Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I get rid of a wart?"
I'm a 29 year old male and have had a wart on my left thumb that will not go away. I have had it for over a year, it often goes away briefly then comes back. I have had it frozen twice by the doctor and have used at least three of the at home freezing solutions. It seems to operate on a 1 month cycle where it will get better then drastically worse, then better again.
Warts can be a very frustrating condition for patients because they can be very difficult to get rid of. There are several options for treating warts, ranging from over the counter methods that can be done at home to specialized medications that are only used by dermatologists. In general, it is best to start with your primary care physician as he or she can assess the wart and either prescribe topical medications to start or refer you to a dermatologist for more advanced treatment for resistant warts. Over-the-counter medications options are available to treat warts. Compound W (a salicyclic acid derivative) can be purchased at any drugstore and can be very effective. This is a safe, topical agent that can be tried at home without seeing a physician. A primary care physician or a dermatologist can also use more advanced medications as topical treatment options. In addition, liquid nitrogen can be used to freeze warts. It sounds as though you have tried this in the past, but it can often take multiple freezing applications to fully eliminate a wart, thus you should continue following with the physician who was treating you (or seek care from another physician). For warts that no not respond to more conservative treatment, it is possible to remove the wart surgically or with laser treatments. However, these methods typically leave a scar and so are not the first treatment choice. The bottom line is that there ARE ways to remove warts, even if it takes drastic measures. You should continue to see your primary care physician and possibly a dermatologist to investigate all options.
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