A variety of creams, gels, paints and medicated plasters are available from pharmacies. Most of these contain salicylic acid as their active ingredient, which works by destroying the thickened skin which makes up the wart. Once destroyed this skin can be rubbed off with an abrasive board or pumice stone.
Silver nitrate is another non-prescription treatment that also burns away warts. In addition to ‘over-the-counter’ medications, there are several other chemical treatments that are available on prescription including formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, and podophyllin.
One of the most common treatments for warts is Cryotherapy which uses a spray of liquid carbon dioxide or liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart. Once treated a blister develops, followed by a scab, which falls off a week to ten days later, removing the wart. The risks form cryotherapy include scarring, ulceration, or pigment alteration.
Often medical practitioners will surgically remove the wart using a curette to scrape the wart away. With all surgery, there is the possibility of scarring and in addition, surgical removal of the wart carries a small risk of spreading the virus.