Tired of warts ruining you smooth, even skin? Warts are blister-like, unsightly outgrowths on the skin. They are rough, irregularly shaped and of the same color as the skin.
Although these are usually not painful, there are some instances, when warts on the soles feet turn out to be painful. Also, youngsters seem to be the most common victims of warts.
So, how to get rid of warts? We first need to understand why this ailment afflicts so many individuals and what are its impacts on the human body before we can fully appreciate the remedies for warts.
What Are Warts? – The Main Causes
Warts are basically a manifestation of a viral infection, brought about by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Usually, this ailment strikes victims who have a weak immune system. For this reason, warts are more commonly observed among children, whose immunity is not as strong as adults.
Hence, people suffering from auto-immune disorders – including HIV and psoriasis – are prone to be infected by the HPV. It should be remembered that the immune systems of different people react differently to this virus. Some find it hard to contract, while for others, it is deeply contagious.
Also, deliberately meddling with the wart – scratching, cutting, biting or poking – only serves to deepen the presence of the virus. It can also spread when the patients suffer topical ailments like eczema on fingers or when people bite their nails. Warts also spread by way of contact with infected articles, and prefer warm, moist skin for their growth.
Some professions are also associated with increased chances of occurrences of warts, such as jobs involving the handling of meat or frequent use of the public shower. As discussed previously, a weak immune system makes it easier for a body to contract this ailment by coming in contact with the virus.
The presence of the HPV in the human body triggers cell growth beyond the normal rate. The outermost layer of the skin thus thickens and hardens, forming a wart. Although similar in origin, warts are usually not cancerous.
Are Warts & Callouses the Same Thing?
Calluses are also thickening and hardening of the skin, although the trigger for this physiological reaction is due to sustained pressure, rather than a viral infection. For this reason, calluses are usually formed on the soles of feet or palms of hands. Also, calluses are usually not painful.
Sometimes, calluses are also formed on top of warts, especially when warts are formed on the soles of the feet. This is a reaction to the excess pressure generated in the area of warts. All the same, sometimes it does become difficult to distinguish between calluses and warts.
Types of Warts
Depending on where the HPV has struck and what the wart looks like, they can be classified into the following categories:
1. The Common Wart
This is what we see most commonly, on the back of hands and the fingers. It is a small bump, often speckled with tiny black dots (signifying blood clots).
2. Periungual Wart
These warts grow in a cluster just around the nails. These cauliflower-shaped protrusions can affect the nail bed. In can separate the nail from the skin, deforming the nail in the process. Often, it gives rise to symptoms common to those observed in patients with onychomycosis (nail fungus).
In some extreme cases, warts may extend under the nail too, in which case, it can get quite painful. Biting of nails is the most common way to further spread the ailment.
3. Plantar wart
These usually affect the palms of hands and soles of feet and are often confused with calluses or even corns. The distinguishing factor here is the presences of black dots which is absent in the case of calluses.
4. Flat Warts
These warts are not raised, unlike the other kinds of warts. But they occur in swathes and cover a significant portion of the face and neck. Other common target areas include the hands and knees.
5. Filiform Warts
Sometimes, in the region around the eyes or the lips, warts arise in a brush-like formation. This is called a filiform wart.
6. Genital Warts
These appear in the form of a bunch of skin-toned warts in the area of the genitalia and spreads by way of sexual transmission.
Effective Ways to Remove Warts Naturally
Warts can be quite stubborn. So, how to get rid of warts? With extreme difficulty and tenacity. Their outgrowth makes it tempting to simply deal with them through crude techniques, but that only serves to accentuate the issue.
It should be understood that left to themselves, warts can subside on their own, either within months or even as long as two years. When it affects adults, it tends to take longer.
There are a few home remedies which can aid in the faster elimination of warts. Some of these are:
Using Duct Tape
The affected area can be wound in duct tape for six days at a stretch. It can be removed only for a few hours and should be changed regularly.
Towards the end, the duct tape can be removed completely and the wart needs to be submerged in water. Then it can be gently scrubbed to get rid of the dead skin. This process may take several sessions over at least two months to show results.
The compounds found in garlic are known to be antiviral in nature. There have been some reports of applying chloroform-garlic extracts to the affected areas, which has reduced warts within four months, but concrete evidence in favor of this ingredient is still pending.
Besides these home remedies, there are other medical techniques available, such as topical ointments and pads containing salicylic acid, DNCB or benzoyl peroxide, and procedures like keratolysis, cryosurgery, laser treatment, etc.
Before taking any action, it is always advisable to consult with a registered medical practitioner about the course of action.
Learn More Effective Ways to Get Rid of Warts at Home Easily
From the point of view of manicurists, they should exercise extra caution while treating patrons with warts on their hands and feet. Not only can they be contracted, but they may also spread by an unintentional trauma to the affected area. Learn the best curative ways to get rid of warts and stay healthy.