Warts can be a skin issue that may cause embarrassment or lower self-confidence. Warts usually occur on the hands, fingers and feet, but can be present anywhere on the body. People do not often understand the cause of warts or what they can do to control them. We will talk about these causes, as well as different options for treatment depending upon the location or severity of warts.
What is a Wart?
Warts are most normally caused by a virus known as the human papilloma virus (HPV). This virus can spread through direct contact but they can spread through the use of shared towels or objects. You can also spread warts over your own body if you already have a wart present on your skin. These warts normally are completely harmless. They can vary in color, shape and texture. Typical warts appear pink, tan or white. They appear small, grainy and fleshy. A rough texture can be felt on their surface. If you have a wart be careful not to spread the virus. Warts can be left alone for the most part, But if they cause embarrassment, are bothering you or are spreading, you might want to consider treatment.
The most popular home remedy for warts includes the use of duct tape on the area to help remove dead skin cells. To use the duct tape method simply use regular gray duct tape. Wash the area and cover the wart with it for six days.
Remove the duct tape on the sixth day and soak in warm water. Then use a pumice stone or emery board (that is used for no other purpose) to slough away the dead skin cells. Repeat the process as needed. It could take up to two months for the wart to go away.
Over the Counter Treatments
Over the counter treatments can also be purchased at your local drug store. Salicylic acid is typically the active ingredient in these medications. They are available as either patches or solutions to be used on your warts. Look for one that contains at least 17% of the active ingredient. You should before starting this treatment soak your wart in warm water for up to twenty minutes then apply the medication. Apply these treatments daily using a dedicated pumice stone or emery board between treatments to scrub away dead skin cells. This process can also take several weeks.
When to See the Doctor
You may want to see your doctor if you have tried several of the above treatments and none have worked for you. You may want to also see them if your wart happens to be in a place that is very noticeable, such as on your face. They can most often recommend what treatments can be best for you or refer you to a dermatologist to help you. Normally they will start with the least painful methods before moving on to others.
What a Dermatologist or Doctor Can Do
Typically if home remedies or over-the-counter treatments simply do not work to remove the wart there are other options. These usually include freezing the wart off with liquid nitrogen or performing a minor surgery to remove the wart. Freezing may require several treatments and may not take care of all warts. Freezing treatments are a lot less painful than minor surgery which is often the very last resort. Minor surgery involves painful anesthetic and can leave a scar, so it is not often used for the removal of warts in exposed areas. This surgery is often performed by cutting away the wart or using electricity to burn it off.