Does Medicare Cover Wart Removal?

Tamera Jackson by Tamera Jackson | Licensed since 2007

This article was updated on: 09/12/2018

Medicare coverage is based on medical necessity. If your doctor feels that it’s medically necessary for you to receive treatment for wart removal, Medicare may cover this wart treatment. However, if the wart treatment is largely cosmetic, Medicare may not cover it.

What are warts?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, warts are growths on the skin. Warts can appear on your fingers, the soles of your feet, your genitals, or in places where you shave frequently. You may have one wart or many. Be careful not to mistake possible skin cancer growth for warts. See a doctor if your growths change in appearance or color, advices the Mayo Clinic.

What causes warts?

Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) according to the Mayo Clinic. More than 100 types of HPV exist but not all types cause warts. You can get warts from skin-to-skin contact with someone who has warts. You get genital warts through oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected partner, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. However, contact with a wart or the HPV virus is a not a guarantee that you will get warts, as everyone’s immune system responds to HPV differently.

How to get rid of a wart?

Warts might disappear on their own without any wart removal treatments. It may be necessary to pursue wart removal if your warts hurt or bother you of if they multiply, according to the U.S National Library of Medicine. The goal of wart treatment could be both to remove the wart and stimulate an immune response to fight the virus, according to the Mayo Clinic. Wart treatment could include:

  • Chemical skin treatment (salicylic acid treatment is sometimes combined with freezing. Other acids your doctor may use are bichloroacetic acid or trichloroacetic acid which may require repeat treatments )
  • Freezing (done at a doctor’s office)
  • Surgery
  • Laser treatment (may cause pain and scarring)

You may also be able to try using salicylic acid, freezing or duct tape at home. However, Medicare generally does not cover home remedies for wart removal.

Unfortunately, the HPV virus that causes warts stays in the body even after wart treatment, so the warts can come back, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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