Wart Removal

A wart is a virus that occurs on the surface of the skin through contact with the virus. The contact can occur on a door knob, a dirty pencil, your shopping cart, money, even on the sidewalk.

The virus lives in the surface of the dead layers of your skin and that’s where it proliferates. So the virus can be spread in the skin, around the surrounding wart, even though there is no actual wart growth that you can visualize. That’s why treating them is sometimes complicated.

The different types of warts are common warts, flat warts, plantar warts on the bottom of the foot, and also in that category we also treat Condyloma and Molluscum.

Common warts are the ones people are most familiar with. They look like cauliflower. They can look dry, white, flaky. They can appear anywhere on the body. The typical locations are the fingernails, elbows, knees, even toes.

Flat warts generally are a flat, dry skin. They look a little white. They generally occur on the faces of children. They can be on the legs of women. They are easily spread through shaving.
Plantar warts occur on our feet. They generally from the pressure of walking grow inward instead of outward like the common wart. They can be a little more complicated to treat because the skin is so thick on the bottom of the foot.

Also in that category is Molluscum Contagiosum. Molluscum can look like a small hard pimple. They generally occur in clusters. They can be in the buttocks. They can be on the elbows, in the armpits. They are spread through scratching because they do itch. It’s common for children to even have them on their face.

Condyloma is also a disease we treat in dermatology. It is a soft, wart-like growth that sometimes is mistaken for a skin tag. They can occur in the inner thighs, the pubic region, and the buttocks.

We have many treatments for warts in dermatology. As providers, we try to take into account the patient’s age and their pain tolerance. Some of the treatments can be painful. The over-the-counter preparations for wart treatment generally fail, and that’s generally what brings our patients to us in dermatology. We have a topical called Cantharidin that is from the blistering beetle. We have one called Podophyllin. We also use Salicylic acid. We can also do freezing with liquid nitrogen, which is the most common thing patients are familiar with, and then we can also do removal through numbing up the wart and removing the wart physically.

Wart on the Arm

Wart on the Arm

Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by viruses and formed in the top layer of skin. Warts commonly form as rough, skin-colored patches on the skin, but there are several different types of warts, including:

  • Common Warts
  • Plantar (foot) Wart
  • Genital Warts
  • Molluscum

Different warts respond to different dermatological treatments, so it’s important to understand the type of wart you have before selecting a treatment option. We offer a wide range of treatment options and recommendations based on the severity and type of wart(s). For less serious warts, salicylic acid products (in the form of drops, gels, pads and bandages) may aid self-treatment of warts by dissolving the keratin protein that creates the wart and the dead skin above it. Other effective treatments for warts include cantharidin/ Podophyllin, (painless solution applied in office), cryotherapy (freezing) or electrosurgery (burning). These may be recommended for painful or more serious warts.

We will work with you to determine which wart treatment will provide you with best possible results. Read about a few of our treatment options below, then schedule an appointment with us to find the right wart removal treatment for you and your skin.


Cantharidin is a potent blistering agent derived from the dried, powdered blister beetle. This liquid formula is applied to the wart which enables it to form a blister-like reaction underneath. The “blister beetle solution” is commonly used to treat warts and molluscum, especially in children for whom other treatment options may be too painful, traumatic, or have the possibility of scarring.


Podophyllin is a solution with a painless application. This solution exfoliates, irritates and instigates an immune reaction for the removal of warts in sensitive areas. Podophyllin must be applied by our skin care professional followed by careful monitoring to reduce potential side effects.


Cryotherapy is the most common treatment for warts among adults and older children. We utilize liquid nitrogen as a way to apply extreme coldness in order to “freeze” the wart as a method of elimination. This procedure may cause symptoms such as a feeling of numbness or tingling to the affected area for a short period of time.

Electrosurgery and Currettage

Electrosurgery is the burning of skin that contains the wart, through the use of an electrical current. After electrosurgery, treatment is continued by curettage, which involves scraping off the remaining wart with a small instrument. Often used together, electrosurgery and currettage are performed on areas that commonly develop warts such as the foot or hand.