Warts are one of the most commonly developed dermatological issues, but they are one of the least discussed. Part of the reason for this is that warts are embarrassing. People have a lot of misperceptions about warts, including how we develop them and the best way to treat them. Acne, which is still the leading reason people will seek help from a dermatologist, is much more socially appropriate to bring up to friends or family members—everyone seems to struggle with acne, and so it is an easy subject to broach.
Warts don’t have any of these benefits going for them. Warts are ugly, painful, and are often hidden out of plain sight, meaning they are not something that you need to admit to. Unfortunately, this leads many people to deal with warts much longer than is necessary.
Who Gets Warts?
Approximately 75% of the population will develop some form of wart at one time in their life – children and young adults being the most likely to contract the issue. However, anyone can get warts.
Unlike acne, warts are contagious. You can get warts by walking barefoot on the same floor as someone else who has warts, or by touching skin with someone who has warts. They can also spread throughout the body, moving from the feet to your fingers, for example. Because of this, anyone can get warts. The best way to protect yourself from developing warts is to be proactive in treating them as they develop and to be cautious of being barefoot or exposing bare skin to surfaces where a wart is present.
What Causes Warts?
There are a lot of myths surrounding the reasons why warts exist, each one more misleading than the next. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which is a contagious disease that is often transmitted sexually, causing cells to multiply rapidly. Unfortunately, many people develop HPV without being aware of it, which means that warts can develop on your body even if you don’t have a history of them. More often, warts are the result of direct contact with another person who has left their warts untreated.
Treatment for Warts
Luckily, there is comprehensive treatment available for warts that can reduce or remove the problem almost immediately in many cases. There are plenty of home remedies for warts, most of which involve putting something on your skin in an attempt to dry off or freeze the problem. Over-the-counter ointments are also popular, but typically these treatment methods aren’t overly successful. To successfully treat warts, you need to take a two-footed approach. You should address the warts that are present while simultaneously addressing any genetic or biological issues that caused the warts to develop.
The most successful form of treatment for removing warts is cryotherapy, which is an in-office dermatological treatment method in which the warts are frozen and removed from the body. In addition, medicines like retinoid cream are typically successful.