Warts and Plantar Warts - Medications
If you decide to treat your warts, both nonprescription and prescription
medicines are available.
- Warts: Should I Treat Warts?
- Salicylic acid, which softens the skin layers that
form a wart so that they can be rubbed off. Salicylic acid formulas include Compound W and Occlusal.
Medicines that your doctor may use or prescribe for you include:
- Retinoid cream (Avita, Retin-A). It disrupts the
wart's skin cell growth.
- Cantharidin (Cantharone, Cantharone
Plus). This medicine causes the skin under the wart to blister, lifting the wart off
the skin. This medicine is applied to the wart at your doctor's
- Immunotherapy medicines, which help your body's immune system fight viruses, including the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes warts. These medicines may include imiquimod, contact sensitizers, and interferon.
- Bleomycin injection, which destroys the skin containing the
wart. But bleomycin isn't often used, because it is painful during and after the injection.
What to think about
Other medicines used for warts include
5-fluorouracil, which is more often used on
genital warts, and cimetidine. Cimetidine can be taken
by mouth (orally) or as an injection.
As with any medicine, talk
to your doctor before using a wart medicine if you are or may be pregnant. Some
wart medicines may cause birth defects.