Warts are caused by a virus. The problem is that they are disgusting looking and although usually disappearing on their own; they can take a very long time to do so. Not your average sore, they have a long healing time for most, and for others, intervention is necessary to rid them. Unsightly in appearance, they can make you not want to shake hands, or in some instances and other places, can be painful. If you don’t treat them, it is possible to spread them from one area to another. There are some home remedies, as well as over-the-counter products that work well at reducing their size or ridding you of them altogether. Not caused by a toad as folklore says, there are some old wives tales about their cure that do work.
What are warts?
Warts are small blisters or cauliflower shaped bumps that are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). The virus works by triggering the rate of keratin to speed up. Keratin is a protein that is located at the top layer of the skin. This rapid growth results in the blister, or sore, that emerges at the top of the skin. There are various types of warts classified by their appearance and their emergence.
The various types are:
Common wart — a blister that forms most commonly on fingers, knuckles, knees and elbows
Plantar wart — these types of warts appear on the soles of the feet, they grow inward and usually have a black dot
Verruca plana — round, smooth and flat warts that are usually yellow, they are most commonly found on children’s hands, face, and legs
Verruca filiformis — long and almost tubular, normally found on the neck, armpits and eyelids
Mosaic wart — these type of warts grow in clusters, usually on the palm of the hand and on the feet
8 ways to get rid of warts
Bananas have a proteolytic enzyme in them that is known to eat away at warts. Using a banana peel, scrape the inside of it with a spoon and massage it liberally to the infected area twice daily. Make sure that you wash your hands after massaging it into the area to not spread the virus to other places.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is not only an excellent way to stave off the flu; it also works to destroy the HPV virus not only in the body, but at the site of the infected skin. It helps to boost the immune system to fight against the disease and encourage the skin to heal on its own. Take a vitamin C tablet and crush it up and either add a teaspoon of water or lemon juice to it. Apply the mask to the skin. Cover with a bandage and allow it to sit overnight. It will most likely take several treatments.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has a high acidic content that “eats” away at the excess skin that comprises the wart. Due to the caustic nature of the vinegar it may cause irritation. Simply apply the vinegar with a toothpick or cotton ball liberally twice a day and cover with a bandage. The wart may not be completely removed; it may take some scrapping to remove the dead skin.
4. Pineapple juice
Pineapple juice is likewise acidic and works in the same way that apple cider vinegar does. Place pineapple juice in a pot and soak your foot twice daily at minimum for 4-5 minutes. Like the vinegar, it may cause irritation, so if you are experiencing a lot of pain you can back off for a day or two.
Garlic is a great solvent for warts. Peel and make a paste from pure garlic. Apply the paste to the infected area a couple of times a day and place a bandage over it. If you want to speed up the time to rid it, apply heat to it with a hot compress or heating pad.
6. Duck tape
Although not a “natural” cure, duck tape is not only great to put everything back together, it is also excellent at taking things off, like warts. Take a piece of duck tape and cut it just about an inch round larger than the wart. Stick the tape to the area and allow it to stay until it falls off. Showering with it is okay. In a week or so, it should pull off the wart with it when it comes off. Be careful, however, it can be very caustic to the skin around the wart.
Figs are also a substance that are known to dissolve the skin that is responsible for the wart. In the same manner that you make garlic paste, you can make a paste of fig and apply it to the area. Make sure to hold it in place with a band-aid.
8. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is known to be excellent for the skin and to increase its ability to heal. It is also known as a great way to get rid of warts. Take a vitamin E tablet and break it open. Massage the vitamin directly to the wart.
If all else fails, these over-the-counter pharmaceuticals seem to work too…
Salicylic Acid is not only a great medication to rid the skin of acne; it also works to get rid of warts. It takes a considerable amount of time, as many as three months to work on warts, but it is still an effective treatment course. Apply gel or creme to the wart and cover with a band-aid. If you want to hasten the removal, soak the skin in warm water prior to application.
Cryotherapy is a procedure done with nitrogen. It works by freezing the wart to kill the skin layers, so they die and fall off. You can either have the procedure done in a physician’s office or you can buy a kit to remove a wart yourself from any local pharmacy.
If nothing else works, or the wart continues to come back, it may be necessary to remove the wart through surgical procedure. This, however, should be the very last choice for wart removal.