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Warts (cont.)

Self-Care at Home

Home care is effective in making the wart or warts go away. No matter what technique you use, warts will disappear 60%-70% of the time. Techniques may be done with or without medication.

The ultimate goal of the medical therapies (not the surgical treatments) is to get your body to recognize the wart as something foreign and to destroy it, much like the body destroys a cold virus.

  • Adhesive tape therapy
    • Place several layers of waterproof adhesive tape over the wart region (even duct tape). Do not remove the tape for six and a half days. Then take off the tape and open the area to the air for 12 hours. Reapply tape for another six and a half days.
    • The tape works best in the region around the fingernail. This area may scar if cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen is used. Scarring could lead to permanent nail disfiguration.
    • Tape works because the airtight, moist environment under the tape does not allow the virus to grow and reproduce.
  • Salicylic acid therapy
    • Salicylic acid is available by many different trade names at the drugstore. It comes both as a liquid to paint on the wart or as a plaster to be cut out and placed on the wart tissue.
    • The area with the wart should be soaked in warm water for five to 10 minutes. The wart should then be pared down with a razor. A simple plastic razor works fine for this, then throw it away. Do not shave far enough to make the wart bleed.
    • Apply the salicylic acid preparation to the wart tissue. Do not apply it to other skin because of salicylic acid's potential to injure normal tissue.
    • Follow directions on the package for how long to apply the acid.
  • Cryotherapy: Over-the-counter products to freeze the area of the wart using dimethyl ether and propane are available.
    • Follow package instructions exactly. Do not get the product on surrounding intact skin.

Other alternative therapies mentioned by some articles include heat treatments and even hypnosis.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Warts, Nongenital »

Warts are benign proliferations of skin and mucosa caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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