Almost all people discover a wart on their body at least once in their life or have several warts at once. In this article you will find out which remedy really helps against warts, which method or treatment is best for removing warts and what you should generally pay attention to when warts occur.
What are warts? Definition, causes and occurrence
Even if the word warts is often associated with large, dark bumps on the skin, which typically characterize some villains known from films or books, the term stands for far more skin changes that can differ greatly in shape, colour and expression.
Usually warts are small benign skin changes that appear in different forms and in different parts of the body (sometimes all over the body). As a rule, warts are caused by viruses (especially human papillomaviruses, HPV for short) or due to infections, whereby the pathogens occur via smear infections or contact infections from person to person (e.g. when shaking hands or during sexual intercourse) or via external carriers (e.g. damp floors in the sauna, swimming pool or objects such as towels). As a result, small injuries in the skin or mucous membranes infect the upper layer of the skin and the skin can begin to grow. Thus, the question of whether warts are contagious can be answered with a clear “yes”. However, it is interesting
Age warts arising from age spots, on the formation of which viruses have no influence, are an exception. These are probably due to the natural aging of the skin and an overall high level of exposure to UV rays.
Occurrence and causes of warts: who does it affect?
Every year up to 750,000 people in Germany contract a viral infection that can cause warts. Warts in particular often affect children and adolescents. But not everyone who becomes infected with the corresponding virus will definitely develop warts: Warts often occur primarily in people who sweat quickly, often have damp hands or feet and do not wear breathable clothing.
In addition, the risk of developing warts is significantly higher in children and adolescents whose immune systems have not yet come into contact with the pathogens causing warts. But all other people who have a weak immune system or whose skin is irritated by diseases such as neurodermatitis, for example, can be more often affected by warts. In many cases, an unhealthy lifestyle (e.g. smoking) is also said to be responsible for the development of warts.
Do warts cause pain?
Most warts are benign skin changes that do not cause pain and regress on their own, so that no special treatment by a doctor is necessary. In principle, however, it is advisable to treat viral warts in order to avoid infection. In some cases, a wart can cause very severe pain that requires urgent treatment. Read more about this below.
Typical spots for warts
The places where warts appear depends on the type of wart and the cause. For example, warts can develop on the arms, on the forehead, on the cheeks, in the mouth area, on the feet, on the hands and in the genital area and can develop individually or in small groups.
What types of warts are there?
Warts come in a variety of forms. We have listed the most common types of warts below so that you can get the best possible overview.
Barbed warts (vulgar warts)
The barbed wart , also known as the vulgar wart , mostly occurs in children or adolescents. But adults who have circulatory disorders or who sweat very often and a lot often suffer from wart formation. The barbed wart typically appears on the nails, fingers, or face. The wart is initially very small, over time, pea-sized, very hard nodules form. These nodules take on a rough, calloused shape. This type of warts can spread in small groups all over the body by scratching the skin. The barbed wart also occurs when the immune system is weakened. Anyone suffering from neurodermatitis can cause the wart to spread over the whole body due to the intense itching.
Flat warts (juvenile wart)
The verruca plana (Juvenile wart) commonly occurs in adolescents or children, often more girls are affected than boys.
This type of wart, which usually forms on the face, neck, shin or back of the hand, is transmitted through a smear infection – there is therefore an increased risk of infection in swimming pools or saunas. The flat wart is up to 5 millimeters round, very flat and can also be polygonal. It is soft and can look brown, yellow, or skin-colored.
Plantar warts (sole or mosaic wart)
Plantar warts usually develop on the foot, more precisely on the sole of the foot. Therefore, they are also called plantar nipples . This type of wart is also transmitted through a smear infection. Plantar warts are characterized by brown-black points. As the name suggests, they grow like thorns in the sole of the foot and can therefore be very painful as the weight of the body rests on the wart on the foot when walking. If the wart multiplies, a mosaic pattern develops on the skin or the sole of the foot, which is why this type of wart is sometimes also referred to as a mosaic wart.
The genital wart often forms in the genital area, on mucous membranes or in moist, warm skin folds. This type of wart can be transmitted to the partner during sexual intercourse. The genital wart occurs, among other things, in cases of vaginal inflammation, intestinal inflammation, urethritis, worm infestation or narrowing of the foreskin. But this type of wart can also be involved in cervical cancer and promote the development of this type of cancer. The genital wart is also called the genital wart and occurs locally. A flesh-colored nodule forms in the anal area or on the genital organs. By taking the contraceptive pill, the genital warts can be promoted. If the genital wart is infected with bacteria or fungi, it can be very itchy.
Dell warts appear all over the body, but often on the fingers, hands, arms or the upper body. This type of wart is the size of a pea and has an indentation in the middle. Infection can occur via a smear infection or a contact infection. With this species, too, the risk of infection in swimming pools or saunas is very high.
Important: do not scratch!
Regardless of the type of wart and how you treat it, the following principle applies: Warts must not be scratched, as the viruses and infected cells can otherwise spread through the bleeding to other areas of the skin and promote the formation of further warts. Even if it is difficult, you should definitely resist any itching and use another means of treatment.
Note: Warts must not be scratched open!
How do you get rid of warts? Tips, Natural Home Remedies, and Treatment
Most warts go away on their own, but it can also be a good idea to fight warts yourself or have a doctor remove them. In the following, we’ll give you various tips and natural home remedies that you can use to remove warts quickly, and show you different treatment options.
Home remedies for warts
Remove warts with apple cider vinegar
It is often recommended to treat warts with apple cider vinegar. To do this, apple cider vinegar is applied to a cotton pad up to twice a day, rubbed into the wart and then masked off with a plaster. This should cause the wart to peel off and disappear after a while.
Treat warts with garlic
Garlic is also said to be good for warts. To do this, the wart should be rubbed with freshly cut garlic for several weeks. In addition, a thin slice of garlic can be tied to the wart overnight with a band-aid so that the juice from the garlic clove can penetrate the wart and fight the viruses.
Remove warts with tape
A common home remedy for warts is duct tape. What sounds unusual, it is too: The wart is masked off with a small piece of adhesive tape for just under a week. Keeping the tape on the skin will soak the wart. The top layer can then be removed relatively easily with a pumice stone or a file. Treated in this way, the wart disappears after a while – and without any pain!
Whether the home remedies actually help against warts has not been scientifically proven. If you are unsure about which remedy to use to fight warts, if in doubt, it is better to trust the opinion of an expert.
Remove warts at home
Use of salicylic acid and lactic acid
To remove warts without treatment at the doctor, you can use solutions containing salicylic acid or lactic acid, for example. It is used daily for several weeks on the affected areas of the skin. This will cause a thin layer to form on the wart and soften the skin. The next day, this film can be removed, including the top layer of the wart, if possible – you can use a file or a pumice stone to remove it. As a rule, this method is painless, but slight pain can only arise from filing and removing the top layer of skin. To protect the surrounding skin, it is best to apply a fatty cream or petroleum jelly to prevent the solution from damaging healthy areas of the skin.
Alternatively, there are now plasters with salicylic or lactic acid that you can leave on the skin for a while to soften the skin.
Over-the-counter drugs for warts are also available in our online pharmacy – discover our wide range and find the best remedy for warts!
Wart does not go away: when to see a doctor?
If warts don’t go away on their own after a while, you should seek advice from an expert and trust your dermatologist. A doctor should be consulted, especially with warts in the genital area. You are in the best of hands with an experienced expert and can trust that they will help you to quickly remove the warts by choosing a suitable method.
Remove warts by freezing
One means your dermatologist can use to treat warts is freezing (cryotherapy). The wart is treated with liquid nitrogen, which is said to help destroy the affected cells in the upper layer of the skin and gradually make the warts go away. The application is usually carried out over a period of several weeks. Freezing is usually not very painful, but it can cause slight skin irritation. Like other treatment options, freezing requires patience.
If this does not help, the dermatologist can prescribe additional products such as tinctures with 5-fluorouracil, which kill the viruses and fight the wart.
Cut out the warts, ablate them with a laser or spoon
In some cases it may be necessary to remove warts surgically, with a sharp spoon (curettage, for example with genital warts) or with a laser. This can be necessary, for example, if warts occur more frequently or grow heavily. Cutting out warts that have grown deep into the foot can sometimes leave deep wounds and temporarily cause severe pain.
Bottom line: what remedies or home remedies are the best for getting rid of warts quickly?
Freezing and the application of salicylic acid have been shown in studies to be the most effective remedies in the fight against warts. Although the application has to take place over several weeks, stubborn warts usually subside faster than without special help.
Prevention of warts
There are a few tips you can follow to avoid transmission of the HPV virus and prevent warts from developing.
- Wash your hands regularly! Wash your hands regularly and maintain good physical hygiene. Wash your hands carefully, especially after touching warts on your feet or other parts of your body.
- Dry off well! Always dry your hands and feet well after washing, showering, bathing and after visiting the sauna or swimming pool. If you ensure that your skin is dry (not dried out!) From head to toe, you reduce the likelihood of developing types of warts, which tend to develop in a moist environment.
- Take care of your skin! By regularly caring for your skin and supplying it with valuable moisture using suitable creams or lotions, you can prevent the skin from drying out and cracking. In this way you reduce the risk of viruses getting into the skin and causing warts.
- No walking barefoot in public places! Whenever possible, avoid walking barefoot in public places such as swimming pools, gyms, saunas, or changing rooms. Instead, always protect your feet with sandals, flip flops or rubber shoes to prevent virus transmission.
- Own clothes, shoes and cosmetics! Do not wear other people’s clothes or shoes and only use your own cosmetics and personal care products. Another person’s clothing, cosmetics, and toiletries could contain viruses that can spread to you and develop warts as a result.
- Stay Active and Eat Healthy! Pay attention to your physical fitness, exercise regularly and spend a lot of time outdoors in the fresh air. You should also eat healthily and make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals to strengthen your immune system. A strong immune system is the best protection against unwanted warts.