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How do I Choose the Best Wart Removal Products?

By M.J. Casey
Updated May 17, 2024
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Wart removal products range from simple home treatments to carefully administered clinical procedures to holistic methods. The efficacy of these treatments ranges from zero effectiveness to the complete removal of warts. Unfortunately, what treatment provides which results is an individual matter and not easily predicted. The best treatment course is one that is effective, affordable, and available, with the fewest side effects and the least pain. In general, family physicians will urge patients to begin with the simple, less costly methods and to become more aggressive with treatments if success is not achieved.

Several topical wart removal products are widely available. These include duct tape, fingernail polish, bleach, and apple cider vinegar. The first two treatments are based on the exclusion of air — a sometimes effective treatment. The application of small drops of bleach or apple cider vinegar to the wart requires diligent, repeated treatment. These home treatments, while cheap and readily available, appear to have better results if the warts are not large or widespread.

More targeted wart removal products that are available either in over-the-counter products or through a doctor’s office include cimetidine, cryotherapy, and chemical wart removers. Cimetidine is the generic form of Tagamet®, a drug used for the treatment of stomach disorders due to acid imbalances. A physician should be consulted for dosage and side-effect information because cimetidine is a histamine antagonist and can cause allergic reactions.

Cryotherapy is the application of very cold fluids to the wart. It is available as home treatment kits that release small amounts of gas that drops in temperature when expanded through a small plastic nozzle. Should it be necessary to purchase multiple kits, costs can equal that of treatment by a dermatologist. Dermatologists often have a liquid nitrogen delivery system, while family doctors may just use liquid nitrogen from a thermos vessel called a dewar. The frugal patient can simply purchase a small amount of liquid nitrogen from a gas supplier found in any local directory and save the expense of either the kit or the doctor if comfortable with the procedure.

Chemical wart removal products are readily available as over-the-counter solutions of salicylic acid. The form used for warts is more concentrated than those used for acne treatment, and sufficient amounts for several treatments are reasonably priced. As with any acid, care should be taken in its use, and contact with healthy skin and clothes should be avoided. Faithful application and adherence to the product instructions often result in complete wart removal and very satisfactory results.

The most intense method of chemical treatment is application of blister beetle juice. This very corrosive natural chemical is applied very carefully by a dermatologist. Any fraction of the fluid on normal skin will be very painful. The liquid eats through the wart layers, resulting in ugly brown blisters that eventually fall off and leave healthy, scar-free skin. This treatment is highly effective, and its higher cost may be justified in the most stubborn cases.

Holistic methods include biofeedback, power of suggestion, and even spells and magic powers. These methods are most effective in small children whose natural curiosity is in full bloom, but who lack a sense of scientific skepticism. Warts may be wished away by visiting grandmothers if the child is allowed to believe. The homeopathic community offers a number of homeopathic medicines for use as wart removal products. These medicines should be taken only under the direction of a homeopathic professional.

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Discussion Comments
By ddljohn — On Nov 08, 2013

The best wart removal products are also the cheapest. Duct tape, vinegar and salicylic acid cost little. Most of us already have these at home.

The only downside to these wart removal home remedies is that they take a while to work. Treatments at the dermatologist's office and some pharmacy products work faster.

I got rid of my wart with the duct tape method. It worked great and I don't even have a scar, but it took a little over a month. I had to replace the duct tape and scrape the wart daily. So some effort and patience is necessary.

By stoneMason — On Nov 07, 2013

@fBoyle-- I personally like wart remover patches. These are small medicated adhesives that stick onto the wart and treat it.

They're the easiest treatment and all you have to do is replace the patch once a day. The medication works on the wart and eventually dries it out. When you're wearing the patch, no one can tell that you have a wart either.

By fBoyle — On Nov 06, 2013

Which is the best over the counter wart remover product? I need something that's effective but also easy to use.

I've tried a brush-on treatment before but I didn't like it very much.

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