Are you tired of dealing with warts either personally or with your children? If so, I have put together some basic information and treatment strategies to keep in mind.
Common skin warts are raised round or oval growths. Some warts may have tiny dots in them called seeds which are clotted blood vessels.
Warts are caused by skin that is infected with HPV (Human Papillomavirus) through direct contact. HPV more commonly infects injured skin. It can take up to six months after exposure to HPV to develop a wart. Warts are commonly seen on fingers, hands, knees, and elbows. They can also be found in the feet or genital area.
Should you seek treatment?
That depends on how much they bother you. About two-thirds of skin warts will resolve on their own in two years.
What are some common treatments?
1. Salicylic Acid - Is a type of acid that is directly applied to the wart. First soak the area for 10 - 20 minutes to soften the skin. Apply the acid at bedtime and leave in place overnight. You should continue treatment for one to two weeks after the wart is gone to make sure that the virus is eradicated.
2. Duct Tape - It is unclear if it works or why. Cover the skin and leave in place for six days. Then remove the tape, soak the skin in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes and use emery board or pumice stone to gently slough off dead skin. Then reapply the tape. Most people who find duct tape useful have resolution in four weeks.
3. Liquid Nitrogen - Destroys warts by freezing the skin. Multiple treatments are often necessary. After treatment most people heal in 4 - 7 days.
4. Cantharidin - Liquid applied to wart that is applied by the healthcare provider. May be useful for children as it causes no pain initially.
5. Shave Excision - Involves removing the skin with a blade after injecting local anesthesia.
6. 5-Fluorouracil - Cream used to treat wars. Applied twice daily for three to fine weeks.
7. Imiquimod - Cream that stimulates the immune system to eliminate the wart. Applied at bedtime several times per week.
When should you seek help?
Consult a healthcare provider if:
Let me know what you think or if you have found any other treatments to be useful in the comments below.
Of course, each individual case is different and the advice in this post should not substitute for getting a consultation with your doctor.
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