What are warts

A wart is an overgrowth of skin caused by an infection of the epidermal layer by a virus known as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV),which is transmitted from person to person. There are many subtypes of this virus. People tend to contract warts through small cuts or breaks in the skin which allow the virus to invade. The infected skin reacts by a rapid multiplying of cells which leads to the typical “Cauliflower” appearance. Warts typically occur on the hands. When they occur on the feet, they are known as Verrucas. Warts can be stubborn and may require several treatments before they are eradicated.

Wart-like growths can occur in the face, and are common around the chin and beard area in men. They can spread because of shaving and often get in the way. Some of these are true viral warts, but some are harmless wart-like growths that occur in older age due to skin degeneration and sun-damage. It is important to get a doctor’s opinion of a skin growth particularly if it is causing symptoms and/or growing quickly.

Warts in the genital area are often sexually transmitted.

Will warts go on their own?

In some cases, particularly in children, the wart eventually resolves on its own. However this can take up to 2 years, by which time a stubborn wart which hasn’t resolved on its own would have increased significantly in thickness and size, making treatment with home techniques and cryotherapy very likely to fail.

How are warts treated at home?

We recommend soaking the wart in water, then paring it down with an emery board until nearly bleeding.Salicylic acid is then applied to the wart, which is then snugly wrapped in duct tape and left overnight. The above procedure should be repeated daily for 2-3 months.

How are warts treated in the clinic?

The main modalities of treatment are cryotherapy, surgical removal and laser removal. In difficult cases, drugs which alter the immune response to the virus are used.

Cryotherapy is most effective for smaller warts. It works by causing tissue damage when the skin containing the wart is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Repeated cycles of treatment 3 weeks apart may be needed to remove the wart entirely.

Thicker warts do not respond well to cyrotherapy. These are best treated with surgical or laser excision. The wart is removed and the base treated to prevent recurrence. The wound is then left to heal over the next 10-14 days, occasionally leaving a small scar.

It is still advisable to continue home treatment between cryotherapy sessions or following surgical excision to reduce the chance of a wart recurring.

Because warts are caused by a virus, they can be quite stubborn, and up to 30% may recur. They can be a difficult problem to treat because of this. Some warts, especially larger ones like verrucas may need up to 3-4 repeated treatments to clear effectively. At The Minster Clinic, we offer all our patients a free re-treatment within 3 months of the initial procedure.

Warts Removal price guide *

Number of wartsCost
Cryotherapy of 1-3 warts£225 *
Cryotherapy of 4-6 warts£325*
Cryotherapy of 7 or more wartsFrom £425*
Surgical/Laser excision of 1 wartFrom £450
Surgical/Laser excision of up to 3 warts£275 per additional wart*
Surgical excision of multiple wartsPrice after consultation and examination

* Prices for subsequent warts are applicable if treated at the same appointment. Cryotherapy treatments include free 3 week review with further cryotherapy if needed