Warts and calluses aren't usually painful, but can be unsightly and annoying. According to the Mayo Clinic, warts are skin growths caused by the human papillomavirus virus 1. Calluses are hardened layers of skin that develop from the skin trying to protect itself against pressure. Though both problems can be treated with some of the same methods, there are differences in treatment options.
How to Remove a Wart From Your Elbow
Visit with your doctor for information regarding the best treatment option for your wart. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, cryotherapy or freezing the wart is generally preferred. The Mayo Clinic notes that this method is usually effective but it does sometimes take multiple treatments 1. Other common treatment options include cantharidin and minor surgery. The Mayo Clinic says cantharadin involves a chemical mix that creates a blister to remove the wart 1. Minor surgery involves cutting the wart off using an electric needle, says the Mayo Clinic 1.
Benzoyl Peroxide for Warts
Try more advanced options if your doctor recommends it because your wart did not respond to the conventional methods. These treatments include laser surgery, immunotherapy, bleomycin and retinoids. Laser surgery is usually very expensive and can cause scarring, according to the Mayo Clinic 12. Retinoids and bleomycin are often effective but can cause skin damage, says the Mayo Clinic 12. The American Academy of Dermatology says immunotherapy tries to use the body's defense system to get rid of the wart. However, stopping the treatments can lead to warts returning.
Use home remedies to get rid of the warts. Most wart creams and patches feature salicylic acid as the active ingredient to dry and peel away the wart. According to the Mayo Clinic, the acid can damage skin, but it is sometimes recommended by doctors for more stubborn cases 1. Another interesting treatment option is duct tape, which the Mayo Clinic says was more effective in one study than cryotherapy 1. This option involves covering the wart with duct tape for six days, then soaking it in warm water and attempting to scratch or rub the wart off.
- Visit with your doctor for information regarding the best treatment option for your wart.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, the acid can damage skin, but it is sometimes recommended by doctors for more stubborn cases 1.
How to Remove a Callus From Your Elbow
How to Soften a Hard Blackhead
Soak your callus in warm, soapy water to make it easier to remove. Using a moisturizer can also help with this -- moisturizers can also help prevent calluses from forming.
Rub the callus with pumice stone or another substance to remove or lessen the hardened callused skin. This procedure can sometimes soften the skin, get rid of the calluses and help keep them away.
Talk to your doctor for more advanced treatment options. Common options include trimming, salicylic acid and antibiotic ointment. Trimming involves using a scalpel to cut the thickened skin off, according to the Mayo Clinic 1. Salicylic acid comes in liquid and patches designed to speed up the skin cycle and get rid of dead skin. Some antibiotic ointments are also effective at helping skin heal and prevent infection, says the Mayo Clinic 12.
- Soak your callus in warm, soapy water to make it easier to remove.
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- Mayo Clinic: Common Warts
- Mayo Clinic: Corns and Calluses
- 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
- Gaston A, Garry RF. Topical vitamin A treatment of recalcitrant common warts. Virol J. 2012;9:21. doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-21
- 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
Based in Harker Heights, Texas, Timothy Onkst has been writing about sports, fitness and health since 2003. His articles have appeared in a variety of publications including "Texas Roundball" magazine, Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports and other websites.