32. Treatments for Warts

Warts are small skin growths. Most are harmless and painless. They can appear on any part of the body.

Common warts

Common warts are firm and often have a rough surface. They are round or have an irregular shape. They are found on sites subject to injury, such as the hands, fingers, and knees. Common warts are flesh-colored to brown. They may spread, but are never cancerous.

Flat warts

Flat warts are smooth and flesh-colored. They are found mainly on the hands and face. They may itch.

Plantar warts

Plantar warts occur on the soles of the feet. They look like corns or calluses and may have little black dots in the center. They can be painful.

Digitate warts

Digitate warts are threadlike warts that grow on the scalp.

Filiform warts

Filiform warts are long, narrow, small growths. They appear mainly on the neck, eyelids, or armpits.

Genital warts

Genital warts are transmitted sexually. Often there are no visible signs or symptoms. When present, genital warts may be soft or hard; pink, red, or yellow-gray in color.

General Information

Warts are caused by any of the 60 related humanpapilloma virus (HPV) types. You cannot get warts from frogs or toads. Treatment for warts depends on their location, type, and severity as well as the length of time they have been on the skin. About 50% of warts go away in 6 to 12 months without treatment. An over-the-counter wart remover with salicylic acid can help get rid of some warts. When this and other self-care measures are not enough, medical care can treat some warts.

  1. A doctor can treat common warts with liquid nitrogen to freeze them or with other chemicals which destroy the wart. New warts can sometimes develop around the edges of old ones.

  2. Plantar warts can be softened with a strong salicylic acid applied as a solution or plaster. Doctors may inject chemicals to destroy the warts.

  3. Flat warts are often treated with peeling agents, such as retinoic or salicylic acid which causes the warts to come off with the scaly skin.

  4. Genital warts can be removed with surgery or with topical medicine. Even with treatment, genital warts can recur.

Chapter 1
  1. Fast Relief for Everyday Health Problems