Understanding Warts: Causes, Types, and Effective Treatment Options

Understanding Warts: Causes, Types, and Effective Treatment Options

They appear suddenly, as if by magic, and usually disappear by themselves after a while – we’re talking about warts. Especially in summer, when walking barefoot in swimming pools, you get plantar warts on the soles of your feet all too quickly. Prevention with bathing sandals is only sometimes practical. The dermatologist and one or the other natural remedy will help.

Warts: not always harmless

It would be best to have patience above all else because warts are primarily harmless skin changes that almost invariably disappear after a while without treatment, except for painful plantar warts.

Warts, 66 known types, are caused by a contagious virus called HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). It exists practically everywhere in the world, and most people will get warts at some point, often just when the immune system is weakened.

Usually, warts are harmless – with one exception: genital warts, which settle in the mucous membranes in the genital area, are suspected of even causing cancer.


Plantar warts grow inwards.

Usually, warts do not cause pain; only plantar warts – nomen est omen – hurt because they develop on the soles of the feet and grow inwards. They can be recognized by a thick cornea interspersed with red and black dots.

Plantar warts multiply extensively on the foot. Wart viruses penetrate the most minor skin injuries and prefer moist, soft skin, which is unavoidable when swimming and in the sauna.

They spread if accidentally scratched or if you try to remove them yourself. This should be left to the dermatologist.

Why do warts appear?

Warts have less to do with hygiene than with a weakened immune system. Our body’s susceptibility to warts can be triggered by, among other things:

  • mental stress
  • excessive physical exertion
  • Pregnancies, major surgeries
  • certain systemic diseases

Factors that cause a metabolic disorder or damage to the skin surface and thus create favourable conditions for infection and increase the risk of infection are also decisive.


Risk of infection in the swimming pool and during sports

Infections are threatened except in swimming pools, gyms, changing rooms, saunas, fitness studios, and hotel rooms, i.e., wherever you are occasionally barefoot and where there are many people. The incubation period is four weeks to eight months.

Bathing sandals offer protection; drying yourself between your toes and cleaning towels reduces the infection riskPeople who repeatedly suffer from warts should also cover exercise mats or the seats in the sauna with towels they have brought with them.

What does it mean to help?

As quickly as the annoying corneal growths appear, they often disappear again. However, if they stay for a few years, the likelihood that they will go away without wart medication decreases. Here are essential methods and means:

  • Salicylic acid is also contained in corn plasters or a combination of salicylic and lactic acid. However, this treatment method is quite lengthy. It lasts up to two months and must be carried out consistently.
  • Thuja tincture dabbed on the wart is recommended in homoeopathy.
  • Treatment with monochloroacetic acid. A small amount of acid is dabbed onto the wart with a spatula and covered with a plaster. After a week, the monochloroacetic acid will have dissolved the top layer of the wart, and the scab will come off along with the plaster. The acid can only loosen the top layer of the wart at a time, so repeat the procedure until the wart is completely gone. If the wart does not go away, soften the treated wart in a lukewarm salt water bath and then remove the layer treated with the acid solution. Protect the skin surrounding the wart with a fat cream. The secure closure prevents the acid from accidentally leaking or being opened by children.
  • A standard method is freezing with liquid nitrogen or laser removal.
  • Especially in the case of plantar warts, only surgical treatment usually helps, i.e. cutting out the wart.

Otherwise, a general immune system strengthening is necessary, and susceptibility to wart viruses decreases.

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