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What are some of the most effective at-home wart treatments?

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While at-home wart treatments can take weeks or months to work, salicylic acid plasters or solutions that peel away the wart can be very effective when used correctly. Be sure to follow directions carefully. Use a dedicated pumice stone, emery board, or nail file to remove dead skin from the wart the day after each application of wart remover. Don’t use the file for any other purpose; it could spread the virus to another part of your body. Another method is to use duct tape like you would a wart-remover patch. Put a small strip over the wart and leave it in place for about six days. At the end of the sixth day, remove the tape, soak the wart in water and then gently debride it with a pumice stone, emery board, or nail file. Repeat the process as often as it takes to remove the wart.

Yet another option is a freeze spray where liquid butane is sprayed directly onto the wart to freeze and kill the tissue. This is generally only effective on smaller warts because the spray cannot get as cold or as deep as the freezing treatments you would get in your doctor’s office. It can also be fairly painful because the spray has to be applied to the wart directly for several seconds. You will likely develop a blister around the area. If it breaks, make sure to keep it clean with an anti-bacterial to prevent infection. The blister and the wart should disappear within a few days.

SOURCES: American Academy of Dermatology: “Warts.” American Academy of Family Physicians: “Warts.”

Robert Brodell, MD, Warren, Ohio.

Conway Huang, MD, associate professor of dermatologic surgery and cutaneous laser surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Sandra Johnson, MD, Fort Smith, Ark.

Nemours Foundation: “Warts.”

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava on April 5, 2018

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SOURCES: American Academy of Dermatology: “Warts.” American Academy of Family Physicians: “Warts.”

Robert Brodell, MD, Warren, Ohio.

Conway Huang, MD, associate professor of dermatologic surgery and cutaneous laser surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Sandra Johnson, MD, Fort Smith, Ark.

Nemours Foundation: “Warts.”

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava on April 5, 2018

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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