I’m having a problem with flat warts – what can I do???

Hi Dr. Irwin- I have many common/flat warts on my legs that have started to multiply rapidly within the last year. I have had them treated with liquid nitrogen repeatedly, but they keep coming back. Are there any other solutions? Also, what are safe ways to remove hair from my legs without spreading warts? Thanks!

There are many ways to treat warts including flat warts now as I’m sure your doctor has discussed with you.   I can’t possibly  know which one would be best for you but I’ll list some of the things to ask your dermatologist about or do yourself first.

For at home, try improving your immune system by making sure you get plenty of sleep, eat a really healthy diet, limit alcohol and avoid reacreational drugs and smoking, of course.  Try taking a multivitamin and perhaps an extra 500mg a day of vitamin C.  Decrease stress if you can.  Often, especially in children or young people, the immune system will “kick in” and suppress the wart virus on it’s own.  Also taking good quality probiotics may help if they boost your immune system function. 

You can also paint on the drugstore wart treatments – they all contain salicylic acid usually at 17%.  Try a test area first before putting it all over.  NEVER, never shave your legs if you have warts there –  only waxing is safe.  Don’t pick at them!!

In addition to liquid nitrogen, ask your dermatologist about things like Aldara (imiquimod) cream, tretinoin, Candin injections, currettage followed by Aldara, pulsed dye lasers, and there are a few other more advanced options as well.    Hope this helps,  Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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