1. Common warts (Verruca Vulgaris)
Common warts have a firm, raised, rough surface and appear cauliflower-like. They can occur anywhere, but they are most common on the fingers, near the nails, and on any area with broken skin. Clotted blood vessels are often visible in small, darkened spots in common warts.
2. Plantar warts
Plantar warts, or verrucas, appear on the soles of the feet, heels, and toes. They usually grow into the skin because their weight pushes onto the sole. They typically have a small central black dot surrounded by rugged, white tissue. Plantar warts are often difficult to clear.
3. Plane Warts (Verruca Plana)
Plane warts are round, flat, and smooth. They can be yellowish, brownish, or the color of the person’s skin. Also known as flat warts, they grow most often in sun-exposed areas. They tend to grow in more significant numbers, sometimes between 20–100 at once.
4. Filiform warts (Verruca Filiformis)
Filiform warts are long and thin in shape. They can grow rapidly on the face, neck, and eyelids.
5. Mosaic warts
Mosaic warts are multiple plantar warts in a single cluster. They typically occur under the toes and on the balls of the feet but can spread across the foot.
When to contact a Doctor?
People should contact a doctor if a wart:
• Causes pain
• Bleeds easily
• Changes appearance
• Spreads easily to other parts of the body
Individuals who want a wart removed for cosmetic reasons should also contact a doctor.
Causes of warts
HPV causes the excessive and rapid growth of keratin, a complex protein on the top layer of the skin. This results in warts forming. Different HPV strains cause other warts. These strains can transmit through close skin-to-skin contact and contact with items recently exposed to HPV.
The virus can spread to other parts of the body through:
• Scratching or biting a wart
• Sucking fingers
• Biting fingernails, if there are warts around the nails
• Shaving the face or legs
Having wet or damaged skin, such as a cut or scrape, increases the risk of infection. For example, a person with blemishes on their feet is more likely to develop a verruca from visiting public swimming pools. The transmission risk of warts is low in adults and higher in children and infants. People with a compromised or suppressed immune system have a higher risk for contracting an HPV strain leading to warts. People who work with raw meat, such as butchers, also have a higher risk of developing warts.
Some strains of HPV can cause warts on, in, or around the genitals. While genital warts themselves are not harmful, they can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and transmit through intercourse. Other transmissible HPV strains can lead to cervical, anal, penile, and vulvovaginal cancer. But these are not the strains that cause genital warts, although a person may carry and transmit multiple strains simultaneously.
Natural home remedies for warts
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is thought to work like salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a standard wart treatment that peels away infected skin. Vinegar also has natural antimicrobial properties that may help fight HPV, but more studies are necessary.
To try it, mix 2-parts apple cider vinegar and 1-part water. Soak a cotton ball with this mixture. Place it on the wart, and cover it with a bandage. Leave it on for three to four hours. Always dilute apple cider vinegar with water. The acidity may cause irritation and chemical burns. Also, don’t apply it on open wounds.
2. Banana Peel
The potassium in banana peel is rumored to fight HPV. However, no research links potassium to the treatment of warts or viral skin infections. There also isn’t scientific evidence that banana peels fight HPV. If you want to try it, rub the inside of a banana peel on the wart. Repeat daily.
Allicin, the main component of garlic, has microbial effects. It works by destroying enzymes in harmful pathogens. To treat warts with garlic, crush up one clove and mix it with water. Apply to the wart and cover with a bandage. Repeat daily for three to four weeks. You can also apply garlic juice or rub a clove on the wart.
4. Orange Peel
Another popular wart remedy is orange peel. It’s an inexpensive option, but there isn’t scientific data to back it up. This remedy includes rubbing an orange peel on the wart once a day. Supposedly, the wart will change color, darken, then fall off. This may take two weeks or more.
Pineapple has bromelain, a mixture of enzymes that digests proteins. It’s believed that bromelain removes warts by dissolving proteins in HPV. While there are some data to support the potential effectiveness of bromelain in treating a few medical conditions, there aren’t any scientific studies to support its use to remove warts. People have reported success removing warts using pineapple juice in several ways. One method is to soak the wart in pineapple juice every day. Another technique is to apply fresh pineapple daily.
People claim that potato juice can “dehydrate” a wart, but no studies exist regarding its effectiveness. To try this method, cut a small potato in half. Rub the cut side on the wart until it’s covered in potato juice. Repeat twice a day.
7. Dandelion Weed
Many people think of the dandelion as a pesky weed. However, ancient Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine uses dandelions for medicinal properties. Dandelion milk, or sap, is a traditional remedy for skin diseases like warts. Break apart a dandelion and squeeze out the sticky white sap to try this method. Apply to the wart once or twice a day. Repeat for two weeks. Never use dandelions that have been sprayed with chemicals.
HOME REMEDIES FROM YOUR BATHROOM CABINET
1. Aloe Vera
People use aloe vera gel for skin conditions like burns and psoriasis. If your wart is itchy or painful, the gel may provide relief. Aloe vera gel can also fight pathogens, including viruses. It works against herpes simplex virus type 1, but no studies exist on the specific benefits of HPV. To use aloe, remove a leaf from an aloe vera plant. Apply the gel to the wart. Repeat daily.
Aspirin may also get rid of warts. Its main ingredient is salicylic acid, a common ingredient in over-the-counter wart treatments. Salicylic acid works by peeling away the infected skin. Over time, this removes the wart. Aspirin is thought to have a similar effect. The suggested method is to crush aspirin tablets and mix them with water. Apply the paste on the wart and cover with a bandage overnight.
3. Clear nail polish
Clear nail polish is an anecdotal wart remedy. It’s said to “suffocate” the virus, but there isn’t hard evidence on its effectiveness. At the very least, transparent nail polish can act as a protective coating. The method involves coating the wart with clear nail polish. Some people do this every other day, while others do it two or three times a day.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C has immune-boosting properties. This vitamin is also essential for wound healing and healthy skin tissue. It’s thought to fight HPV, but more reliable evidence is needed. Crush up a vitamin C tablet and mix it with water to try it. Apply the paste to the wart, cover with a bandage, and leave overnight. Repeat daily. Some people claim that lemon juice and vitamin C make a more effective paste. This could be from the acidity of lemon juice. Lemon juice may cause skin irritation, so use it with caution.
5. Vitamin E
Another home remedy for warts is vitamin E. This nutrient is vital for a healthy immune system. It’s thought to improve your body’s reaction to HPV, but there aren’t any studies to support this claim. You can puncture a vitamin E capsule and apply the oil to the wart. Protect the wart with a bandage and keep it on overnight. Repeat daily for two weeks.
6. Bee Propolis
Honey bees produce a resin-like substance called propolis. It’s made of plant substances, beeswax, pollen, and bee enzymes. To use propolis, apply it to the wart. Place a bandage on top and leave overnight. Repeat daily. You can also consume propolis for an immunity boost. This may help your body get rid of the wart.
7. Castor oil
Castor oil is an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory remedy. It’s used as a natural remedy for warts, ringworm, dandruff, and other skin conditions. Apply castor oil on the wart every day. It might take two or more weeks for the wart to fall off.
8. Duct tape
Duct tape is one of the most popular home remedies for warts. It’s inexpensive and easy to find. Duct tape is said to remove the infected skin over time. To use duct tape, stick a small piece on the wart. Remove it every three to six days. Soak the wart in water and scrub it with pumice stone or emery board. Leave it uncovered for 10 to 12 hours. Repeat the process. If you have sensitive skin, use duct tape with caution. It may cause redness, irritation, and bleeding.
9. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a powerful antimicrobial remedy. It’s used to treat skin conditions like acne, athlete’s foot, and other skin infections. The oil’s antiviral properties may also help get rid of warts. Some methods suggest applying tea tree oil on the wart, but undiluted oil can cause skin irritation. Always dilute it first.
To do so, combine 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil with 12 drops of carrier oil, like almond oil or castor oil. Add 3 to 4 drops of this mixture to a cotton ball. Place it on the wart for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat two or three times a day. If you experience irritation, you might need to dilute it even more.
Studies indicate that about half of warts go away on their own within a year and two-thirds within two years, so "watchful waiting" is an option for new warts. But some experts recommend immediate treatment to reduce the amount of virus shed into nearby tissue and possibly lower the risk of recurrence. If you prefer not to wait it out, you have several treatment options:
• Salicylic Acid
This is the main ingredient in aspirin, and it should usually be your first choice. Salicylic acid is the only topical treatment (treatment applied directly to the skin) that outperforms a placebo. Salicylic acid costs little, have minimal side effects and comes in various over-the-counter preparations, including liquids, gels, and patches. Concentrations range from 17% to 40% (more substantial concentrations should be used only for warts on thicker skin). To treat a wart, soak it for 10 to 15 minutes (you can do this in the shower or bath), file away the dead warty skin with an emery board or pumice stone, and apply the salicylic acid. Do this once or twice a day for 12 weeks. Like the bottom of the foot, Warts in thick skin may respond best to a patch that stays in place for several days. Continuing treatment for a week or two after the wart goes away may help prevent a recurrence.
In this treatment, also called cryotherapy, clinicians swabs or spray liquid nitrogen onto the wart and a small surrounding area. The extreme cold (which may be as low as –321 F) burns the skin, causing pain, redness, and usually a blister. Getting rid of the wart this way usually takes three or four treatments every two to three weeks; any more than that probably won't help. After the skin has healed, apply salicylic acid to encourage more skin to peel off. Some individual trials have found salicylic acid and cryotherapy to be equally effective, with cure rates of 50% to 70%. Still, there is some evidence that cryotherapy is particularly effective for hand warts.
• Duct Tape
Although findings have been mixed, anecdotal evidence suggests that this low-risk, low-tech approach may be worth trying. In one study comparing duct tape with cryotherapy, subjects wore duct tape patches over their warts for six days. Then they removed the patches, soaked and filed warts, left them uncovered overnight, and reapplied the tape in the morning, leaving them in place for another six days. They followed this regimen for two months or until the wart disappeared. Duct tape was about 45% more effective than cryotherapy in this study. Given this limited evidence, if you plan to try duct tape, it makes sense to use the silver kind. Why duct tape works aren't straightforward — it may deprive the wart of oxygen, or perhaps dead skin and viral particles are removed along with the tape. Some people apply salicylic acid before covering the wart with duct tape.
• Other Agents
Warts that don't respond to standard therapies may be treated with prescription drugs. The topical immunotherapy drug imiquimod (Aldara), a common treatment for genital warts, can also treat skin warts. Imiquimod is thought to work by causing an allergic response and irritation at the wart site. In an approach called intralesional immunotherapy, the wart is injected with a skin-test antigen (for mumps or Candida) in people who have demonstrated an immune response to the antigen. Other agents that may be used to treat recalcitrant warts are fluorouracil (5-FU), applied as a cream, and bleomycin, which is injected into warts. All these treatments have side effects, and the evidence for their effectiveness is limited.
• Zapping And Cutting
The technical name for this treatment is electrodesiccation (or cautery) and curettage. The clinician uses local anesthesia to dry the wart with an electric needle and scrap it away with a scoop-like instrument called a curette. This usually causes scarring (removing the wart with a scalpel, another option). It's usually reserved for warts that don't respond to other treatments and should generally be avoided on the soles of the feet.
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