Warts are an infectious disease of low infectivity caused by a virus. They may occur anywhere on the body but are frequently seen on the hands, feet, and face (areas of frequent contact). Warts may be named by their location and appearance.
On the soles of the feet they are called planter warts. Around and under the fingernails or toenails they are periungual or subungual warts, respectively. Common warts on the hands, arms, legs, and elsewhere are verrucae vulgaris but often just called common warts. Numerous very small smooth flat warts (pinhead size) often seen in large numbers on children’s faces, foreheads, arms and legs are called verrucae planae juveniles. These are seen less often in adolescents and seldom in adults.
The typical wart is a rough round or oval raised lump on the skin that may be lighter or darker than the surrounding normal skin, skin colored or even (rarely) black. Most parents are familiar with the look of a typical wart and have little trouble in diagnosing the condition. Warts with a smooth surface and the small flat warts in children may cause some difficulty in diagnosis for the average parent. Common warts cause no discomfort unless they are in areas of repeated trauma.
Plantar warts are no different than the common wart but, because of their location on the soles of the feet, they tend to be deeper and can become painful. Large numbers of planter warts on the foot may cause difficulty running and walking and can be debilitating.
Warts around and under the fingernail are similar to the common wart but much more difficult to cure.
The common wart may disappear spontaneously, often within 2 years of its appearance. Because people generally consider warts unsightly and there appears to be a social stigma (among school children) associated with having warts, parents often seek treatment. Treatment of warts has improved significantly in the last 10 years but even with effective treatment recurrence is not uncommon.
Recommendations for Warts
Thuja (Thuja occidentalis)
Thuja internally and topically may help dramatically. A typical dose is 10 drops of tincture bid taken orally.
Crush a clove of garlic, apply to wart, tape in place for 24 hours. The wart may blister and fall off in a week.
Another formula that may work is called GOOT (Garlic Oil Ointment). This is made by combining 1Tbsp of fresh chopped / mashed garlic cloves, 3Tbsp of coconut oil and 1Tbsp of olive oil. The mixture is placed in a small jar and refrigerated while being used. The olive oil is added to keep the mixture soft while refrigerated – otherwise with coconut oil alone, it would be a solid at cold temperatures. Shelf life is about one month. Apply the mixture generously daily.
Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract has been reported to help.
Grapefruit / Citrus Seed Extract
Grapefruit or citrus seed extract has been reported to help.
Ozone / Oxidative Therapy
Food grade hydrogen peroxide (36%) can be applied directly to the wart with a Q Tip, while being very careful not to contact normal skin. Continue applying twice per day until the wart becomes white and the surrounding skin becomes somewhat white. After a few days to two or three weeks, depending on location, it will start to blacken. Continue applying until wart falls off. Any skin damage to normal skin is temporary. Hydrogen peroxide is dangerous around children, who may consume it or get it in their eyes.
A small study published recently compared the effectiveness of applying duct tape to the common wart to a traditional series of cryotherapy treatments. Study participants were from 3 to 22 years old, suggesting that the treatment could work for adults of all ages. The patients received either a maximum of 6 cryotherapy treatments every 2 to 3 weeks, or 2 months of duct tape therapy.
Duct tape therapy consisted of the applying a piece of duct tape about the same size as the wart and leaving it on for 6 days. During that time, another piece is applied if the previous one falls off. After 6 days, soak the wart in water and rub it with a pumice stone or emery board. Apply a new piece of tape the next morning to start the six-day cycle over again. Continue this process until the wart is gone.
Of those who received duct tape therapy, 85% of patients were able to rid themselves of the warts, compared to 60% of those who received cryotherapy. [Arc Ped Adol Med October 2002;156: pp.971-974]
However, researchers from Maastricht University on Monday (November 6, 2006) wrote in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine that duct tape does not work any better than doing nothing to cure warts in schoolchildren.
Blister Beetle Extract, a prescription item used topically in a doctor’s office, has been successful for eliminating warts when other methods have sometimes failed.
Dry ice can be substituted for liquid nitrogen when freezing warts for removal.
Vitamin A ( a water-soluble kind only) taken orally at 100,000IU /day for a month, then 50,000IU/day for 1 month, then 25,000IUK/day may cause warts to disappear. Vitamin A helps normalize cell resistance and assists the immune system. Do not take over 10,000IU/day if there is any chance of pregnancy.
Vitamin B Complex
B complex 50mg tid can help normalize cell multiplication.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vit C 4-10gms per day for an antiviral action.
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
Any of a vast group of minute structures composed of a protein coat and a core of DNA and/or RNA that reproduces in the cells of the infected host. Capable of infecting all animals and plants, causing devastating disease in immunocompromised individuals. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics, and are completely dependent upon the cells of the infected host for the ability to reproduce.