The Most Common Questions About Warts
Warts are one of the more embarrassing and unattractive skin conditions. What makes them even more troublesome is that they are often hard to eliminate permanently. Not only that, there are several different kinds of warts and they can crop up on nearly any area of the body. Understanding warts and determining how to treat and eliminate them can be complicated. Not to worry. In this post, we’ll go over some of the most common questions surrounding warts and propose some treatment options to help you get rid of warts regardless of where they are on your body.
What causes warts?
Warts are caused by a skin infection brought on by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Often, the virus will enter through a scratch on the top layer of the skin. It then results in rapid cell growth on the epidermis, forming a wart.
Are warts contagious?
Yes. Warts are very contagious. They can be passed by skin-to-skin contact not only from one person to another, but also from one part of an infected person’s body to another. This means that if you have warts, you should not only avoid direct skin-to-skin contact with others, but also try to avoid frequent contact between your wart and other parts of your own body. All this said, keep in mind that it is possible to be exposed to HPV and not get warts. In fact, you’ve likely been exposed to the virus many times without even realizing it.
Are there different types of warts?
Yes. There are several different varieties. The reason for this is that there are many different types of HPV, and each unique strain has a stronger link to a certain type of wart. For instance, the specific strain of HPV that causes warts on your hands may be less likely to cause warts on the genitals, and vice versa. In all, there are over one hundred types of HPV. Consequently, there are several different kinds of warts. We’ll go over some of the most common varieties.
Types of Warts
Common warts is one of the more prevalent wart varieties, appearing mainly on fingers and toes. These warts are round on top and can be coarse and somewhat gritty. They are often gray or white in color.
Plantar warts occur on the soles of the feet and can be very painful. Instead of growing out of the skin, they grow into it, resulting in a great deal of pressure and pain when walked on. You can typically identify plantar warts by determining if there is a small hole on the bottom of your foot, enclosed by tough skin.
Genital warts (often called HPV warts) are extremely uncomfortable. They are often softer than common warts and they can cause a great deal of itching, burning, and pain. Genital warts are most often spread by sexual contact, but in rare cases, you can get them without sexual contact. Note, however, that warts from the hands can not be spread to the genitals and vice versa. Vaginal warts are particularly dangerous because they can lead to cervical or vulvar cancer if they were caused by certain strains of HPV. Anal warts are another form of genital wart.
Generally found on the arms, thighs, or face, this type of wart is flat, as the name implies. Flat warts are generally smaller than common warts and can be hard to recognize because of their low profile. Instead of being white or gray, flat warts are generally pink, yellow, or brown. They are common in teenagers and children, and are thus also referred to as juvenile warts.
How do you get rid of warts?
The best thing you can do to escape warts is to avoid them in the first place. While it’s difficult to avoid all possible contact with warts, regular hand washing and good hygiene can go a long way to helping you stay wart free. Genital warts can often be avoided if you use proper protection during sexual intercourse and if you try to avoid having sex with others who have warts.
If you do have warts, there are several treatment options available that can not only treat the painful symptoms, but also help get rid of your warts. Here are some possible ways to get rid of some of the most common types of warts. While these home remedies for warts are often effective, it’s always wise to consult a physician before starting your own treatment.
How to get rid of genital warts
- Keep the area clean and dry
- Take a soothing oatmeal bath
- Use essential oils like castor oil and tea tree oil
- Apply apple cider vinegar
- Use a topical ointment or cream
- Consult a physician
How to get rid of common warts
- Use a pumice stone for exfoliation
- Apply a natural wart cream
- If they persist, try cryotherapy (freezing them off)
- Ask your doctor about laser treatment
How to get rid of plantar warts
- Soak feet and use a pumice stone to remove the top layer of skin
- Employ the same treatments you would for common warts
- Be willing to talk to a doctor about immunotherapy, laser therapy, or other surgical options