We offer Surrey wart removal (near Vancouver) for residents from Delta, Langley, White Rock, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond and other surrounding cities.
Our wart removal options, including for external genital warts, include:
- Laser wart removal
- Electrosurgical wart burning
- Surgical wart removal
- Nitrogen wart freezing (cryosurgery)
- Prescription wart medication
- Chemical or acid peels on warts (in office)
The advantage to laser wart removal is that it typically only takes one treatment for the wart to go away, without the infection risks associated with cutting. All other non-surgical methods require multiple sessions, which can go on for months.
There are many types of wart-causing viruses, which we can all be exposed to. Not all of them show up on our skin as the condition we usually refer to as a ‘wart.’ Typically, our immune system can fight off the common wart. This is why wart lesions are often seen in children, since they are still developing their immune systems.
Warts can go away on their own, and are generally harmless (except in the case of genital warts). However, they can be uncomfortable, and unsightly. If a wart is bothering you, and traditional medical treatments are not helping, we can perform laser wart removal on you, at our cosmetic clinic. This is an out-of-pocket service, not covered by MSP.
Aside from laser removal, we also have other offerings, performed by a licensed physician, to be able to treat your warts.
The best way to find out if your wart is treatable with our services, is to come in for a consultation. We’ll be able to examine your skin growth, confirm it is a wart, and offer solutions we think may work on you.
What causes warts on humans?
Warts are local skin growths that are caused by strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). This virus has many subtypes (over 100, actually). It is spread through contact, and even more easily through skin openings. This viral infection in humans has been going on for thousands of years. It has no cure. You can be infected with HPV, and not see any symptoms for years.
So, there is little you can do to avoid it, except to not touch it, if it’s visible on you, or someone else. You can also take care not to spread it through cross-contamination on objects (see below).
How can I know if my skin growth is a wart?
All warts look like excess skin growth. They can have a brown spot in them, which is from broken blood vessels. They are usually round and hard, but they can be misshapen and crusty too.
The most common types of warts include:Common warts
Like their name suggests, these are the warts you typically see on fingers and toes. They may appear a bit gray, with a rough surface.
These warts look closer to skin tags. They are fleshy, pointy, yet tiny skin growths that might grow in an isolated cluster (around 1 or 2 mm in length). They are typical around the eyes, mouth, chin or neck.
These look like hardly-noticeable, flat, but slightly raised lesions on the skin. You may find them on your arms, legs or face. They can come in different skin colour hues, like brown, yellow or pink.
These are warts that grow on the bottom of your feet, and appear like round, hardened skin with an indented middle. They grow inward, instead of outward. They can be felt during walking, which can be uncomfortable. Sometimes they are painful, too.
Plantar warts should be looked at by your doctor. We do not treat plantar warts at our cosmetic clinic.
These are nail warts, and they happen on fingers and toes. Since they grow under nails, as well as around them, they can be harder to treat, and recur more easily. These can also lead to infections and nail deformities.
These types of warts are the ones to be most concerned about. They happen in both men and women.
In women, genital warts can form all around the vagina, vulva, cervix and anus, and internally as well. In men, they can form on the penis, scrotum and anus. They look like mini, bumpy, white-ish cauliflower sprouts. Or they can look like pink or brown bumps. They can be itchy and bleed.
Are warts dangerous?
Most warts are not dangerous – they are just annoying bumps on the skin. However, there are a few wart symptoms to look out for, which indicate that you should see a doctor.
- Warts on the genitals, mouth, nostrils, eyes, or other body openings.
- Warts that change colour.
- Warts that are irritated, painful, bleeding or oozing out of a scab in any way.
- Warts that are itchy.
You should also see a doctor for any wart if you have diabetes, or an immune deficiency resulting from disease or medications.
The HPV strain causing genital warts, particularly, can lead to cervical cancer in women (but other cancers, also). It is usually transmitted through sex, to both men and women. If you have genital warts, we would advise a doctor’s visit as soon as possible. Pregnant women can transmit this virus during birth, causing serious complications for a baby.
If you are not sure whether or not you have a wart, or a dangerous wart, we recommend seeing a doctor for confirmation.
What treatments do you offer for wart removal at your cosmetic clinic?
Being a cosmetic clinic, we offer wart removal methods which are not covered by MSP. This means that the patient pays out-of-pocket for these services. Or, your private insurance provider may cover the cost (you’ll need to ask them in advance).
That said, we are located next door to a medical clinic, which we also run. If we think your wart can be handled with MSP-covered services, we can refer you there, should you not already have a doctor to receive treatment from.
Please note: we do not treat plantar (foot) warts with lasers, nor internal genital warts within the cervix. If you have external genital warts, whether male or female, we will likely be able to treat you with lasers. However, we will have our doctor take a look first, to confirm whether you are eligible for our treatments. We may ask you to see your doctor first. This is decided on a case-by-case basis.
With all of the above in mind, our cosmetic wart removal services include:
Laser wart removal with ablation
Typically using our Erbium Yag (Er:Yag) laser, we can ablate wart tissues residing in your skin. Lasers are effective in that they kill off the blood vessels supplying the wart virus, while preventing bleeding at the same time. They are also very directional. We can very accurately target the HPV infection using this route.
Your skin will form a scab where the wart once was. Eventually, it will fall off, revealing smoothed-over skin. There may be a slight scar. However, we will advise you to use scar gel during aftercare, to reduce the chance of leftover marks. We sell this at our clinic.
Electrosurgical wart burning
Using a method called electrocauterization, with a tool called a Hyfrecator, we may be able to burn off a wart. This works best with warts that look more like skin tags. It is also a method that requires scraping afterwards.
You may still form a scab, and then a scar, after electrosurgical wart removal. This can depend on how deep the wart is in the skin.
Surgical wart removal (excision)
If a wart can not be treated any other way, we may need to resort to surgical removal. Using a scalpel or other medical cutting and shaving tools, we can slice in and around the wart, to remove it from your skin.
The downside to surgical removal is that you will be left with an open wound, which will need time to heal. You’ll also need to be extra careful about avoiding infection afterwards.
What other solutions are out there for treating warts?
If you choose to treat warts outside of our Surrey skin clinic, the options abound. Some of these include:
Cryosurgery (cryotherapy) wart removal
Using liquid nitrogen freezing or aerosol freezing, a medical doctor can kill off a wart by exposing it to extremely low temperatures. This comes to be around -196°C or -320.8°F with liquid nitrogen, and -57°C or -70.6°F with aerosol. At our medical clinic, next to our cosmetic clinic, we offer nitrogen wart freezing. This requires multiple treatments to be effective. A blister, then a scab will form, and fall off. This method can be painful.
Prescription and clinical wart treatments
These typically use very strong doses of salicylic acid as a first step (over 17% concentration). A doctor may also use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or cantharidin in office, to treat the wart. Multiple treatments are still needed with any chemical treatment, and blisters or scabs can be expected.
Some cases may even benefit from topical retinoid prescriptions.
In extreme cases, certain types of medical-grade injections can be used, to clear warts. They can contain antigens, to help your body fight off HPV, or other pharmaceutical options (the same kinds used to treat cancer). Antigen shots can be referred to as immunotherapy for warts.
Over-the-counter wart treatments
Mostly using salicylic acid, you can buy medicated bandages or ointments to apply on a wart (they can be pads, gels, etc.). The concentration of salicylic acid in these preparations are, still, quite strong (around 17%). The acid dissolves the keratin which makes up most of the wart, plus the thick layer of dead skin above the wart.
Using this method, you will need to be careful not to affect the surrounding skin. It will also help to soften the wart before treatment with salicylic acid, such as by soaking in water, applying petroleum jelly or exfoliating the top layers of the wart. In this process, you must be extremely careful not to re-infect yourself, or others, through cross-contamination. At-home wart treatments can take 3 months of daily use to be effective. Please stop, and see a doctor if the wart becomes sore during this period.
It is also possible to buy over-the-counter wart freezing products. However, these still require repeat treatment. They will not be as strong as the treatment you can get in a medical office.
Important: please do not use over the counter wart products on your genitals, mouth, nose, eyes or other sensitive areas. Please do not use at-home treatments for warts if you have diabetes. See a doctor for those cases.
Duct tape wart remedy
It may sound crazy, but some studies show that this works (others, not so much). This method involves placing silver duct tape on your wart for about a week, then removing it to rub away dead cells. You’ll need to use a throw-away pumice stone or nail file to do this (again, being careful to avoid cross-contamination). Even if this does work for you, it will likely require repetition. How many times? We can only say: until your wart goes away.
Waiting it out
If you are infected with a common wart (see above), it’s possible it may go away on its own. The problem with waiting, however, is that the HPV virus causing the wart can spread easily through touch, or any skin opening. So, even if your body fights off one wart, you may be playing a game of ‘wack-a-mole’ if another one pops up, or a family member catches it. We feel it is better to have warts treated as soon as possible.
Wart prevention and care
The HPV virus commonly enters the skin through open wounds. To prevent spreading the HPV virus that is causing your wart, please remember the following care points:
- Never bite, pick or poke at your wart. This includes everyday nail biting, even when you don’t have a visible wart.
- Do not shave over a wart.
- Don’t try to clip off a wart.
- Don’t use the same pumice stone or nail file on your wart, as on other parts of your body. Only use disposable exfoliators on your wart. Throw them away after each use.
- Don’t share towels, nail clippers or other personal care objects with family members, especially if there are wart infections happening in your household.
- Sterilize your personal care equipment, like nail clippers or grooming scissors, after every use.
- Wear a bandage over a visible wart, especially if it has been opened.
- Wash your hands for at least 60 seconds, multiple times a day, to prevent the spread of all disease, including HPV.
- Wear washable water shoes at pools or in gym locker rooms. Clean your feet well after walking barefoot anywhere. Don’t walk barefoot at all if you have a cut or opening on your feet. If you get treated for plantar warts, change all your footwear, or disinfect them, too.
- Get tested regularly for genital strains of HPV. Use condoms and consider a vaccine, if you are sexually active. Always use protection during sex, even if warts are not visible.
Will professional wart removal hurt?
Whether or not your wart removal session will hurt can depend on your pain tolerance, as well as the method chosen to treat it. Wart removal using surgery, lasers, liquid nitrogen or strong acids are not painless. They may sting or burn a little. You will also need to follow strict aftercare routines to prevent infection and scarring.
Before surgical or laser wart removal at our clinic, we will use an injectable numbing agent, to reduce the pain felt during the procedure.
Will my warts come back after being treated with lasers, surgery or any other method?
The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which causes warts, is contagious. So, while we may be able to target one wart, remember that your skin might be open for a while. If you are not careful, the virus can spread, or re-enter your wound.
We will advise you on stringent aftercare procedures to do at home, after having your wart treated at our clinic.
Please also remember that warts can reside in your body for 6 months, or even years, before showing any skin growth. We will not be able to pre-treat warts. We can only treat the ones that are protruding.
If you have an already weakened immune system, such as from HIV, or medications, your chance of being infected, or re-infected, can increase.
All-in-all, we feel it is better to have a wart professionally treated, as soon as you notice it. This way, you’ll reduce the chances of improper treatment protocols, or spreading the virus with prolonged, at-home remedies, which may not work to begin with.
Can you perform laser wart removal on children or adolescents?
Yes, we can use our laser wart treatments on children and adolescents. Of course, guardians will need to be present, and sign for approval. This is still an out-of-pocket service, even when performed on minors.
Other, non-laser treatments for warts on children are still available at our medical clinic next door. Depending on the solution, these treatments may be covered under MSP, or by your private insurance carrier.
What is the cost of wart removal at your Surrey clinic?
Our wart removal services start at around $500 for one wart. However, we do give package rates if you have more than one wart. The best way to find out the cost of wart removal is to come to our clinic for a consultation. We’ll be able to take a closer look, and let you know what we think it will take to get your particular wart(s) removed.
In addition to the actual treatment, we also recommend purchasing a scar gel, or other creams, which can help to reduce scarring afterwards. We sell these at our clinic, and will explain more about them during your appointment with us.
Please note: we do not treat plantar warts (foot warts) using lasers at our clinic, nor internal genital warts at all. Also, laser wart removal is not covered by MSP, nor most private insurance carriers. Our medical clinic next door can help you with MSP-covered wart removal options, such as those discussed above.
Prices on this website are to be used as a guide, and not a definite cost for your treatment. Prices can change at any time.
Procedure results are not guaranteed, and can vary from patient to patient.