Warts Doctor Expectation

Warts are common, benign skin growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can grow anywhere on your body but are most often found on the hands and feet. They’re particularly common among children. Most warts go away by themselves within two years, but some persist.

Warts can be unsightly but they’re not dangerous. Some are painful, particularly plantar warts found on the bottom of the feet. In many cases, you can use over-the-counter wart removal products such as salicylic acid and duct tape to treat warts yourself. For warts on your face or genitals or for stubborn cases, though, you need medical care. Each year, thousands of patients contact doctors seeking treatment for warts and help with wart removal.

Does Your Insurance Provide Coverage for Treatment for Warts?

Many insurance companies cover treatment for warts, but before you see a doctor for wart removal make sure you know exactly what your policy covers. If you decide to try home wart removal before seeking medical treatment for warts, the cost of over-the-counter wart removal products may qualify as a medical spending account expense.

The Process of Diagnosis

Most patients seek medical treatment for warts by seeing their primary care provider or a general practitioner. Your doctor may provide wart removal treatment or refer you to a dermatologist or a podiatrist, depending on the location of the wart.

The process of diagnosis for warts generally involves a visual exam by a trained medical professional who can determine whether you have warts or another condition. Your doctor might also ask you these questions:

  • Are the warts painful or embarrassing for you?
  • Have you had warts before?
  • What wart removal procedures have you already tried?
  • When did you first notice the warts?

You may want to ask your doctor several questions about treatment for warts, including:

  • Do you have any written information about treatment for warts?
  • What are the side effects associated with this treatment for warts?
  • What kind of home care and follow-up care will I need?
  • Why did you select this form of wart removal?
  • Will the treatment process be painful?

Medical Treatment for Warts

Once the process of diagnosis has confirmed warts, your doctor may wait before beginning wart removal to see if the warts disappear on their own, particularly with young children. Common medical procedures used for wart removal include:

  • Cryotherapy: Freezing the warts
  • Electrocautery: Using heat and electricity to kill warts
  • Salicylic acid: Targeting warts with a prescription strength version of home wart removal products.

If these methods don’t work for wart removal, your doctor can pursue more complicated and expensive methods of treatment for warts.

Resources

American Academy of Family Physicians. (2009). Warts: Removal by freezing. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/common/skin/treatment/105.html.

HealthCentral Network, Inc. (n.d.). Wart removal. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://www.healthsquare.com/mc/fgmc1208.htm.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (n.d.). Preparing for your appointment. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/common-warts/DS00370/DSECTION=preparing-for-your-appointment.

Warts Information Center. (2010). Wart removal. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://www.warts.org/wart-removal.html.