No one likes warts, those patches of rough, scaly skin most often found on your hands. Avoiding them, though, can be tricky since it takes two to six months for warts to appear after infection. You can pick up the wart-causing strains of the human papillomavirus from contact with others, directly or through shared objects.
Warts aren’t harmful and in most cases, they’ll disappear at some point in the future. Their appearance, however, might put you off, and make you wish they’d go away sooner rather than later. A visit to MD Vein & Skin Specialists can make your warts vanish quickly, using a variety of effective treatments, but warts also respond well to home care. Here are some tips for dealing with these skin nuisances yourself.
When to leave warts for the dermatologist
Perhaps the biggest issue with self-treatment is proper identification of a wart, since they can sometimes resemble other kinds of skin growths, including some cancers. If you’re uncertain about a skin growth, it’s best to leave the diagnosis to Dr. Clement Banda.
Similarly, if you have other conditions that may add complications to wart treatment, a visit to MD Vein & Skin Specialists is the best move before trying home treatment. Book an appointment in any of these situations:
- A wart appears on your face
- The wart is accompanied by sensations like itching, burning, or other pain
- You’re bleeding from the wart
- Many warts appear at once
- When you have a weakened immune system
- You’re diabetic and have warts on your feet
- Any time you’re uncertain about a skin growth
Home treatment of warts
Because warts disappear unpredictably, you may hear of many folk remedies that people swear worked for them, though it’s likely the wart vanished coincidentally. The best results typically come from consumer versions of the same techniques medical professionals use. These are available at most pharmacies.
The active ingredient in nonprescription wart removal products is salicylic acid, commonly found in acne treatments, too. For common warts, look for products with a 17% salicylic acid solution. Apply the product as directed, usually once a day, usually after soaking your wart in warm water for a few minutes.
Between treatments, use a pumice stone or emery board to remove loose skin. Discontinue use if your skin becomes irritated. If your wart isn’t gone after about two weeks, it’s time to see Dr. Banda.
Liquid nitrogen formulas are sold in spray or liquid form. These stop the growth of skin cells on the outside of the wart, after which the cells loosen and flake off. Abrasion with pumice or emery boards works between treatments here, too.
Though it sounds like one of those folk remedies, there’s some evidence that silver duct tape can help rid you of a wart problem, though it’s not conclusive yet. Cover the wart with duct tape for six days before removing the tape carefully after soaking it in water. Again, abrade the dead skin away and leave the wart exposed for about half a day before repeating the process.
Should your efforts fail, Dr. Banda and our team offer stronger versions of the consumer products, as well as laser and electrosurgery techniques. Stronger acids and surgery to cut away the wart are also alternatives.
Contact MD Vein & Skin Specialists for the evaluation and treatment of warts as well as any other skin-related condition. You can book your session online, or you can call the office directly. Say goodbye to your warts soon.