formation if the wart is removed
  • Formation of keloids after removal
Calling your health care provider:

Call for an appointment with your doctor if:

  • There are signs of infection (red streaking, pus, discharge, or fever) or bleeding. Warts can bleed a little, but if bleeding is significant or not easily stopped by light pressure, see a doctor.
  • Your warts do not respond to self care and you want it removed.
  • You have pain associated with the wart.
  • You have anal or genital warts.
  • You have diabetes or a weakened immune system (for example, HIV) and have developed warts.
  • There is any change in the color or appearance of the wart.
Warts, multiple - on hands
Warts, multiple - on hands
Warts, flat on the cheek and neck
Warts, flat on the cheek and neck
Wart
Wart
Plantar wart
Plantar wart
Subungual wart
Subungual wart
Wart (close-up)
Wart (close-up)
Wart (verruca) with a cutaneous horn on the toe
Wart (verruca) with a cutaneous horn on the toe
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