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Wart Treatment Overview

Find the right care and learn about different treatments.
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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • Warts can usually be treated at home with various methods.
  • Try softening the wart by soaking it in warm water for 10–15 minutes. Then use a pumice stone to gently file it down.
  • Use OTC wart medication, like salicylic acid, or OTC freezing medication daily.
See home treatments

When you may need a provider

  • You have several warts in one area or deep warts on the bottom of your feet (plantar warts).
  • The wart has not gone away after 4 weeks of OTC treatments.
  • You have genital warts.
  • You are immunocompromised.
See care providers

Emergency Care

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Go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Spreading redness or pus drainage around the wart with fever

The suppliers listed follow Buoy’s clinical guidelines, but listing the suppliers does not constitute a referral or recommendation by Buoy. When you click on the link and/or engage with these services Buoy will be compensated.

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All treatments for wart
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Read more about wart care options

When to see a healthcare provider

If your wart hasn't gone away after trying at-home treatments for about 4 weeks, consider seeing a healthcare provider. You can see your primary care provider or a dermatologist. Also see a provider if the wart is very large or interfering with walking because of pain, or if you have numerous warts. Seeing your healthcare provider soon after you notice the wart can help prevent them from spreading more.

See a provider if you are immunosuppressed (have cancer or are on immunosuppressive medications) because you are at greater risk of the warts spreading.

Warts can sometimes look like skin cancers (squamous cell carcinomas), so if the wart does not improve with treatment, see a provider who can examine it.

Getting diagnosed

Warts are easily diagnosed based on what they look like. Your doctor may take a biopsy of the wart to confirm the diagnosis or to make sure the spot is not a skin cancer.

What to expect from your visit

  • Your healthcare provider will examine your wart and ask about any treatments you have already tried.
  • Your provider may treat the wart with liquid nitrogen. The procedure typically involves removing some of the thickened skin with a sharp blade, and then using liquid nitrogen spray to freeze the rest of the wart. This will cause a blister and the wart will fall off. You may need to repeat this treatment several times, typically once every 3–5 weeks.
  • Your provider may prescribe a medication including podophyllin, imiquimod, salicylic acid (70%), or 5-fluorouracil (a chemotherapy cream).
  • If these treatments do not work, your provider may try injecting medication directly into the wart, like Candida antigen, 5-fluorouracil, or bleomycin. Candida antigen activates the immune system to recognize the wart, and 5-fluorouracil and bleomycin are chemotherapies that destroy the wart. You may need 3–5 injections of these medications, about 2–4 weeks apart.
  • Your provider may recommend getting the HPV vaccine.

Prescription wart medications

  • Salicylic acid 70%/5-Fluorouracil  (Wartpeel or wart paste)
  • Imiquimod (Zyclara and Aldara)
  • 5-Fluorouracil (Efudex)
  • Podofilox topical (Condylox)

Types of providers that treat warts

  • A primary care provider can treat small warts.
  • A dermatologist can evaluate and treat warts anywhere on the body.
  • A podiatrist can treat warts on the feet (plantar warts).
  • A gynecologist or urologist can treat genital warts (condyloma)
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