A common wart treatment for the removal of warts involves the use of chemical products. However, it is necessary to first talk about common warts in general.
A common wart is also known as verruca vulgaris and sometimes also as a seed wart. As the name states, these types of warts are what most people get at some point.
Typical warts typically have well-defined borders and can be round or have more of an irregular shape to them. They have a rough texture, are firm, and have the appearance of cauliflower. The color of the wart can vary, but generally, these warts are skin-colored. They may also sometimes be pink, white, light gray, yellow, or brown. One or several black dots caused by blood vessels in the wart can be present. Their size ranges from about 1 mm up to about 10 mm and they can appear as single warts or in multiples. In almost all cases, these typical warts are painless. However, the warts may cause discomfort if they are in an area that experiences repeated friction.
Common or seed warts are usually found on the hands (especially the back of the hands, the fingers, and around the fingernails), elbows, and knees. In particular, they like to grow in areas that are exposed to minor trauma such as cuts and abrasions. Many people bite their nails or pick their hangnails leading to skin trauma and this is a major reason why the finger and fingernail areas are most likely affected. These warts commonly appear on the skin of teenagers and children.
Treatment of common warts is basic and can be done in the home or by visiting a clinic or family doctor. Common wart cures are available either as over the counter products or as medications prescribed by a doctor. Over the counter wart cures are sold everywhere. Their effectiveness is variable. Some people have decent results with these products, whereas other individuals have no success whatsoever in eliminating their wart problem.
Use of over the counter
products containing salicylic acid or cryotherapy (freezing of the wart) are
generally used. It may take up to several weeks of treatment to remove the
warts. Sometimes these treatments are not effective and other wart remedies
need to be pursued. More specific common wart treatments are discussed below.
Salicylic acid is the chemical most often found in over the counter products. Another similar acting chemical is retinoic acid. These products can be thick liquids, creams, gels, plasters, or paints. These common wart treatment products are applied to the wart on a regular basis (see the instructions for the specific product) usually after soaking the wart in warm water and after removal of hard dead skin cells on the wart’s surface. Tape or duct tape can be placed on the wart after the applied chemical has dried in order to help increase the treatment’s effectiveness.
The acid destroys the wart skin cells and therefore, periodically the wart needs to be rubbed with an emery board or pumice stone to remove the dead skin cells. This likely will have to be performed once a week. The disadvantage of using these salicylic acid containing products is that good skin cells in the area of the wart can be damaged and irritation in the area will likely occur. If the skin gets painful and irritated, then the wart treatment should be suspended and this in turn reduces the effectiveness of the treatment. Follow the skin wart removal product instructions carefully. Another major disadvantage of this wart treatment is that it can take up to 2 or 3 months of treatment with salicylic acid to remove the wart. These treatments should not be used when facial warts or genital warts are present.
For genital warts, several chemical medications can be used and are available by prescription after consultation with a physician. In addition, the physician may be the one that actually applies the substance to the warts. The chemicals most often used are Imiquimod, Podofilox, or Trichloroacetic acid, and these compounds destroy the cells containing the wart virus or act to halt the growth of virus containing cells.
Another wart treatment involves the injection of the wart with bleomycin (an anti-cancer drug). Immunotherapy can also be used as a common wart treatment. This involves the application of a chemical compound to the wart that the body has a mild allergic reaction to and therefore the wart is attacked by the body’s defense or immune system. Finally, injections such as Gardasil that protect against strains of the HPV virus might help prevent and treat warts.
Additional information on types of warts and other related topics is below:
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