Warts are contagious skin tumors, bumps, or growths that are most commonly found on hands and feet. They typically disappear after a few months, but can last a lifetime, and can also recur. Certain types of warts, depending on location and cause, can be contagious from body region to body region, but are not transferable between species (so don’t worry about touching a frog).
Warts can occur singly or in clusters. Their appearance and size varies tremendously depending on where they erupt on the body and the degree of irritation or trauma they receive through daily wear of the skin and clothes. Warts often disappear on their own, without any treatment, within several months. However, in some individuals, they may continue for years or reoccur on the same or different parts of the body.
Of the many types of warts, the most common wart is the Verrucae vulgaris. It presents as a welldefined, roughsurfaced, round or irregular growth that is light gray, brown, grayishblack, or yellow. It is usually firm to the touch, and most commonly appears on the knees, elbows, fingers, face, and scalp.
Periungual warts occur around the nail beds. Plantar warts occur on the sole of the foot, are very common, and often appear flattened due to the pressure of walking on them. When several plantar warts are close together, they appear as plaquelike and are called mosaic warts. Pedunculated warts are stalklike and are common with age. They most commonly occur around the neck, chest, face, scalp, and armpits. Genital warts appear on or around the genitalia and are highly contagious. For more information about genital warts, see Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Natural healing of warts may require one to two months of care, with the wart disappearing suddenly in one to three days.
Causes of Warts
- Warts can be caused by any of 35 viruses. The viruses usually take hold because of poor diet and nutrition.
- Poor hygiene is sometimes implicated in having warts, and the viruses are somewhat contagious.
- You can test for the microscopic warts by putting vinegar over an area and watching for white spots. This is useful for spotting tiny genital warts, which can actually exist anywhere in the pelvic region.
- Many health care practitioners believe that warts can be caused by stress.
- Warts also become more common with the diminished immune function that corresponds to aging.
- Warts and moles also are thought to be the effect of potassium deficiency. Melons are the foods highest in potassium.
Treatments for Warts
- Useful homeopathic remedies for warts include: Thuja, Causticum, Calcium carbonate, Ruta Graveolens, and Graphites.
- A topical application to the wart of the milky latex from a dandelion stem each morning and night can be helpful.
- Lemon essential oil applied topically can speed healing, as can grapefruit seed extract applied directly on the wart. Drinking water with a few drops of these extract helps kill the virus from inside. Have a chaser ready—they taste awful!
- Thuja oil is also effective for dealing with warts.
- Another topical recipe for treatment is a solution of garlic oil, vitamin E, castor oil, and zinc oxide cream.
- Try applying these oils or solutions to a piece of cotton covering the wart.
- Apple cider vinegar is recommended both topically and internally, but if you are guarding against Candida infection, be aware that vinegar is fermented and could exacerbate Candida.
Dietary changes also can help resolve warts. An organic, wholefoods diet, emphasizing foods high in vitamin A (such as dark green and yellow vegetables, coldwater fish, and eggs) and sulfur (such as onions, garlic, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli) can be helpful. Avoid all refined and processed foods, sugar, unhealthy fats, excess animal proteins, and milk and dairy products. Recommended nutrients include vitamin A, betacarotene, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, garlic capsules, and L