Warts are caused by a single virus, of which there is many strains. This virus is the human papillomavirus or HPV. This virus is one of the most prevalent infections in the world – it affects approximately 40% of all humans. Because of the warts that result from HPV, it is often times referred to as “the wart virus”. Genital warts are the most known wart in association with this virus; however, all warts are a result of HPV. Each type of wart (common, plantar, flat, and genital) comes from a different strain. Common warts originate from HPV types 2, 4 and 7. Plantar’s warts come from type 1, in the plantar area of the foot. Flat warts come from types 3 and 10 of HPV. Genital warts are a result of over 30 different types of the human papillomavirus.Wart Virus.
The Causes of Warts
Warts are actual viruses living IN the skin. Blood vessels feed the wart, and therefore the virus itself, keeping it alive and present. This is the reason that wart removal can often times be very painful – the wart is attached to capillaries and embedded in the skin. If you look at your wart, you will probably see little black dots inside. Those black dots are actually the clotted blood vessels feeding your wart.
Warts are spread when a non-infected area of skin comes in contact with an infected area, either through direct contact or contact with skin cells shed from the wart. It is presumed that the uninfected skin must have at least a minuscule tear in order for HPV to be contracted. In other words, if you have a wart anywhere on your body, and that wart comes in contact with another person’s damaged skin, that uninfected person could now have HPV. (This includes warts on the hands and feet.)
Home Remedies for Warts
There is a vast array of home remedies for warts to choose from;
Duct tape. Cut a piece of duct tape to fit over your wart. Leave the tape on for six days, then remove it and soak your wart in water for a few minutes. Use an emery board or pumice stone to file the dead skin on your wart down. Dry the area over night then reapply another piece of duct tape in the morning. Continue this process until your wart is gone. This is believed to work because the irritation that is caused forces your immune system to fight off the virus.
Garlic. Crush some fresh garlic, rub it directly on your wart, and cover it with a bandage. Apply new garlic every day and your wart will blister and fall off within as little as a week. Be careful not to get garlic on the surrounding healthy skin; it helps to apply petroleum jelly to the skin around your wart.
Vinegar. Soak a cotton ball in vinegar and tape it to your wart with a bandage for at least one or two hours daily.
Dandelion sap. Pick a dandelion from your yard, break the stem open and drip the sap onto your wart. Do this daily until your wart disappears. The sap will mildly irritate your skin, stimulating your immune system to get rid of the warts. Do not use dandelions that have been treated within the past few years with an herbicide.
Vitamin C. Make a paste out of ground Vitamin C tablets and water. Dab it onto your wart and cover it with a bandage. The high acidity of Vitamin C will aide in eliminating your wart as well as helping to fight off the HPV.
Banana or lemon peel. Cut a piece of the peel to fit over your wart and tape it on, inner side down before bed. The chemicals and oils in these peels will help dissolve and discourage warts.
Papaya. Using an unripe papaya, make small cuts on the surface, allowing the sap to run out. Collect the sap and let it coagulate. Mix the thick sap with water and apply it to your wart morning and evening. An enzyme in the papaya will digest dead tissue.
Basil. Tape crushed, fresh basil to your wart using waterproof first-aid tape. Do this daily up to a week and the virus-killing compound in the basil leaf will kill your wart.
Castor oil. Rubbing castor oil on your wart every day will break it down, possibly because the oil keeps the wart moist, causing the tough skin to just come apart.
* Aloe vera. If you have an aloe plant at home, break a leaf off and rub the gel on your wart. Repeat this daily and your wart will disappear, perhaps due to the malic acid in aloe vera.
* Hot water. Because plantar warts are sensitive to heat, soaking your feet in hot (110- to 113-degrees F) water for 15 minutes per day can eliminate your warts.