How can I get Rid of Warts?

Duct tape can be used to remove warts.
A pumice stone, which can be used to file warts down.
Warts on a hand.
Liquid nitrogen is one remedy to remove warts.
Brush-on medicines that remove warts are available.
Article Details
  • Written By: Cindi Pearce
  • Edited By: Lindsay D.
  • Last Modified Date: 24 June 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Warts are non-malignant skin tumors that are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV.) They can, and do, seem to appear mysteriously. Warts afflict many of us at one time or another. They're unattractive, can become tender and itchy as well as contagious and may spread if you scratch at at them.

There are various types of warts including the typical wart, Verruca vulgaris, which generally crops up on your hands and fingers. Plantar warts (Verucca pedis) tend to show up on the soles of your feet. Flat warts (Verruca plana) develop in areas where a person frequently shaves and there is the genital wart, which is sexually transmitted. The filiform wart generally grows around the mouth, eyes or nose.

There are several options when it comes to getting rid of warts: Your doctor may advise keratolysis. In this treatment, a blistering agent such as salicylic acid, will be applied to the wart after which your physician will use a pumice stone, and blade, to remove the dead surface skin and cut away the wart.

Another method is cryosurgery. With this method, liquid nitrogen will be directly applied to the wart. This topical application establishes a blister between the wart and the outer layer of skin. The wart is frozen and, in time, the skin around the wart dies and falls off as will the wart.

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Curettage, which means to cut, is another option. The wart is sliced and lifted out of the skin. A patient will be given a local anesthetic during this procedure. The dermatologist will remove the wart by scraping and/or scooping it out.

Laser treatments burn off the wart via laser beams. This is considered state-of-the-art treatment. Because no cutting is involved, this is a non-invasive approach.

Some physicians prefer to directly inject antigens into the wart, which reportedly stimulate the body's immune system, resulting in the elimination of the virus.

A less orthodox treatment is the use of duct tape. Wrap the afflicted area with duct tape and, in time, the tape ostensibly smothers the warts and they fall off.

A homeopathic approach is to soak the wart in cider vinegar and then cover it with a bandage. When the wart turns dark, quit applying the vinegar and let the wart dry out. When that occurs, peel off the wart. Do not use this technique on genital warts.

Your dermatologist may recommend a topical solution, many of which are on the market, that can help eliminate your warts.

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Discuss this Article

mblack
Post 9

It's good to know that there are a lot of ways now on how to remove a wart.

nanny3
Post 8

@ oscar23 - Speaking of superstitious ways to get rid of warts, I’ve got a winner!

Why this should work, you’ve got me, but I know many who stand by it wholeheartedly.

Like you said about your mom, they aren’t crazy people with magic wands or whatever. These are upstanding people who happen to have some non-traditional methods passed down to them.

Okay, so you dig a hole on a night when there is a full moon. Then you take a potato, cut it open and rub it on your warts. After you’ve done this thoroughly, you bury the potato in the hole under the moonlight.

Leave it alone, and your warts will be gone by the next full moon.

I haven’t done this myself, but there are all kinds of people who swear by this method.

Personally, I’ll probably be heading to the doctor if I ever get a wart. But if I had such a hard time as some getting rid of the thing, you better believe I’d try digging a hole! What would it hurt, after all?

oscar23
Post 7

My mother can actually talk warts off of a person. Now, before you start thinking of us as some sort of gypsies with scarfs around our heads and big old hoop earrings dangling three inches from our lobes, think again.

My mom is a professional lady, a director of mental health services in our area. But she was raised a little superstitious and very religious. And this is how this was passed down to her.

A man, I think of her family but I’m not sure, passed down a verse from the Bible to recite quietly while she rubs the warts gently with her hands. This verse can only be told cross-gender, so I have no clue what it is.

Once this has been done, she instructs the person with the warts to quit thinking of them or fretting over them, and they will go away.

She’s had countless calls from people who need help and from people thanking her. She’s taken as many as fifty warts off of a child’s hand at one time.

runner101
Post 6

@snickerish - Actually freezing the wart can be a genital wart treatment! But that is probably because it actually is not a painful experience - I have read that you feel some spikes of cold pain and that's it.

Of course, this type of thing that should *only* be done by a medical professional.

Oh, and no matter who has the warts (a.k.a. male genital warts or female genital warts) do not use over the counter medicine for them as they were not meant for these types of warts.

I was lucky I had a small breakout of warts on my finger for about 2 years and they have not returned!

snickerish
Post 5

I agree with the discussions here no matter the wart - plantar wart, hand wart, or other - they just seem to be a pain to get rid of.

I have heard of freezing warts off? Does this hurt? And surely you don't use this method for genitial warts?!

MissMuffet
Post 4

@Windchime - Ok, you need to relax a little. I completely understand your fears, and having personal towels is a good idea for all families. But your sister is probably feeling very sensitive right now, and you'll have to bear with her while she finishes her treatment.

Warts on the face cannot be passed on by sharing towels, toilet seats, bath water and so on. Foot warts and genital warts are a little different, as they can be transmitted through direct contact, (but again, not through sharing towels.)

Windchime
Post 3

My sister has facial warts and I'm worried that I will catch them from her. I could really do with some advice on this topic.

My family think I'm being insensitive and paranoid to insist on having my own towel. It's not like I'm walking around waving it at her, I am discreet, I just want to protect myself.

letshearit
Post 2

Has anyone tried the duct tape idea for getting rid of warts?

I have recently contracted a wart on my hand and really want to get rid of it but I am scared of visiting the doctor's office. Things like cryosurgery and curettage sound like they would be really painful and I hate the idea of going under the knife for something so small.

Besides duct tape, can anyone think of any other natural remedies that might kill of the wart so I can get my hand looking back to normal?

I have heard that everything from bananas to tea tree oil might work, but I am really not sure what to try first.

Mae82
Post 1

Contracting warts can be very embarrassing and getting rid of them can be tricky. I made the mistake of not wearing proper shoes at the swimming pool and ended up contracting plantar warts which were a pain to get rid of.

The first thing I suggest if you contract plantar warts is to head to the doctor. Your doctor can rule out anything else that may be causing the blister-like formations on your feet. After that the doctor will most likely book you for wart removal.

I had the cryosurgery which to be honest didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. I have learned to never skip shoes in public places though.

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