Let’s face it, warts aren’t the prettiest of things. So if you’ve got one (or two, three or more…) of them, then you’re most probably keen to get rid. ASAP.
The good news is, as much as warts can easily spread, from your fingers to your face or other parts of your body, or from person-to-person1, it is possible to remove them.
How you get rid of them and how long they take to remove varies from wart-to-wart. Some go away relatively quickly, while others are more determined to stick around. Some can also disappear on their own accord. According to the NHS, most skin warts usually go away on their own within months or years.2
How to get rid of warts
If you don’t want to wait around months or years for your wart to hopefully disappear, then you can take matters into your own hands.
Believe it or not, there are few different wart treatments to choose from. The wart removal treatment you select will very much depend on the type of wart you’ve got; how large it is and where it is. For instance, you could have one on the edge of your little finger, a cluster of them near your elbow or a verruca (which is also a wart, but with a different name) on the bottom of your right foot.
Wart removal method 1: Skin-peeling liquid
Warts are essentially small lumps on the skin that don’t necessarily hurt, but can potentially grow and spread and don’t look particularly attractive, large or small.
One of the most common ways of breaking down these layers of skin is to apply a topical solution that contains salicylic acid and works by slowly but surely breaking down the wart, layer by layer. You can choose between GP-prescribed solutions and non-prescription solutions, both of which essentially work by dissolving the layers of skin.3
Wart removal method 2: Freezing
It may sound a bit drastic, but it is possible to freeze warts off. This is a procedure that’s carried out by a medical professionals/GPs, is most effective for warts on hands and involves swabbing or spraying liquid nitrogen on to the wart and the surrounding area.
Because liquid nitrogen is extremely cold (as cold as -321F) it burns the wart and a blister then forms where the wart was. You usually have to have three to four of these sessions. And when you pair cryotherapy with salicylic acid, the success rate can be anywhere between 50 and 70%.4
Wart removal method 3: Duct tape
Now this may sound a little bit random, but putting a strip of duct tape on a wart for a prolonged period of time, can kill it off. This is because the wart is being starved of oxygen.
Ideally, the tape needs to be kept on for six days in a row. On day six, the skin should be soaked in water and the wart gently rubbed down with a nail file or pumice stone. The tape should be left off overnight and reapplied the next day for another six days. The process needs to be repeated until the wart has gone. However, if it’s still there after two months, it might be best to try another treatment.5
Wart removal method 4: Surgery
It may sound a bit drastic, but it could become an option if other wart removal treatments haven’t worked. Wart removal surgery is usually classed as minor surgery and involves either cutting the wart away or laser surgery.6
Are you a bit clearer on how to remove warts now?
They may not be the nicest of things to think about, but old or young, we can all get them. Fortunately, there are different options for removing them.
Last updated: 17 August 2020