How to Remove HPV Warts

Have you ever wondered how to remove HPV warts? Common warts are found on all parts of the body and affect millions of people each year. Although most types are not dangerous, they can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Because they are caused by a virus, warts are also generally considered to be contagious.

HPV warts

The best way to stop warts from spreading to others, or to other parts of your body, is to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Most warts will disappear on their own within a few months, but some warts last for years and it is common for them to reoccur after they have disappeared. The first step to removing and preventing HPV warts is to understand what they are and how they work. Here are a few basic facts you should know before attempting to remove HPV warts.

What are HPV Warts and Where are they Commonly Found?

The term “HPV warts” encompasses a number of types of generally benign skin growths that are caused by the human papilloma visus (HPV). There are five main types of warts.
- Common warts appear as rough, raised bumps and can occur on any part of the body.
- Flat warts are small, smooth and flat. They are most commonly found on the neck, face, hands, knees and wrists.
- Filiform warts are small and threadlike, and are usually found on the delicate skin of the face, especially around the eyes and mouth.
- Plantar warts often have a cauliflower-like appearance and are commonly found on the feet. They have a hard keratin layer and may contain small black specks. Some can cause pain or discomfort.
- Genital warts are found on the human genitalia, are quite contagious and have been linked to the development of cervical cancer in women. If you think you may have genital warts, you should see a doctor immediately.

What Causes HPV Warts?

All types of warts are caused by a viral infection on the surface of the skin. Although there are more than 130 strains of the human papilloma virus, most are only able to affect one or two specific areas of the body. This means that while warts are contagious, it is unlikely that the virus will be transmitted to the right part of the body to cause a problem. The one exception to this is genital warts, which are commonly transferred through sexual activity. All types of warts are most prevalent in children, adolescents and those with compromised immune systems.

Medical Treatment Options

A number of doctor-administered treatments have been developed to help people get rid of warts. The most common HPV warts treatment is called cryotherapy and involves the removal of the wart by chemically “freezing” it off. Cryotherapy has a 60-70% success rate, similar to that of over-the-counter and home treatment methods. An HPV vaccine has also been made available in recent years. It prevents infections caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. These are the types most commonly linked to genital warts and cervical cancer. Unfortunately, no vaccine has yet been developed to prevent other types of warts.

Treating HPV Warts at Home

There are a number of home treatment options that have proven to be as effective as cryotherapy when it comes to wart removal. Learning how to remove HPV warts at home is relatively easy and requires only a few supplies. The most common method is to use an over-the-counter treatment that contains salicylic acid. Following the instructions on the package, you can get rid of your warts in just a few easy steps.

  1. Soak the wart. Allow it to sit in warm water for 10-20 minutes, until it has begun to soften.

  2. Remove the wart’s hard, outer layer. If your wart is a type that has a hard coating, such as a plantar wart, carefully shave the coating off with a pumice stone or a clean razor.

  3. Apply the salicylic acid. Make sure the area surrounding the wart is completely dry, then follow the instructions on the package. Different products have different strengths and it is important that you do not allow it to sit for too long.

  4. Be careful! Never use salicylic acid to treat genital warts or warts around the eyes, nose or mouth. If you have any questions or your warts fail to disappear, you should talk to a doctor.