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Treatment of Warts in Children

If the home treatments ("magical thinking," salicylic acid, and/or duct tape) aren't helpful, there are treatments your doctor or dermatologist can offer, including:

  • freezing, using liquid nitrogen. This works by causing a blister to form around the wart; when the dead tissue sloughs off, so does the wart. It may take several treatments to work, and some children find it uncomfortable.

  • Cantharidin is a medication that doctors can paint onto the warts that sometimes helps them go away. Again, repeated treatments may be necessary.

  • Aldara is a prescription cream that increases the body's immune response to the wart.

  • minor surgery or laser surgery is usually reserved for hard-to-treat warts, as there is a risk of infection or scarring.

Sometimes a dermatologist will inject medication such as bleomycin into a wart, but this too is reserved for special cases.

If the wart is bleeding frequently or has changed in appearance, you should call your doctor.

You and your doctor will decide if treatment can be carried out in the office or whether a visit with a dermatologist (a skin specialist) makes sense.

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