What are warts?

Warts are caused by a viral infection in the top layer of the skin.

Why do some people get warts and others don’t?

Some people get warts depending on how often they are exposed to the virus. Wart viruses occur more easily if the skin has been damaged in some way, which explains the high frequency of warts in children who bite their nails or pick at hangnails. Some people are just more likely to catch the wart virus than others, just as some people catch colds very easily.

Do warts need to be treated?

In children, warts can disappear without treatment over a period of several months to years. Warts in adults often do not disappear as easily or as quickly as they do in children.

How do dermatologists treat warts?

The standard by which all other treatments are compared is liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the skin and over the course of a week causes a blister to form beneath the wart. When the blister falls off, part or all of the wart goes with it. It clears warts better than any treatment option that is available. It usually takes more than one treatment to clear an individual wart so you will need to be seen every 3 weeks. The problem with liquid nitrogen is that it can be quite painful.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a treatment method that is meant to activate your immune system to help fight off the wart. We use Vit D3 injections. Patients pay for the VitD3 injection at a compounding pharmacy and bring it with them to their office visits. The wart is injected with numbing medication and the Vit D3 is then injected. Treatment is repeated at one month if the wart is still present.

Another option is apple cider vinegar covered with duct tape nightly.

In deciding what treatment is best for you, you need to consider 2 factors: 1) How much pain are you able to tolerate in getting rid of the wart? 3) How much time you want to put into caring for the wart at home?

If you are willing to tolerate the pain, liquid nitrogen is the gold standard for wart treatment. If you are not in a hurry to get rid of the wart and want to deal with it at home, apple cider vinegar followed by duct tape may be the best choice for you. If you can tolerate a injection into the wart and don’t mind paying for the VitD3, you may want to consider trying VitD3 injections.

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