Have you ever wondered why warts appear and what the safest way for wart removal and treatment is? Or should you be concerned if warts appear on your skin? Here, we will go through everything you need to know about warts, their treatment, and the reasons why they appear on the skin.
What Are Warts?
Before we go into details, we should cover what warts are first. Warts are growths on the skin that usually look grainy and are rough to the touch. Warts will most commonly appear on hands and fingers, but it is not impossible for them to appear elsewhere. It is possible to have warts on any part of the skin, but usually, hands are the primary target.
What causes warts? Warts appear due to the presence of human papillomavirus or HPV. The virus will trigger extra skin cell growth and cause the outer layer of the skin to become harder and thicker in one spot.
We should also mention that warts are contagious, and they are transmitted by contact. The “wart” virus can take up to six months to develop, counting from the time your skin was infected. Usually, having warts doesn’t need to suggest an underlying condition, and they can be pretty harmless. However, there are a couple of situations where you will want to visit a doctor and that might lead to a dangerous situation.
The Types of Warts
There are several different types of warts that may appear on one’s skin. The first one is common warts or verruca vulgaris. They are firm to the touch and have a rough, raised surface. Most commonly, this type looks similar to cauliflower, and they can appear anywhere on the skin. However, usually, common warts will appear in places where the skin is broken, elbows, knuckles, fingers, and knees.
It is also possible to notice darker spots on the wart, which are clotted blood vessels. These are also known as seed warts. Common warts are most likely to be harmless, and they will disappear on their own after a while.
The second type, or plantar warts, can appear on soles, heels, and toes. The main difference here is that the pressure from walking (or standing) may cause the wart to grow into the skin, making it painful to walk. They are a bit more difficult to clean, and people often confuse them with calluses.
Plane warts are flat, round, and smooth. They appear in an area exposed to sunlight, and they are a bit darker than the skin color. Usually, plane warts appear in larger numbers, but they are more likely to disappear without treatment.
Filiform warts most commonly appear on the neck and eyelids, and mosaic warts is the name used to describe multiple plantar warts in a large cluster. Finally, there are genital warts, which are pretty common among sexually active people.
Wart Removal and Treatment
Now, having something like warts is usually harmless, but people would still want to find a way to remove them. They are anything but pretty, so it’s more than obvious why people would want to get rid of warts.
But before you start looking for home remedies that can help you remove them, you should know that warts can sometimes point to a different problem. If a person has multiple warts on their body, it is a clear sign that their immune system is compromised, and they should consult their doctor.
So before you look for treatment, be sure to consult your dermatologist. They will be able to tell you what kind of wart you have and whether it is something you should be worried about. Usually, a sign to visit your doctor is if the ugly wart is causing you some pain, if it bleeds, changes look, or returns after you have already removed it.
While treatment is not always recommended (since warts will disappear on their own), it might help to get stronger peeling medicine like salicylic acid. The most common treatment is cryotherapy, where the doctor will use liquid nitrogen in order to freeze the wart. This will cause a blister around the wart, and it will push your immune system to further fight the warts.
Other types of removals and methods for treating warts involve trichloroacetic acid, minor surgeries, or laser treatment.
If your doctor confirmed that there are no reasons to worry, that the warts are harmless and there are no signs of skin cancer, you might want to try out some home remedies. These DIY removal methods are good only in case you are 100% sure that the wart is harmless, and we will always recommend visiting a doctor before you try anything on your own.
Now, what might surprise you is that many people report success after using a single piece of duct tape. All you need to do (according to this theory) is use the tape to peel away layers of your skin. The idea behind it is to kick start your immune system, and you should repeat the process every couple of days.
Some also suggest that garlic can be helpful. Of course, no one is trying to say that you are a vampire — it’s just that garlic has antiviral compounds, and it might stop viral cells from growing.
The best option is to just be careful and focus on your hygiene, avoid sharing towels and touching other people’s warts. This is the safest way to avoid having to think about treatments in the first place.