Skin diseases are the most embarrassing conditions that you can have. They curtail your outdoor activities and interaction with people. Today, we will look into skin warts and the stages of wart removal using salicylic acid.
What Are Skin Warts?
Warts are skin growths that develop on the skin and in different parts of the body. They take various forms and are caused by the human papillomavirus. Though they are contagious, they are not cancerous. Again, skin warts can attack any person despite age.
Types Of Skin Warts
1. Common Warts
These are tiny skin growths that appear at the back of your fingers, hands, and feet.
2. Plantar Warts
They manifest on your ankles and soles of your feet. Plantar warts grow inside the feet.
3. Mosaic Warts
They manifest under the toes and balls of the feet and sometimes spread to the entire sole of the feet.
4. Filiform Warts
They are brush-like tiny spikes that are common on the face.
5. Flat Warts
They are slightly raised patches that are common on the face and arms.
Difference Between Skin Tags And Warts
Skin tags are smooth dangling skin balls that protrude from the skin, attached by a string like skin pedestal. They mostly appear on the neck, back, and armpit. Warts, on the other hand, are hard lumps that manifest on the hands, feet, and knees. Whereas tags build up after friction, warts come from a virus.
Does Salicylic Acid Works For Warts?
Generally, skin warts do not need treatment. They disappear on their own after a while. But due to their irritability nature of warts, people try to get rid of them faster. The most common type of treatment is salicylic acid. It works well on the skin, but the virus can become dormant in the skin and resurface later.
[Also Read: Skin Allergy Tests Preparation and Procedure]
Wart Removal At Home Using Salicylic Acid
There are general guidelines on how to remove warts at home by using salicylic acid. We will mention them before we go into the specific details of salicylic products use.
- First, the affected area should be clean. The advisable method is cleaning using warm water. Soak the area for about 10 minutes. The moisture softens the skin.
- When the skin becomes tender, file the skin wart surface using a rough surface object. The most common are nail files, pumice stones, or emery boards. The filing removes the dead rough skin and opens the warts outer surface. It is advisable to seclude the filing items. The virus can easily infect another person who uses it.
- When the filing is over, you can apply the salicylic acid on the skin wart surface. There are three types of salicylic acid products which you can use. The salicylic acid ointment is commonly effective in wart removal. Apply a thin film layer on the wart and bandage it with duct tape or corn removal bandage. The salicylic solution is liquid and should not touch other unaffected areas. Be careful when wrapping it. Remember to apply salicylic acid when you are going to sleep. In the morning, remove the dry acid residue using a file or pumice stone. The last is the salicylic acid warts pad removal. After the sterilization and filing, apply the pad on the skin wart surface. Leave it for about two days then remove it. Soak the pad in warm water before removing it.
Wash your hands with warm soapy water after every contact with salicylic acid. Removing warts at home by using salicylic acid should be routine and straightforward. Repeat the procedure every night until warts disappear. The acid may cause the skin to discolor to a dark complexion, but that is normal. However, discontinue, when sores, discomfort, and irritation appears. Consult a dermatologist if salicylic acid does not work on warts after 12 weeks.
Stages Of Wart Removal Using Salicylic Acid
Wart removal usually isn’t very painful but is uncomfortable. Sometimes we find ourselves counting the days until the sore is finally gone. Learn the different wart healing stages so we can track our progress.
1. Redness And Swelling
Whether you use salicylic acid or cryotherapy, the first stage of wart removal generally involves redness and swelling. This is because the virus in the skin is irritated by the applied treatment. The wart will occasionally swell up to twice its size or more depending on the type of treatment used. During this stage, you may experience a mild stinging to dull throbbing pain. Don’t worry, the pain won’t last long and will go away about the time the wart dies.
[Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Red Spots On Skin]
2. Turns Black And Dry
Your wart will start to turn black and look very dry. At this stage, the skin that contains the virus starts to die. Once the wart is completely black, your pain is almost completely gone except for some mild irritation in the surrounding area.
The dead skin tissue on the wart will start to slough off.
3. Completely Healed
Keep using salicylic acid wart removal treatment as directed until the wart has completely fallen off. If you stop treatment in between, you may experience regrowth and have to start over.
If salicylic acid is not working for your warts, then you can try other available options. Cryotherapy is the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze away the wart. The doctor sprays the affected area until the wart disappears. Surgical removal using electric currents and laserjets are also frequent. A doctor can also introduce the substance cantharidin to initiate a blister under the wart. The blister eventually pushes the wart to fall from the skin. Some doctors may use a surgical knife to cut out the wart.
Prescription medication is also a way of treating warts. If salicylic acid is not working on your warts, a prescription may come in handy. There are immunotherapy prescriptions that work well on warts. You should apply these medicated creams directly on warts. It helps the body immune system to fight back the skin warts. Medical injections have been used when salicylic acid is not working for warts. The physician injects an immune triggering medication into the body. The medication triggers the immune cells to defend the body against warts.
The body immune system can equally fight the skin warts after a period. It is the irritation and discomfort that leads people to seek treatment. The stages of wart removal using salicylic acid are simple if you follow them in detail. But if salicylic acid does not work for your warts, seek medical advice.
Doctor, author and fitness enthusiast, Ahmed Zayed, MD, is a surgery resident with a passion for helping people live a happy healthy life. He is the author of numerous health-related books and contributor to several medicine, health and wellbeing websites.