Warts are caused by a virus that leads to faster skin growth causing rough skin-colored or pink bumps on the skin. The common wart is termed verruca vulgaris. They are infectious and can spread from person to person.

Flat warts are flatter and less rough than common warts. There can be many of them at any given time. They can be found anywhere but are more common on the face in children, beard area in men, and legs in women. A plantar wart grows on the bottom of the foot and grows inward.

Getting rid of warts is dependent on a person’s immune system, as it has to develop antibodies to the wart virus in order to fight the virus and make the wart disappear. This can take months to years as well as many treatments.

The risk of spreading this virus to others is very low so special precautions are not needed to avoid infecting other people when swimming or walking barefoot.

The combination of clinic treatments and at-home treatments is more effective than either alone. One at-home treatment is Wart Stick which is 40% salicylic acid. Other salicylic acid formulations such as pads or liquids are also effective. If the wart is thick, it is helpful to first soak it in warm water for 10 or 15 minutes, then rub away the white dead skin with a pumice stone or emery board. Then apply the wart medication to the warts, careful to not get it on the surrounding skin. Let it dry, then put a piece of duct tape over the top and leave on overnight. Remove tape and wash hands in the morning.

The most common clinical treatment is cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen. It typically leads to redness, blistering, pain, and soreness at the application site at has a cure rate of 50% after one treatment. However, many warts require more than one treatment with liquid nitrogen to cure them. Other treatments include Bleomycin injections, cantharidan application, candida antigen injections. CO2 laser can be used to treat warts, but leaves a scar.

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