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Warts and verrucas - What treatments work for warts?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

If your warts aren't painful and you don't mind the way they look, you may want to see if they clear up on their own. But if you're bothered by them, then there are several treatments that may help. However, no single treatment for warts has been shown to work for everyone.

  • You can buy several over-the-counter treatments for warts. Many of these work well, but they can irritate your skin or cause scarring. So it may be best not to use them on your face. Ask your doctor if you have any doubts.

  • Don't try cutting or picking a wart off. If you're having trouble getting rid of a wart, talk to your doctor.

  • Your doctor can remove warts with surgery or laser therapy, or by freezing them off.

  • There are lots of folk remedies for treating warts. Most of them probably don't work, but there is research to show that putting duct tape on warts might help get rid of them. However, not all research shows this.

  • Some treatments involve filing a wart down with a pumice stone or emery board. Don't let anyone else use it, or they could get a wart too. It could also spread the wart to other parts of your body. You should wash your pumice stone or emery board carefully in warm water after you use it. Even better, buy another one to use on other parts of your body or for other people to use.

  • You can try to prevent warts on your feet by wearing rubber verruca socks or flip flops in shared changing areas or showers. But we don't know how well this works.

No single treatment for warts has been shown to work for everyone.[13]

Which treatments work best? We've looked at the best research and given a rating for each treatment according to how well it works.

Treatments for warts and verrucas

Treatments that work Treatments that are likely to work Treatments that need further study

Doctors sometimes try other treatments to see whether they can help to get rid of warts. These treatments may help some people, but we need a lot more research before we can know for certain how well they work.

Treatments that are unlikely to work Other treatments

There are a few other treatments that are used for warts, but we haven't looked at the research on them in the same way we have for the other treatments on our site. To learn more, see Our method. We're mentioning them because your doctor might suggest one of them to treat your warts.


For references related to Warts and verrucas click here.
Last Updated: June 21, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
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