Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
Removal by Freezing
How can my wart be removed?
Warts can be removed in a number
of ways. One way is called cryosurgery(freezing the wart). This 2-step process
removes the wart without hurting the skin around it.
The first step is getting your wart
ready to be removed. You can help with this step. The second step is freezing
the wart, which will be done by your doctor in his or her office. You may need
to have several freezing treatments before the wart is completely removed.
What do I need to do?
You must do some things on your
own at home to get the wart ready for removal. Doing these things before you
come to your doctor's office can reduce the number of freezing treatments you
need. You should do the following:
- Every night for 2 weeks, clean the wart with soap
and water and put 17% salicylic acid gel (one brand name: Compound W) on it.
- After putting on the gel, cover the wart with a
piece of 40% salicylic acid pad (one brand name: Mediplast). Cut the pad so that
it is a little bit bigger than the wart. The pad has a sticky backing that will
help it stay on the wart.
- Leave the pad on the wart for 24 hours. If the
area becomes very sore or red, stop using the gel and pad and call your doctor's
- After you take the pad off, clean the area with
soap and water, put more gel on the wart and put on another pad. If you are very
active during the day and the pad moves off the wart, you can leave the area
uncovered during the day and only wear the pad at night.
After 2 weeks of
this treatment, your wart will have turned white and will look fluffy. Your
doctor will then be able to remove the white skin layer covering the wart and
use cryosurgery to freeze the base (root) of the wart. If your skin reacts
strongly to cold, tell your doctor before cryosurgery.
Cryosurgery can be uncomfortable, but
it usually isn't too painful. The freezing is somewhat numbing. When your doctor
places the instrument on your skin to freeze the wart, it will feel like an ice
cube is stuck to your skin. Afterward, you may feel a burning sensation as your
skin thaws out.
cryosurgery usually doesn't take long. You will probably be able to enjoy all
your usual activities while you heal, including bathing or showering.
Cryosurgery leaves little or no
After the area has healed, the
treated skin may be a bit lighter in color than the skin around