Out of nowhere, a wart appears on your hand.
It may seem harmless, but removing a wart can be quite stubborn and difficult.
What Causes a Wart?
A wart is an infection on the top layer of the skin. It is caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus, or HPV, family.
There are over 100 types of HPV. This virus invades the skin, usually through a cut, and causes rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of the skin, which forms the wart.
Warts are pervasive. Almost everyone experiences a wart at some point in their lifetime. They usually appear on the hands, because people are exposed to warts most commonly through skin to skin contact, such as shaking hands.
But you can also get the virus from doorknobs, keyboards, towels, and shower floors. You are more likely to get a wart if you are exposed to the virus through a cut or abrasion on the skin.
Some immune systems are better at fighting off the HPV virus than others. That is why some people are more prone to getting warts and have a hard time with wart removal, while others seem to avoid them altogether.
Genetics also play a role. If your parents or siblings are susceptible to warts, you have a greater likelihood of being susceptible as well. Strong immune systems help ward off HPV. This is why children experience warts in much greater numbers than adults. Children’s immune systems have not built up a strong immunity to the human papillomavirus yet.
How Do I Treat My Warts?
It is important to realize that warts can spread quickly, so you should treat your wart right away. Listed below are different treatments for wart removal. It may take several treatments that last weeks or months before the virus is gone.
- Home remedies can be used to treat a wart. Salicylic acid, clear nail polish, or tape can be applied to the wart consistently until the virus is killed. This can take weeks to months for success.
- Freezing the wart. A doctor who removes warts will use liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart off. A blister will form around the wart and it will fall off in about a week.
- Cantharidin is a treatment that is applied to the wart to form a blister around it. The blister lifts the wart off the skin and it falls off within a week or so.
- Bleomycin is a medication that is injected into the wart to kill the virus.
- Surgery may be performed if other attempts to kill the virus have failed. A doctor will cut the wart off with an electric needle or cryosurgery.
- Laser surgery is another technique used by a doctor to remove a wart.
Why Do My Warts Keep Coming Back?
If you have attempted to treat your warts, but they continue to come back, the treatment has failed to kill the virus. The wart was removed, but the virus is still present. Your immune system may not be strong enough to fight off the virus. If you have tried unsuccessfully to kill the virus, you should discuss more aggressive treatments with your dermatologist in Denton.
There are things you can do to avoid warts:
- Keep your hands clean.
- Take care of your skin and don’t bite your nails.
- Take care of cuts and scrapes with bandages.
- Always wear footwear around pools and public showers.
- Avoid touching warts on yourself or others.
- Avoid dull razors when shaving to prevent cuts.
If you are having trouble with warts that keep coming back, contact Dermatology Consultants today for a consultation to discuss your treatment options.