Warts – where do they come from and how do I get rid of them?

3 October 2023
Warts on the hand. En Source: pexels.com

The unsightly warts that most often appear on the hands, feet and face may just be warts. Where do they come from? Are they dangerous? How do I get rid of warts?

What is a wart? What does it look like?

Warts are skin lesions in the nature of a wart – a protuberant nodule that is usually slightly rough. The colour of warts is usually close to the shade of the skin, but sometimes they are slightly bluish or yellowish. Their size sometimes varies. Most often they measure from a few millimetres in diameter to two centimetres. They can occur singly, but generally there are more lesions.

Warts – cause of formation

Skin warts, which are commonly referred to as warts, are caused by infection with HPV – the human papilloma virus. More than 150 variants of this virus have already been discovered worldwide. Infection with certain strains of HPV is what causes the formation of warts.

Since HPV can contribute not only to the occurrence of warts on the skin, but also to the development of cancers (primarily of the cervix, but also of the throat, larynx, vagina or penis), many people wonder whether warts on the hands or feet could be a harbinger of more serious health problems. Typically, the occurrence of warts is the result of infection with HPV types 1, 2, 6, 11, 42, 43 and 44, which are considered low-risk oncogenic variants.

How can warts be infected?

HPV is transmitted from person to person in several ways:

  • Through sexual contact – this is particularly dangerous for HPV types with a high oncogenic risk, which can contribute to the development of cancer.
  • Through direct contact (skin-to-skin) – the HPV virus uses even the slightest epidermal damage, abrasions and cuts to enter the body. This is how ‘wart infection’ often occurs.
  • Through contact with objects and surfaces touched by the infected person – this type of infection can occur through the use of the same cosmetic instruments (clippers, scissors, manicure accessories) and personal instruments.

HPV infection can therefore occur under almost any circumstances, but high-risk places are gyms, fitness clubs, beauty salons and hairdressing salons. Fortunately, current standards of hygiene and disinfection in such places are high, so the risk of infection is lower. However, infection can also occur in schools and kindergartens – children come into direct contact with each other while playing and learning, so a wart in a child is a fairly common ailment.

Warts – diagnosis and treatment

There is no shortage of preparations that allow the removal of warts on one’s own. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor beforehand in order to be sure that the observed skin lesions are indeed warts. The diagnosis and treatment of warts is carried out by a dermatologist.

How can warts be cured?

There are various ways to eradicate warts, and these include those that have appeared on the hands or feet, as well as those located on the face. What are these methods?

  • Pharmacological – the most commonly used preparations are those with salicylic acid, which has an exfoliating effect. Some preparations use a combination of salicylic acid and lactic acid. Alternatively, there are preparations with trichloroacetic acid. These specifics should be spot-applied to the warts to accelerate their exfoliation process. The effect of the treatment is that the warts fall off.
  • Treatment-wise, there are several proven procedures to get rid of warts quickly. The most popular procedure is cryotherapy, which is the freezing of warts that will fall off just a few days after treatment. Electrocoagulation of warts is another possibility, and if the lesions are many or very large and resistant to other treatment methods, classical surgery is also an option.

Is there any home remedy for warts that does not require surgery or medication? In theory, yes, but bear in mind that this method has a lower efficacy. Warts can be lubricated with the juice of a plant called butterbur, but with great caution – this plant can cause allergies and if used in excess has toxic properties. For this reason, it is not recommended for use on children, as well as on facial skin. Keep in mind that you will get the best results from treating warts by following your doctor’s advice, not by acting on your own.

Do warts need to be treated?

It is rare for untreated warts to disappear – more often than not, these lesions will spread if left untreated. It is therefore not worth leaving skin warts without properly selected treatment, especially as their presence also promotes the infection of others.

Do you notice skin lesions that resemble warts? Don’t delay – make an appointment for a dermatological consultation!

Karol Popko

Karol Popko is an experienced author whose pen has been shining in the lifestyle world for many years. With his copywriting practice and insight into trends, he not only shares practical tips, but also opens up a deeper understanding of these topics to his readers. According to Karol, beauty can be found everywhere, and life is worth celebrating with passion and style.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *