Warts, although benign and harmless, usually turn out to be annoying and ugly aesthetic burdens. In addition to this, they could also cause pain depending on the body's part where they are found, such as the hands or feet. They are known to disappear over time, but most people cannot wait that long and so they go to medical facilities to get them removed. This process is known as wart removal.
Warts appear on the skin due to the excessive and rapid growth of skin cells due to a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection. There are over 100 strains of HPV, and only about 10 of them can cause skin warts. There are 3 major types of warts.
Common warts- just as the name implies, these warts are the most common ones and affect the hands most times but could also affect other parts of the body. They usually appear raised with a rough surface and dark specks (sometimes).
Plantar warts- these types can only be located on the sole of the foot. It usually appears rough, spongy and is flat as a result of working. Warts could be grey or brown coloured and sometimes have dark specks.
Warts are known to be harmless but also sources of pain, discomfort and aesthetic burdens. Although untreated warts usually disappear or go away within one or two years of appearance, warts removal hastens the process.
They grow on the topmost layer of the skin- the epidermis and are caused by a common virus, which we all contact daily. We come in contact with this virus by touching hard surfaces and infected people. It is highly recommended that you wash your hands often because of how easily this virus and other microorganisms are spread. Although this virus is minimally contagious, doing this would minimize or stop spread to other parts of your body.
Warts may go after a while, but the pain and discomfort they come with are sometimes unbearable. For this reason, you might need to see a medical professional. You would also need to see a doctor if the wart continually and rapidly grows and/or also bleeds.
A lot of people have invented home remedies for wart removal and some of them may actually work, but it is advisable to see your GP or a dermatologist before trying out homes remedies, especially when these warts are located on sensitive areas like your face.
There are several medical procedures through which warts can be removed. Still, the type of procedure used is usually dependent on the wart's type and location as well. Some of these procedures include.
Cryotherapy: in this treatment, it is also called freezing. During this process, the physician sprays or swabs the wart and its immediate surroundings with liquid nitrogen at a very low temperature. This treatment usually involves about two to three visits and is used majorly for warts located on the hand. The success rate of this procedure is around 50-70%.
Salicylic acid: This treatment is usually the first choice and comes in patches, gels, and liquid. In this process, the wart is soaked in a salicylic solution for about 10-15 minutes and then gently filed using a pumice stone or emery board. This process is usually done once or twice daily for several weeks. The concentration of salicylic acid in the solution to be used is usually prescribed by the doctor and depends on skin thickness. This method is usually very effective for warts on the sole of the foot.
Electrodesiccation: also known as cautery. Here, the doctor administers local anaesthesia to the wart and its immediate surroundings, then uses an electric needle to dry it up. After this is done, a curette is used to scrape it off the skin. This procedure is used majorly for warts that are unresponsive to other treatments and should for no reason be used on the foot's sole.