to Remove Warts
- by Heather Colman
Warts are generally small, rough,
cauliflower-like growths, typically on hands and feet. Warts
are common, and are caused by a viral infection, specifically
by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Some scientists believe they
are also caused by stress. They typically disappear after a few
months but can last for years and can recur. A few Papilloma
viruses are known to cause cancer. Certain types of warts such
as genital warts, can be contagious.
How to Remove Warts
There are also several over-the-counter
options. The most common ones involve salicylic acid. These products
are readily available at most drugstores and supermarkets. There
are typically two types of products: adhesive pads treated with
salicylic acid, or a bottle of concentrated salicylic acid.
Removing warts with this method
requires a strict regimen of cleaning the area, applying the
salicylic acid, and removing the dead skin with a pumice stone
or emery board. It may take up to 12 weeks to remove a stubborn
Another over-the-counter product
that can aid in wart removal is silver nitrate in the form of
a Caustic Pencil, which is also available at drug stores. This
method generally takes three to six daily treatments to be effective.
The instructions must be followed to minimize staining of skin
kits are also available, however often costing 3 times as much
as other over-the-counter products.
Like prescription treatments,
over-the-counter treatments usually require multiple applications,
and are only necessary if the warts are problematic. Additionally,
these treatments are capable of destroying healthy skin as well
as warts, so caution must be exercised by those attempting them
without medical supervision.
Duct tape occlusion therapy involves
placing a piece of duct tape (or medical tape) over the affected
area for a week at a time. The procedure is otherwise identical
to that of using salicylic acid adhesive pads. Studies revealed
the duct tape method is 85% effective.
Other household remedies include
the application of common household things, such as banana skin,
vinegar, hot water and washing liquid, or unskinned potatoes,
to the affected area. Accounts vary in regards to how long they
must be applied in each session and how long they take to work.
Without controlled studies for
most household remedies, it is difficult to know whether the
warts disappear because the remedies work, or if they disappear
due to the individual's own immune system response to the virus.
The success of hypnosis in curing
warts at least suggests that the condition may be cured by belief
in a remedy, the placebo effect or other psychological means.
Some household remedies are potentially
dangerous. These include attempts to cut or burn away the warts.
Incense is sometimes used in Asian countries to burn warts. These
methods are very painful, and can lead to infection and/or permanent
Disclaimer - The information presented here should
not be interpreted as medical advice. If you or someone you know
suffers from warts, please see professional medical advice for
the latest treatment options.