Warts are aesthetically unappealing growths on your skin that can vary from cauliflower-like raised patches of skin to threads or frond-like growths to callus-like growths on the soles of your feet. While typically benign, most people don’t like having warts and want to know how to make their warts go away. If you have warts, you may be wondering whether they’ll go away on their own or whether you will need to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist in order to obtain treatment.
Here is what you need to know about warts, if they go away on their own, and what type of treatment options are available to you.
What Are Warts?
Warts occur when you’ve been infected with HPV (human papillomavirus). This causes your skin cells to grow faster than normal. There are many different types of warts, from common to genital.
Some of the most common types of warts include:
- Common. These warts have a cauliflower-head-like texture. They can appear on their own or in clusters. They’re usually found on your fingers, toes, or on your knees.
- Planter. These look like calluses, but with small black dots. They can feel tender under pressure, as they appear on the soles of your feet. They also can appear by themselves or in clusters.
- Plane. These are flat warts the same color as your skin. They often appear on your face, hands, and shins. People usually have multiples of these.
- Filiform. These warts look like threads or fronds growing from your skin. They appear on your face and often grow very quickly.
What Causes Warts?
As previously mentioned, warts are caused by the infection of HPV. Warts are highly contagious, which is part of why you may be wondering if warts go away on their own, as you don’t want to get more. You can get warts from someone else or from touching your wart to another part of your body. You can pick up HPV when walking barefoot in public areas or through a cut or injury. People who are immunocompromised are more likely to get warts. Occupations that involve handling raw meat also increase your risk for warts.
Do Warts Go Away On Their Own?
They can, and often do. If warts go away on their own, it can take up to 2 years for your warts to disappear. However, some warts will stay put unless you have them treated. As many people do not want to wait for years nor do they want to risk giving themselves or other people more warts, there are treatment options available to help warts go away quicker.
How Do You Treat Warts?
Warts can be treated in a variety of different ways. You can try a variety of home treatment methods, and if your warts don’t go away within a few months, you may seek out professional treatment.
Some of the treatment methods for warts include:
- Salicylic acid. This is in many different over-the-counter wart treatments. Daily use over the course of months can make warts go away in many cases.
- Freezing. This is also known as cryotherapy. This is when liquid nitrogen freezes your wart and the surface layers peel away. This is needed every week or two weeks for the course of several months. It is very effective in many cases.
- Electrosurgery and cutterage. This burns away the base of your wart, making it a good option for big warts that have not responded to other treatments. It can cause scarring.
- Excision. This is when your doctor cuts out your wart.
There are several other types of treatments to make warts go away. Your dermatologist can help you determine the best option for you.
If your wart is bleeding, hurts, you suspect it may not be a wart, your wart is on your face or your genitals, there are multiple warts, or you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, you should see a doctor prior to attempting home treatments for your warts. You may also consult with a doctor about the best treatment method for you.
How Do You Prevent Warts?
If you’ve already gotten a wart, it’s likely that you’ll end up developing more at some point in the future. You can prevent the potential of getting more warts by:
- Not touching other people’s warts.
- Not sharing towels, bath mats, or socks.
- Wearing slippers or flip-flops in public places, like gym showers.
Do You Need Wart Treatment?
Allen-Taintor Dermatology can help you make your warts go away with professional advice and treatment options. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.