Warts can appear anywhere on the body and are more prevalent among young children and teenagers. Depending on where a wart grows on the body, it can be very uncomfortable and sometimes highly embarrassing, especially for teenagers who are extremely conscious of how they appear to others.
Warts can easily be removed with a wart remover, however, if the warts are left alone, the immune system will eventually destroy the virus, but this could take anything from a few months to years.
What are warts and why do they appear on the body?
Warts are caused by one of more than a hundred known types of the HPV (human papillomavirus) and appears on the surface of the skin as a thickening growth. The virus can enter the body through a lesion on the skin and the top layer of the skin will thicken, causing a wart to appear.
There are five different types of warts that grow on different parts of the human body.
- Common warts appear most often on the fingers or the hands, but may also appear elsewhere on the body. They are shaped like a dome, feel rough to the touch and have a gray-brown color.
- Planter warts usually are found on the soles of the feet where thick patches of skin form with dark specks. Planter warts can cause a lot of pain when walking.
- Flat warts normally appear on the face, but are also found on the legs and the arms. Flat warts are small with flat tops and range from pink to light brown or light yellow in color.
- Filiform warts usually grow around the mouth area, the nose, and in the beard area. The growths have thread-like protrusions and are not different in color from the surrounding skin.
- Periungual warts appear under the nails of the toes and fingers and around the nail bed which could affect the growth of the nails. They are rough bumps that have uneven borders and an uneven surface.
Are warts contagious and do they spread?
Warts are spread by direct contact with the HPV virus and can be passed on to others through direct contact or by sharing personal items such as razors or towels. The virus can also be spread from one part of the body of an infected person to another part of the body by touch.
What treatment options for wart removal are available?
Not all warts require treatment, however, you may decide on wart removal for the following reasons:
- The wart is painful
- It is in a visible place on the body which is embarrassing to you
- The wart is in a place where it becomes easily irritated
- You notice that the wart is growing or that the virus is spreading to other parts of your body, or other people have been infected.
How does the wart removal treatments work?
The goal of wart removal treatments is to destroy the virus and remove the wart without causing any damage to the skin. warts removal treatments depends on the type of wart, the symptoms that are displayed and its location.
Wart remover products will take some time to work, a course of treatment lasting anything from a few weeks to a couple of months.
Wart removal treatments at home include:
- Non-prescription salicylic acid products that soften the rough layers of the skin until it becomes possible to rub it off. Salicylic acid is available in cream, tape, paint-on, plasters or patches that are applied to the wart.
- Tape occlusion uses a tape to cover the wart for a long period of time, after which the wart falls off.
- Non-prescription cryotherapy can be used on the hands and the feet. It comes in a combination of two chemicals which are combined in an applicator. The foam is applied using the applicator for a few seconds, which freezes the wart.
If you have diabetes or other major illnesses, it is best to consult with your doctor before using any wart removal treatment.