Warts – Prevention and Remedies

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Warts is unnatural skin bumps from human papillomavirus (HPV) discovered have plagued human thousand years ago. It infects the top layer of skin and rapidly growth. Generally are not dangerous skin problem but sometime embarrassing and irritating.  The warts are contagious.

Type Of Warts

1. Common Warts

Usually occur on the fingers and toes. Rough, grey, and rounded. Common warts are caused by a virus and are transmitted by touch. Children and young adults are more likely to develop common warts, as are people who have weakened immune systems. Common warts usually disappear on their own, but many people choose to remove them because they find them bothersome or embarrassing.

2. Plantar Warts

Usually occur on the soles of the feet. Hard, thick, and sometimes painful pressure when you walk. This pressure also may cause plantar warts to grow inward beneath a hard, thick layer of skin (callus). The virus enters your body through tiny cuts, breaks or other weak spots on the bottom of your feet. Most plantar warts aren’t a serious health concern and may not require treatment, but plantar can cause discomfort or pain. Plantar warts are caused by HPV type 1 and 2.

3. Flat Warts

Usually occur on the face, foreheads, necks, thighs, and arms. Small, flat tops, pink/light yellow/brownish color. This type of wart is more common in teens and children than in adults. Flat warts are caused by HPV 3, 10, 28, and 49 strains.

4. Filiworm Warts

Usually occur on the face around mouth, nose, chin, and around eyelid. Filiform warts are caused by HPV 1, 2, 4 and 29 strains. Warts on eyelids are benign but they sometimes cause itching which may lead to bleeding upon scratching. Filiform warts are usually painless but as they have an affinity to occur in places where people usually rub the skin, they tend to become sore and painful. Usually eyelid warts are single and they do not appear in clusters.

4. Periungal Warts

Usually occur on toenails and fingernails. It can be painful and affect to nail growth. Periungal warts caused by HPV 1, 2, or 4 strains.

5. Genital Warts

Usually occur in the pubic area, on the genitals, in or around the anus, and/or in the vagina. They look like small flesh-colored, pink, or red growths. Look similar to the small parts of a cauliflower, very tiny and difficult to see. Often appear in clusters of three or four, and may grow and spread rapidly. Usually are not painful, although they may cause mild pain, bleeding, and itching. HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease in North America and certain forms of the virus can cause cervical cancer.

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How The Warts Spread?

1. Transmitted to one’s self when direct contact with wart – by touching the wart and then another part of your body. Examples: scratching or shaving your own warts that can spread the infection to other areas of your body, and biting fingernails may cause periungual warts to spread on the fingertips and around nails.

2. Transmitted from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact. For instance, genital warts are passed on through sexual contact with a person who is infected.

3. Indirect contactor coming into contact with items that has been in contact with a wart, such as razor and towel. Supporting evidence from U.S. National Cancer Institute’ research shows HPV-16 still demonstrated 30% of infectivity after dehydrated on a surface for 7 days at room temperature.

Medical Treatment

1. Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery using liquid nitrogen involves freezing the affected area to remove the warts. More than one treatment may be required. This method can leave scars behind, cause complications, and can be expensive.

2. Cauterization

Cauterization involves burning the affected to remove the warts. The work of this method is the same like cyrosurgery.

3. Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid can easily irritate and burn unaffected areas of your skin. They will work best if you soak the wart in water for about 15 minutes before you apply the treatment.

4. Laser Treatment

The most effective treatment with no scar but expensive.

Natural Treatment

1. Garlic

The procedure for removing warts with garlic is to first cut the garlic clove in half. Now apply the raw garlic to the affected area and use a bandage to cover it and hold it in place overnight.

Make sure you rub the raw garlic on the every wart before wrapping it with the bandage. After a couple weeks you’ll begin to notice that the wart is fading away. If you aren’t a big fan of raw garlic you can take garlic tablets daily, although this won’t be as effective.

2. Potato

The proper procedure for using this natural removal method is to cut the potato in half and then rub the flesh directly on the warts two times everyday until you notice they are starting to fade away. You should try to use a new potato each time you use this remedy.

Another way to use potatoes to remove your warts is to use the skin. Simply peel the potato and use the biggest piece of potato skin to cover the entire affected area. Use some tape to hold the potato peel in place on your skin each night if you have to.

When you wake up in the morning remove the potato peel and wash off the starch left behind. You will need to repeat this every night until you notice the wart is leaving.

3. Aloe Vera

Rub the aloe vera on your skin throughout the day until it is time for you to go to bed. When going to bed use some tape to hold the aloe vera soaked cotton ball in place while you sleep. In the morning remove the cotton ball and continue applying the aloe vera throughout the day.

4. Lemon/Lime Juice

To use lemons or limes simply juice one of them and soak a cotton ball in the lemon or lime juice. Now just like you would the aloe vera take the soaked cotton ball and apply it to the affected area. You will need to use some tape in order to keep the lemon juice soaked cotton ball in place while you sleep at night. Continue this procedure each day for about 2 to 3 weeks until you notice your warts are leaving.

5. Pineapple

Apply fresh pineapple directly to the wart several times a day. The natural acids and enzymes will help kill it.

6. Baking Powder

Mix baking powder and castor oil into a paste, apply to the wart at night, and cover with a bandage. Repeat until the wart has died. You can also try crushed, fresh basil in the same way—or even mix the two together.

7. Vitamin C or E

Crush up a vitamin C tablet and mix with water to make a thick paste. Apply to the wart and cover with a bandage. You can also try vitamin E—break a capsule, rub on the wart, and cover.

8. Aspirin

Use these like the vitamin C tablet—crush, add a little water, apply the paste to the wart, and cover overnight. Repeat for several nights until gone.

9. Tea Tree Oil

This potent antibacterial oil has powerful germ-fighting capabilities, and is also known to help treat skin conditions. Apply directly to the wart, then cover with the bandage. Repeat until the wart is gone. You can also mix with clove and/or Frankincense oils for additional power.

10. Bee Propolis

Some people have found success applying propolis directly to the wart several times a day. Or try applying at night and covering until morning.

11. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be used on all types of warts. The acid in the vinegar attacks the wart area, allowing it to peel away from the healthy surrounding skin, taking the virus with it. It is safe to use on the face and other parts of the body. Dilute it up to 50% with water.

12. Duct Tape

Although this remedy is not medically verified, some people claim that it works fast. Duct tape supposedly works because of how the body reacts to substances that are contained in it. The use of the duct tape will irritate your skin, which can cause the formation of antibodies that will help get rid of the virus causing your facial warts. This must be done for periods of six days, up to a maximum of two months. Cover your facial warts with duct tape when you sleep, and then remove it right away when you wake up in the morning. Repeat this procedure as necessary until the wart is removed.

13. Banana Peel

Banana mash contains a proteolytic enzyme (an enzyme that breaks down protein) that digests and dissolves the facial wart. This can be an easy and soothing way to remove facial warts. Use surgical tape to adhere the inner part of a banana peel to the wart.

14. Betadine

Betadine is an antiseptic that helps fight the virus causing the facial warts. Betadine surgical scrub can be gently rubbed on the infected area for 5 minutes daily until the lesions resolve. Similar products exist in stores, for example: Bactrine or Bazuka. You can apply it twice daily. This treatment is not recommended for those allergic to iodine or betadine. Consult a doctor if your skin becomes irritated.

15. Milkweed Cream

Milkweed cream can be found at your local health care store or apothecary. An enzyme found in the milkweed plant digests and dissolves the wart. These products are made from the sticky sap of the milkweed plant. These plants have also been shown to be a possible anti-acne treatment. Apply to the facial warts at least four times per day. The secretion made by the plant when broken can also be applied directly to the wart.

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Preventing Warts

1. Ignore the warts and let them heal themselves.

You can cover the warts with bandages or even be stylish by using a scarf or a bandanna to cover facial warts. Study shows that most warts will resolve themselves after two years.

2. Never brush, comb or even shave areas where there are warts.

This can easily spread the virus to other areas. Remember, warts are highly contagious. Even a slight brush of the affected part can infect you or others. This can also harbor warts and spread them to other people. You may want to let your facial hair grow if you can, to avoid shaving the area. Facial scrubs and abrasives may contribute to this as well.

3. Wash your hands with soap and water after touching a wart

And then dry the hands thoroughly with a clean towel or air dryer.Our hands are exposed to contacting HPV in activities like touching a doorknob or escalator handrail in public places, contacting gym equipment in public gym, and shake hands with others. So hand washing is an easy and effective precaution to fight against warts.

4. Avoid contact, scratch, rub, or pick at the wart to prevent further self-infection

As the viral particles may be spread to another area of skin. Besides, scratching and picking a wart can open the skin surface, leading to bleeding and possibly infection. HPV may also spread by contacting with blood or skin shed from a wart.

5. Avoid biting nails

To reduce the chances of developing warts, especially Periungual warts. Biting nails or hangnails may cause tiny tears in the skin on fingertips, allowing HPV to infect the area and develop warts around the edge of the nail.

6. Do not share personal care items like razors, towels, or nail clipper with another person

To avoid HPV from spreading, with HPV can still spread even if there is no visible warts. Shaving over the area with wart for instance, could transfer the wart virus to the razor and then spread it to other areas of the body, or to another person if the razor is shared shortly after used by the infected party. If you have warts, ensure do not allow others to use your personal care items like razor and towel.

7. Keep your feet dry.

When your feet sweat, the moisture can increase the risk of wart development. Apply foot powder or wear socks that absorb moisture if your feet sweat heavily, as warts are more difficult to control in a moist and warm environment. Change your socks daily to avoid damp feet, and allow your shoes to dry thoroughly between each wearing.

8. Wear footwear in public areas with moist walking surfaces

Such as public showers and swimming pools area, especially if you have open cuts or blisters on your feet, to avoid exposure to (plantar) wart-causing virus that potentially spread by contact with an infected surface, according to ACFAOM (The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine). This is because such warm and moist environments are the preferred habitats for human papilloma virus.

9. Avoid irritating the soles of your feet

As warts grow more easily if your skin has been injured or broken in some way. For instance, wearing narrow high heel shoes that are too tight could cause the side or toes of foot to become irritated from friction created by constant rubbing against the shoe.

10. Boost your immune system

To fight HPV and prevent (recurring) warts. As we all have different immune systems, someone with weakened immune system and low antibody level may develop warts when contacted with HPV, while others don’t. Keep your body immune system healthy by getting enough sleep, stop smoking, avoid alcohol, exercise regularly, be happy, drink plenty of water, and eat immunity boosting food like garlic, onion, spinach, mushroom, and berry. Research study also shows Japanese mushroom extract AHCC supplement can help fight HPV virus.

11. Use condom for intercourse.

Latex condom reduce but do not eliminate the risk of HPV transmission that potentially causes genital wart, as condom may not cover all genital skin that is exposed during sexual contact, that HPV can live in genital areas not covered by a condom. Multiple sexual partners and anal intercourse are among the other risk factors for genital wart, with the only reliable method of prevention is sexual abstinence.

12. Avoid oral sex

To prevent HPV virus transmission through mouth and develop oral warts in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sex with an infected person. In the case of engaging in oral sex, always use condom though it is not a guarantee that you will be fully protected. There is also much debate with arguments for and against HPV transmission by deep kissing, but without substantial evidences.

13. Do not share sex toys.

Study from the Indiana University School of Medicine shows HPV was detected on vibrator just after use in women with vaginal HPV. Subsequently, the researchers still detected HPV on the sex toys immediately after cleaning and 24 hours after cleaning, which further demonstrates the risk for HPV transmission via shared sex toys use.

14. Take genital warts HPV vaccine.

The Gardasil HPV vaccination, works best when given before first sexual contact and exposure to HPV, helps the body develop immunity against the HPV strains that cause genital warts and most cases of cervical cancer. For person that already have genital warts, HPV vaccine will not treat them despite the HPV shot may still protect against other HPV strains to which the person is not previously exposed. Read on for comprehensive review on HPV vaccination, including HPV vaccine side effects and controversy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Cervarix and  Gardasil as vaccines to protect against HPV types 16 and 18, the two high risk HPV strains that cause 70% of cervical cancers (and other less common cancers such as cancers of the anus, vagina, penis, and vulva). Gardasil is also approved as wart vaccine to prevent genital warts caused by HPV strains 6 and 11 in females and males.

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Girls aged 9 or 11 and boys aged 11 or 12 years are recommended to get HPV vaccine, alongside female through age 26 and male through age 21 if they did not get the vaccine when they were younger. HPV vaccines are given as a series of three doses over 6 months period, while women are not advised to receive the HPV vaccine during pregnancy to avoid complications.

The common adverse reactions of Gardasil vaccine include minor pain, swelling, itching, and redness at the side of the injection, while the more severe common reactions include dizziness, fever, headaches, and nausea with feeling of wanting to vomit.

The reported severe side effects of HPV vaccination include breathing difficulty, numbness in body parts, back spasms, disability, death, and so on.

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