Warts are common benign skin growths caused by infection of the human papillomavirus (HPV). This makes them contagious. There are over a 100 types of HPV warts. If infected by it, it is important to spot them and remove them as fast as possible, or else we will be affected by the health problems they cause. Warts also integrate into human cells and change our DNA. This process increases the division of cells and makes them multiply fast.
The most common cause of warts developing is by human touch or autoinoculation. So, if you pick or scratch a wart, you can unknowingly spread its viral bits to any other part of your skin.
Getting rid of viral warts
Usually, people aren’t interested in treating viral warts because the treatment is both troublesome and uncomfortable. If they are treated, it could be because they are unsightly or painful.
[ Read: How To Get Rid of Warts On Hands ]
- Salicylic acid: Topical treatment comprises gels, creams, medicated plasters and skin paints that contain salicylic acid. They burn the epidermal layer of the skin and help get rid of it. If using salicylic acid, remember to use it every day. Before using it, wet the wart with water to soften it. Apply petroleum jelly to the skin surrounding the wart in order to protect it. Use an emery board to file the wart just a little once every week.
- Cryotherapy: When a doctor uses cryotherapy to get rid of a wart, he freezes a wart with a cold substance like liquid nitrogen. This normally takes just a few minutes. Using liquid nitrogen can cause a permanent scar or white mark and in some cases, numbness for a while.
- Electro surgery: Electro surgery is another method of getting rid of warts. Done under local anaesthesia, the wart is cut and the base singed. Still, patients should be prepared to live with a scar permanently. Though the wound takes a couple of weeks to heal, yet a small proportion of them do recur a few months later.
- Duct tape: Also called tape occlusion, duct tape is used to cover the wart for some time. About a month or two later, the tape is pulled off to reveal unblemished skin.
- Laser therapy: Laser therapy to get rid of viral warts is usually done under local anaesthesia. The doctor burns the wart using a very strong beam of light. Once it is done, a small tissue depression is formed, but it goes away in two weeks’ time.
- Bleomycin: Your doctor will inject each of your warts with Bleomycin, an anti-cancer medication. These injections apart from being painful also have several side-effects.
- Immunotherapy: This method uses the human body’s inherent rejection system to get rid of warts.
- Cantharidin: This quick-to-act chemical burns each wart effectively. It brings about pain and is quite expensive, but the results are visible in a day. In this procedure, the doctor applies this chemical directly on the wart and bandages it. The next day, the bandage is opened and the dead skin removed. If you don’t get the results you want in one treatment, perhaps your doctor will look for another kind of treatment.
- Burning the wart: If you have tried other methods that have been unsuccessful, it might work to burn the wart. Though it will lead to some amount of pain and a certain amount of scarring, so it’s best to ask your doctor to do it.
[ Read: How To Get Rid Warts In Toddlers ]
- Vitamin C: Powder a tablet of Vitamin C and add water to it to make a paste. Cover the wart with it and bandage it. Let it remain for a day and at night, take off the bandage and let it heal normally.
- Vitamin E: Open a capsule of Vitamin E and rub a little of this oil on the wart. Cover the spot with a bandage and remove it at night so that it can breathe normally. Next morning, repeat the procedure. Do this three times a day until the wart comes off naturally.
- Hot water and pumice: Foment the wart in hot water and keep doing this till it softens. Pare it down using a pumice till it is in line with the skin. Put a little bleach on a cotton swab and cover the wart with it. Hold the swab against the wart for about 20 minutes and wash the area thoroughly.
- Use pineapple: Cut a portion of fresh pineapple and apply it on to the wart many times each day. Pineapple’s natural acids and enzymes will help to get rid of the wart.
- Garlic paste: Make a paste of fresh garlic and water and apply it on to the wart. Cover it with a bandage. Repeat this procedure every few hours till the wart goes completely. Apply freshly crushed garlic directly to the wart and cover with a bandage. The stinging effect of garlic will cause the wart to develop into a blister and fall off in about a week. When you repeat this procedure every day, take care not to touch the healthy skin surrounding the wart.
- Tea tree oil: Rub the wart with a little tea tree oil and cover it with a bandage. Continue this procedure for a maximum of three weeks.
- Castor oil: Castor oil works on getting rid of warts due to the acid it contains. Castor oil should be applied to the wart using a cotton swab, at least twice a day. The wart develops irritation and with time, falls off.
- Aspirin: Powder a few aspirins and make a paste of it with water. Put this mixture on the warts and cover it with an adhesive bandage. Leave it on overnight. Aspirin, being a form of salicylic acid, works well to get rid of warts.
- Vinegar: Soak a cotton ball in vinegar and press it down onto the wart with a bandage. Keep it like this for about two hours a day until your wart falls off.
- Dandelion: Cutting a dandelion by the stem, squeeze some of its sap onto the wart. Do this every day when required. Dandelion’s sap is a little irritating and therefore stimulates your immune system to cure the wart.
- Banana peel: Take a piece of banana peel and place the inner side on the wart at bedtime. A chemical present in the peel helps dissolve warts. You can do the same using lemon peel as the oil contained in the peel thwarts the growth and development of warts.
- Papaya: Papaya contains a particular enzyme that takes in dead tissue. Papaya is used by making cuts on the surface of a raw papaya. The sap that emerges should be collected and allowed to set. The thickened sap should then be mixed with water and applied night and day.
If you have warts, don’t feel embarrassed about them because you do have help. You can have a procedure done by a doctor or try any of the home remedies mentioned here. Apply freshly crushed garlic directly to the wart and cover with a bandage. The caustic effect of the garlic will cause the wart to blister and fall off in as little as one week. Apply new garlic every day, avoiding contact with healthy surrounding skin. (Smearing the area around the wart with petroleum jelly can help.)