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A postal questionnaire was sent to 185 general practitioners to assess their approach to cutaneous warts and their views on the future development of the routine wart treatment service; 159 (85.9%) replied. A wide range of treatments were offered and most patients were given some treatment. The main reasons respondents gave for referring patients to hospital were failure of wart paints (73.6%) and lack of availability of liquid nitrogen (70.4%). Most general practitioners (74.2%) believed that dermatologists should spend less than 5% of their time treating warts. Many general practitioners (61.6%) wanted a practice-based wart clinic offering cryotherapy and 30.8% would like to refer directly to a hospital clinic run by a nurse. A practice clinic was more popular with general practitioners who have a treatment room nurse (P less than 0.01). Most seemed to appreciate the need for training to use liquid nitrogen. We conclude that general practitioners are keen to use cryotherapy and we argue that hospital management should provide the necessary resources for running a community-based service.