Warts can be an annoying and recurring skin problem. There are many medical and even natural ways to deal with these contagious growths.
Warts are a viral infection of the human papillomavirus, also called HPV. Although contagious, most are benign. They travel through breaks in the skin. It can take months to years for them to disappear on their own, but they can recur. The most common locations for these growths are on the hands and feet, but they can appear in other areas of the body. The growth looks like a “solid blister” or “cauliflower”. There are several types of this viral infection, classified by the strain of virus and the area of the body impacted. Verruca vulgaris is the “common wart”. Flat warts can be found on the hands, wrists, knees, face, and neck. The eyelids and lips can be marred by the filiform/digitate wart. The hands and soles of the feet may have the mosaic wart. Periungual warts affect the nails. Plantar warts are painful, and they are on the soles of the feet. Genital warts are a sexually transmitted wart that can be associated with certain cancers, such as cervical cancer. HPV is known to have about 130 different varieties of the virus.1
There is no cure for warts, but there are many remedies to deal with the outbreaks. Gardasil is a recent vaccine approved for genital warts and cervical cancer. Common topical therapies include salicylic acid, Imiquimod cream, and cantharidin, a chemical from beetles. Other options are freezing (cryotherapy) and laser treatments (which cause scarring). One low-tech remedy that has been studied is “duct tape occlusion therapy”, which places duct tape over the wart for a long period of time.2 None of the medical treatments are guaranteed to work, and none prevent recurrence..
Natural Options for Warts
There are many folk remedies, at home treatments, and homeopathic or natural ways to cope with warts. First, it important to make sure that the skin problem is identified as a wart. The contagious growths generally have tiny capillary dots on them, and they don’t have skin lines running through them. The most common solution for this viral infection is to “wait them out”. They are more common in children, but they don’t last as long as in adults. They are contagious, so theyshould not be picked at. Sometimes the “power of suggestion” works, such was wishing the skin infection away, hypnosis, or using a placebo on a child. Keeping dry and avoiding going barefoot can help to prevent foot warts. Condoms can help prevent the spread of genital warts. There are even some herbal and vitamin options (i.e., vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc). Some kitchen remedies include baking powder, baking soda, garlic, castor oil, carrots, figs, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and eating immune-strengthening foods. Some people might find success with aloe.3 One vegan and cruelty-free natural option is a product called Wart Wonder. This liquid is applied to a bandage and the wart is covered three times a day. It takes time, but it can be extremely successful. There is no scarring from Wart Wonder.4