Among some of the more embarrassing and unsightly conditions human beings suffer from, warts can be some of the worst. They destroy self-confidence, cause terrible embarrassment, and can linger for long periods of time when they’re not dealt with. And with approximately 10 varieties of warts, it’s all hands on deck once you decide to fight them.
Fortunately there are several good ways to get rid of warts. We’ll talk about some of those methods here along with some other bits of vital information you may not yet know. In any case, rest assured that warts don’t have to be the end of your life. You can remove them safely and effectively.
The Causes of Warts
A viral infection that starts on the surface of the skin and penetrates deeply into the tissue, causes warts. The virus in question is the infamous human papilloma virus; a nasty little bug that can manifest itself in nearly a dozen different maladies. Of those maladies, warts are the most minor.
When the virus embeds itself in the Keratinocyte cells of the skin it begins to reproduce at a rapid pace. This forms the lump of the wart which is sometimes said to resemble cauliflower or a very dense blister. The virus gets into the cells through unbroken skin, and though the body’s immune system is capable of destroying the virus, it can take years in some people. It can also be persistent in bringing back recurring warts even after they’ve been removed.
Warts of All Shapes and Sizes
As we stated earlier, there are 10 varieties of warts generally accepted in the medical community. Though all similar in terms of their cause and treatment, they are different in some respects. The following is a list of the seven most common types and where they are most likely to appear on the body:
- Common Wart – Common warts are known by this name because they are those most often seen by doctors. They can occur anywhere on the body, though they are seen most often on the hands. You can tell a common wart because it is a raised lump with a rough surface.
- Flat Wart - Flat warts usually are found on the hands, wrists, face, neck, and knees. Unlike common warts that are white, flat warts are usually flesh colored. They are also smooth and flat and tend to occur in clusters.
- Digitate Wart – The digitate wart normally occurs near the eyelids or the lips. It gets its name from the fact that it is long and finger-shaped rather than being circular like common and flat warts. Sometimes digitate warts are confused as skin tags or other skin lesions.
- Genital Wart – A genital wart can occur on either the male or female genitalia; it usually resembles a common wart in appearance.
- Mosaic Wart – Mosaic warts get their name from the fact that they occur in tightly compressed clusters that give the appearance of a mosaic. These are usually clustered plantar warts found on the hands or bottom of the feet.
- Periungal Wart – This type of wart also occurs as part of a cluster. It looks like a tiny piece of cauliflower and most typically is found around the fingernails and toenails.
- Plantar Wart - The plantar wart is often the most painful kind; unfortunately, it’s usually also the most difficult to permanently get rid of. It is almost exclusively the domain of the feet, appearing where footwear has created a pressure point. You can identify a plantar wart in two ways: the black dot in the center and the pain it produces.
Are Warts Dangerous?
The good news about warts is that they are not dangerous in most cases. We say “most cases” because it is possible that a wart, when combined with something more serious (i.e., melanoma), can be a problem. But in 99.99% of all cases warts are completely harmless. And except for planter warts, they are also painless at the same time.
The bad news about warts is that they are highly contagious. That should be no surprise given the fact that they are caused by a virus. Just as the virus causing the common cold is easily passed among people through casual contact, the human papilloma virus can travel the same way. Some of the more common ways of spreading warts include:
- shaking hands with someone who has a common wart on the hand
- embracing someone with warts on the face or neck
- engaging in sexual activity with someone suffering from genital warts
If you’re suffering from warts it’s important you take the necessary precautions to keep them from spreading to your family members and friends. For example, keep warts covered with a plastic bandage during the time they are being treated. You should also avoid scratching or picking at them, as opening them up will allow the virus to easily spread. Finally, if you have warts on your face or hands make sure to wash regularly.
Common Home Remedies for Warts
Home remedies for warts have existed as long as warts themselves. Most of the common home remedies work for at least a small percentage of the population; keep in mind that no remedy works for everyone. You may have to try several to find one that works for you.
- Duct Tape Occlusion – Also known more commonly as the “duct tape method”, this remedy consists of covering the wart with a small piece of duct tape for six days at a time. After six days the tape is removed, the wart is cleansed with water and scraped with a pumice stone, and a new piece of tape applied on the seventh day. While this method is effective for many people, it can take several months to completely remove a wart.
- Nail Polish/Hydrogen Peroxide – Both of these beauty products work on the same principle as over-the-counter salicylic acid treatments. You apply one of the substances on a daily basis and then keep the wart covered throughout the day. Both nail polish and hydrogen peroxide will work to dry out the wart and slowly starve the virus by killing the affected skin cells.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda – We all know from high school science what happens when you combine vinegar and baking soda. When you combine it on top of a wart, the chemical reaction helps to remove the wart over several weeks. It should be applied once in the morning and again in the evening.
- Vitamin C – It’s believed that vitamin C is one of the best things we can take to boost our immune systems. Therefore, some also believe that if you grind up a vitamin C tablet, add a little water to make a paste, and then apply it to your wart it will help your immune system kill the virus. For those who have found success, application has been made twice a day for several weeks.
Removing Warts with Dermatend
There are a number of all-natural products you can buy at your local pharmacy or market. Among the best of them is a product known as DermaTend. This product has been around for quite a while as a successful treatment for skin tags and molds; it’s also very effective in removing warts. What’s the DermaTend secret?
DermaTend is an herbal formula using four primary ingredients that penetrate the skin and get right to the root of the wart. This causes a scab to form while the wart is slowly destroyed from the inside out. DermaTend has proven so effective for most people that the company offers a 60-day, money-back guarantee. Best of all, it’s safe enough to use any where warts occur — even around the eyelids and the mouth.
Common Methods of Medical Wart Removal
The prevalence of warts throughout history has given rise to lots of different medical treatments. Some of these treatments are considered safer than others, yet none is the perfect solution for every sufferer. Here are the most common medical treatments:
- Keratolysis – This process is perhaps the most common used in the United States. It involves a topical solution, usually salicylic acid, applied to the surface of the warts on a regular basis. The solution dries out the wart, kills the affected skin cells, and destroys the food supply the virus is dependent upon. When you buy an over-the-counter topical solution you are employing this method.
- Curettage – Curettage is a method of removing warts by cutting them out or scraping them off. Doctors prefer this method for plantar warts due to the fact that such warts are usually deeply embedded into the tissue of the foot.
- Electrodesiccation – Also known as electro-cauterization, this method uses a minimal electrical current to produce heat that will cauterize (burn off) the wart.
- Cryosurgery – With cryosurgery the wart is frozen using something like liquid nitrogen. Once frozen it can be easily removed by a doctor.
- Laser Removal – Laser removal is very similar to curettage in principle, the only difference being that a laser is used to remove the wart rather than a scalpel.
- HPV Vaccine – This method of preventing warts from occurring is highly controversial. The HPV vaccine has been recommended among women to prevent such things as cervical cancer. However, there are risks associated with giving it to people simply as a preventative measure for warts.
If you’re suffering from warts of any kind don’t forget one of the things we said at the beginning of this article: they don’t have to be the end of your life. There are a number of ways to remove them safely and effectively without any danger to you. We recommend you use medical and surgical methods as a last resort, as they all carry with them certain risks. Try a home remedy or a proven product like DermaTend first.