1. Cantharidin: A doctor applies this chemical to the wart and covers it with a bandage. About 3-8 hours later, the area will become more painful and blister. The bandage can be removed within 24 hours. The dermatologist will remove the dead skin on the wart during your next visit and repeat the treatment if needed.
2. Nitrogen cryotherapy: Topical freezing of the wart is done by a dermatologist by spraying liquid nitrogen on to the wart for 10-30 seconds. Typically, three or four treatments, two to three weeks apart may be necessary. Unfortunately, cryotherapy may be painful and can cause scarring.
3. Pulsed dye laser: Laser treatments heat up and cauterize the blood vessels inside the wart by heating up the hemoglobin. Afterwards, the wart will slough off. Typically only one to three treatments are needed so it may be cheaper to use laser therapy, however, laser therapy is still potentially painful and can cause scarring.
We typically want to remove warts because they appear unsightly and may cause embarrassment. Interestingly, a Cochrane review of 6 studies showed that salicylic acid treatment effectively treated warts in 75 percent of the cases as compared with 48 percent in control groups. Salicylic acid was thought to be one of the most effective first line therapy in wart removal overall.
So if duct tape doesn’t work, you might want to head to the drugstore to try one the salicylic acid preparations prior to making an appointment to have a dermatologist treat your wart with a more invasive therapy.
Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele can be read at http://www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles