Wart Treatment

Wart Treatment

A wart is generally a small, rough tumor, typically on hands and feet but often other locations that can
resemble a cauliflower or a solid blister. These warts are common, and are caused by a viral infection,
specifically by human papillomavirus 2 and 7. There are as many as 10 varieties of warts with the most common being
considered largely harmless. It is also possible to get warts from others, they can be contagious, but transmission
from person to person is rare. There are many different treatments and procedures associated with wart removal.

One review of 52 clinical trials of various cutaneous wart treatments concluded that topical treatments
containing salicylic acid were the best supported, with an average cure rate of 75%, compared with 48% for the
placebo in six placebo-controlled trials including a total of 376 participants. The reviewers also concluded that
there was little evidence of a significant benefit of cryotherapy over salicylic acid or duct tape. One
complicating factor in the treatment of warts is that the wart may regrow after it has been removed.

Treatments that may be prescribed by a medical professional include:

  • Application of podophyllum resin paint
  • Imiquimod, a topical cream that helps the body’s immune system fight the wart virus by encouraging
    interferon production.
  • Cantharidin, a chemical found naturally in many members of the beetle family Meloidae which causes dermal
    blistering. Either used by itself or compounded with podophyllin.
  • Bleomycin, not US FDA approved. One or two injections used. It can cause necrosis of digits and Raynaud
    syndrome. This drug is expensive.
  • Fluorouracil, which inhibits DNA synthesis, is being used as an experimental treatment. It is applied
    directly to the wart and covered.This treatment is combined with the use of a pumice stone, but tends to work
    very slowly.

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