A weakened immune system favors warts: this can help
Quite a few people have recurrent warts. Although the growths on the skin usually do not cause pain or discomfort if they do not appear in places that cause friction, most are ashamed and find warts uncomfortable. Viruses are responsible for the development, but other factors are also responsible.
How do warts develop on the skin?
Warts are caused by viruses, the so-called human papilloma viruses (HPV). There are about 150 subspecies, about 10 of which cause warts. Due to contact or smear infection of the skin, only the top layer of skin is affected. By multiplying in the cell nuclei, the virus is also transmitted to the lower skin cell layers. The period between infection and the onset of warts can be weeks to months.
Affected people very often become infected in swimming pools, in which an already infected person can easily distribute the viruses. Professor Ulrike Wieland from the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology reports: “A swimming pool visitor with a nipple takes a shower, moves barefoot on the edge of the pool, and sits down on the bench. His viruses stick everywhere on the anti-slip, rough floors. The next visitor enters. If the skin has a fine crack on the sole of the foot, then it has infected itself in an instant. ”In addition to minor skin injuries, the skin is also at risk where it has already been damaged by eczema or a fungal infection.
A wart on the feet is often particularly uncomfortable because the entire body weight presses against it. “It grows inwards and forms a thorn-shaped extension. It can reach into the adipose tissue and cause pain, ”explains Professor Gerd Gross, a dermatologist at the Rostock University Hospital.
Warts can occasionally appear on the skin or in beds. The most common types of warts include vulgar warts, also known as “common warts”, genital warts, sole warts, flat warts, brush warts and age warts.
Therapy for warts in conventional medicine Warts are harmless and sometimes even disappear on their own. However, this requires a lot of patience in many people due to their low immune defenses. "Your immune system only recognizes it after a delay of different lengths," reports Gross. Inflammation develops after months or years, which can cause the wart to heal.
A visit to a specialist is still advisable to rule out other skin diseases. If those affected do not want to wait until the wart disappears on their own, which is not always the case, the specialist will usually prescribe therapy with salicylic or lactic acid to soften and remove the large proportion of horny tissue in the wart. Wart plasters have a similar principle of action. Ursula Sellerberg from the Federal Association of German Pharmacy Associations in Berlin explains: "The surrounding skin should be protected by applying zinc paste or petroleum jelly".
After three days of treatment with the softening agent, Professor Gross recommends daily foot baths in an antiseptic solution or in salt water. If this is used over two to four weeks, the wart sometimes disappears on its own. If this is not the case, the wart can be surgically removed by the specialist. Other therapies include cold and laser therapies or treatment with an immunomodulator. The complete removal of the wart is in the foreground, because “residues” of infected tissue can form dangerous nodules and cysts at depth.
Fighting warts with home remedies and naturopathic treatments
There are many herbal home remedies that can be used to fight warts. This includes, for example, castor oil. The affected skin areas on the face and hands should be rubbed with the oil several times a day so that the warts slowly recede and disappear.
Another home remedy for warts is the juice of the celandine leaf. If you rub the washed leaves with stems between your fingers and rub the affected areas of skin with them, the goods should also recede. Even a homemade cream made from 10 ml celandine urinkink from the pharmacy and 100g of conventional, well-tolerated skin cream can work against the warts when used three times a day.
Spurge, naturally pure tea tree oil, Swedish bitter toppers and calendula ointment are also considered home remedies to combat warts. In homeopathy, Antimonium crudum can be used for broad horny warts that appear on the soles of the feet and are accompanied by calluses.
Preventing warts Since the development of warts is triggered by a virus, preventive measures can only be taken to a limited extent. Human papilloma viruses are so resistant that they can hardly be eliminated with the usual disinfectants. This is why experts advise you to take your own precautions in particularly vulnerable places, such as swimming pools. This includes wearing slippers and using your own towels, which are washed at 90 degrees after visiting the bath or sauna. (sb)