Warts - Questions and Answers
There was a time when it was extremely hard to get rid of warts. This was mostly due to the lack of knowledge people had about them. The ancient Chinese did have natural remedies for warts, and some of those recipes actually made it into modern medicine. In general warts are harmless as long as you don't damage them. They are unsightly though, and as soon as a wart shows its ugly face we want to get rid of it. A good diagnosis allows you to select the proper treatment for your wart. Note that there are several types of warts.
So what are warts exactly?
Warts are growths of varying sizes that are caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPV for short. HPV comes in many flavours.
Are they dangerous?
In general, no. Warts are harmless as long as you don't try to remove them yourself with untested methods.
Where can I get warts?
Warts appear all over the body, however, feet and hands are often affected. This is not strange since our feet and hands are in direct contact with external surfaces. They quite easily pick up infections this way. Public swimming pools are a well known breeding ground for various bacteria and viruses. It is strongly recommended not to walk on bare feet while in public places.
But I thought only witches get warts!
Unfortunately, no. Warts have long been associated with evil witches because of their unpleasant appearance. Us non-witches can get them too.
Don't they disappear by themselves?
Some do, some don't. The milder forms can disappear after a few months, others take years. And some require treatment. It also depends on your general health and your personal hygiene. Preventing the infection from spreading is very important.
I have a bump on my finger that looks like a cauliflower, is this a wart?
Big chance it is indeed a wart. What you described sounds like a common wart, which, as its name implies, is very common. Best thing you can do if you are unsure is to ask your doctor to look at it.
Okay so how do I get rid of these nasty critters?
There are several methods you can apply to remove warts. The most efficient way is to book an appointment at your doctor's to have it removed. Doctors usually freeze the wart and then after some time it will come off. If you prefer to try a home remedy, then look at getting salicylic acid. This acid basically burns the warts layers away. Since it burns skin, make sure you ONLY apply it to the wart and protect the surrounding skin. Please note that if you are unsure of whether you have a wart you will first need to get a medical professional to confirm, before trying to remove it yourself. There have been plenty of horror stories, so it is always highly recommended to have a doctor remove your wart(s).