Warts are a skin growth caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is divided into two groups: ones affecting the skin and ones that affect the genitals and respiratory tract. While this may sound frightening, you shouldn’t be alarmed, as most types of HPV are not dangerous. HPV stimulates the growth of skin which results in unappealing and irksome but mostly benign warts.
HPV generally enters your organism via contact with an infected person, or an object handled by one. Poor hygiene, open cuts, and weakened immune system all increase the chances of wart growth. Because of this, warts are more common among children, due to their higher propensity to have physical contact or just touch things.
There are three categories of wart in general.
1. Plantar Warts
Appear on the sole of the foot (or on hands in which case they are called palmar warts). They are fairly common, especially with children, and are characterized by yellow or brown color and small black spots – clotted blood vessels. While they can cause irritation and some minor pain depending on location, contrary to popular belief they are not malignant.
2. Flat Warts
Also known as juvenile warts (once again due to the most common victim), they can be yellow, brown and or pink, round or oval-shaped, and more or less the size of a pinhead. They are smooth (hence the name), painless, and commonly found on a person’s face, legs or hands. Typically, they appear around cut and scratches, and they tend to develop in clusters of 20 to 200. Like the plantar warts, they are not malignant.
3. Genital Warts
Flesh-colored, pink or red genital warts appear in the pubic area, on the genitalia, in the vagina or in or around the anus. They are transmitted through sexual intercourse, and in some cases can cause cervical cancer.
Types of Treatment
First, you should be aware that removal is not necessary, especially when considering the fact that most warts on leg are not dangerous. Warts are temporary skin formations that will probably disappear by themselves. This can happen after a couple of months or within two years. Throughout our lives, most of us will have them at one point or another.
However, due to the contagious nature of HPV, you may opt for removing the wart in order to avoid spreading them across your or someone else’s body. Having said that, you should also be aware that warts can recur even after treatment, so persistence is the key to success. Depending on your circumstances, you may choose to consult the doctor (necessary in the case of genital warts!) or you may elect to combat them by yourself.
Home Remedies for Wart on Leg – Best Way to Remove Warts Naturally
None of these methods are 100% reliable and they are mostly suggested for single warts and not clusters. Most importantly, consult your dermatologist before trying them.
Home remedies 101, some people swear by the almighty duct tape. By some accounts, wearing the tape for a week or so and then gently brushing the wart with an emery board should do the trick after a couple of months. In any case, if you have the time, and your doctor approves it, you may well give duct tape a go.
Apple cider vinegar
Another home remedy, apple cider vinegar may have better chances of getting the job done, but, know that applying it on the wart may cause chemical burns and lead to scaring.
Consulting a medical professional is always the best way to go. While the following methods have a much better likelihood of helping you, not even they are always 100% effective.
Never use ice cubes if you are going to try this at home but only over-the-counter sprays specially designed for it. This can be a painful method because it needs to be applied long term to create blisters on and around the wart, they may become dead cells and fall off. There is also a chance that the spray may not reach deep enough to be successful. A better option would be to go to your doctor who has access to liquid nitrogen and can use it to much better effect.
Another over-the-counter wart treatment, it comes in the form of gel, ointment, and patches. The acid dissolves the wart over the course of several weeks, enabling you to peel it off one layer at a time. A downside of this method is it has to be applied regularly and may sting a little.
This method resembles cryotherapy in so much that your doctor applies a chemical derived from blister beetles on your skin in order to form blisters that will in time separate the wart from the skin. Like cryotherapy, it can be painful and also in some cases cause scarring.
They can be directly injected into the wart in order to kill the virus (bleomycin) or applied on the wart (imiquimod) in the form of ointment to bolster your immune system and fight off the HPV.
Last ditch effort when all other therapies have failed. Wart is either removed by laser surgery that burns the wart tissue or physically removed and has its base destroyed by way of an electric needle or cryotherapy.
The best way to combat an ailment is to avoid getting it in the first place. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it sounds. In the case of warts, the lion’s share of prevention falls on the already affected. In order to protect others and yourself from spreading the HPV further you must do the following:
- As stated above, refrain from physical contact with others and objects that they may use.
- Avoid scratching and picking at warts, as that only increases the likelihood of spreading them across your body.
- If the wart on your leg is in an exposed area, consider putting a bandage over it.
- Always wash your hands after touching a wart.
While any types of wart on leg can be a nuisance, they are not dangerous and no threat to your health. If you wish to remove them, you should start with some non-invasive procedures like gels and ointments. If they prove ineffective then you can consider other options.