Common warts are skin growths caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV virus causes a fast growth of cells on the outer layer of your skin. Common warts differ from moles in that they are not cancerous. Warts are usually harmless and often will fade away on their own. But you may find common warts troublesome or embarrassing, and you may want to find a treatment to rid yourself of the offending wart.
Common warts will usually grow on your hands or fingers. To help prevent common warts from spreading to other parts of your body or to other people you can seek various forms of treatments. Unfortunately, common warts may recur after treatment, and they could be a persistent problem.
Below are some types of wart which have been identified. These warts differ in shape and body location affected. These include
- Common wart – a raised wart with roughened surface, most common on hands, but can grow anywhere on the body;
- Flat wart – a small, smooth flattened wart, flesh-coloured, which can occur in large numbers; most common on the face, neck, hands, wrists and knees;
- Filiform or digitate wart – a thread- or finger-like wart, most common on the face, especially near the eyelids and lips;
- Plantar wart – a hard potentially painful lump, often with multiple black specks in the center; generally only found on pressure points on the soles of the feet;
- Mosaic wart – a group of tightly clustered plantar-type warts, commonly on the hands or soles of the feet;
- Genital wart – a wart on the genitalia.
- Periungual wart – a cauliflower-like cluster of warts that occurs around the nails.
Fortunately, there are a number of different methods for removing warts. Removal methods will vary from person to person and case to case. Wart removal methods will change depending on the location of the wart. It is not uncommon to use a different treatment to remove a wart from your face than your hands or feet.
One alternative to remove warts is over the counter medications. The advantage in using over the counter medications is that there should be no pain or scarring, and the wart basically flakes away in weeks with regular use of the treatment. The over the counter treatments come in various forms such as salicylic acid, which can be purchased in either a paste or a bottle solution. Another option available is to use an inexpensive Freon refrigerant to freeze the wart off. Disadvantages to this treatment, it does not get as cold as the liquid nitrogen that the doctor uses and that the applicator may be too large for small warts.
A popular home remedy that is getting a lot of discussion is to use a duct tape occlusion therapy to remove warts. This method involves putting a piece of duct tape into the warts and leaving it attached to the warts for six days. The patient must then soak the area in water and scrape it off with a pumice stone or an emery board. Some additional home remedies people have successfully used include castor oil, onions and fig juice in treating their warts at home. Although the treatment may take longer, they eliminate the possibility of scarring as well. This is good news for facial warts.
Some people will chose to go to a Doctor. A Doctor will have different alternative available to them for the treatment of the warts. These treatments include:
- Creams and chemicals, stronger than over the counter
- Surgery to remove the wart.
- Laser treatment