The presence of warts is an embarrassing beauty problem characterized by small, harmless growths on the skin. They tend to have a raised surface. Plus, they are mostly round or oval in shape.
Common warts usually appear as flat bumps on the face, forehead, and hands. Besides, there are other types of warts like plantar warts (on soles of feet), genital warts (on the genital area), filiform warts (on neck, eyelids, lips), and subungual and periungual warts (around nails).
Warts are caused by the HPV virus (human papillomavirus). They can also spread from one part of your body to another. Thus, this is a contagious condition.
However, different types of warts appear due to different types of viruses. So, rest assured that touching the warts on your feet shall not cause warts on your hands.
The virus generally enters the body through minor injuries and open cuts on skin but it usually takes about two to nine months time for a wart to appear. Some individuals tend to be resistant to warts due to a strong immune system.
More often than not, warts are painless. Planter warts, though, can be painful. They are difficult to remove, too, because of the thick skin on the feet.
Nevertheless, warts are harmless and at times, tend to clear up even without treatment. This can take a couple of years, though.
How to Get Rid of Warts
Here are 10 ways to alleviate warts.
- Tea Tree Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Aloe Vera
- Castor Oil
- Herbal Solutions
- Banana Peel
- Duct Tape Therapy
- Nail Polish
- Salicylic Acid
- Surgical Treatments
- Tea tree oil is useful in healing warts because of it penetrates the skin and attacks the virus. So, dab a little tea tree oil on the affected area daily for a few weeks to get encouraging results. You can also cover it with a piece of duct tape.
- Dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, apply it on your wart, and then, tape with a band-aid. Leave it overnight and remove the soaked cotton ball in the morning. Follow this process daily. The wart is likely to turn brown or black initially but it should vanish completely after a few weeks. If you do not want to leave apple cider vinegar on your skin for long, you can apply a solution of equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water for about 15-20 minutes.
- Soak a cotton ball in pure aloe vera gel and apply on the affected area. Leave it on your skin for a few minutes. Follow this natural cure several times in a day for a few weeks to eliminate warts without any trouble.
- Rubbing or massaging castor oil on the affected area twice daily is another successful and safe way to help remove warts. After applying the oil, you can cover the wart with a bandage.
- Applying herbal solutions like milkweed sap, calendula, grapefruit seed extract, white sap from the dandelion plant, milky juice from fig leaves and stems, etc. are highly beneficial in getting rid of warts in a natural way. Besides, you can take Echinacea pills.
- Putting the white fleshy side of a banana peel on warts is considered as an unproven yet effective home remedy for this problem. To leave the peel on your skin for some time, you can wrap it on your skin and then tape it. Follow this remedy regularly until the wart comes off.
- Duct tape therapy is another similar and popular method for the removal of warts. For this, you need to place a duct tape on the affected area for about six days. Next, remove the tape, and immerse your wart in warm water. Slough off the rough areas with the help of a pumice stone. Keep the area uncovered overnight. In the morning, again put a piece of duct tape on the wart and repeat the procedure. Follow this treatment for about two months. It is believed that this method triggers the immune system to fight off the wart virus. In case you the tape starts causing itching or skin irritation, discontinue the treatment and resume after a few days. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor before following this therapy to make sure you are dealing with warts, not some other problem.
- Coating the affected area with clear nail polish regularly, about two to three times in a day can be helpful in reducing warts as it tends to suffocate the warts.
- Applying salicylic acid for several months is one of the most common topical treatments for warts. You can get an over-the-counter salicylic acid preparation, use it on the affected area, remove the dead skin with an emery board or pumice stone, and then cover it with a bandage. You may opt for pre-treated bandages as well. Make sure you soak the affected area in warm water and clean it area before applying any treatment. Plus, it is suggested to apply petroleum jelly on the skin around the wart to protect it. Moreover, do not use salicylic acid on your face.
- If nothing else works and you still need to get rid of warts then you may consider surgical treatments like cryotherapy, electrocautery, laser therapy, surgical excision, etc.
Tips to Prevent Warts
- As warts are contagious, you should be careful to minimize your risk of acquiring the virus causing this problem.
- Eat immune-boosting foods such as blueberries, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, lemon, licorice, elderberry, and so on. Warts are often associated with potassium deficiency as well. Thus, include banana, avocado, apricots, dried figs, and other potassium-rich foods in your diet.
Dos and Don’ts
|Do wash your skin and hands regularly.
||Do not share your personal belongings like towels and clothes with others.
|Do avoid cuts and scratches on skin or at least cover broken skin as open cuts give the HPV virus the opportunity to enter the body. Nail biting, too, creates an opening for the virus.
||Do not go barefoot in public areas to avoid exposure to plantar warts.
|Do visit your healthcare provider if you suspect signs of infection or observe any changes in the color or appearance of your warts.
||Do not try methods like cutting, picking, tearing, burning, etc. to remove warts yourself. Do not even scratch the warts because they can spread from one part of body to another.
||When using a pumice stone, nail file, or some other similar object to scrape the dead skin off the wart, do not use it on any other part of the body.