Warts are no strangers to our human race. For thousands of years, people have had to endure these unattractive bumps, with one of the oldest warts ever recorded, dating back to a 3,000-year-old mummy. Even Shakespeare immortalized them in his literary works. So, what actually are these ugly, embarrassing growths that make us self-conscious and worse still, have the ability to spread and sometimes cause us pain?
What Are Warts?
Warts are slightly elevated bumps on the skin that are a result of a particular strain of virus in the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. Typically, warts may look like a blister or even a small collection of bumpy nodules on the skin’s surface. The good news is they do not contain pus, unless they become infected, and are not usually dangerous. The bad news is, they are quite contagious and can spread to different parts of your body or worse still, other people.
Types of Warts
Many different kinds of HPV generally cause harmless warts on the face, feet, hands or other parts of the body. The five major types of warts can be distinguished based on their appearance and the area of the body on which they appear.
Also called verruca vulgaris, these warts are usually found on fingers, knuckles, elbows, knees and on those places of the body where the skin is broken. They characteristically are greyish. You might be able to see the clotted blood vessels they consist of, which are referred to as seed warts. Common warts are slightly raised with a grainy or rugged surface and very often have rounded tops.
Quite painful, primarily because of the area these warts develop on, plantar warts manifest on the soles of feet, heels, and toes. Most of these verrucae have a tiny black dot in the center surrounded by a tough, whitish tissue. Unlike most other warts, these verrucae grow into the skin, pushing it inwards. The reason this happens is because of the weight of the body on the sole, inhibits their outward growth. Plantar warts are not easy to remove.
Commonly referred to as flat warts and known in medical jargon as verruca plana, are skin colored warts that could take on a pinkish, yellowish or brownish hue. They have a flat top, hence the name, and characteristically grow on parts of the body which have more sun exposure. Plane warts are quite small, so they are not do not stand out as much.
Plantar warts that appear in large clusters are called mosaic warts. Though they manifest is massive numbers of anywhere between 20 to 100, more than any other kind of wart, these verrucae might go away completely without having to resort to any treatment.
These are warts that people are typically most conscious about because they appear on the eyelids, nose, mouth, neck, under the chin or even in the armpit area. Verrucae filiformis usually take on your skin’s color and are small and thin with a minuscule extended protrusion.
Not that common, these warts appear around the fingernails and toenails and could even grow under the nail. Not only do they affect nail growth, but they can also be quite painful as well.
A few types of the HPV can manifest in, on or around your genitals. These warts are referred to as genital warts and can cause acute pain. For women, they might also signify a life-threatening illness and may even indicate or develop into cervical, vulvovaginal or anal cancer. For men who have genital warts, anal cancer and glans penis cancer can stem from a wart infection. So it is essential that you visit your doctor in case you have developed genital warts.
When Do You Need to Consult With Your Physician?
If you want to remove the wart, you should book an appointment with your doctor. Besides primary care physicians, licensed dermatologists and podiatrists can treat warts as well. If any of the enlisted conditions appear, then you should contact your doctor.
- Bleeding or any indication of infection like if the wart is oozing pus or scab is developing around the blemish.
- A change in color or appearance of the wart.
- In case you find that warts are spreading to other parts of your body, it is best to consult your physician because not only will they affect your overall aesthetic, but might also make you uncomfortable.
- If you have an immune deficient illness like HIV/AIDS or diabetes and a wart manifests.
- Sometimes warts tend to re-surface after being removed. In such cases, medical intervention is the safest bet.
- If you have warts on the part of your body that is sensitive to them as your mouth, nose or genitals, then you will need to have them removed.
- For warts that affect your daily activities, like shaving or sports, having a doctor treat them will enhance your quality of life.
- In case the wart is painful, then by removing it you will not only save yourself the discomfort, but you will also enhance your cosmetic appeal.
Treating Warts at Home
Initially, most people prefer to try and treat warts at home before consulting their physician because many warts can disappear if treated with over-the-counter treatments. From garlic to salicylic acid to even duct tape there are a few remedies that might prove useful, however, keep the following tips in mind before you try something new.
- Warts are contagious – Not only can they spread to different parts of the body, but they can also spread to other people. So if you are following a line of treatment in which you have to use a pumice stone or a nail file to massage the wart, keep it solely for that purpose alone. Also, don’t allow anyone else to touch it.
- Diabetics – Since this debilitating illness results in diminished sensation in your feet, you have to be very cautious as to not experiment with home treatments. Doing so might result in you hurting yourself.
- Warts in sensitive areas – If your wart is around your mouth, nose or genitals, don’t experiment with treating it yourself. Some of these warts are painful as it is and if you try to treat it you could exasperate it.
Currently, one of the most efficacious wart removal treatments in the market is the FDA approved, wart eliminator, Warticide. Warticide Highly effective, blend of salicylic acid and other supplementary ingredients like cedar leaf oil and tea tree oil work like magic on plantar and genital warts. It is the fastest acting topical medicine for warts and is available off the shelf and online as well.
How Is It Administered?
Apply Warticide twice a day, once in the morning and repeat the application at night. The bottle, which contains a liquid medication, comes with a dropper. All you have to do is squeeze a full dropper onto the wart. No mess, no fuss. Within a day or two, you will notice that the wart starts to diminish in size slowly. From two weeks of the initial application, most warts disappear entirely. It is important to note that results may differ between users.
- Wariticide is FDA approved so it is completely safe
- Extremely effective on genital and plantar warts
- 30 applications per bottle
- 60-day money back guarantee
For those people that already have warts, the best remedy to mitigate a spread of the virus will be to follow the below steps.
- Avoid picking your verrucae.
- Do not scratch warts.
- In case you have touched your wart, thoroughly wash your hands.
- You should cover it with a bandage to prevent the virus from spreading, for example, while you are swimming
- Do not walk around barefoot and the virus can be picked up by someone else.
- Ensure you wash hands and feet are clean and dry at all times.
- For those who have nail verrucae, use a separate nail cutter for the infected nail and at all costs, avoid biting your fingernails.
For those people who want to eliminate the risk of catching warts, follow the below simple guidelines.
- Stay away from other people’s warts
- In case you have come into contact with someone who has warts, wash your face and hands thoroughly.
- Do not bite your nails or cuticles as cuts in the skin making it easier for the virus to enter.
- Use separate bath linen and do not share personal items that you would typically share.
- Do not share socks and shoes as they can lead to cross-contamination.
Surprisingly, certain warts diminish over time and just disappear without the need for any treatment. However, this could take months, sometimes even years. And before they dissipate, they might spread to other parts of your body. So as soon as you notice an ugly wart popping up, if it is in a treatable place and not a troublesome wart, you can research the options available to you off the shelf. In the case of plantar or genital warts, remember there already exists an FDA approved, tried and tested, effective remedy – Warticide.
The bottom line is – treat the blemish as soon as you notice it, to prevent it from spreading to other parts of your body or worse still, to someone else. In case you are a bit apprehensive of treating it yourself, consult with your doctor on the best course of action available to you. The old saying – a stitch in time, saves nine, definitely holds true in the case of warts.