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If I decide to treat my own wart, what should I do?

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If you decide to treat your own wart, your first-choice remedy should be an over-the-counter medication in liquid, gel, pad, or ointment form. Most of these contain salicylic acid, which softens abnormal skin cells and dissolves them. Some examples are Compound W, Duofilm, and Occlusal HP.

First, soak the wart in water for five minutes to help the medication penetrate the skin. Then gently rub off dead skin cells with a washcloth or pumice stone. You'll have to do this daily for several weeks. Don't reuse the same washcloth or pumice stone or you may keep reinfecting yourself with the wart virus. After you put salicylic acid on the wart, cover it with a piece of duct tape. This will help the salicylic acid soak into the skin.

Another over-the-counter option is using a freezing spray. The sprays generally contain liquid butane and are sprayed directly onto the wart to freeze and kill the tissue. Temperatures can reach as low as a negative 100 degrees. The down side of this home treatment is that it may not freeze the wart deep enough to be effective. It can also be painful because the spray needs to be applied longer than if you were being treated in a doctor’s office.

You may develop a blister around the wart after the freezing. Keep the area clean with an antiseptic or anti-bacterial. The blister and the wart should disappear within a few days. Examples of freezing treatments include Compound W, Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away, Histofreezer Wart Removal and Wartner Wart removal

SOURCES:

The Mayo Clinic: "Common Warts."

American Academy of Dermatology: "Warts."

KidsHealth: "What's Up With Warts."

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava on April 05, 2018

SOURCES:

The Mayo Clinic: "Common Warts."

American Academy of Dermatology: "Warts."

KidsHealth: "What's Up With Warts."

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava on April 05, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How can a doctor remove a wart if over-the-counter treatment doesn't work?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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