Warts are raised, bumpy areas on the skin indicative of an HPV infection. They are highly contagious and can infect hands, feet, nails, the genital area, or other body parts. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) enters the body through the skin and can be transmitted directly from one person to another or from a contaminated surface. Warts are typically painless, however, on the feet (plantar warts) can become painful and make walking very uncomfortable. Best Foot Doctor NY shares at-home remedies for warts along with helpful wart prevention tips.
Here are a few things you can do to help protect your body against HPV and warts:
- wash your hands regularly
- do not bite your nails
- wear shoes in public places, especially gym locker rooms and public swimming areas
- inspect your hands and feet regularly for cracks and cuts
- keep your feet clean and dry
Complications of Warts
Warts, while unsightly, are not a serious condition. But they can, in time, lead to more serious issues. Warts can become infected and painful, and they have been linked to several types of cancers if left untreated.
At-Home Remedies for Warts
If you suspect you have a wart, there are several ways to try to treat it at home.
Covering your warts in duct tape removes their source of oxygen and can help to kill the wart faster. It is recommended to keep the duct tape on for several days. After removing the duct tape, soak the area and scrub it with a pumice stone to remove the dead cells. If you have diabetes or neuropathy, do not use duct tape–those conditions cause decreased sensation and you will not be able to recognize skin irritation right away.
Several common solutions have been found to help kill warts. They include
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Tea Tree Oil
- Salicylic Acid or aspirin (not recommended for those with diabetes or neuropathy)
With any of these, it may help to soak the area in warm water first to soften the tissues. Apply the solution and then cover the wart for several hours or overnight. If the treatment does not seem to be effective after several weeks, try a different solution until you find one that works for you. Use caution and test the solution on a small area first. If you experience skin irritation, pain, or another adverse reaction remove the solution and wash the area right away.
Strengthen Your Immunity
Your immune system is designed to kill infections, including HPV. A healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and immune supplements such as elderberry, Vitamin C, and zinc can help to strengthen your immune system. In fact, you may find that you are more prone to warts when you are stressed, eating and sleeping poorly, or fighting off other infections.
When to Contact Your Doctor
Some warts will not respond to home remedies. If you think your warts are not improving, or they are getting worse, consult a doctor for further treatment including cryotherapy, immunotherapy, and laser therapy. For support and treatment of plantar warts, contact Best Foot Doctor NY.