Wart: a small, hard, benign growth on the skin, caused by a virus.
If that definition sounds a little intimidating, don’t worry. Warts are typically harmless, and result from just simple day to day interactions with the world around you. While they can be somewhat annoying and perhaps unappealing to the eye, there is no immediate danger should one appear on your body. That being said, it is still best to remove them as quickly as possible in order to prevent their spreading to other parts of your body. Before we get into the different methods of eliminating them, a quick overview of what a wart is may better help your understanding of how to get rid of them.
Normal skin warts are an infection residing within the top layer of your skin. The infection is caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus family. After the virus has invaded the outer layer of the skin, which it typically does through a cut or crack, the outer layer begins reproducing rapidly, causing a small lump of toughened skin to form on top of it. This small lump is what we commonly refer to as a wart. As mentioned before, there is no real danger in having a wart, but if they are not removed soon after their discovery, they are very quick to spread. Touching yourself anywhere else on your body with the infected region can quickly and easily spread the virus to any exposed openings in the skin, leaving with you many warts all over your body.
To get rid of warts, there are various home remedies and over the counter methods which can be purchased in stores. Many people will purchase salicylic acid to remove the outer layers of skin and allow moisture to enter the wart and clear it up. Other common home remedies include clear nail polish or tape to be placed over the wart in an attempt to suffocate the virus. Should these methods not prove effective, many doctors will freeze the wart in an attempt to kill the virus if the wart is especially difficult to remove. Keep in mind that even with proper treatment, it may take days, weeks, or months for the wart to completely disappear.
While not the most severe or noticeable ailment, warts can still prove to be inconvenient and frustrating to deal with. If you find yourself facing repeated appearances, be sure to keep your hands and skin clean while refraining from contact with locations where others’ skin has regularly contacted (gym equipment, communal showers or bathrooms). If you continue having issues, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss further options to help keep your skin clear and healthy.
Your dermatologist can easily exam your body and help you determine the best way of getting any wart situation addressed. Don’t be afraid to talk about warts. They can be safely treated and will ultimately get you back to the beautiful person we know you are!
The Dermatology Center of Indiana has offices in Plainfield and Zionsville, Indiana and services sounding cities including: Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Brazil, Bloomington, West Lafayatte, Terre Haute, Greencastle, Mooresville, and more.