A wart is a virus that latches on to the surface layers of the skin and can look like a little raised area of “cauliflower-like” skin usually with little black dots on it. Sometimes they can be sore to walk on but not always.
Since a wart is a virus it is contagious and is typically picked up on damp public surfaces such as pools, locker rooms, gyms, etc. Sometimes the immune system can get rid of the wart on its own, but since warts are in the outermost layers of skin they can go undetected and live happily unnoticed and can spread to other areas on the body and to other people.
Luckily there are a number of ways to get rid of a wart!
There are various topical solutions that can be used to get rid of a wart. Some are more aggressive (and typically more painful) than others.
Examples of topical solutions that we can use include:
Topical solutions generally require debridement or shaving down of the warty tissue to allow the topical solutions to be more effective.
First line of treatment for warts are typically topical in nature before we consider more aggressive surgical options and are usually very successful depending on the strain of the virus.
Ideally the more aggressive topical options are used to eliminate the wart faster but this depends on the comfort level of the patient. The whole idea is to kill the wart in layers until we get to the base of the wart to kill it for good.
One surgical option is to physically excise the wart.
One surgical option is to physically excise the wart. This means we numb the area and then can cut out the wart itself. The area where the wart was excised will be tender for some time as the skin heals over but has a very high success rate. This option is best used when there is a single resistant wart.
This procedure is most beneficial when we have a very large wart or when we have many different warts. Needling involves selecting the largest or original wart, numbing the area, and then using a needle to poke the wart about 100 times. With needling we are pushing the virus into the deeper layers of the skin to stimulate an immune system response in the area.
We are basically sending out a signal to our body saying “hey, there’s a wart here!” And the body’s immune system will then send an army of cells to target and kill all warts in the area.
This immune response can take about 3 months to get rid of them all but is a very effective option.
At home wart treatments can work for some warts but tend to only work on the very surface layers of the wart and are not aggressive enough to get down to the base of the wart.
If you want to know if what you have is a wart or you are struggling to get rid of a stubborn wart then book with one of our chiropodists today to get to the bottom of it!