A Parent’s Guide to Wart Treatment
Effective Treatments are out There. How to Find the Right one for Your Child.
If you are a parent who has a child with warts we know what you go through. The painful treatments, the missed work, and school for multiple doctor visits. Maybe your child is being teased at school or the warts are spreading and you don’t know what to do. After reading this article you will know how to get rid of your child’s warts.
The Good News: There is a New Prescription Wart Remover that Really Works!
There is a new prescription treatment that cures 95% of warts in one to two weeks yet is safe enough to use in children. It’s a compounded wart remover (with salicylic acid and 5-fluorouracil) and it is made by America’s leading compounded pharmacy, NuCara Pharmacy. Whether your child has plantar warts, warts on the hands, warts on the fingers, or warts on the face, we have found this medication to be the best choice for most patients. You will learn about this new generation of wart remover below as well as other treatment options.
Inside Information about Wart Treatment from the Experts!
Fixwarts.com a board-certified dermatologist, physician assistant telemedicine team who treats warts all over the country by online consultation. We have published 4 articles on wart treatment in peer-reviewed medical journals. We treat more warts than anyone!
We have educated other medical providers on wart treatment and wart removal and now we want to bring that knowledge straight to the patients who need it. This article contains the most useful information on wart removal you will find on the internet.
The Bad News: Most Wart Treatments Don’t Work
According to a 2015 study by the Pediatric Dermatology Department at John Hopkins University,“Warts resolve in 65% of children in 2 years and in 80% within 4 years regardless of treatment“. Regardless of treatment means those that were treated by a doctor and those that weren’t treated at all had their warts go away at roughly the same time. Sounds dismal but there is good news.
You need to know the facts to pick the right treatment. Whether you get treated by us online, use OTC treatments, or go to your doctor’s office. We list your treatment options and their pros and cons below. Starting with the most effective treatment.
#1 Most Effective: Compounded Wart Remover (with salicylic acid and 5-fluorouracil)
This is our go-to medicine for most patients. It cures 95% of warts in just 1-2 weeks, is virtually pain-free, a safe wart treatment, and easy for children to tolerate.
We have more experience using these formulas than anyone else. We have even created many variations on the original formula. This means we can customize the medication based on the location of your wart, its size, and thickness. No” one size fits all” medicine here!
A Compounding Pharmacy Perfects a Formula to Get Rid of Warts
This breakthrough in wart treatment didn’t come from big pharma. America’s leading compounding pharmacy, NuCara Pharmacy, created this medication. They had their best compounding pharmacists working with doctors to solve problems unresolved by currently available medications. After years of collaborating with podiatrists to make a better plantar wart treatment, they perfected a formula that really works, not just for plantar warts but for all types of warts!
It’s not a Cream or a Liquid. It’s Glue.
They created what came to be known as the Remedium Delivery System and patented it. It is a unique “adhesive gel”. It dries fast and slowly releases the two wart removal prescriptions overnight.
Their wart remover contains two synergistic prescription medications. Salicylic Acid breaks down the thick layers of dead skin. Fluorouracil(5-FU), uses the wart’s greatest strength, its fast growth rate as the weapon to destroy it!
Targeted Treatment that Kills the Wart not the Skin
It is strong enough to kill the wart but not strong enough to scar the skin. This is very important, especially in children with flat warts on the face.
#2 Surgical Wart Removal
First, your child gets an injection to numb the area. Then the wart is cut or burned off. This method is appropriate for the rare child who is not afraid of needles and has a high pain tolerance. This method of wart removal is good for solitary warts in non- sensitive areas like the elbows and the knees, where there is not much concern about scarring.
It is not a good choice for warts on the fingertips, on the foot or on the face. If your kid has nerves of steel they may tolerate shots, even in sensitive areas. Many doctors are reluctant to do surgical wart removal even though it is very effective for fear of the liability of leaving a scar on a child.
To give you an idea of what the surgical wart removal process may be like. Here is a video from The Toe Bro, a podiatrist with many videos on youtube.
With surgical removal, it can be difficult to tell if all the wart is removed. Which is why 20% of the time the wart grows back.
Pro’s and Con’s of Surgical Removal
- The wart is removed that day in the office and usually doesn’t come back.
- Painful and involves shots. Too painful for sensitive areas or widespread warts.
- Risk of scarring
- Significant healing time. Possibility of pain during healing.
- 20% chance the wart can come back
- What type of wart is it good for
- Warts on the elbows, knees, arms, and legs.
- What type of warts it isn’t good for:
- Plantar warts, warts on the fingertips, palms, toes and around the nails.
#3 Freezing Warts: Studies show it doesn’t work.
Below is the conclusion from a Cochrane review about wart treatment. They look at all the studies on wart treatment done in the past and came to this conclusion about freezing (cryotherapy). They concluded it works no better than a placebo. So why is it the main way warts are treated?
Freezing is the application of liquid nitrogen either by spraying it on or dipping a q-tip and applying it to the skin. Over the counter, wart freezing products are also available.
They are very weak freezing devices compared to freezing at the doctor’s office. Don’t use them on large thick warts. They have no chance of working. A wart that is thin and 1/2 inch in size or less is worth a try.
Should you Ever have your Wart Frozen?
Studies show freezing warts is not an effective wart treatment. It can also spread the wart because it doesn’t kill all of the warts but damages normal skin. The wart that remains then spread through the damaged skin. Our experience shows that freezing certain warts, with the correct technique can be effective. However, the majority of warts should not be frozen.
Here is the information you need to know before your child gets liquid nitrogen wart treatment that may not work. If you do get your warts frozen give it one chance to work. Maybe two at the most. If it is not working move to a more effective treatment.
Warts where you should consider freezing
- Smaller flatter warts in non-sensitive areas like the elbows, knees, trunk, arms, and legs.
- filiform warts (thin pointy warts that show up of the face and neck,)
Warts that you should not freeze
- The thicker and larger the wart is the less likely it will be that freezing works
- Palmar warts (warts on the palm), warts on the fingers, warts on the fingertips or around the nail, and plantar warts.
It is not surprising the freezing warts harder has a higher cure rate. For freezing to be effective it needs to be hard enough to hurt. If the freezing isn’t hurting and your wart isn’t getting better you are wasting your time.
#4 Cantharidin (Canthacur, “Beetle Juice”)
This medication is applied in the doctor’s office and like freezing it doesn’t work. It is made from the extract of a blistering beetle. It “works” by causing the skin to blister. The problem is it can’t penetrate deep enough to kill the wart.
It is popular in office wart treatment because it doesn’t hurt, at least when you put it on. Later the blistering can be uncomfortable or even painful. Use the same guideline above for freezing to see what warts Cantharidin might be a treatment option that should at least be tried.
Follow this link to see the Reddit post where this person describes his experience with Cantharidin
Cantharidin and Freezing can cause the Dreaded Ring Wart!
Beware both Cantharidin and Freezing off warts can cause the dreaded ring wart. The wart is not destroyed by the treatment and then spreads through the skin that was damaged by freezing or cantharidin. Below is a hug ring wart that was initially just a single wart. The child had a huge blister form and then the ring wart came. We treated him with compounded wart remover (with salicylic acid and 5-fluorouracil) and it was cured.
#5 Over the Counter Salicylic Acid Wart Remover
Have you ever watched a movie where someone is trying to escape from prison and they use a spoon to slowly scrape through the prison wall? OTC salicylic acid wart treatment is like the spoon and the wart is the wall. It barely works. You have to use it diligently for months for a chance at any result. For small thin warts if you do not have access to a better wart treatment you can give it a try.
Compounded wart remover (with salicylic acid and 5-fluorouracil) has salicylic, but it is held in place by the adhesive gel and penetrates deeper into the wart because of the DMSO. Also, it is combined with 5-fluorouracil. It is part of a system. By itself, it is not very effective.
Parents, there are wart treatments that work. There are even more wart treatments that don’t work. Knowing the difference can save you time, money, your child’s pain, and your sanity! The highly effective wart treatment compounded wart remover (with salicylic acid and 5-fluorouracil), and surgical removal should be your first choice. If you have to freeze your warts, use salicylic acid for warts or cantharidin, make sure to follow the guidelines in this article.
Dr. Blake Galler is a board-certified dermatologist and medical director of FixWarts.com. He was trained at Brooke Army Medical Center. After spending eight years in the Army, He now works as a dermatologist serving our veterans at the VA hospital in Anchorage Alaska.
Steven Leon MS, PA-C, is the founder of FixWarts.com is a dermatology physician assistant with 15 years of experience and 17 nationally published articles. He Currently practices at Dermatology and Laser Center of Simi Valley.