Warts can affect people all of all ages and whilst mostly harmless, they can look unpleasant or cause discomfort. Most warts will eventually disappear on their own over time, however, this can take anywhere up to two years which is why many people who suffer with the skin lesions seek out effective wart removal treatments.
When it comes to wart causes, it is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is responsible.
The virus infects the skin and its mucus lining and is highly contagious, through direct and indirect contact. HPV can actually survive for long periods of time without a host body, simply needing a moist surface to thrive. As a result of this, warts can be contracted via:
- Skin to skin contact
- Surfaces around the swimming pool
- Floors of communal showers and changing rooms
There are over 100 strains of HPV, with different strains being responsible for different types of warts.
Types of Warts
There are many forms of warts, although the common wart, which most people suffer from, has the following traits:
- Round or oval shaped
- Firm to the touch
- Raised up from the skin
- Rough, uneven surface
- Between one and ten millimetres in diameter
The common wart can be found anywhere on the body, though they usually present themselves on the hands and feet of a person and are generally painless. One person may have numerous warts at any one time.
Plantar warts, otherwise known as verrucas, can cause considerate discomfort to their owner. This particular form of wart is found on the sole of the foot and, unlike the common wart, is flat in its appearance.
Flat warts are roughly the same size as the head of a pin, with a flat head. It is common for them to appear in clusters and they often affect teenagers and older children.
Genital warts, as the name suggests appear on the genitals of the sufferer. They can be passed on through intercourse, sharing of sex toys or skin to skin contact. They are not usually harmful but can cause great psychological distress to those who suffer from them.
There are many effective wart removal treatments using invasive and non-invasive methods. They can be further categorised into:
- Natural home remedies
- Over the Counter Products
- Surgical removal
Each kind of treatment has its pros and cons.
Natural wart removal is the cheapest way of removing warts. Over the years, knowledge has been passed down on the subject of how to remove warts naturally. Household items and even food products are said to be extremely effective in natural wart removal. Aside from the fact that these methods are a cheaper alternative to other methods, they are also relatively pain free in most cases and present a much lower risk of scarring once the mole has been removed.
Some of the most favoured natural treatments are as follows:
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Rubbing apple cider vinegar directly onto the wart is said to help eliminate the problem within a few weeks.
- Garlic – Applying freshly crushed garlic to the wart and covering the area with a bandage for 24 hours then repeating for a week should see a the wart fall off.
- Raw Potatoes – Many people swear that they have been able to effectively remove their troublesome warts by rubbing freshly cut pieces of raw potato over the wart several times a day.
Wart removal surgery is by far the fastest way to be rid of warts. Most procedures are extremely effective and rarely take more than one treatment to remove the wart completely. Those who consider this form of wart removal treatment may choose from the following options:
- Cryosurgery – A freezing agent (most often liquid nitrogen) is applied directly onto the wart. This freezes the wart, which then falls off.
- Electro surgery and curettage – First, an electric current is run through the wart, burning it. The lesion is then cut off using a sharp knife.
- Laser surgery – An intense beam of light is trained on the wart, burning it until it falls off. This type of surgery may take more than one attempt to be effective on stubborn or large warts.
Whilst the surgical treatments for wart removal are quick, some discomfort during and after the surgery may occur. In addition to this, due to the invasive nature of such treatments, there is a higher risk of scarring. The main thing to consider for most people who are contemplating surgery though, is the overall cost. A single surgical treatment can be more expensive than most other treatments to remove warts, however if there are a number of warts to be removed or they take multiple treatments, the expense can quickly rise.
Over the Counter Products
There is a vast range of products which can be bought over the counter to be used to treat warts. Some of these creams and gels use a formulation of chemicals to react with the wart and burn or freeze it off in a similar way to the surgical methods.
Over the counter products such as Dermatend use 100% natural ingredients which have been proven to have a strong effect on warts. In most cases, the ointment is applied regularly until the wart falls off of its own accord.
This method can take longer than surgery to produce results, yet they are mostly pain free and with a substantially lower risk of causing a scar after the treatment.
Which Option is Best?
The best treatment option to remove warts is really down to the individual. Natural methods are cheap but come with no guarantee. What works for one person may not necessarily work for the next. Many people try this option with a “nothing to lose” view. Wart removal surgery does not carry a huge risk in the conventional sense of surgical risks as most treatments are performed on an out-patient basis using only local anaesthetic. Generally, it is the risk of scarring and the cost of the overall treatment needed that sway most people’s decisions.
Over the counter products such as Dermatend are a popular a choice for those who don’t like the idea of going to the clinic for surgery but who are not quite convinced that a potato is the answer to their problems. There is strong scientific evidence to support many of the leading topical solutions on the market today and for the most part, they are good value for money.