How do I Choose the Best Verruca Treatment?

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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2019
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A verruca is another name for a wart, which is a benign growth on the skin that is caused by an infection of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Many warts require no treatment and will go away on their own, sometimes after two years; however, they may also reappear. If you wish to banish your wart more quickly than this, try an over-the-counter verruca treatment, such as salicylic acid or even duct tape. Stubborn warts may require medications or other treatments from a doctor, such as retinoids, cryotherapy or cantharidin. If your wart is on either your face or your genitals, never attempt to treat it yourself, but instead seek professional medical help.

Try a simple verruca treatment first, such as an over-the-counter medication for warts that contains at least 17 percent salicylic acid. Soak the affected area of skin in warm water for about 10 to 20 minutes. Dry the area and use a pumice stone to gently file the wart to remove dead skin. Apply a few drops of the medication to the wart. Place a bandage over the verruca and repeat this treatment every day.


Another common verruca treatment involves applying duct tape over the wart and leaving it there for six days. The tape may not be removed at all during this time, and plastic wrap or a similar material should be wrapped around it during bathing. After six days, the duct tape may be removed, the wart should be soaked in warm water, followed by filing with a pumice stone. You must then repeat this treatment for as long as it takes to banish the wart, possibly two months.

If an at-home verruca treatment does not work for you, consult a dermatologist. He may recommend trying a bleomycin verruca treatment, which is an injected anti-viral medication. Retinoids are another type of verruca treatment, which may be applied as a cream or taken as an oral pill. Your dermatologist may also decide to try cantharidin, which is applied to the wart and covered by a bandage. A blister will develop, which is then removed by the doctor, along with the deadened wart.

Cryotherapy is another option, which involves freezing the wart to kill the tissue. Less commonly, patients may resort to surgery for verruca treatment. Laser surgery or minor surgery may be used to remove the wart. These approaches may leave a scar, and non-laser surgery may be painful. Only consider these approaches if all other treatments for your wart have failed.


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