"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

How to do away with warts

Warts are often harmless and infrequently go away on their very own over time, but they’re unsightly. And some, like those found on the soles of the feet, could make walking and exercise painful. Wart removal is usually a challenge, but fortunately, probably the most effective treatments are minimally invasive.

Wart Anatomy

What do warts appear to be?

Warts grow within the epidermis, the highest layer of skin. A typical wart has a raised, rough surface. (Some, like those on the face, could also be smooth and flat.) The center of the wart could also be stuffed with black dots. It is the capillaries that provide it with blood.

What causes skin warts?

Warts occur when skin cells grow faster than normal because they’re infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Of the 150 strains of HPV, about 10 cause skin warts, including common, plantar, and flat warts (see “Common types of skin warts” below).

We all come into contact with HPV repeatedly – after we shake hands or touch a doorknob, for instance – but just some of us develop warts, and it's hard to elucidate. . Children and other people with immune system abnormalities are especially vulnerable. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, so are people in certain occupations, resembling meat, fish and poultry handlers. But the almost definitely explanation is that some persons are more vulnerable to warts than others.

Certain other HPV strains cause genital and anal warts. They are transmitted through sexual contact. Certain forms of HPV could cause cellular changes within the cervix and anus that may turn out to be cancerous. But HPV strains that cause skin warts are rarely linked to skin cancer.

Common forms of skin warts

Kind of




Raised, rough surface, sometimes with dark spots; Light brown to grayish brown.

Most commonly found on the hands, but can appear anywhere. Treatment under or around fingernails and toenails might be difficult.


The rough, spongy surface stays flat from walking. Brown or brown with black spots.

Found only on the soles of the feet. Clustered plantar warts are called mosaic warts.


flat or barely elevated; Smooth and pink. Smaller than other warts.

It is usually found on the face, hands and legs. They are less common than other warts, but once they do appear, they are sometimes large.

How to treat skin warts

Studies show that about half of warts go away on their very own inside a 12 months, and two-thirds inside two years, so “watchful waiting” for brand spanking new warts is certainly an option. But some experts recommend prompt treatment to cut back the quantity of virus shedding in nearby tissues and possibly reduce the chance of reoccurrence. If you don't wish to wait, you may have several treatment options:

Home Remedies to Treat Skin Warts

Salicylic acid

  • You can treat warts at home by applying salicylic acid, which is offered with no prescription.
  • Concentrations range from 17% to 40% (stronger concentrations should only be used for warts on thick skin).
  • Soak the wart in warm water before applying salicylic acid.
  • File dead warty skin with an emery board or pumice stone, and apply salicylic acid.
  • Repeat this process every day or twice a day.
  • Salicylic acid isn’t painful. If the wart or the skin across the wart starts to harm, it is best to stop the treatment for some time.
  • It may take several weeks of treatment to attain good results, even for those who don’t stop treatment.
  • Continuing treatment for every week or two after the wart is gone will help prevent reoccurrence.

Duct tape

  • A low-risk, low-tech approach.
  • You can leave the duct tape on overnight for a couple of month or until the wart goes away.
  • Alternatively, leave the duct tape on for five to seven days, then remove it. You may have to repeat the cycle.
  • Some studies show that silver duct tape works higher since it sticks.
  • Why duct tape works isn’t clear – it could deprive the wart of oxygen, or perhaps dead skin and viral particles are removed with the tape.
  • Some people apply salicylic acid before covering the wart with duct tape. But be very careful to use the salicylic acid only on the wart and let it dry completely before applying the tape.

In-office treatment for skin warts


  • It can be called cryotherapy.
  • A medical skilled dabs or sprays liquid nitrogen on the wart and a small area around it. Extreme cold (which might be as little as -321 F) burns the skin, causing pain, redness, and typically blisters.
  • It often takes three or 4 treatments, one every two to 3 weeks, to do away with a wart this manner. More than that probably won't help.
  • After the skin heals, apply salicylic acid to encourage more skin to peel.
  • Some individual trials have found salicylic acid and cryotherapy to be equally effective, with cure rates of fifty% to 70%, but there may be some evidence that cryotherapy is especially effective for hand warts.

Other agents

  • Warts that don’t respond to plain treatments might be treated with prescription medications.
  • The topical immunotherapy drug amicomod (Aldara) might be used to treat skin warts. Imiquimod is assumed to work by causing an allergic response and irritation at the positioning of the wart.
  • In an approach called intralesional immunotherapy, the wart is injected with a skin test antigen (resembling mumps or Candida) in those that have demonstrated an immune response to the antigen.
  • Other agents that might be used to treat recurrent warts are the chemotherapy drug fluorouracil (5-FU), which is applied as a cream. and bleomycin, which is injected into the wart.
  • All of those treatments have uncomfortable side effects, and evidence of their effectiveness is proscribed.

Zipping and cutting

  • The technical name for this treatment is electrodesiccation (or cautery) and curettage.
  • Using local anesthesia, the clinician drains the wart with an electrical needle and scrapes it off with a scoop-like instrument called a curette.
  • This often causes scarring (so does scalpel removal of the wart, an alternative choice).
  • It is generally reserved for warts that don’t reply to other treatments and will generally be avoided on the soles of the feet.

Ask your dermatologist for those who're undecided about the perfect approach to treat a wart.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to do away with warts naturally?

The body's immune system fights the viruses that cause warts. Warts disappear on their very own with time. Studies have shown that warts in children and adolescents disappear in half of cases after a 12 months. However, the time it takes for warts to go away relies on the variety of virus, the variety of wart, and the person's health.

Are warts contagious?

Skin warts aren’t highly contagious. They can spread from individual to individual by direct contact, especially through a break within the skin. Theoretically, you can even pick up warts from surfaces like locker room floors or showers, but there's no approach to understand how often this happens.

Warts on one a part of the body can spread to other parts of the body, so it's essential to scrub your hands and anything that touches your warts, resembling nail files or pumice stones.

A wart virus infection is different from a bacterial infection like strep throat, which might be caught, treated and eliminated since it develops in a definite, reliable way. Ways of warts are less predictable.

The wart virus lives in the highest layer of the skin, and who knows where or while you picked it up? The virus might be there for years. Then it forms warts for reasons we don't understand. And when the wart goes away, you may still find the virus within the epidermis.

When to see your doctor

Some skin cancers look just like warts at first. If you may have a wart that doesn't change much in size, color, or shape, you almost certainly don't have to see a physician. But for those who're in your 50s and develop latest warts, seek the advice of a dermatologist. Be suspicious of a wart that bleeds or grows quickly.