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Warts: Causes and Treatments

  • Posted on- Nov 07, 2015
  • 389 Views

Warts are skin growths that are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus can enter the body through the skin. Warts look like small, grainy bumps that are rough to the touch. Most warts are flesh-coloured, tan, pink, or white. Warts sometimes contain small black dots that are tiny, clotted blood vessels.

In most cases, common warts appear on the fingers, near the fingernails, or on the hands. Warts also can appear on other areas of the body. These include warts on the soles of the feet (called Plantar warts), genital warts (usually transmitted by having sexual contact), and flat warts (generally on the face).

What are the causes of warts?

Warts are caused through direct contact with human papilloma virus (HPV), which is contagious. The virus causes skin to grow faster than usual. HPV may spread by person-to-person contact or through direct contact with an object used by a person with the virus. The virus that causes warts also can spread to other places on the body of the person with warts.

What are the treatment options for warts?

Usually, warts are harmless and can disappear without treatment. However, people can seek treatment for warts when the condition is bothersome or embarrassing. In some cases, warts may be removed with over-the-counter salicylic acid liquids or pads. In other cases, a paediatrician or dermatologist can use one of the following methods:

  • Freezing (Cryotherapy): In this treatment, a doctor will use liquid nitrogen to freeze a wart. A blister forms around the wart and the dead tissue falls off within about a week.
  • Burning (electrosurgery): Often used with curettage (scraping off) of the wart with a sharp tool.
  • Condylox: A prescription medicine that is applied in small amounts directly to the warts.
  • Laser surgery: A procedure that is used for warts which are difficult to treat. It may leave a scar.

Removing warts using natural methods

  • Essential Oils: Using a cotton swab, apply tea tree oil on the wart many times in a day. This method is often used to remove warts, as the oil is a powerful antiseptic that is capable of destroying most of the bacteria. The oil should be applied daily, until the wart disappears.
  • Banana Peels: Another successful home remedy for wart removal is the use of banana peels. You need to simply rub a banana peel and within a few weeks, the wart will clear away. In order to make this home remedy more effective, you must rub the banana peel on the wart several times a day.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is also extremely beneficial for wart removal. Aloe Vera has been in use for years as an effective wart treatment. This form of home remedy can reduce discomfort to a great extent, and speed up the healing process. Soak a cotton ball for a minute in aloe cream or gel, and then place it on the wart. Aloe should be added every few hours to the cotton ball.
  • Garlic: Due to its antiviral properties, garlic can eliminate warts within a short time. Make a warm moist preparation of crushed raw garlic. Mash the garlic and apply it directly on the wart. Cover the affected area with a bandage for 24 hours. After removing the bandage, you will see a blister, which indicates that the wart may fall off within a week.

Can warts be prevented?

Washing your hands can help prevent you from getting warts. Avoid using towels in public places such as the gym. Wear foot protection in areas where people may have been walking barefoot.

If you already have warts, you can prevent them from spreading by not picking at them. You may cover warts with bandages. In addition, keep your hands as dry as possible. Warts are harder to control in moist environments. You should never brush, comb, or shave areas where warts are present. This is because the virus can be spread through these actions. You should wash your hands thoroughly after touching a wart.