Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and may appear on various parts of the body including the hands, feet, arms, legs and face. Patients who experience warts should avoid touching others with the wart to avoid spreading HPV to others. There is no cure for HPV and warts tend to go away on their own within a few months or years, but treatment does exist that may provide relief.
Most patients who experience warts initially opt for home remedies. These are usually much less expensive than other options and may be very effective in some cases. Compound W, Occlusal and other salicylic acid treatments are trusted to fight warts. It is one of the most common treatments for warts because of its effectiveness and relative inexpensiveness. Salicylic acid treatments start at around $10.
The "duct tape method", or tape occlusion, has also been found to be effective. This method calls for patients to cover the wart with a piece of adhesive tape, such as duct tape, that is about the size of the wart. Patients leave the tape in place for about six days, remove it, soak the wart and rub it with an emery board or other abrasive surface. They then reapply the tape and repeat the method until the wart is gone. The treatment typically takes between one and two months and should not be performed for longer than two months. This is one of the cheapest methods used for treating warts, as it only requires tape and an emery board.
Retinoid creams, cantharidin and bichloracetic acid are prescription medications that have been used to treat warts. Other medicines may also be available and should be discussed with a healthcare professional. Patients should check with their insurance carrier to discuss whether their insurance will cover the cost of medication.
Laser surgery and electrosurgery are other options are also used to treat warts. These methods work by burning off the warts. Pulsed dyed laser treatments may cost around $350 per session.
Cryotherapy is commonly performed in a doctor's office, although certain home treatments may also be available. This treatment works by freezing the wart and usually does not leave a scar. Cryotherapy may be painful and additional treatments may be required to reach optimal results. Cryotherapy may cost around $600 per session.
It is best to check with a healthcare professional regarding possible home remedies before seeking other remedies since warts are usually not a medical concern and usually go away on their own after a few months or years.