What are warts?

A wart is growth on the outer layer of the skin or the epidermis that is caused by a virus. The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes common and genital warts by contact with the skin or sexual contact with another person. Genital warts are an STD, while common warts are not.

Warts that occur on the hands or top of the feet are called “common warts.” A wart on the sole of the foot is a plantar wart, which can be very painful. Genital or venereal warts are located on the genitals and are transmitted by sexual contact. Genital warts are a form of a sexually transmitted disease or STD.

What natural and home remedies get rid of common warts fast?

The ultimate goal of the medical therapies (not the surgical treatments) is to get your body to recognize the wart as something foreign and to destroy it, much like the body destroys a cold virus. Home care is effective in making the wart or warts go away. No matter what technique you use, warts will disappear 60%-70% of the time.

Garlic, Vitamin C paste, fruit juice soaks, duct tape applications and even hypnosis are touted as natural treatments for warts, but none have been proven to be effective.

Are Warts Contagious?

Humanpapilloma viruses (HPV) cause warts. HPV viruses that cause warts are contagious. Usually, the virus is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact, especially if the skin is damaged or cut. It’s possible to spread the virus to other parts of your own skin. You also can get them indirectly from contaminated surfaces like a gym mat or shower floor.

What over-the-counter (OTC) drugs get rid of common warts fast?

Cryotherapy OTC product used to freeze the area of the common wart using dimethyl ether and propane are available. Make sure that you follow the package instructions exactly as described, and don’t get the product on surrounding skin that is intact.

Salicylic acid can be used topically to chemically burn the wart off the skin. Salicylic acid should not be used in people with diabetes or in areas where there is poor blood circulation or cosmetic areas such as the face or around the eyes. Moreover, follow the directions when treating warts with nonprescription medications. If salicylic acid gets on normal skin, it can cause burning or redness, and rarely infection or scarring. The skin usually returns to normal when you stop applying the salicylic acid.

Which specialties of doctors treat common warts?

Dermatologists are skin specialists who can use several different modalities to eliminate warts quickly. Lasers, medications and even surgery can be used to treat warts.

Medically Reviewed on 2/28/2019



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King-fan Loo, Steven, and William Yuk-ming Tang. “Warts (Non-Genital).” Clinical Evidence 6 (2014): 1-28.

Miller, D.J., and R.J. Strauch. “Management of Cutaneous Warts of the Hand.” J Hand Surg Am 40.11 Nov. 2015: 2274-276.