Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
  • MIDTOWN 56 W 45TH ST, STE 819 New York, NY 10036
  • UPPER EAST SIDE 983 PARK AVE, STE 1D1 New York, NY 10028
  • UNION SQUARE 55 W. 17TH ST STE 103 New York, NY 10011

Wart Removal

Wart Removal · Dermatologist NYC

The common wart is a tough, grainy bump that commonly shows up on your hands and fingers. It’s caused by a virus that’s highly contagious and passed around by touch. That’s why warts are seen so often in kids, young adults, and others with undeveloped or weakened immune systems. Warts are not really medically harmful, but you may want to have them removed because you’re embarrassed by them, or they interfere with your regular daily activities. If warts are uncomfortable, there are a wide variety of home remedies available. But before taking treatment into your own hands, you should get an opinion from a trained New York dermatologist just to make sure it is, in fact, warts that you have and that the treatment you choose is effective and safe. 

The Whole Wart Story

Common, everyday warts are caused by HPV, the human papillomavirus, of which there are about 100 varieties, but only one that leads to warts on your hands. Another type of HPV causes foot warts, as well as warts on other body parts and in your mucus membranes. Warts spread from skin-to-skin contact, possibly through a cut in your hand or a hangnail. You can catch them by touching something, such as exercise equipment, that was touched by someone with a wart.

Still another type of HPV causes genital warts, which are transmitted by sexual contact. HPV is preventable with a vaccine that’s commonly provided to children. But even if you’ve been vaccinated, it’s still possible to develop warts after direct contact. And everyone reacts differently to the virus. Whether you are prone to getting warts or not depends greatly on the health of your immune system.

What You Can Expect

Genital warts are first symptomatic when you see small bumps on your genitals. Plantar warts and what’s termed “common” warts that show up on your hands are more likely to appear as:

  • Rough when you touch them
  • Flesh-colored, pink, tan, or white bumps
  • Grainy feeling
  • It filled with tiny black specks that actually are clotted blood vessels

While it’s vital that you visit your Manhattan dermatologist when you see any of these bumps on your hands, genitals, or feet, it’s especially important that before you try to remove them, you see your skin doctor if:

  • You’re not sure they are warts
  • You have HIV, AIDS, or a compromised immune system
  • The warts are causing you any level of pain
  • They change in color or size
  • Attempts at home treatments fail

Common Home Remedies

In most cases, warts will naturally disappear on their own, given enough time. But if you don’t want to wait, once you’ve been diagnosed by your dermatologist, it may be recommended that you try some over-the-counter remedies. Some of the more common treatments you can purchase in your local pharmacy include:

  • Acidic patches or liquid compounds that contain salicylic acid. These are the most common home treatment for wart removal. Look for treatment with about a 15 to 17 percent acid solution count. They are painless but might sting slightly when first applied. Soak your wart in warm water for about 20 minutes and then rough it up a little with cardboard, disposable emery board. Apply the patch or liquid drops before going to bed. Continue each night until the wart peels away.
  • Duct tape. An unorthodox but very often successful approach to removing warts is to stick a piece of duct tape on them. With your NYC dermatologist’s approval, place a piece of duct tape over warts and leave it on for a couple of days. Remove and repeat until warts peel off with the tape.
  • Freezing solutions are another option you can pick up at your local drug store. They come in liquid or spray form. Common brands include Freeze Off, Compound W, and Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away. These solutions are highly flammable, so make sure you don’t use them around an open flame, cigarettes, or cooktops. The application feels really cold, and once the wart is gone, you’ll have a small blister that will heal quickly.

How Your NYC Dermatologist Can Help

It can take as long as a year for home wart treatments to completely remove your warts. And they still may return. Another issue with home treatments is that while you’re waiting for them to disappear, they can spread. Genital warts especially should be treated quickly. Depending on where your warts are located, your New York dermatologist has a number of options to remove them. At the same time, you may be instructed to continue with home treatments, especially using salicylic acid to complement the doctor’s efforts.

  • Prescription-strength salicylic acid works in the same way as the lower-strength versions. Your doctor may apply the acid in the office or instruct you to continue with the stronger treatments at home. At the same time, your NYC dermatologist may choose to combine the acid treatment with freezing.
  • Cryotherapy is performed in your Manhattan skin doctor’s office and also works the same way as over-the-counter methods. Since the liquid nitrogen is stronger, however, you may experience more profound blistering, pain, and skin discoloration. Chances are, you’ll also have to return for multiple treatments to completely remove warts.
  • Trichloroacetic or bichloroacetic acid is an option your doctor may employ if salicylic acid and freezing aren’t making any headway. Before putting this stronger acid on your warts, your skin doctor shaves off the top of the wart. While applying the acid sparingly, you’ll feel a stinging and burning sensation. Additionally, this too may take a couple of treatments once a week to completely destroy warts.
  • Laser surgery is another popular option for removing warts on your hands. The laser actually cauterizes the small blood vessels that make up the wart. Like other laser treatments, the technique is designed to stimulate your immune system to rush healing properties to the area as the wart tissue dies and falls off. Laser treatment to remove warts is not usually the most effective way to rid you of the bothersome bumps. It can be painful and leave a scar. But you can discuss the options with your New York dermatologist.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★Dr. Bard is intelligent and knowledgeable. She makes me feel comfortable, and I am confident of her diagnosis and treatment. She is highly skilled and has had great results.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist could determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Updated on Mar 7, 2023 by Dr. Susan Bard (Dermatologist), Manhattan Dermatology Specialists Locations: Manhattan Dermatology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D1, NY 10028
(212) 427-8750
Manhattan Dermatology (Midtown) 56 W 45th St, Ste 819, NY 10036
(212) 889-2402
Manhattan Dermatology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St, Ste 103, NY 10011
(212) 378-9984
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY The information on this website is to provide general information. The information on this website does NOT reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a physician for a consultation and examination regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs you may be having. An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan should only be made by your physician in order to exclude a serious condition.
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