You’ve probably heard of people freezing their warts off…but what does that really mean? Cryotherapy is the medical term used for using cold to cure something. In the case of warts, chemicals are used to bring down the temperature of the cells in the wart. In doing so, it starts killing the wart and bringing it to the attention of the immune system, which finishes it off. If all goes well, this will kill most of the infected cells, and cut off the blood supply to the remaining stragglers until they go away on their own.

Basically, an object (like a q-tip) is cooled using a chemical. Most if the time, this is liquid nitrogen. Then, the cold object is placed on the infected area and held against the wart for about 20- 30 seconds or so, at which point the skin usually gets numb and stings a bit. For the next few days, the wart will start to turn black and then eventually fall off after a week or two. Sometimes, warts will require a round of up to 5 treatments within 2 week intervals, but most warts don’t require more than a couple.

There are two options for cryotherapy, over-the-counter treatment or a visit to the doctor.

For over-the-counter treatments, check out Dr. Scholl’s:


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