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Wart information, removal tips

Welcome to the Wacky World of Warts

Hope you've finished your breakfast by now, because it's time for some good old-fashioned gross-out fun. Beauty magazines rarely talk about embarrassing or awkward problems, but let's face it, we all have them from time to time. So today, I thought I'd talk about warts. Those little devils often pop up on the feet and hands, essentially nullifying any sort of grooming you've already done.

Warts usually look like a small white raised bump (like a bit of cauliflower) and they may or may not have a black or red dot in the middle. They're caused by the human papilloma virus—yep, the same virus that causes genital warts. They're spread from skin-to-skin contact, so if your best friend has a wart, it's best not to caress it unless you'd like a matching one for yourself. Additionally, if you get pedicures in salon, take a cue from celebrity podiatrist Dr. Carolyn Siegal and use a liner in the foot-soaking tub, since they can potentially transmit plantar warts to the foot.

To find out how to clear them up,

There are a few ways to treat warts, but the important thing is that you do treat them. Left on their own, warts usually go away after months, but they can also multiply. So it's smart to take care of them sooner rather than later. Here's what you can do:

  • Use a Dr. Scholl's kit. These use salicylic acid to eat away at the wart. Unfortunately, the pre-cut treatment discs are on the large side, and if they're bigger than the wart, they'll eat away at your skin, too. I recommend trimming the disc to fit the wart, then covering it with a bandage. That's what I've done (too much information?) and it really makes a difference in keeping the surrounding skin healthy.
  • Go to the doc. If the over-the-counter option isn't working well, head to a doctor. For plantar warts in particular, this might be your best option. Your physician might do a little cryosurgery on you. Sounds like fun, right? It involves freezing the wart off with liquid nitrogen. It hurts like a mutha, to be honest, but it will get the job done.
  • Duct tape is an option. For some reason, putting duct tape over the wart for weeks at a time will help it disappear. From what I've read, this method works, but it also takes a long time. Considering the effectiveness of the other options, I'd go with those instead.

Whatever you do, don't try to play Trapper John, MD and go diggin' with a homemade scalpel. If you go with the salicylic acid or physicial option, your wart will clear up in a few weeks.

Have other not-so-polite beauty conundrums? Send me a private message and I'll see what I can do!


Join The Conversation
tinkerbelle76 tinkerbelle76 9 years
Once when I was younger, I had a wart on my knee. I was living with my grandma at the time. She is a very prim proper urban lady, who always wears lipstick, drinks martinis, and wears a different pair of shoes almost everyday of the year. Needless to say, I was shocked when she got a potato and chopped in half and rubbed it on my knee for several minutes. Then, she put the wart-infected potato in a baggie and put it in the fridge. OMG! Then, on the next full moon at dusk, she buried it in the backyard. A few weeks later, my wart fell off. Weird, huh? I am still flabbergasted with her actions 15 years later.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Lippy, I'm very curious what the secret recipe your mom used was. Was it something gross?! LOL
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
I had one on my palm for the longest time, like several years. It was cauliflower like and had little black spots in the middle; I guess a plantars wart. Finally, I started picking at it with some tweezers and dug a "moat" around it so that it seemed like I could just pull it out. Freakin' ouch! That was not a good idea. I guess I messed with the mother wart b/c not long after that some tiny warts appeared nearby. Well I went to the pharm and got some of that salicylic wart remover. I put it on faithfully for 2 weeks probably and covered it with bandaids. The stuff turned white so I would put multiple coats on it, the top with a bandaid. It finally went away, rather quickly considering I had it forever, and I can barely make out the faintest "scar" which was probably caused by my picking at it obsessively.
BrokeandFabulous BrokeandFabulous 9 years
Haha. "Caressing" the wart? Sound like something I would do. Out of pure curiousity! I would probally poke the hell out of it and say " its a white head pop it". Lol. But the HPV virus, I didn't know it sprouted anywhere other than the "downstairs". Thanks for the info!
quietriott quietriott 9 years
my brothers and i had plantar warts on our feet for a couple years when we were growing up - what we learned (after many painful experiences of having them burned off and then being dropped off at ballet class immediatly afterwards) is the problem if you have several sometimes is that there is like a "mother" wart that can be the root of all of them. once you get rid of that one, the other ones will go away. OH and if there are little dark things sticking out of the end of one of your warts that almost look like hairs but not quite, DO NOT pull on them with a tweezer. My parents did this to me when I was little and it was the most painful thing.
carole-ledoux carole-ledoux 9 years
Holy cow, hipbdip!!! I've had a wart on MY right pinky for the longest time, too! I'm gonna try your acetone method. Did you just use nail polish remover or plain acetone different?
caryatid caryatid 9 years
i had warts on both feet that i had burned off.... so painful. when one of them grew back and i got another on my hand, i went for the duct tape, didn't want to go through liquid nitrogen again. it worked like a charm and they haven't come back. only downside is that the skin around the wart gets all weird like when you leave a bandaid on for a long time. also - duct tape is JUST as effective as getting them burned off and less expensive and less painful. i would recommend it!!!
hipbdip hipbdip 9 years
i had a wart on my pinky of the right hand for the LONGEST time!! i initially tried cutting/destroying it with a cuticle nipper but that didn't work and it HURTS and BLEEDS like a mutha. so what finally worked was to use a Q-tip dipped in acetone to dry it out daily for a couple of weeks. eventually you can just peel it away and there's no visible scar!!
htiduj htiduj 9 years
the duct tape works because it starves out the oxygen - and the virus needs oxygen to thrive. if the freezing option scares you (its gross and painful - you do have this giant bumps for a few days) and the dr schols dont work, ask your dermatologist or gyno for the cream that they use on genital warts. that will clear up the most stubborn wart you have. but make sure not to put it on the surrounding areas or it will eat away at the skin. also, when i was little i had this wart on my thumb, i was on vacation in israel, and i believe that my father picked either an olive or a fig (i think it was a fig) from a tree and squeezed the juice on my wart. the thing burned, bled, and was gone within the hour. well maybe more, i was 5 i dont know the exact timing - but i do know that it went away super fast.
vanilla19 vanilla19 9 years
I had a wart on my foot for almost three years and I finally used duct tape; now it's almost all the way gone. The salicylic acid doesn't work on me at all, it's just a hassle to always apply it.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
I'm just making a joke with the "caressing" bit. :)
omigosh omigosh 9 years
I'm very confused here. What do you mean by caressing a wart, like actually stroking it in a loving way? Does that work or is there some sort of myth related to it? Somebody help me out!
Candyhunnie Candyhunnie 9 years
Lol, yuck! I have exactly 19 warts. Gross huh? the mazority are about 3x the size of the tip of a pin. I had surgurey to rmove my first two big ones, on worked, on just stayed there. Stubborn little wart. Anyway my mam's bought me an at home freezing kit but I'm scared to use it incase it hurts :/ And on the carresing thing- Bella that's exactly the first thing I get permission to do after spotting a wart. (;
Linz81 Linz81 9 years
I had one on my hand. I had it frozen off and it made MOST of it go away but not ALL of it. So then I put the Dr. Scholl's ready made bandaid things on it, and it got rid of the rest!
hottpink hottpink 9 years
Ok, so I am so grossed out by it but I have a tint wart on my thumb, right on the middle knuckle. My hubby works for a cryosugery distributor and we tried to freeze it that way and it ended up making it a little bigger. Cryosugery is actually liquid cryogen, not liquid nitrogen...they are two completely different things. Liquid nitrogen works better because it is colder in temperature then the cryogen can get. A little pointless tid bit! LoL
GothSugar GothSugar 9 years
Oh but I have a nasty scar..I forgot that part lol
GothSugar GothSugar 9 years
I had a wart that Im not sure were it came from. I got it scraped was huge and just appeared one day. That didn't hurt at all..they numbed it though..
Lippy Lippy 9 years
When I was about 11 I got a horrible case of warts - one on every finger. I tried all the drugstore remedies and the extremely painful freezing at the dermatologist and nothing worked, until my mom tried a home remedy I will not divulge at the moment LOL...
bellanatella bellanatella 9 years
Aw, this reminds me of the Tree Man :(
cmachter1 cmachter1 9 years
I had a planter wart on the bottom of my foot and I read to put tea tree oil on it with a cotton swab. I did this for a few days and then it completely went away and has not come back.
aSLAMMINhottie aSLAMMINhottie 9 years
Spending 13 years working out on a karate mat with dozens of other students and teachers left me with a few, and every time I had them frozen off. I DEFINITELY recommend taking care of it as soon as you know you have one; I tried just leaving it along and ended up with several of the nasty little buggers. And while having 1 frozen off hurts like a mutha, 5 tempt you to inquire as to whether a possible course of action is elective amputation.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I had a very small one once on my thumb, right by my cuticle. It was probably the size of this "o". I tried everything over the counter and nothing would help, I don't know how it even happened. Eventually I went to the doc but because it was so small when they went to freeze it off they burnt some of my "good" skin and it took forever to heal. It was awful.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
See! Some people LIKE to caress warts. ;)
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
My lil 3 y o niece has a big plantars wart on the bottom of her foot. And you know the first thing I did? Yep, caressed it!
emalove emalove 9 years
Gross. The only wart I ever had was a plantar's wart on the bottom of my foot when I was in college...I am pretty positive I got it from the dorm showers. It hurt SO bad whenever I finally went away on it's own after a few months or so. It was incredibly painful but there was NO WAY I was letting a doctor dig it out. I'm such a wimp.
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