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Warts are common growths that develop on the surface of the skin. Most last anywhere from a few months to a few years, but they are rarely ever permanent. Many people are embarrassed when they develop a wart, since it is sometimes taken as a sign of poor personal hygiene. While this is often not the case, many people still prefer to get the growths--which can vary in shape and size--removed. A doctor can easily perform this, but you can sometimes remove a wart at home with benzoyl peroxide 1.
Cause of Warts
Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPV, a virus that is communicable between both people and different locations on the body. Warts can come in different forms depending on their location and how they develop--some can be painful, such as plantar warts that develop on the hands and feet. This virus cannot be removed from the body, but the warts can be removed from the skin once they appear.
Benzoyl peroxide is an acidic agent that is used in many acne medications. It is useful in drying out the skin and removing dead skin cells. According to Merck.com, benzoyl peroxide can also be used as an irritating agent to treat and remove some types of warts, such as flat warts. Because warts tend to thrive in moist environments, benzoly peroxide cuts off this environmental factor and can expedite the disappearance of your warts.
- Benzoyl peroxide is an acidic agent that is used in many acne medications.
- According to Merck.com, benzoyl peroxide can also be used as an irritating agent to treat and remove some types of warts, such as flat warts.
Benzoyl peroxide is commonly used in conjunction with, or following the use of, tretinoin. Benzoyl peroxide should be applied daily to the wart for weeks on end until the wart starts to dry up and disappear from the skin. If benzoyl peroxide proves ineffective, other medications can be used concurrently or following the peroxide to continue wart treatment.
- Benzoyl peroxide is commonly used in conjunction with, or following the use of, tretinoin.
- If benzoyl peroxide proves ineffective, other medications can be used concurrently or following the peroxide to continue wart treatment.
How to Remove a Filiform Wart
It may take several applications to fully remove the wart, so it is important to be patient. Additionally, there are other treatments that can be applied while using benzoly peroxide as a treatment method--talk to a doctor or dermatologist before applying other medications to make sure the combination is safe 1.
Using benzoyl peroxide to remove a wart can be unpleasant and even painful, and your skin may become irritated until the wart is removed and the location has healed over. In addition, you may be unable to remove the wart through this method, depending on the type of wart and how well the treatment is applied. Be careful when applying benzoyl peroxide close to the face, particularly the eyes and mouth, as it can be poisonous.
How to Remove a Filiform Wart
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- Family Doctor: Warts
- Kids Health: Warts
- InformedHealth.org. Warts: Overview. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Updated November 7, 2019.
- InformedHealth.org. What are the treatment options for warts? Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Updated November 7, 2019.
- Al Aboud AM, Nigam PK. Wart (Plantar, Verruca Vulgaris, Verrucae). Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing. Updated September 27, 2019.
- Liu J, Li H, Yang F, et al. Epidemiology and Clinical Profile of Cutaneous Warts in Chinese College Students: A Cross-Sectional and Follow-Up Study. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):15450. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-33511-x
- Goldman RD. Duct tape for warts in children: Should nature take its course?. Can Fam Physician. 2019;65(5):337-338.
- Cockayne S, Hewitt C, Hicks K, et al. Cryotherapy versus salicylic acid for the treatment of plantar warts (verrucae): a randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2011;342:d3271. doi:10.1136/bmj.d3271
- Baker DA, Ferris DG, Martens MG, et al. Imiquimod 3.75% cream applied daily to treat anogenital warts: combined results from women in two randomized, placebo-controlled studies. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2011;2011:806105. doi:10.1155/2011/806105
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- Walczuk I, Eertmans F, Rossel B, et al. Efficacy and safety of three cryotherapy devices for wart treatment: A randomized, controlled, investigator-blinded, comparative study. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2018;8(2):203-16. doi:10.1007/s13555-017-0210-5
- Dalimunthe DA, Siregar R, Tanjung C. Comparative clinical efficacy between electrodesiccation with curettage and application of 80% phenol solution in treatment of common warts. Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2018;6(2):326-9. doi:10.3889/oamjms.2018.074
- Chauhan PS, Mahajan VK, Mehta KS, Rawat R, Sharma V. The efficacy and safety of intralesional immunotherapy with measles, mumps, rubella virus vaccine for the treatment of common warts in adults. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2019;10(1):19-26. doi:10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_142_18
- Nofal A, Elkot R, Nofal E, Mazen M. Combination therapy versus monotherapy in the treatment of recalcitrant warts: A clinical and immunological study. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2018;2018;12848. doi:10.1111/jocd.12848
- Raghukumar S, Ravikumar BC, Vinay KN, et al. Intralesional vitamin D injection in the treatment of recalcitrant warts: A novel proposition. J Cutan Med Surg. 2017;21(4):320-4. doi:10.1177/1203475417704180
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.