Warts (Common Warts) (cont.)

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What if wart removal treatments fail?

If these treatments fail, or if you become impatient, see your doctor to freeze the wart with liquid nitrogen or burn it with an electric needle. First, however, make sure that the doctor treats warts in this manner (or some related manner) since some primary doctors do not use special methods and may refer you to a dermatologist.

Other treatments your doctor may use are

  • imiquimod (Aldara), an immune-stimulator that is approved for use on genital warts but has been reported to be effective in some common warts as well; note that it is quite expensive;
  • injections of candidin (a extract to test for sensitivity to candida yeast);
  • injections of bleomycin, a chemotherapeutic agent used in cancer treatment;
  • surgery.

Unless warts are very large and uncomfortable, surgical removal or aggressive laser surgery to remove the warts is generally avoided. Since warts are caused by a virus, they may recur following attempts at surgical removal or any other modality of therapy.

Medically reviewed by Norman Levine, MD; American Board of Dermatology

REFERENCES:

Sterling, J.C., S. Handfield-Jones, P.M. Hudson. British Association of Dermatologists. "Guidelines for the management of cutaneous warts." Br J Dermatol. 144.1 Jan. 2001: 4-11.

"Viral Warts." DermNet NZ. Nov. 16, 2011. <http://dermnetnz.org/viral/viral-warts.html>.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/30/2014

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