Warts can be a difficult subject to talk about and so, most of the time, we don’t. They are unsightly and embarrassing, and it can often be easier for our pride not to deal with them at all. But it’s a mistake to presume that the dreaded skin growths will disappear on their own. It pays to inform yourself what exactly warts are, and how to treat them effectively.
What Is A Wart?
Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus- HPV. There are about 60 strains of HPV, and some cause the excessive skin growth that gives us warts. There are many different kinds of warts:
– Common warts, which are normally found on the hands, feet, legs and arms.
– Plantar warts, on the bottom of the foot
– Flat warts, typically located on the face and neck
– Palmer warts are those on the hand
– Genital warts
Genital warts must always be seen by a doctor, as must oral warts, and recurring warts. Others, though, might have easy at-home solutions.
The outgrowths themselves are often not painful, but can be irritating when they rub, and look unpleasant. The body’s immune system needs a helping hand in fighting the virus.
Why Do I Need To Get Rid Of Warts?
Warts are incredibly contagious. Leaving your warts untreated means that not only do they run the risk of spreading to other parts of your body, but also they are easily given to others, too. Treatment can take months, sometimes, and even up to a year, so treatment has to start immediately for the best chance of taking effect.
How Can I Treat My Warts?
There are two options for wart treatment: at home, or under medical supervision.
Many studies conclude that a topical treatment is the safest and most effective way to combat warts. Look closely at your wart- the dark little specks that look almost like seedlings are actually red blood cells that supply oxygen and nutrients to the wart. A topical treatment like salicylic acid can remove infected layers of skin, and see common and plantar warts wither away quite easily.
After you’ve applied medication to the cleaned infected area, file away any dead skin with a pumice (make sure you don’t use this pumice for anything else!) and repeat daily for up to three months.
Isolate the wart with a special waterproof tape to stop spreading in the meantime.
At the Doctors
A doctor can freeze warts with liquid nitrogen. This is the most commonly used approach by medical professionals. The process takes more than one session, though, and can be quite painful. When the wart area is frozen a blister forms under the infected skin, eventually causing the base of the wart to crust so that the wart falls off.
Surgical removal is also an option. Electro-surgery sees an electrical current pass through the wart, or else curettage can simply cut the wart off with surgical implements. Laser surgery will burn the wart off with a beam of intense, focused laser light. Talk to your doctor about what might work best for you.
Remember: Prevention is Better than Cure
Warts are a contagious skin disease, and should be treated as such. Don’t share toiletries like soap, deodorant or razors with others, be sure to wear footwear in public places, and don’t share towels or socks. Knowing all that you now know about warts means that you will probably be more responsible about them- but others might not be.
In any case, once the body has HPV it will always carry the virus. The trick is to begin to notice the signs of wart growth and learn the best ways your body responds to treatment, so that you always keep any ruptures at bay.
[This post was written by the experts at Court House Clinics, a U.K.-based chain of cosmetic clinics dedicated to making you look and feel great]