Treating Warts

Treating Warts Can Take Many Forms

Treating warts is not usually a complicated procedure, the trick being to find what works best and what does not, as this can vary from person to person. One can always visit a dermatologist and have warts frozen or burned off, but many over the counter preparations, and even some home remedies, often work just as well. Some warts can be very stubborn however, in a location difficult to treat, or in a location causing discomfort. In such cases, seeing a doctor or dermatologist may be the best route to take.

A Viral Infection - A wart is not simply a rough parch of dried skin, like a callus, it is a viral infection. A wart is a (fortunately) benign growth on the skin caused by the human papilloma virus. You can "catch a wart" just as you can catch the flu. The virus spreads through the air or by contact, and usually attacks a cut or opening in the skin. You can get a wart by coming into contact with another person, and you can spread warts from one part of your own body to another. Fortunately, most people do not have to put up with a large number of warts, though most people, particularly young people, get one or more at some point in their lives.

Remember that a virus is a living thing. In treating warts, the goal is to either kill the virus, or make the place it has settled down inhospitable. Both methods are normally accomplished by an application of a topical medication. There are some slightly more bizarre treatments though, and for whatever reason, the concept of mind over matter even comes into play. One might think that a doctor would be mostly in favor of burning or freezing your warts off, and of course earning a fee in the process. For the most part though, doctors freely advise the use of over the counter medications and even home remedies they know will often do the job, and do it painlessly.

Hurt The Wart's Feelings - Believe it or not, one approach to treating warts is to simply ignore them. They apparently take offense at this and go away. This is not a guaranteed approach, but even scientifically included experts on warts will tell you it has been know to happen. Usually warts, which affect mainly young people, go away on their own after a couple of years anyway, but if a wart suddenly appears, and you pay it little attention, it seemingly has a greater chance of disappearing in a short time than would be the case if you made a fuss over it.

Duct Tape – Not A Joke - One of the favored home remedies is the use of duct tape. Using duct tape for treating warts has a large number of believers. The reason duct tape is so effective is easy to explain. Duct tape is designed to cling to things tightly. It will do the same to a wart when placed on a wart. In clinging tightly, it starves the wart of oxygen, and a wart needs oxygen to survive. The piece of duct tape has to be left on continuously for some time, that time being anywhere from one to several months. Applying and removing duct tape on a continual basis won't work.

Salicylic Acid Is Effective - Then there are the over the counter medications, most of which contain salicylic acid, which is effective in destroying a wart by dissolving it. The best known of these medications is Compound W, which usually works quickly and effectively on small warts. Salicylic acid will irritate the skin however. The instructions on the package or bottle of Compound W will stress the fact that the solution should be carefully applied to the wart area only. This particular medication does contain oil which acts to help protect the skin, where other medications with salicylic acid as their main ingredient may not. Another of the cautions you may see on the containers of these medications is to make certain that it is a wart you're dealing with, and not some other type of skin problem. If you treat another skin condition as if it were a wart, the treatment may be not only be ineffective, but could be dangerous.

Try A Vitamin Paste - Vitamins A, C, and E all seem to be effective in removing warts when applied topically. Application is usually done by making a paste. One should be especially careful not to take large doses of vitamin A orally as it can be toxic. As far as the other two vitamins are concerned, taking them orally would not have quite the punch as applying them directly to the wart would have.

There are other home remedies as well, including rubbing a piece of raw potato on the wart. In folklore there was something about using stump water as an agent in  treating warts, but stump water, even if it were effective,  isn't usually available to the general public. Short of seeing a doctor, Compound W and duct tape seem to be tops on the list of recommended treatments.