How to Remove Warts Without Freezing Treatments

How to Remove Warts Without Freezing Treatments

If you have a wart, it might help you to know that, while they might be a bit embarrassing, they’re common. In fact, about 10% of the population has at least one wart. Fortunately, they’re responsive to treatment — as long as you begin treatment early and follow your doctor’s directions.

Warts don’t always respond to treatment in the same way, so seeing a medical provider who offers multiple treatment options is a good way to ensure you find the option that works for you. While freezing is a common treatment for many types of warts, there are alternatives that are also very effective in eliminating these benign growths.

A to Z Dermatology offers a variety of treatments for warts at their locations in Mesa, Sun City, Casa Grande, Gold Canyon, and Chandler, Arizona. In this post, our team provides an overview of warts and reviews some wart treatment options that don’t rely on freezing.

Warts 101

Warts are viral infections caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a family of more than 200 viruses. Some forms of HPV cause genital warts, and some increase the risk of certain cancers. The viruses that cause skin warts are different from those types of HPV. 

This type of HPV spreads without sexual contact. In fact, you can “catch” this virus by touching someone who has a wart or by touching a surface or article of clothing that’s been “infected.”

Wart infections happen when the virus enters your skin through a tiny cut or abrasion. Even a blister can provide an adequate entrance for the microscopic virus. Skin that’s damp or soft is especially prone to infection, and some skin conditions, like eczema, raise your risk, as well.

While many warts are stubborn and require medical treatment to eliminate them, some warts resolve on their own after several months. Still, prompt medical evaluation is essential to rule out other causes of skin growths, like skin cancer, and to prevent the wart from spreading to others.

Treatment options for warts

Freezing a wart (a technique called cryotherapy) uses applications of liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart and the underlying layers where the virus is found. While this technique is used frequently, freezing isn’t always the best option to eliminate warts. Here are some other options:

Topical treatment

Many warts respond to topical treatments using gels, lotions, liquids, or creams applied to the skin. Over-the-counter salicylic acid products are readily available, but they only work about half the time. 

Our team offers prescription-strength medications designed to remove the wart and prevent it from recurring. It’s essential to use these products as directed and to discuss your medical history with us ahead of time to ensure we recommend the best product for you.

Surgical treatment

Warts can also be treated surgically. During a simple in-office procedure, our team cuts away the lesion. After, we use a bandage or sutures to close the incision. Sometimes, surgery is combined with a technique called electrodesiccation, which uses a tiny electrical current to “dry up” the wart and the virus.

Home remedies

DIY wart treatments have been available for a long time, including home remedies using banana peels, vinegar, potato peels, or garlic. But before you raid your compost bin, know this: these methods rely on anecdotal or word-of-mouth evidence; there’s no scientific evidence that any of these methods work (and some can actually wind up causing painful skin irritations).

Therefore, our team doesn’t suggest them.

Have your warts evaluated

Because skin warts can mimic some skin cancers, it’s essential to have them evaluated by our team. If it turns out to be a wart, we can prescribe the best treatment to remove it and restore your skin.

To learn how we can help you eliminate your warts, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at A to Z Dermatology today.

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