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Warts are caused either by an immune deficiency, by the human papillomavirus, or by unknown causes. Warts can appear on the hands, fingers, feet, and toes. Certain types of HPV can even also cause genital warts along the inside of the vagina in women and the anus in both women and men infected with some these types of HPV. While over-the-counter remedies help in some wart situations, others require more drastic measures to remove the warts.
Some warts can be treated with over-the-counter remedies containing salicylic acid, according to BetterWartRemoval.com. However, some types of warts, such as genital warts or warts that are not subsiding with over-the-counter treatment, require treatment in a doctor's office. Medical treatments for warts include freezing or burning. The process of freezing off warts often makes use of nitrogen oxide.
The freezing of warts is called cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is administered using some form of nitrogen that is chilled and extremely cold. To treat warts, often liquid nitrogen, nitrogen oxide or a related product is applied directly to the area or subcutaneously, below the skin. The freezing kills the wart cells and allows them to be scraped away. Repeated treatments every one to four weeks for a duration of three to four treatments are generally necessary to get rid of warts using this type of therapy, according to Drugs.com.
Recovery from Nitrogen Oxide Use
Although repeated procedures are necessary to get rid of the wart in its entirety, recovery time is quick and painless. There may be slight pain during the procedure, which can be alleviated by taking ibuprofen or some other over-the-counter pain medication a half hour before the procedure is scheduled to begin. Usually, the only side effect you notice from the use of nitrogen oxide is a small blister-like formation over the wart, noticeable if the wart is in a visible area. This blister-like formation will dry up and eventually fall off along with the rest of the wart. The best advantage to treatment with this procedure is that it does not leave a scar behind. Complete healing from each bout of cryotherapy takes approximately one to two weeks.