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How to Detect a Wart and What to Do About Them

Warts are a fairly common skin condition, but it can be tough to detect them if you’ve never had one before. Here are a few tips to help you learn how to detect and how to get rid of warts.


How Can I Identify a Wart?

When it comes to identifying warts, there are a few important things to know. The first question you might be asking is, what causes warts? Warts form when skin cells grow at an abnormally fast rate as a result of human papillomavirus (HPV). Of all HPV strains, an estimated 10 can contribute to the formation of skin (cutaneous) warts. If you want to identify a wart, it’s important to look at the surface of the skin. Since warts only grow in the epidermis, they’re fairly easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for. And what you’re looking for is a raised, rough surface. There may also be a little bit of pigment variation there, too. Some warts on feet or on the face may be flat, but that’s a bit outside of the norm for wart detection. If you’re not sure whether a skin irregularity is a wart or not, it’s a good idea to speak with your dermatologist.

How Can I Get Rid of Warts?

Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies for warts that you can use for treatment. While warts may be annoying, they’re perfectly treatable! Let’s take a look at some common wart treatment options you can choose from.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid might be most commonly known as a treatment for acne, but the truth is that it can treat a variety of skin conditions. One such skin condition happens to be warts. If you want to use salicylic acid to treat your warts, you’ll want to soak your wart in warm water and file away some of the excess skin. Once that’s done, you can apply salicylic acid to the afflicted area. For best results, you should perform this treatment a few times each day for up to 12 weeks. One of the biggest reasons this treatment is so popular is the nature of salicylic acid. It’s relatively inexpensive, causes minimal side effects, and can be applied as a gel, cream, or even a patch.


If you’ve ever had a wart before, you might already be familiar with cryotherapy. It’s probably the most commonly known treatment for warts, and you can have it done at your dermatologist’s office or buy an at-home kit. The over-the-counter kits are relatively inexpensive and can be effective for most warts. While the kits are pretty easy to use, getting cryotherapy in a medical setting is typically preferable. During a cryotherapy treatment, liquid nitrogen will be swabbed or sprayed on your wart. The extreme cold burns the skin of the wart, which causes a blister to form. With this treatment, a wart may disappear in anywhere from three to five sessions.

Are warts contagious? Can you ever get rid of them for good? If you have questions like these and need answers, contact our team at North Pacific Dermatology today.

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