Warts – even the name sounds unpleasant! Warts can be disfiguring and frustrating, as they are difficult to treat and do not have a definite cure. If you are burdened by the embarrassment of a common wart on your hand, face, foot, or other body part, this information will give you basic steps on how to help get rid of it.
What are warts?
A wart is a skin growth caused by some types of the virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV infects the top layer of skin, usually entering the body in an area of broken skin. The virus causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, forming a wart. Most warts go away on their own within months or years.
Warts can grow anywhere on the body, and there are different kinds. For example, common warts grow most often on the hands, but they can grow anywhere. Plantar warts grow on the soles of the feet.
Without treatment, most types of warts resolve in months to years. A number of treatments may speed resolution including salicylic acid applied to the skin and cryotherapy. In those who are otherwise healthy they do not typically result in significant problems. Treatment of genital warts differ from that of other types.
Warts occur when the virus comes in contact with your skin and causes an infection. Warts are more likely to develop on broken skin, such as picked hangnails or areas nicked by shaving, because the virus is able to enter the top layer of skin through scratches or cuts.
While dermatologists still don’t know why, certain people are more likely to get warts than others. Additionally, children get warts much more often than adults, because their immune systems have not yet built up their defenses against the numerous types of human papillomavirus that exist.
TOP-10 Medically Remedies (Verified)
Warts are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus) and as such, can take quite a bit of time to eliminate naturally by one’s immune system. Some warts will disappear over time, without treatment. However, “time” could mean anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple of years, so you may wish to choose a more active method. Whichever method you choose, allow it time to work. Some methods are faster acting than others. The fastest method to removing warts permanently is using 100% TCA. With this method results are often seen in less than 10 days and are permanent. It is also the cheapest and is discussed later.
- Use salicylic acid or 100% Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA). Salicylic acid is the ingredient of most over-the-counter wart removers, including Compound W and Occlusal. It’s effectiveness varies and it can take weeks for it work.
- Use duct tape. Several studies have tried to assess the effectiveness of duct tape in removing warts. Duct tape occlusion therapy (DTOT) is supposed to localize medication in the general wart area as well as “choke” the wart itself. One study found that duct tape following the application of imiquimod 5% cream was an effective treatment against the common wart. However it takes a long time (can take up to 6 months) and usually people don’t see success with this.
- Apply cantharidin. Ask your doctor about using cantharidin, a fast-acting chemical that will burn away the wart. There is some pain involved, but you may see results in just a day.
- Liquid nitrogen. Another remedy your doctor may try is liquid nitrogen—or cryotherapy—to freeze the wart. It may cause some discomfort, and can take a few treatments to completely remove a wart, but can be very effective. If it’s not then the wart will usually come back bigger with bigger blood vessels and be almost impossible to remove.
- Burn the wart off. When other methods fail, burning the wart off may be what’s needed. There will be some pain involved, and burning can lead to scarring, so the best recommendation it to let your doctor handle it. However, you can try this at home, if you’re brave enough. See your doctor. They can use a laser to burn the wart away. This is sometimes effective, but best recommended after other methods have failed.
- Have your doctor cut it out. When in doubt, have your doctor remove the wart by cutting it out surgically. This is something best left to a doctor, to prevent infection, and so that a local anesthetic can be used to mitigate the pain. A doctor will either do this by:
- Electrosurgery and curettage. This is where the doctor burns the wart with an electrical current and cuts it out afterward. The wart may still return because the blood vessels are still intact.
- Laser surgery. This is where the doctor burns the wart with an intense beam of light.
- Consider immunotherapy. Your doctor will be able to counsel you on this treatment, which uses your body’s own defenses to attack the wart.
- The Veregen. This is a new medication that is used to treat genital warts as well as other warts. Ask your doctor about Veregen for to get rid of warts.
- Use imiquimod. This is a topical cream that is used to treat some types of warts and skin cancers by stimulating an immune response. It does not cure warts, but it may help, in concert with other treatments. Ask your doctor for guidance.
TOP-10 Home Remedies (Unverified)
We have several wart removal tips and tricks for you to try besides Compound W, freezing, and other standard techniques. Meanwhile, work on prevention at the same time—avoid walking barefoot, don’t share personal hygiene items, and avoid touching all warts—yours and everyone else’s.
- Boost your immune system. Warts are caused by a virus, so one of the best ways to get rid of them is to boost your body’s ability to fight them. In fact, many people notice that warts show up when they’re feeling tired, sick, or worn down. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercising regularly, and use some potent immune boosters like astragalus, elderberry, olive leaf, vitamin C, zinc, turmeric, and cat’s claw.
- Stop the spread. Not only can warts be passed from person to person, but you can also spread them around your own body through touch. If you touch your wart, for instance, and then touch another part of your body before washing your hands, you may spread the virus, and notice new warts popping up several days later.
- Use pineapple. Apply fresh pineapple directly to the wart several times a day. The natural acids and enzymes will help.
- Garlic. Mix some fresh garlic with water and apply the paste to the wart. Put a bandage on top. Re-apply every few hours and continue until the wart is gone.
- Baking powder. Mix baking powder and castor oil into a paste, apply to the wart at night, and cover with a bandage. Repeat daily. You can also try crushed, fresh basil in the same way—or even mix the two together.
- Vitamins. Crush up a vitamin C tablet and mix with water to make a thick paste. Apply to the wart and cover with a bandage. You can also try vitamin E—break a capsule, rub on the wart, and cover.
- Aspirin. Use these like the vitamin C tablet—crush, add a little water, apply the paste to the wart, and cover overnight. Repeat for several nights until gone.
- Tea tree oil. Apply directly to the wart, then cover with the bandage. Repeat daily. You can also mix with clove and/or Frankincense oils for additional power.
- Bee propolis. Some people have found success applying propolis directly to the wart several times a day. Or try applying at night and covering until morning.
- Aloe vera. Fresh from the actual plant is best. Break off a leaf and rub the gel onto the wart. Aloe contains malic acid. If you don’t have the plant, get the purest form of aloe you can find. Cover after each application.
To reduce your risk of common warts:
- Avoid direct contact with warts. This includes your own warts.
- Avoid touching warts on yourself or others.
- Don’t pick at warts. Picking may spread the virus.
- Don’t share razors, towels, socks, or shoes with another person. Someone with no visible warts can still be carrying the virus.
- Avoid walking barefoot on warm, moist surfaces where the wart virus may be alive. Wear shower shoes when using public showers, locker rooms, or pool areas.
- Keep your feet dry. If your feet sweat heavily, wear socks that absorb moisture or wick it away from the skin.
- Avoid irritating the soles of your feet. Warts grow more easily if your skin has been injured or broken in some way.
- Don’t use the same emery board, pumice stone or nail clipper on your warts as you use on your healthy skin and nails.
- Don’t bite your fingernails. Warts occur more often in skin that has been broken. Nibbling the skin around your fingernails opens the door for the virus.
- Groom with care. Use a disposable emery board. And avoid brushing, clipping or shaving areas that have warts. If you must shave, use an electric razor.
- Wash your hands carefully after touching your warts or surfaces such as shared exercise equipment.