Have you ever had a flat wart? These small, flat blemishes are relatively common in people of all ages. Although they are not generally considered dangerous, they are contagious and can be transferred both to other people and to other parts of the body. Left alone, flat warts will usually disappear within a few months. In extreme cases, however, they can last for years and they may return once they have disappeared.
If you are wondering how to remove these flat blemishes, however, you may be in luck. By understanding how they form and what they look like, you can identify them much more quickly. By following the simple steps below, you should have no problem getting rid of them for good.
Flat warts, like all types of warts, are viral infections that form on the surface of the skin. The virus responsible is called the human papilloma virus (HPV). Although HPV is blamed for all types of warts, only a few strains of the virus can cause the flat type of warts. HPV types 3, 10, 28 and 49 are the strains usually responsible for a flat wart.
Although people of all ages are prone to HPV infections, flat warts are most common in children and adolescents. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as juvenile warts. This does not mean, however, that adults are immune to these tiny skin growths. Adults with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible and even healthy adults have been known to develop them.
Different strains of the human papilloma virus behave in different ways. Different strains cause different types of warts and most strains are only capable of infecting certain parts of the body. The strains responsible for a flat wart usually strike on the face, neck, wrists, hands and knees. The warts themselves have a smooth, flat appearance and are usually no larger than the head of a pin. Then tend to grow in groups, however, and a single strain of HPV can cultivate a group of dozens or even hundreds of flat, pinhead warts. The virus tends to take hold in broken skin. Warts are commonly found in scratches, cuts and patches of razor burn. Flat warts are usually pale in color, ranging from white to brown to fleshy pink. Although potentially embarrassing and occasionally uncomfortable, they are medically benign.
There are a number of options available for flat warts treatment. Because they tend to grow in large colonies, however, they can pose a challenge to some traditional treatment methods. While some warts, for example, can be starved by encasement in waterproof tape, it is very difficult to cover an entire colony of warts.
Additionally, treatments that must be applied with a patch or covered by a bandage may not be suitable to use on the face. If your outbreak is right next to your eyes or mouth, over-the-counter treatments such as salicylic acid ointments or aerosol freeze sprays may be dangerous. In these cases, you should speak to your doctor if you want to have your warts removed. A doctor can safely use cryotherapy to freeze the warts without the risk of damaging your eyes or the delicate flesh of your face.
If your warts are not immediately next to your eyes or mouth, however, you should have no problem using one of the following over-the-counter wart treatments.
Clean the area around the wart.This is particularly important if the product you bought uses patches or bandages.
Apply the salicylic acid. Make sure to read the package instructions carefully and to follow them to the letter. Different products contain different concentrations of acid and it can be dangerous to leave some of them on for too long.
Repeat as necessary. Salicylic acid is 60-70% effective, but it sometimes takes more than one try to get rid of all the warts.
Find a moisture treatment product specific to this type of wart. Most come in the form of a pad that must be applied for 48 hours at a time. Once water has saturated the skin, it will cause the wart, and the infected skin surrounding it, to peel off.
Apply the moisture pad according to the package instructions.
Be patient.Treatment can take anywhere from several months to a year before it is successful. Understanding how to remove flat warts means understanding that it may take time.