Home Wart Remedies

Learn to remedy warts safely at home with these traditional and alternative treatments.

Warts are benign tumors most often caused by a virus that develops on the outer skin layer. Warts are non-cancerous growths which can develop at any age, but are more commonly found on children and young adults. The size and shape of an individual wart is entirely dependent on the particular type of wart and its location of growth.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

Although each type of wart has distinct characteristics, all warts have similar patterns and appearances, which help to distinguish them from other growths and conditions. Always confirm with your doctor that your skin growth is not cancer. General signs and symptoms of warts are:

Tiny growths that grow continuously.

Growths with rough surfaces.

Growths with clearly defined borders.

Growths which are the same color as the skin (with the exception of Flat and Common warts).

Smaller growths which form a circle around one central, usually larger growth.

Painless areas of thickened skin.

CAUSES

Warts are caused by the "papilloma" virus, which invades the epidermis layer of skin. As the virus spreads, it stimulates certain cells to grow at a faster rate than normal, forming a wart. Warts can spread from person to person through general contact such as:

Use of public bathing/showering facilities.

Skin trauma.

Skin to skin contact.

Sharing footwear.

Sharing head wear.

A NOTE ABOUT WART TREATMENT

The type of wart you have and its location will determine which treatment approach is best. A small number of warts (20%) will disappear on their own within a month of infection. Without therapy, warts generally disappear within 1-3 years with little or no scarring.

TYPES OF WARTS

COMMON WARTS

Common warts are small, but firm growths of skin that often appear in areas which are injured frequently. Typical signs of common warts include:

Round, rough edged growths of skin on the body or hands.

Irregular growths of skin which are colored yellow, brown, or gray.

Small growths on the skin measuring no more than one-half inch across.

Irregular sized growths which have a rough surface.

Small growths on knees, elbows, scalp, or around fingernails.

TRADITIONAL TREATMENTS

ACID TREATMENT

Daily applications of solutions or plaster preparations containing salicylic, lactic acids or cantharidin will aid in softening the infected skin, allowing it to be peeled off safely. Salicylic and lactic acids can be applied twice daily for up to 6-weeks.

LIQUID NITROGEN

A doctor can also use Liquid Nitrogen as a treatment for Common warts. Liquid Nitrogen works by freezing the skin and in essence, burning the wart from the body. This process takes 2-4 weeks to complete and usually requires multiple visits.

LASER SURGERY

Laser surgery or electrodesiccation is another popular treatment for Common warts. Through means of electrical current, doctors are able to destroy the wart completely in one sitting. However, some scarring will occur.

PLANTAR WARTS

Plantar warts form on the soles of the foot, where they are usually surrounded by a thickened area of skin. Other symptoms of Plantar warts include:

Tender areas of skin on the sole of the foot.

Small, bleeding sores on the sole of the foot.

Flattened, blister-looking irritated areas of skin.

TRADITIONAL TREATMENT

ACIDS

Plantar warts are easily treated with solutions containing salicylic acid. Preparations are sold as plaster formulas or liquid and are available at most drug stores. Salicylic acid treatments can be applied twice daily for 4-6 weeks.



PADS AND CUSHIONS

Specially sized pads and cushions can be purchased over the counter to minimize the pain and discomfort of Plantars warts, and make walking easier.

BENZOYL PEROXIDE

Benzoyl peroxide can be applied to Plantars warts several times daily to help cleanse and soothe irritated tissue. Apply liberally with a cotton ball after washing, and allow to dry before covering.

FLAT WARTS

Flat warts are most common in young adults and children and present themselves in groups of small sores. Symptoms include:

Smooth, brown or yellow brown areas of skin.

Brown or yellow groups of raised skin on the face.

TRADITIONAL TREATMENT

PEELING AGENTS

Most Flat warts respond well to a therapy of peeling agents containing retinoic. Such agents will allow the skin of the wart to easily free itself from the body.

ACIDS

Solutions containing salicylic acid also work well on Flat warts. Salicylic acids work in a similar fashion to peeling agents, in that they allow the wart's infected skin to break free from the rest of the body, facilitating quicker healing. Apply salicylic acids twice daily for up to 6-weeks.

FILLFORM WARTS

Fillform warts can appear anywhere on the body and are common in all age groups. Typical symptoms of Fillform warts include:

Long growths around eyelids, face, neck or lips.

Small growths on face or neck area.

Narrow, long growths that appear to blister and break open.

TRADITIONAL THERAPY

SPECIALIZED FORMULAS

Fillform warts also respond well to solutions containing salicylic acid. However, since Fillform warts commonly form around the eyes, eyelids and mouth area, at-home treatments with basic solutions are not recommended. Look for specialized over-the-counter remedies, which state they can be used around sensitive eye and lip tissue.

WART PREVENTION

Like most medical conditions, warts can be prevented. To prevent spreading:

Never scratch or pick at a wart.

Wash hands frequently.

Cover cuts and scratches with bandages to prevent further contamination to damaged skin.

Don't touch warts on others.

Don't share footwear or head wear.

Wear shoes or protective footwear in public bathing/shower areas.

Wash infected skin often once it blisters or bursts open.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPY

ALOE

Aloe has been used for nearly 2,000 years as a wart treatment. Applied externally in cream form or directly from aloe plant, aloe eases discomfort and helps to speed healing.

LEMON OIL

One drop of Lemon (essential) oil applied directly to infected skin can help to eliminate most types of warts.

MILKWEED

The white sap from milkweed is used internationally to treat wart removal. Apply directly from plant or use topical creams.

DANDELION SAP

Dandelion sap is a time-honored treatment for the removal and cleansing of warts. Apply sap directly to wart, as needed.

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