How to Get Rid of Warts; Wart Removal with Natural and Clinical Methods

How to get rid of warts with cryo therapy

Frozen and Blistered Warts. Kai Hendry. All Creative Commons.

Getting Rid of Warts

 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 remedies in lieu of a doctor visit.

If you have a stubborn wart that doesn’t respond to home remedy treatments, then consider a doctor’s appointment.  A wart will usually go away on its own, but it could take several months or years.

The first question that comes to mind when a person develops a wart is usually “How did I get this wart?”  The second question that pops into someone’s head (usually only second on the heel of question) is “How do I remove these warts??”.

How do you get rid of warts using home remedies and natural treatments and how does it differ from the methods used by professionals to remove warts? If you have common warts, removal is usually simple with over the counter treatments.  Facial warts and genital warts require a doctor’s care for treatment and removal.

Keep in mind that most warts will disappear on their own given time.  Most people want to get rid of warts much sooner than warts will go away doing nothing.  Wart removal is not a guarantee that more warts won’t form.  It just removes the existing wart.

Over the Counter Options for Warts

OTC Warts Remedy

For common warts and plantar warts, an over the counter wart removal method can help remove the wart without a doctor visit but does not guarantee that warts won’t recur.

Two popular methods of wart removal are:

  • With the use of salicylic acid with popular brands like Dr. Scholl’s Clear Away, DuoFilm Salicylic Acid Wart Remover, and Walgreen’s Wart Remover.
  • With freezing methods using dimethyl ether with products like Compound W Freeze Off and Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away. Salicylic acid removal can be in the form of a liquid, gel, or a conveniently invisible strip that is placed over the wart. Specific instructions on how to administer the treatments come along with all the products. Dimethyl ether freezing methods usually come in a canister with single-use tips for directing the freezing liquid onto the wart.

Professionally Assisted Treatments to Remove Warts

Cryotherapy Wart Therapy

Warts can be gotten rid of using cryotherapy

Cryotherapy or cryosurgery is a form of wart removal treatment that freezes warts with liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide. It would take about 2 to 4 sessions to completely remove warts using cryotherapy, and this can be done in about 1 to 3 weeks. This is a method that may or may not be successful and is a bit painful and causes discomfort. We cover this therapy in much greater detail at on our cryo page.

Cantharidin Wart Medicine

Cantharidin is a toxic compound that is released by blister beetles as a form of a defense mechanism. It has the ability to demobilize the epidermal cells. The treatment is administered over the wart and covered for a day with a bandage. Pain is felt within 3 to 8 hours and blistering starts after 12 to 24 hours from the initial treatment. There are some reports and studies that show success in using cantharidin. However, it is not recommended because it has not been scientifically proven to be effective and it has not yet been approved by the FDA. For more information on how to get rid of warts using cantharidin, please check out our page about it at

Treating Warts with Lasers 

This method uses a laser beam to dissolve warts. The laser method of removal is the most expensive treatment. The treatment becomes painful eventually depending on how big the area that needs to be treated is. It uses local anesthesia to ease the pain.

What it does is it cuts away the top portions then lightly focus the laser until burns away the remainder. The method can cause scarring but, there are advanced laser technology procedures that avoid scarring when removing warts with a laser.

Removing Warts with Immunotherapy

It is a form of biological therapy that helps trigger the immune system to fight off the human papillomavirus. Immunotherapy is gaining popularity because of its low recurrence rate and ease of use compared to other treatments. It is most commonly used in genital warts and refractory wart treatments. We cover a full page about this treatment here:

Immunotherapy has various forms such as intralesional, topical or systemic. An example of a topical agent is Imiquimod. Mycobacterium w and the MMR vaccine are examples of intralesional agents. The use of zinc orally is an example of a systematic agent.

Removing Warts with Electrosurgery

Electrosurgery uses electricity to clear away wart tissue. It is frequently combined with curettage, which is a form of surgery that uses a tool that looks like a spoon with a sharp edge and is used to scrape off tissue. The combination of electrosurgery and curettage is considered as an effective way to treat warts. The process is somewhat painful so local anesthetics are administered to ease the pain. The process is started by heating up the electric needle which is then placed on the wart to destroy it. Curettage becomes a follow-up step as it scrapes off the remaining wart tissue.

Bleomycin Treatment for the Removal of Warts

Bleomycin or intralesional bleomycin is an anti-cancer drug that is popularly known to help remove various kinds of warts. This is the option for wart removal when other treatments weren’t successful or when the wart is located in an area that is difficult to treat or reach (like mosaic warts) or when warts are found under the fingernails. Bleomycin is injected directly on the side of warts and what the bleomycin does is it breaks down the DNA molecules of the HPV to prevent the cells from replicating. For further information on how to remove warts with the help of bleomycin treatment, please click here.

Natural Home Wart Remedies

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 it could be longer. Other home remedies like using citrus fruits, herbal medicines, and essential oils have been recommended. For more information on how to remove warts using home remedies, please click here.

When to Call the Doctor About Warts

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 out cancerous growths, especially if you are over 60. Seeing a doctor may cost you some money but at least you get the information that you needed for you to know how to remove the wart in question. An infant with a wart anywhere on his or her body should be seen by a doctor immediately. If you suspect that you have genital warts, then you should receive a medical exam to begin treatment. Other times when you need to call the doctor about possible wart removal is when the wart becomes red, swollen, or painful to the touch. Also, if there is any discharge from the wart, then it should be examined. If a wart is bleeding, which is a sign of a more serious condition, and when it hinders you from performing basic activities like walking and standing always go see your doctor.

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. For 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 warts.

Insurance Coverage for Warts

Most insurance companies will provide coverage for wart removal but check with your insurance provider to make sure your policy allows for the 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 coverage.

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