Warts are a common nuisance that affects up to 13% of the population, especially the younger generations. They are rough, small, thick, and hard growths, similar in color to the rest of the skin, but only a little bit lighter. They are caused by the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV. Usually, they are not painful and they occur on the hands and feet, and the most important fact about them is that they are not at all cancerous.
You can easily get warts if you are using public showers and bathrooms if you are working with meat, if you have eczema, or if your immune system is weakened. Typically, the virus enters our bodies through the microscopic or larger damages to the skin when we touch contaminated surfaces. Even though they are not detrimental to your overall health, they are still not the most pleasant skin condition to have, as they can interfere with your daily activities if you have them on your feet or hands. Walking can become difficult, and handle small objects a challenge if you have warts on your fingers.
Types of Warts
There are several types of warts.
- The most common are common warts which often occur on your hands, but they can generally grow anywhere on the body.
- Genital warts can be found on the genitals, between the thighs, and in the pubic area, as well as inside of the vagina and the anal canal.
- Plantar warts formulate on the soles of your feet and can get painful due to the pressure from walking or running.
- Subungal and periungual warts occur around and under the fingernails and toenails, and they are as pesky as they sound and quite hard to remove.
So, What Happens if You Pick It?
First of all, do NOT pick your warts. Since the reason you have them is a viral infection, picking them will usually yield no results and they will come back as if you’ve never removed them. It is always better to go to your doctor who will deal with them professionally, and making sure the virus doesn’t spread.
If, however, you do decide to pick your warts, be ready for some blood. Warts tend to go deep into the skin, and when you pick the outer layer and reach the depths, bleeding will occur. Some people say that all you need to do is remove the “core” of the wart, however, that core is deeper than you think, and bleeding will obstruct the surrounding tissue and skin, making it difficult for you to see what you are doing.
When a wart bleeds while you are trying to remove the core, you can easily leave a piece of it behind, which means that warts will come back definitely. You will only go through the unnecessary process of healing your skin and risk them coming back in larger numbers.
How to Treat Warts Instead
Instead of picking them, why not try to treat them differently. Nowadays, there’s a myriad of methods that you can apply to get the best results and get rid of warts once and for all. Here are some remedies you can try out and see which one works best for you.
The first thing you can try is to just leave your warts alone. Since they are caused by the HPV, it may take a while before our immune system fights the virus on its own. Some warts could disappear completely over time with no treatment at all. It could take a few weeks up to a couple of years, so depending on your patience, this method may be the best and the least painful one.
Use salicylic acid or Trichloracetic acid (TCA)
Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in anti-acne treatments and most of the common over-the-counter wart removers. You can find most of these in drugstores and they are quite inexpensive and easy to use. However, depending on your situation, the effectiveness may vary. To treat warts like this, soak your skin in water for about five minutes and after that apply the acid using a brush. Let it dry and leave on for 24 hours. After that, file off or peel off the dead skin and repeat after two or three days until the warts are gone.
This common household item may just get rid of your problem, quite effectively so. Duct tape occlusion therapy, also known as DTOT, will localize the medication applied to the wart and “suffocate” the wart itself. To do this, cut a piece of duct tape approximately the size of the wart, stick it on and leave for six days. If it falls off, simply add a new piece as fast as possible. After the time has passed, soak the wart area in water and rub the surface of the wart with a pumice stone, but make sure you do this very gently. You can repeat this until your warts go away, however, make sure you do not use duct tape for longer than two months.
Garlic is not only delicious and super healthy but also has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can fight off the infections and warts. Simply crush a garlic clove and apply to your wart. Cover it with a bandage and let it sit for about twenty minutes. After that, wash the wart area well and repeat twice a day for a week or so. Garlic will cause the wart to fall off, however, make sure you don’t leave it on for too long as it can make matters worse and irritate the sensitive skin.
Apple cider vinegar
The magical apple cider vinegar is used for basically every possible skin issue, so why not for warts? It has antiviral and antibacterial properties and can be used to fight off pesky warts you have on your skin. Just mix one part of water and two parts apple cider vinegar and apply to the wart using a cotton ball. Cover with tape or bandage and leave on for a while. You can repeat it several times a week for a few weeks. Your wart will firstly turn black and later fall off.
Vitamin C can help get rid of warts and fight the virus that caused them. To make this remedy, crush three vitamin C tablets and add a little bit of water to form a paste. Apply the paste to the wart and cover with a bandage.