How and what can you remove warts at home?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 10.06.2022

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The appearance on the surface of the skin of foci of growth of epithelial keratinocytes in the form of warts is a very common dermatological problem. And many are interested in how to quickly remove a wart, and with what available means and methods this can be done. [1]

How to remove a wart at home?

It should be remembered that a wart is the result of damage to skin cells  by the human papillomavirus  (HPV), which causes them to proliferate more intensively and due to this it multiplies, replicating its DNA into epithelial cells. Even in the ICD-10, warts are not classified as dermatological diseases, but as a class of viral infections that affect the skin and mucous membranes.

Read in detail -  Warts: causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

If the dermatologist, after conducting an examination, accurately determined that you have a wart, then he will recommend using at home such external agents as Imiquimod (Aldara), Tretinoin (Retinon-A), Panavir, Dithranol, Kolhamin ointment, etc. All the details -  Ointments for warts . [2]

How warts on the hands, fingers, feet, soles are removed is described in detail in the publications:

How to remove a wart on the face - on the nose, on the cheek or on the lip, read the article -  How to get rid of warts

And detailed information about the means that help remove a wart on the eyelid, in the material -  Warts on the eyelids

How to remove a wart on the anus? Anogenital warts are viral papillomas, also called genital warts. They are removed with the help of a wart cauterizer Kondilin - a solution of podophyllotoxin, which should be applied to the wart for three days (twice a day) and left until completely dry. To protect the surrounding skin from accidental contact with the drug, it must be lubricated with a Vaseline-based cream.

More complete information about the means for removing such warts in the material -  Treatment of genital warts

How to remove hanging viral warts (papillomas) using external means, in detail in the article -  Ointments for papillomas

How to remove the root of the wart on the soles of the feet)? Due to constant mechanical pressure, the plantar or plantar wart is flat on top, and its lower part, which is called the root, deepens into the underlying layer of the skin. To remove these keratinized tissues, they must be softened, for which they use the most popular keratolytic - 15-30% salicylic acid, applying it to the wart and covering this place with adhesive tape - for three to four days. It is also allowed to use 15% hydroxyacetic (glycolic) acid, 20% trichloroacetic, pyruvic and formic acids, as well as glutaraldehyde and 15% formaldehyde. After removing the patch, the softened wart adhering to it should be removed along with the “root”. Sometimes fine nail scissors or a scalpel may be required to remove the remnants of virus-infected tissue. 

Parents want to know how to remove a wart from a child that bothers him or spoils his appearance. In childhood, a year or two after the onset of warts may disappear without any treatment, see for more details -  Warts in children

And when it is necessary, then the same salicylic acid is used (which is used to lubricate the wart every day, sometimes such treatment lasts more than two months), the same ointments and solutions, the same cauterization of warts with iodine. And if the warts have chosen prominent parts of the body, they resort to freezing them out - cryotherapy (but more on that later).

How to remove warts with alternative means?

Not all popular remedies help to get rid of this dermatological problem, and many of these "traditional" methods can be classified as superstitions. For example, how can you remove a wart with meat by rubbing it on a wart and burying this piece in a wasteland? There is such an option: they rub the warts with a crumb of bread (necessarily stolen!) And then they feed it to wild birds. Or what is the point of wetting the wart with saliva in the morning, that is, immediately after waking up (after eating). It is also advised to move a straw around each wart (each wart needs a separate straw), collect them in a bundle, tie a knot and burn.

How to remove warts with a thread and how to do it correctly can be found in the publication -  Removing a wart with a thread

How to remove warts with an apple

They recommend cutting the apple in half, rubbing the wart alternately with both halves, putting them together and burying them in the ground...

You can probably do without instillation: The Journal of Biological Sciences in 2014 reported on the results of traditional medicine studies conducted by specialists from the University of Medical Sciences in Tehran (Iran), which established a certain benefit for the treatment of skin warts of sour apple juice containing a lot of magnesium. [3]

How to remove a wart with potatoes

All actions are similar to the procedure with an apple, but without instillation. Simply rub the wart twice a day (morning and evening) for 15-20 days, allowing the raw potato juice to soak into the skin. There is no evidence that potato juice acids kill HPV. In addition, this "recipe" does not specify what the potatoes should be. And the potato must be green on the outside, because only then it has enough glycoalkaloids - solanine and α-chaconine, which are toxic insecticides and fungicides produced by the plant.

How to remove warts with garlic

This remedy has been found to work because daily application of a paste of minced fresh garlic to the warts (for one to two weeks) helps to destroy the virus that causes them. The powerful antimicrobial and antiviral properties of garlic are due to the sulfur compound allicin. [4], [5]

In addition, such agents are used for cauterization of warts, as well as their treatment to stimulate the lysis of pathological tissues:

  • juice of ground parts of caustic buttercup (Ranunculus acris);
  • dandelion milk (juice secreted from the flower stalk of the plant when it is plucked);
  • juice from the leaves and stems of silver wormwood (Artemisia argi);
  • alcohol extract from the seeds and leaves of the dyer gorse (Genista tinctoria);
  • milkweed juice (Euphorbia resinifera);
  • alcoholic tincture of the leaves of tannery (Cotinus coggygria);
  • alcohol extract of podophyllin rhizomes (Podophyllum hexandrum);
  • juice of unripe fruits of a fig tree (fig).

Finally, cauterization of warts with celandine (Chelidonium majus), more precisely, with its fresh juice, is traditionally used. It contains the alkaloid chelidonin, which stops cell division in the mitotic phase. But it is necessary to apply the juice as often as possible - up to 15-20 times during the day, and the process itself can take two to three weeks. Also read -  Removal of warts with celandine

The question arises, how to remove warts with Supercleaner? There is no celandine juice in the product with this name: it is a solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium chloride (table salt) and strong alkali - sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), which corrodes the skin. Therefore, this remedy is applied to the wart only one drop per day, and the period of its use is limited to three days.

How to remove a wart with acetic acid and vinegar

No one uses acetic acid with a concentration of about 100% (the so-called glacial); the use of acetic essence (70% aqueous solution of acetic acid) should also be abandoned, since coagulative tissue necrosis may be too deep. Warts are tried to be removed with a 30% solution of acetic acid, wetting them twice a day and letting them dry.

You can remove a wart with vinegar (6-9%) by applying a moistened cotton swab to it (for three to four hours), fixing it with adhesive tape. It is recommended to use natural apple cider vinegar, which can be mixed with fresh lemon juice (1:1).

Removing a wart with vinegar and flour is also easy: after mixing the flour with vinegar, make a small cake, put it on the wart, and then everything, as in the previous case.

The way to remove a wart with onions and vinegar is that, after cutting off the top of the onion and removing part of the pulp from it, salt is poured into the hole formed. When juice appears under its action, it is mixed with the same amount of 9% vinegar; moisten a tampon in this liquid and apply it to the wart for several hours (fixing it with adhesive tape). This is done every day until the wart falls off. [6], [7]

How to remove a wart with a pencil

Lapis pencil cauterizes fabrics, as it consists of silver nitrate. A dry wart is smeared twice a day with a pencil, the tip of which must first be moistened (with plain water). The duration of application is individual (up to one to one and a half months), but not very old warts disappear in half of the cases after three weeks. This method can be used by children and pregnant women.

How to remove a wart with hydrogen peroxide

The reactive form of oxygen in the composition of hydrogen peroxide (peroxide) when exposed to the skin leads to oxidative stress in the skin cells (in this case, in the wart tissue), causing a chemical burn and subsequent necrosis.

To remove the wart, a drop of 3-5% peroxide solution is applied to its surface, it is helped to absorb (you can use cotton swabs) and allowed to dry. Dermatologists say that if this manipulation is carried out every day every 4-5 hours, then after 12-14 days there will be no trace of the wart.

But black cumin or kalonji oil - black cumin oil from warts does not help, despite its antioxidant and antihistamine properties. When applied externally, seed oil from the fruit of the Nigella sativa plant, according to the Journal of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, reduces the incidence of psoriatic plaques, reduces acne rashes, and facilitates the healing of inflammatory skin lesions. But the removal of warts and papillomas with it is not mentioned by experts. [8]

Cauterization of warts

Warts look like flat, hemispherical or sharp outgrowths of the epidermis. Usually their coating is quite dense, consisting of flat cells, under which there is a soft, easily bleeding tissue formed by keratinocytes. If the wart has not disappeared on its own (and this happens when the body's immune system is strengthened), then ablative methods can be used if it rises significantly above the skin surface.

These are currently practiced cauterization with electric current (diathermocoagulation) and cauterization of warts with a laser (pulse, photoselective, carbon dioxide, neodymium). These procedures are quite invasive, and scars remain after them. Details in the publication -  Removal of warts . [9]

But today the most popular way is freezing or cauterization with liquid nitrogen. It is applied quickly, but, as practice and randomized trials show, cryocauterization of warts is not effective in all cases, for example, it has ceased to be used for plantar warts. Read more -  Nitrogen Wart Removal [10]

How many cauterization sessions will it take to remove a wart? It depends on the size of the formation, its localization, and also on how long ago it arose. According to experts, after three or four procedures, the wart after cauterization darkened, turned yellow and fell off in less than a quarter of patients. With the localization of warts on the hands, they were removed in 63% of cases.

According to the standard of care, sessions of cauterization with liquid nitrogen are repeated every 2-3 weeks until a positive result is achieved; The maximum allowable number of sessions is no more than six. The use of a laser can give results after two procedures. [11]

Possible consequences after cauterization of warts include damage to healthy tissues with their inflammation and necrosis; violation of the integrity of the walls of blood vessels or nerve endings with partial locally limited hypesthesia; damage to skin pigment cells with the development of focal hyper or hypopigmentation; scar tissue formation.

What does a wart look like after cauterization with liquid nitrogen? The skin around the wart after the first procedure loses its natural color and turns white (from frostbite), and after a while a reddish tint appears, quickly turning into persistent hyperemia.

It is quite natural that after cauterization of the wart, a swelling appeared around the place treated with liquid nitrogen. And if, after cauterization, the wart hurts, this is also in the order of things, since in the course of exposure to the skin, its nociceptive receptors are irritated.

It is also absolutely normal from a medical point of view that a bubble filled with serous exudate, a blister formed on the surface of the skin after cauterization of the wart - as an inevitable consequence of exposure to extremely low temperature of liquid nitrogen (-195.8 ° C) and the release of destroyed epidermal cells and fluid into the intercellular space underlying layers of the skin.

By the way, the absence of a bubble after cauterization of the wart indicates insufficient exposure time of the refrigerant on the skin, so it did not freeze as expected, and the wart - if its size is significant - is unlikely to quickly disappear without the procedure again. [12]

It is also normal when a bubble bursts a few days after cauterizing the wart with nitrogen (otherwise the doctor would have to open it sooner or later). But you can’t specifically pierce the bubble, but you can apply a soft bandage - so that by negligence it doesn’t catch and tear.

What to do after cauterization of a wart?

The guarantee of the fastest possible restoration of the normal state of the skin area and the absence of large scars is the correct care of the wart after cauterization.

For example, when the bubble bursts, its shell should never be cut off or torn off: under it, healthy epithelial cells are formed and the process of regeneration of the epidermis takes place.

Is it possible to wet a wart after cauterization? Until a scab has formed at the site of the cryo-burn, exposure to moisture is undesirable.

How to treat the skin after cauterization of warts?

To avoid the development of infection, you can treat the skin with Chlorhexidine or Miramistin, and creams and ointments with dexpanthenol, zinc oxide, Levomekol and other antiseptic agents recommend smearing warts after cauterization.

In conclusion. Those who decide to get rid of the wart by the ablative method, of course, are interested in how often warts can appear after cauterization. Clinical statistics rarely fix the frequency of relapses, and clinical practice considers the recurrence of warts as a sign of immunosuppression, since, recall, warts appear on all parts of the body when the human papillomavirus is activated.

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