Before talking about wart removal option, we’ll explain some causes and kind of wart itself.
Warts are unsightly, to say the least, and although they are skin growths which are not cancerous, they are contagious.
Warts can be passed on from one person to another, often indirectly. It takes several months between the initial contact and for the infection to manifest itself.
That in itself would want you running for a blowtorch to kill those little buggers at first sight but… listen to the rest of the story.
Kinds of Warts
Common warts grow around on the backs of hands, fingers, and nails.
They appear most often in the skin which has small cuts or abrasions or where there are tiny breaks from hangnails as a result of nail-biting.
Foot warts can appear on the feet’s soles. Known as “plantar warts,” those found in the feet grow in small clusters, look like tiny cauliflowers, and take on the name “mosaic warts.”
The pressure put on the feet from walking pushes plantar warts back into the skin because they get flattened. They look like black dots but these are actually blood vessels.
If you feel like you have stones in your shoes, tough luck, kiddo because you might just have plantar warts and, not to give you false hopes, they can get pretty difficult to treat.
Flat warts are smoother and smaller than the other wart types but they multiply from between 20 and 100 at any given point in time. Flat warts are common in the facial areas of children, women’s legs, and men’s skin where beards grow.
Thin and tall, small, soft and flat, not scaly like other warts, genital warts are common problems of adults. They can grow within the vagina, around the penis, around the anal cavity, on the cervix, and within the rectal areas.
The human papillomavirus or HPV responsible for the incidence of genital warts hardly ever grow into warts on feet and hands. Unfortunately, they do so in the mouth more often.
Genital warts, incidentally, are more contagious, and those who are sexually promiscuous or engage in unprotected sex have a higher risk of catching it than those who are in monogamous relationships. They have also been directly liked to genital cancer.
What Causes Warts?
According to the University of Alabama’s associate professor of dermatologic surgery in Birmingham, Conway Huang, the virus that causes warts is ubiquitous and every one of us have, at one point or another, come into contact with HPV when we turn doorknobs, shake hands, type on computer keyboards, lean on cafeteria tables.
People don’t get warts from toads or frogs, according to dermatologist Robert Brodell from Warren, Ohio.
A towel which had been used by a person who is infected with warts, for instance, acts like the virus carrier in the spread of warts.
The HPV enters scrapes and cuts called abrasions on the skin which are hardly visible to the naked eye. These are usually the result of nicks from razors while shaving in the legs for women and in the beard area for men.
Some people, however, may be exposed or come into contact with warts but not get infected. Simply put, these people have strong, healthy immune systems or their skin has no damage or break on them.
Preventing the Spread of Warts
Warts can disappear as abruptly as they appeared without treatment, but they can and do spread easily to other body parts.
Duct tape – yes, you read that right – can be effective against warts.
Plasters made of 40% salicylic acid plasters are another option, but these can get irritating to the skin.
And then there’s cryotherapy, a process that freezes warts with shots of liquid nitrogen, however, women will not particularly like this treatment since there’s a possibility of scarring where the treatment was performed.
Other precautions to take are easy peasy:
- Always wash your hands thoroughly
- Do not lend personal stuff like towels, shoes, slippers, hair brushes, razors
- Wear rubber slippers when you take a shower at the gym
- Put cayenne pepper on them if you have to but DO NOT BITE YOUR NAILS!
If you do have a wart, get rid of it pronto because the first one is always the Mommy Wart. And mommies have babies, remember?
Unless you plan to have warts instead of freckles on your face or legs, you would want to exterminate these ugly-looking, annoying little cauliflowers ASAP.
Wart Removal Options
Here are some of the best wart removal options available:
The Salicylic Acid
First, make sure those patches on your skin are actually warts and not some other kind of skin allergy or rash. As soon as you’re sure they are warts, buy a solution or patch that has between 15% and 17% of salicylic acid.
The success rate of treatment using salicylic acid is 50% spread out in a month and a half. Apply these to the infected areas every single day for two weeks.
You can try wart removal with Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away, Occlusal-HP or Compound W. Don’t forget to read the instructions carefully since salicylic acid can be a little on the strong side of potency. Discontinue the treatment if you experience adverse effects.
Liquid Nitrogen and Electrotherapy
Another option for wart removal is Cryotherapy. Read that as applying liquid nitrogen on warts to freeze them. Still another option is electrosurgery!
But, hey, this is going to cost you an arm and a leg, although the cost lessens the pain because lasers are used to remove warts (it’s only the physical pain that is reduced, by the way, since getting the bill might give you an aneurysm).
Don’t worry, there’s going to be very little loss of your blood even if they cut through and around warts. They will use lasers, remember?
You can also try vitamin A-derived topical ointments called retinoids which are known to disrupt the cell growth of warts on the skin.
There are also preparations with skin surface-peeling properties that dry out your skin from inside out to stop the HPV from their leisurely breeding under your skin’s layers.
However, these skin surface peelers should not be used on warts that appear on the genital area, lips or face (but they are safe to use on legs).
Their success rate? Between 40 and 50% within a week and three days.
Duct Tape Wart Removal
And then there’s duct tape. Unbelievable? Well, that’s homemade wart removal.
Recent research showed that duct tape eliminated more warts than Cryotherapy did, so it’s worth considering.
For six days, your warts will be duct taped and then soaked in mildly warm water, after which they will be rubbed with a pumice stone.
This is to be done every day for two months!
So if you prefer a non-invasive treatment that won’t cost you to break your wallet but leave your skin raw, reddish, sensitive, and just a little bit SORE, go for the duct tape treatment.
Make sure you have bathed every time the duct tape goes on.