Warts, though a fairly common skin condition, can be annoying, painful and embarrassing. If you want to know how to get rid of warts, here are a few dermatologist-approved treatment methods.
Before we can get into treatment options, it's important to understand what causes warts to crop up in the first place. First and foremost, warts only grow in the epidermis. Your typical wart will have a raised, rough surface, though some warts on feet or the face may be flat. Warts develop when skin cells grow faster than normal because of a human papillomavirus (HPV). Of all the HPV strains, there are about 10 that contribute to the development of skin (cutaneous) warts.
Fortunately, warts aren't highly contagious. That being said, it's still possible for them to spread from person to person. This occurs via direct skin contact, most often through breaks in the skin. It may also be possible to contract warts from surfaces in locker rooms or public showers, but it's difficult to determine any kind of frequency in these cases.
While warts are annoying, there are a number of home remedies for warts that come with dermatologist recommendations. Let's review a few of them.
Though commonly used as a treatment for acne, salicylic acid has a number of uses. One such use is to treat warts. To perform a salicylic acid treatment on your wart, it's recommended to soak it in warm water for a few minutes, file away some of the excess skin, and then apply salicylic acid to the affected area. You can perform this treatment at home a few times a day for up to 12 weeks. One of the biggest reasons this treatment is so popular is the nature of salicylic acid. It's relatively inexpensive, causes minimal side effects, and can be applied as a gel, cream or even a patch.
Cryotherapy is probably the most commonly recognized treatment for warts. You can find wart freezing kits in most drug stores — they're relatively inexpensive, and in most cases, effective at treating warts on different parts of the body. If you're not comfortable performing an at-home freezing treatment for your warts, you can also have this treatment performed by your doctor. In that scenario, liquid nitrogen will be swabbed or sprayed on the affected area. The extreme cold burns the skin, thus causing a blister. With this treatment, a wart may disappear in about three to four sessions.
This may sound like a strange treatment for warts, but some studies have actually found that it can be effective. For this treatment, you can place duct tape over the affected area and leave it on for several days. Once cleaned and allowed to breathe for a night, repeat the process until the wart disappears. It's still unclear why this method is so effective so make sure you speak with a dermatologist before trying it.
Warts can be tricky to deal with. If you're struggling with warts and you need a treatment that works, contact our team at North Pacific Dermatology today. We want to help you get rid of those warts once and for all.