Warts: symptoms and treatment

Warts or as also called verruca, are infections on the skin caused by the HPV virus. A verruca usually looks like a small bump on the skin.


What is a verruca?

Warts are skin growths caused by an infection of the HPV virus that has entered through a cut or break in the skin. They commonly appear on hands and feet but can also develop on other areas. Warts are especially common among children. Usually they are not painful, but some may hurt and itch, especially if they are on the feet and are exposed to pressure when walking.

What causes warts?

The HPV virus causes warts. The virus is contagious and thrives in environments that are warm and moist. It can spread by direct or indirect contact and be transmitted if you touch a wart or through for example wet floors in public showers. However, not all people who come in contact with the virus develop warts.

Wart types

There are a range of different types of warts, but some of the most common types are common warts and plantar warts which can appear alone or in groups. Usually, they go away on their own, but it can take months or years. Sometimes they need medical treatment to be resolved.

What does a verruca look like?

Here are some distinctive characteristics for how to identify a wart.

  • Common warts often look like raised, rough lumps with grainy appearance and a rounded top. The bumps may have tiny black spots of clotted blood vessels in the center and are cauliflower-like. The skin lines over the wart are usually distorted. Common warts often appear on fingers and hands and are usually painless but can be painful when touched.
  • Plantar warts commonly occur on the bottom of the feet on weight bearing parts like the soles. Warts on feet appear as rough grainy growths with tiny black spots of clotted blood vessels in the center. The skin lines over the plantar wart are usually distorted. Plantar warts may be solitary or grow in clusters (mosaic warts). Often, they grow inward because walking and standing puts pressure on them and it can cause severe pain and discomfort.

Verruca or Corn?

If the plantar warts grow inward, they can be mistaken for seed corns that have a similar appearance. However, there are some key differences: corns don’t have tiny black dots inside them and do not disrupt the natural lines on the bottom of the feet which warts do.

Wart removal

Warts usually go away on their own, but it can take long time and they can spread to other areas or persons. Some warts are painful, and many find them embarrassing. If you find the warts bothering, there are different ways to treat them.

How to get rid of warts:

  • Verruca plasters: For example, you can use Salvequick’s Wart Plasters with salicylic acid to help remove the wart. This verruca treatment is painless and effective.
  • Cryotherapy: This method involves freezing of the wart and could be painful. Cryotherapy can either be performed by a medical professional or be done at home using an over-the-counter product.
  • Use a verruca removal pen or gel, often containing TCA (trichloroacetic acid) or formic acid.

How do verruca plasters work?

Salvequick’s Wart Plasters contains salicylic acid which helps to remove warts. Plasters with salicylic acid for warts is an effective and pain free wart treatment method. In the centre of the plaster there is an area containing salicylic acid which breaks down the skin cells of the wart. The plaster also has the added advantage of protecting the wart during the treatment period, thereby reducing the risk of spreading the infection. Be careful when using products containing salicylic acid and follow the instructions, since it can harm surrounding healthy skin.

How to use Salvequick’s Wart Plasters:

  1. Soak the wart in warm water for 5 minutes before application.
  2. Clean and dry the skin before use, ensuring the targeted area is free from creams and oils.
  3. Remove the release liner, avoiding touching the adhesive side.
  4. Apply the plaster with the embedded salicylic acid disc centrally over the wart, ensuring the edges are well smoothed down.
  5. Leave in place until it starts to detach. After maximum 48 hours, remove the plaster.
  6. Soak the affected area in warm water for 5 minutes before removing loosened skin.
  7. Repeat this procedure as necessary for up to 12 weeks.

Be careful when using Salvequick’s Wart Plaster

Do not use Salvequick’s Wart Plaster if you are diabetic or hypersensitive to salicylic acid or suffer from poor blood circulation. Pregnant women and children: only use with doctor approval. Skin damage will occur if healthy skin come in contact with salicylic acid. Protective plaster contains 0,4 g/g (40%) salicylic acid. Dispose the plaster inmediately and carefully after usage, without any contact with healthy skin, to prevent the spreading of infections.

Are warts contagious?

Yes, further up in the article you can read about the HPV virus that causes warts. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent skin warts:

  • Wear slippers and do not walk barefoot in locker rooms, public showers, pool areas or other moist public areas.
  • Prevent dry and cracked skin.
  • Clean and cover cuts and scrapes.
  • Avoid sharing or borrowing towels, shoes, nail clippers, razors, nail files or other personal items.
  • Clean the gym equipment before use if you work out at a gym.
  • Do not pick or scratch your own or others’ warts.
  • Do not use the same pumice stone or file on warts as on healthy skin.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, especially if you have been in contact with someone who has warts.
  • If you already have a wart, you can prevent it from spreading by covering it, for example with Salvequick’s wart plaster or a bandage, change socks daily and keep your feet clean and dry.

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