Unsightly warts can be embarrassing and sometimes downright painful. Warts are hard growths of skin that can appear anywhere on the body. Anyone can suffer from warts from children to adults. Most warts are benign, though some can be a symptom of a more serious health problem. They are caused by a strain of the human papilloma virus (or HPV) which is prevalent in the majority of the human population worldwide. The strain of HPV which causes warts is considered to be the least contagious form of the virus with a miniscule chance to spread to others. There are over 100 strains of the human papilloma virus. In addition, a majority of people that have warts tend to have recurring outbreaks. There is no known way to completely prevent warts from reappearing.
There are several different kinds of warts all caused by related strains of HPV. The most common type are skin warts, also called “seed warts”, flat warts and plantar warts (warts usually on the soles of the feet) are such a common problem; there are literally hundreds of home remedies that have proven quite effective for treatment of them.Some of the most common proven home remedies for skin warts and plantar warts include:
-a poultice of crushed flax seed and honey applied to the affected area. Flax seed can be found at just about any health food store or large pharmacy. Apply with a warm rag or paste straight onto the wart and cover with a bandage. Change the poultice every day until the wart is gone. Keep the area dry and clean.
– massage the affected area with castor oil twice a day. The castor oil will make the area soft and cause the wart to recede and eventually rub off. This is probably one of the oldest known remedies that has proven effective for skin warts and castor oil can be found over the counter at any reputable pharmacy.
– Apply tea tree oil to the affected area twice a day for several days to melt the wart away. The oil softens the skin making the wart easy to remove after a few days by simply rubbing it off.
– Rub a fresh sliced onion on the affected area two or three times a day. The onion stimulates the flow of blood in the area by slightly irritating the skin and the wart should disappear in several days if using this treatment. This treatment is especially recommended for the removal of plantar warts. Some people recommend placing a slice of fresh onion on the feet and attaching them there with scotch tape or a bandage for planar warts and elevating the feet for a few hours every day until the warts are gone.
– Squeeze the milk out of a fresh picked dandelion and apply to the wart. The juice of the dandelion contains natural chemicals which act as antitoxins and softens the skin helping the wart to dislodge painlessly. Repeat this treatment several times a day until relief from the wart is noticeable.
– Apply adhesive tape to the affected area. This is commonly recommended by doctors and has been used as a treatment for warts for years. Leave on for 6-10 days and reapply as needed until the wart is gone. If you prefer to go all natural, you can use a daub of all natural organic honey and cover with a bandage, replacing daily for 10-14 days or until the wart is gone.
Along with using any of the above home treatments, a diet of citric fruits is recommended to combat the HPV virus. An infusion of Vitamin C on a regular basis helps the skin to be more acidic and thus causes the wart to shrink. Always wash hands thoroughly after contact with skin or plantar warts. While they are rarely contagious, the small chance of spreading the warts to another person or from the affected area to a none infected area still exists.
Genital warts are caused by another strain of the HPV virus. These are highly contagious and contact with an infected person should be avoided at all costs. Anyone with an outbreak of genital warts should seek the treatment of a medical professional as these are often a symptom of other sexually transmitted diseases. Although there are some home remedies to treat genital warts, an outbreak can occur any time once the warts have been contracted and home treatment may not cure the problem for good.
One suggested home remedy includes the use of apple cider vinegar. This is an old treatment for genital warts as well as regular skin warts. It is effective because of the antibiotic qualities of the vinegar. While not as effective as medical treatment for genital warts, it has been known to have some percentage of success in removing them. To use this treatment, apply a small amount of Vaseline around the warts to protect the surrounding skin from the acidity of the vinegar. Use a cotton ball or q-tip to apply a small amount of apple cider vinegar directly to the wart, using a firm rubbing motion. Rub again with a clean cotton ball. The wart will become white and there may be some slight bleeding due to the wart being dislodged. Repeat an application of the apple cider vinegar treatment until the wart is completely dislodged. Keep the area dry and avoid sexual contact until the area is healed completely. This treatment may be painful and is only suggested to be used for removal of exterior genital warts as using this treatment in the vaginal area can cause severe complications due to irritation of the vaginal lining from the vinegar.
How to identify what type of wart you have:
Skin warts are usually small, skin colored, often raised and are “seedy” and have a rough texture. They are commonly called seed warts because they have a small hardened area inside of them where the blood vessels are attached to them. These are most often found in areas where the skin has been broken. These are contagious and can spread easily from one infected area to an area that has open skin and from person to person through contact with the virus and open skin.
Plantar warts are usually found on the soles of the feet, are most often gray or brown in color, have a rough exterior texture and may also appear “seedy”. They are hard and flat and can be very painful. They can also grow over an inch in circumference.
Flat warts are the smallest type of warts, usually found in clusters on the face and neck but can appear on other parts of the body as well. They are very tiny, flat and smooth in texture. They can be flesh colored, gray or brown in color.
Genital warts as the name implies are found in the genital areas. They are transmitted by sexual contact with an infected person. For males, they appear externally around the penis, thigh and anal areas. Females can have them externally or internally. They can be very small and undetectable sometimes. They appear as flesh colored growths that can be raised or flat and have a head shaped like a cauliflower. Genital warts can be found on both sexes on the lips, mouth, tongue and in the throat. They can cause itching and in females can cause bleeding after sex or excess vaginal discharge.
Some doctors recommend the following methods to prevent warts or lessen wart outbreaks:
– never go barefoot, the risk of coming into contact with the virus that produces warts is amplified by the skin on the bottom of the feet coming into contact with anything that can contain the virus such as public pools, showers and shared locker rooms.
– keep skin dry, warts tend to be more active on skin that is constantly wet or moist. Change your clothing and try to shower after a work out routine or after a long period where you may have been sweating extensively.
– always wash your hands after touching a wart to prevent the spread of the virus to other areas on the body and other people.
– always use a fresh clean towel and wash cloth when bathing, especially in public areas. Warts can be spread through contact with something that has had contact with someone else’s warts and towels can spread the virus around on your body as you towel off.
– keep a healthy, active lifestyle, a healthy immune system helps prevent the contraction of the virus which causes warts. Try to avoid public places if possible when your immune system may be low or compromised due to a cold or flu or other contagious virus.
While most warts are benign, some can be a symptom of more serious health conditions. Always seek out a medical professional if you have any concern about warts and ask their advice on home remedies before trying them, especially if you may have other health conditions as some home remedies can cause complications with other health issues.