Prescription-strength wart medications with salicylic acid work by removing layers of a wart a little bit at a time. Studies show that salicylic acid is more effective when combined with freezing.
Freezing therapy done at a GP's office involves applying liquid nitrogen to your wart. Freezing works by causing a blister to form under and around your wart. Then, the dead tissue sloughs off within a week or so. This method may also stimulate your immune system to fight viral warts. You may need more than one treatment.
Bichloroacetic or trichloroacetic acid
If salicylic acid or freezing isn't working, your doctor may try bichloroacetic or trichloroacetic acid. With this method, the doctor first shaves the surface of the wart and then applies the acid with a wooden toothpick. It requires repeat treatments every week or so. Side effects are burning and stinging.
Laser treatment. Pulsed-dye laser treatment burns (cauterizes) tiny blood vessels. The infected tissue eventually dies, and the wart falls off. The evidence for the effectiveness of this method is limited, and it can cause pain and scarring.
Surgery is an option if home treatment and treatment at your doctor's office have failed. Surgery for warts is usually quick and effective. No single surgical method is more effective than another in removing warts. Generally, doctors start with the surgical method that is least likely to cause scarring. The most common types of surgical treatment for wart removal include:
Electrosurgery and curettage. Electrosurgery is burning the wart with an electrical current. Curettage is cutting off the wart with a sharp knife or a small, spoon-shaped tool. The two procedures are often used together.
Laser surgery burns off the wart with an intense beam of light.