What are warts?
Blue warts consist of Genital and urethral warts, mainly these caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and are easily spread by sexual contact, with more than 30 HPVs infecting the genital tract. However, urethral warts are uncommon, and most genital warts are started and probably self-limiting.
The majority of newly occurred genital HPV infections are subclinical and asymptomatic. The detection of HPV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in genital specimens may be the only evidence of this infection. (Subtype HPV 6 is most frequently detected in genital warts.) Furthermore, serum antibodies to specific HPV types may be the only indication of past exposure.
After a long period, individuals infected with certain HPV subtypes are at risk of developing squamous cell carcinomas. (Epidemiologic and molecular studies have conclusively shown the association of HPV with the development of genital tract and anal cancers) Immunosuppression is associated with reactivation of HPV, increasing the risk of malignant transformation.
Patients at risk of developing malignancies may benefit from therapy aimed at eradicating genital warts. However, medically treatments are aiming at treating urethral warts should generally be used with caution, and they should be used only when the warts are easily accessible, as in the fossa navicularis. Podophyllin is contraindicated during pregnancy.
Warts signs and symptoms:
Warts are usually not painful, except when one is on the bottom of a foot. There are many different types of warts. They each look different. The types of warts and their symptoms include:
Different types of warts
- Common warts. These usually have a rough surface. They are grayish-yellow or brown in color. They may be on the fingers, elbows, knees, or the face.
- Flat warts. These are small, smooth growths. They most often appear on children’s faces.
- Plantar and palmar warts. These grow on the soles of feet or the palms of the hand. Groups of plantar warts are called mosaic. These warts may be painful.
- Filiform warts. These are small, long, narrow growths. They usually appear on eyelids, lips, or the face or neck.
- Periungual warts. These appear as thickened skin around the nails. They can cause painful splits in the skin (fissures).
Tiny blood vessels grow into the core of the wart to supply it with blood. Warts come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. A wart may be a bump with a rough surface, or it may be flat and smooth. In both common and plantar warts, these blood vessels may look like dark dots in the wart’s center. Warts are usually painless. But a wart that grows in a spot where you put pressure, such as on a finger or on the bottom of the foot, can be painful.
Warts are caused by some types of the virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV) HPV infects the top layer of skin, usually entering the body in an area of broken skin. The virus causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, forming a wart. Most warts go away on their own within months or years.
Warts can grow anywhere on the body, and there are different kinds. For example, common warts grow most often on the hands, but they can grow anywhere. Plantar warts grow on the soles of the feet.
Warts are viral infections. Since this is actually an infection, the warts are contagious and can spread from person to person or can spread to a person. Often all it takes is to touch someone with warts to get them. Some people never seem to get warts, while others have them often. We frequently see swimmers getting warts on their hands and feet. Swimmers must swim barefoot. When the swimmer’s feet rub against the cement or diving board, the rough surface scrapes the wart and releases some of the contaminated tissue. When the next swimmer has a similar abrasion and steps on the infected tissue, then they can get warts too.
Is it the Warts are Contagious.?
Warts are easily spread by direct contact with a human papillomavirus. You can infect yourself again by touching the wart and then touching another part of your body. You can infect another person by sharing towels, razors, or other personal items. After you’ve had contact with HPV, it can take many months of slow growth beneath the skin before you notice a wart.
It is unlikely that you will get a wart every time you come in contact with HPV. Some people are more likely to get warts than others.
A doctor usually can tell if a skin growth is a wart just by looking at it. Your doctor may take a sample of the wart and look at it under a microscope (a skin biopsy). This may be done if it isn’t clear that the growth is a wart. It may also be done if a skin growth is darker than the skin surrounding it, is an irregular patch on the skin, bleeds, or is large and fast-growing.
Freezing warts or cryotherapy:
Cryotherapy involves freezing a wart using a very cold substance (usually liquid nitrogen). Cryotherapy is a standard treatment for warts and can be done in a doctor’s office. The liquid nitrogen application usually takes less than a minute.
Your doctor may trim the wart with a small knife before applying liquid nitrogen.
- Cryotherapy is painful. A numbing local anesthetic is usually not needed but may be used in some cases.
- Your doctor applies the liquid nitrogen to the wart using a probe or a cotton swab. Liquid nitrogen can also be sprayed directly on the wart.
Most warts require 1 to 4 treatments, with 1 to 3 weeks between each treatment.
Cryotherapy can also be done at home using an over-the-counter product such as Compound W Freeze Off. These home cryotherapy kits use a mixture of dimethyl ether and propane rather than liquid nitrogen. This mixture is used to soak a foam applicator that is then applied to the wart. This product may be safe for warts on the hands or feet but not for genital warts. Follow all instructions carefully to avoid serious burns and permanent scarring.
Pain from cryotherapy can last up to 3 days. Healing is generally quick (7 to 14 days) with little or no scarring.
Within hours after treatment, a blister may form.
- If the blister breaks, clean the area to prevent the spread of the wart virus. Avoid contact with the fluid, which may contain the wart virus.
- The blister will dry up over the next few days, and the wart may fall off.
Multiple treatments may be needed to get rid of the wart.
Risk factors of cryotherapy:
If done carefully, cryotherapy poses little risk of scarring.
If a wart is thick and requires extensive or repeated freezing, nerves around the wart can be damaged, scarring may occur, and the skin may take a long time to recover.
There is a small chance of infection associated with cryotherapy. Some signs of infection include:
- Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.
- Red streaks extending from the area.
- Discharge of pus.
- Fever of 100°F (38°C) or higher with no other cause.
- Can be painful and expensive but usually, does not scar.
- Is most painful where the skin is thicker (palms and soles).
- Often takes multiple treatments, especially for thick, larger warts.
- Is quick and can be done in a doctor’s office or at home.
Treatment Options: Over the counter (OTC = no prescription necessary) methods are basically limited to salicylic acid (Compound W and others) and maybe Cimetidine, depending on the child’s weight. At our office, we can prescribe a non-burning cream called Aldara, freeze the wart off with liquid nitrogen, or refer you to a specialist who can electrocute, or cut the wart off. The following are detailed descriptions of each.
Liquid Nitrogen: This must be performed in the office. We apply liquid nitrogen to the wart with a q-tip and freeze the wart to below 300 degrees below zero. This kills the wart and gives the skin a mild case of frostbite. You will not see any difference in the skin for 2 to 3 days, then a blue-black callous will form (like frostbite) and this will fall off in 2 to 3 weeks. If there is anything left at 3 weeks, the freezing didn’t work. The longer you wait to retreat, the bigger warts get, and the less chance of success; therefore, if any warts remain after 3 weeks, then return as soon as possible for a second treatment. The freezing numbs the skin as its applied, but still hurts for about 30-45 seconds, and feels like a hard pinch. The freezing extends deep in the skin like a half circle like a melon baler. About 5% of the time, the roots of the wart are deeper than we freeze, and the wart will return. I generally recommend this method of removal as the risk of infection is minimal, no aftercare is usually necessary, and the cure rate is very high.
Cimetidine: Cimetidine is an acid blocker used for ulcers and heartburn, and goes by the trade name Tagamet. For some unknown reason, it also helps remove warts. The treatment takes a long time to work, generally 2 to 6 months. We will have to calculate the dosage based on weight. There is an over the counter pill, but this may not fit the weight of your child. There is a liquid available, but it requires a prescription.
Salicylic Acid: This is the counter Compound W and others. Buy the one with the strongest % available (up to 20%). To use, soak the wart in warm water until the skin becomes water logged; use a pumice stone, file or sandpaper to remove the top dead layer of tissue; apply for the medicine with the brush / applicator; do this 3 times a day until the wart resolves in 3 to 12 weeks. The patch version of these medicines is not very effective. The salicylic acid may sting intensely when it gets on the normal surrounding skin. Since the salicylic acid causes a break in the skin, there is a risk of infection if the wound is allowed to get dirty.
Aldara: Aldara (imiquimod) is a prescription antiviral drug initially used for genital warts. It has been studied in regular warts and found to be pretty effective. Aldara is not an acid, it actually kills the virus that causes the wart. It is applied 3 times per week for a maximum of 15 weeks. It generally takes about 1 month to see any difference and takes 2 to 4 months to cure. If the medicine is not working by the 2ndmonth, then it probably is not going to work.
Electrodesiccation: This is done at the dermatologist’s office with a local anesthetic. Electrodesiccation is essentially electrocuting the wart away. Since warts have roots sometimes and we don’t want to destroy too much normal tissue, there is a small failure rate. Also, since this method does damage some normal skin and leave an open wound, there is a risk of infection. A version of this uses a laser to burn away the wart. There is a concern with the laser than some of the wart tissue that is vaporized is not sterile and if that tissue lands on other skin, then a wart can start there. If you see a surgeon or dermatologist, then they can tell you more about the laser.
Surgical Removal: This is also done at the dermatologist’s office under a local anesthetic (depending on the ability of the patient to remain still). As with electrodesiccation, there is a small failure rate and risk of infection.
natural ways to get rid of warts
- Baking powder.Mix baking powder and castor oil into a paste, apply to the wart at night and cover with a bandage. Repeat until the wart has died. You can also try crushed, fresh basil in the same way—or even mix the two together.
- Stop the spread.Not only can warts be passed from person to person, but you can also spread them around your own body through touch. If you touch your wart, for instance, and then touch another part of your body before washing your hands, you may spread the virus, and notice new warts popping up several days later.
- Use pineapple.Apply fresh pineapple directly to the wart several times a day. The natural acids and enzymes will help kill it.
- Mix some fresh garlic with water and apply the paste to the wart. Put a bandage on top. Re-apply every few hours and continue until the wart is gone.
- Boost your immune system. Warts are caused by a virus, so one of the best ways to get rid of them is to boost your body’s ability to fight them. In fact, many people notice that warts show up when they’re feeling tired, sick, or worn down. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and exercising regularly and use some potent immune boosters like astragalus, elderberry, olive leaf, vitamin C, zinc, turmeric, and cat’s claw.
- Crush up a vitamin C tablet and mix with water to make a thick paste. Apply to the wart and cover with a bandage. You can also try vitamin E—break a capsule, rub on the wart, and cover.
- Use these like the vitamin C tablet—crush, add a little water, apply the paste to the wart, and cover overnight. Repeat for several nights until gone.
- Tea tree oil.This potent antibacterial oil has powerful germ-fighting capabilities and is also known to help treat skin conditions. Apply directly to the wart, then cover with the bandage. Repeat until the wart is gone. You can also mix with clove and/or Frankincense oils for additional power.
- Bee propolis. Some people have found success applying propolis directly to the wart several times a day. Or try applying at night and covering until morning.
- Aloe vera.Fresh from the actual plant is best. Break off a leaf and rub the gel onto the wart. Aloe contains malic acid, which can help burn away the affected tissue. If you don’t have the plant, get the purest form of aloe you can find. Cover after each application.
How to remove facial warts naturally
- It is easy to remove warts at home using just a potato. Grate one together with its peel (of course after having washed it). Apply the mash on your face and leave to dry. If you mix potatoes and hydrogen peroxide, you remove senile warts on the body, neck, and face can once and for all.
- The Very unpleasant phenomenon is a wart on the eyelid or on the nose, to cure it you can use aloe juice, goat fat, beet and horseradish juice. Put any of the selected means on a cotton swab and insert into your nostril or on your eyelid, hold about 20 minutes for 3-4 times a day.
- Finely chop the leaves of aloe and apply the resulting puree on a plaster or gauze, then secure the bandage on the affected area. It is advisable to make the mask for the night and to remove it in the morning or to replace with a new one. Repeat as necessary.
- Salicylic acid. Dampen a cotton swab or ball in the acid and attach it to the damaged area.
- Small brown flat warts on the face can be smeared with apple juice. Every day, several times apply to your face juice of green sour apples, and after 10 times small growths will disappear.
- The easiest and most effective solution is based on natural disinfectors: onions and garlic. Husk an onion, fine grate it and does the same with garlic. You need half a bulb of onion and about 3 average cloves of garlic. Grate and mix the vegetables, put on the wart, fix the bandage, hold up to 40 minutes, repeat 4-5 times a day for greater effect. The recipe becomes even more efficient if you add a teaspoon of vinegar to it. Warning: this recipe will not work for very sensitive skin, neither for a wart on the eyelid as you can accidentally put some of the masks into your eye and it cause severe irritation and even a burn. However, for other parts of the face, for example, a wart on the nose, this recipe is very suitable.
- Also, small warts can be easily cauterized with wormwood or celandine juice. These plants are very poisonous, so be careful and avoid contact with eyes. It is best to use fresh juice, so this solution is yours if you have those plants growing nearby. Crack a stem of wormwood or celandine, get the juice and apply it to the growth. In the same manner, you can also use ashberry or calendula juice.
- Wart rash can be cured with simple sea salt and horseradish juice. Mix a teaspoon of salt with two tablespoons of fresh horseradish juice and rub into the affected area for 5 minutes, leave for 20-30 minutes, then rinse with cold water and repeat 2 times a day. Instead of salt can be used chalk.
- You can reduce subcutaneous or chronic facial warts by means of 30% hydrogen peroxide. Soak a cotton swab and apply it on the face. Hold for 1-3 hours, and repeat 2 times a day.
- Soften the wart. To do this, moisten a cotton pad with hot water and apply to the damaged area, do it several times. Rub the softened wart with ammonia spirit.
- Apply to the defect lemon essential oil and cover with plaster. Every three hours repeat the procedure.
How to get rid of plantar warts
- Duct tape is one home remedy. Put a small strip over the wart and leave it on for six days. Then, remove the tape, soak the wart in water, and then gently debride it with a pumice stone or emory board. Repeat the process many times until the wart is gone. This may take a couple of months. Don’t expect miracles with this type of treatment since it probably does not work any better than a placebo.
- Over-the-counter wart treatments work about 50% of the time. These wart removers usually work by peeling the wart.
- Doctor’s treatments include freezing the wart off with liquid nitrogen, removing the wart with laser or surgery, or applying or injecting medicines to strengthen the immune system so it can clear your body of the virus.
Treatment, however, is not fast and easy. Home treatment for hand warts, for instance, can take a few weeks up to a few months. Foot warts are challenging to treat because most of the wart lies below the skin surface.
Even if a treatment is successful, the wart can reappear.
If a wart is not bothersome, doctors say it can be left alone. Given time, the wart may disappear on its own, thanks to the immune system.
How to get rid of finger warts
Today there are numerous methods of treatment for warts on hands. All solutions can be divided into the following, groups:
- Surgical treatment – curettage of tissues of the growth under local anesthesia, this method is rarely used today.
- Physical therapy – hand wart removal with laser, liquid nitrogen, or electric coagulation.
- Chemical – with acids, alkalis.
- Immune therapy.
- Folk remedies – celandine juice, onion, acetic acid, and so on.
Treatment with any non-prescription drugs may be unsafe, especially without finding the accurate diagnosis. What dermatologists offer today to remove warts on hands and fingers.
Laser wart removal is quite an effective method of getting rid of warts, very fast and almost is not painful. In terms of cosmetic effect today, it is considered the best removal option as the procedure leaves almost no scars, the doctor can easily control the intensity of exposure, recovery from the procedure is fast, and the removed growths can be examined histologically.
Cryotherapy or warts removal with liquid nitrogen is a quite painful procedure in some cases, but with a good assessment of the depth of exposure leaves no scars. However, in some cases, it requires repeated treatments, and its downside is soreness after the procedure for 1-2 days and formation of a blister, which should be wiped with a strong solution of potassium permanganate during one week.
Electrocoagulation method is used to treat warts on fingers and palms with the high-frequency current. It is a bloodless method, but it is used for small warts without deep roots, so, for example, plantar warts cannot be removed through this method.
Chemical agents used to remove warts should be used very carefully because they can cause burns of nearby healthy tissues, it is best if the procedure will be performed by a doctor. To avoid damage to the skin, you should apply fat cream to the surrounding skin surface or close up the skin with plaster after cutting in it a hole for warts of the same diameter as the growth.
Before using any of the folk remedies or ready care products it is necessary for 5-10 minutes to steam the wart, then wipe the skin dry and make the application of a solution.
Salicylic acid requires long treatment – 1-3 weeks, other drugs sometimes require an only one-time procedure or repeating it in 2 weeks.
Among the popular treatments for warts on fingers, nails and hands, the most effective is cauterization of warts with natural celandine juice that you can obtain by yourself during the flowering of the herb from May to June.
Or use the following method – clean an onion, cut, pour with 70% vinegar essence for 2 hours, then apply and secure a slice of the onion to the affected area overnight and remove in the morning and repeat the procedure until the complete disappearance of the growth. Instead of onions you can use flour, mix vinegar and flour to form gruel and put it on the growth overnight.
Prevention of warts:
To reduce your risk of common warts:
- Avoid direct contact with warts. This includes your own warts.
- Don’t pick at warts. Picking may spread the virus.
- Don’t use the same emery board, pumice stone or nail clipper on your warts as you use on your healthy skin and nails.
- Don’t bite your fingernails. Warts occur more often in the skin that has been broken. Nibbling the skin around your fingernails opens the door for the virus.
- Groom with care. Use a disposable emery board. And avoid brushing, clipping or shaving areas that have warts. If you must shave, use an electric razor.
- Wash your hands carefully after touching your warts or surfaces such as shared exercise equipment.