Did you know that most people will develop at least one common wart over the course of their lives? These stubborn little annoyances often appear to be harmless but, in actuality, they represent an infection within the top layer of the dermis (the skin). Derived from various strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), common warts are highly contagious. They most often appear on the hands, but you just might encounter them anywhere on the human body, including on the face and neck.
The infection of HPV strains relevant to common warts only has one requirement: An “access point” somewhere on the body. This can be a cut or scrape, sure, but you can also develop common warts simply by making bare-flesh contact with someone who has them; at the microscopic level, the virus can still find its way beneath the dermis. It’s hard to determine just where you may have contracted the strain of HPV; most folks who notice that they have a common wart do so months or longer after the interaction occurred that introduced HPV to their body.
What are common warts?
Common warts appear most often on the hands, but they may appear anywhere on the body.
What Do Common Warts Look Like?
Typically, common warts resemble small bumps of flesh. They may be flesh-coloured, pink or tan in appearance, often with small black pinpoint markings that indicate clotted blood vessels (this is normal). Common warts are also rougher in texture compared to the surrounding dermis, often with a grainier feel. This texture is typically the first thing an individual will notice when discovering that they have a wart.
Are Common Warts Dangerous?
Not usually. If you have a common wart, it’s more than likely not going to be anything more than a visual annoyance. There are rare exceptions where specific strains of HPV can lead to cancers and other health issues, but the risk is typically lower for common warts compared to genital warts, the latter of which should be immediately addressed by an experienced healthcare professional if you have any given the danger they may present.
How do I know I have them?
Commonly diagnosed through visual inspection:
- They are typically rough, gray-brown, dome-shaped growths.
- They may have a cauliflower-like appearance.
- Typically the size of a pencil eraser or smaller.
How do you get them?
Like all warts, common warts are easily spread by direct contact with the human papillomavirus. Most people infect themselves again by touching the wart and then touching another part of their body. You can infect yourself or others by sharing towels, razors, or other personal items. After you’ve been infected with HPV, it can sometimes take many months of slow growth beneath the skin before you notice a wart.
How Do I Get My Common Warts Diagnosed?
Your podiatrist or dermatologist can perform a careful inspection and make an accurate diagnosis with ease; common warts are pretty easy to identify. There are some cases when a biopsy may be required to confirm the presence of a common wart, but such instances are rare.
How Long Does it Take for Common Warts to Grow?
This is the tricky part about figuring out when you may have come into contact with HPV – common warts can take upwards of several months or more to become visible on the skin’s surface, and even then, they’re often subtle at first. This is due to the incubation process associated with the specific HPV strain that you have contracted; some take longer than others to grow to the point of a wart appearing.
What should I do next?
If the common wart is located on the lower extremities (Leg, Foot or Ankle), then you should see a podiatrist. If the common wart is located above the leg, then a dermatologist is recommended. We believe that Swift is the most effective and patient friendly treatment modality for common warts and would suggest visiting a clinic where this treatment is available. Find your nearest Swift Treatment facility via the Swift Clinic Locator.
What treatment options are available?
There are a range of treatment options available to patients with common warts, however effectiveness varies significantly. Options can vary from home remedies to surgical excision, however the two most common clinical approaches used in the United States for common warts are: Destruction and more recently Immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy options appropriate for common warts now available include: Swift Microwave Therapy.
What is the most effective treatment method?
Historically, destructive methods have been the most common form of treatment, however they have proven largely ineffective as they are designed to eliminate signs and symptoms vs treating the root cause of the wart, the HPV virus. It is for this reason that Swift Microwave Therapy was developed, which we feel is the most effective method for common wart treatment as it stimulates the body to target the HPV virus itself. It should be noted that cryotherapy and salicylic acid are typically more effective on common warts (roughly 50%) vs plantar warts (14-33%), however still significantly less effective than Swift (75.9%+).
What About Treatment?
The most effective, proven way to eliminate common warts while removing any risk of HPV transmission is microwave therapy, such as with the Swift system. Other treatment methods are typically outdated and aren’t nearly as reliable. Therefore, immunotherapy with Swift is the most appropriate and dependable way to say goodbye to your common warts without any unwanted side effects. In fact, traditional forms of treatment such as cryotherapy and salicylic acid offer only a roughly 50-percent effectiveness rate, while Swift offers more than 75.9 percent.
How Does Swift Work?
Swift acts as a booster shot or alarm of sorts, alerting your natural immune system to the presence of HPV pathogens. This is achieved in a non-invasive and completely safe manner via a disposable, single-use applicator tip that induces microwave therapy, carefully heating the infected area and drawing the attention of antibodies naturally present within the dermis. As a result, your body does the hard work, eliminating the presence – and visual appearance – of common warts as time goes on.
Are There Any Dangers of Using Swift?
None whatsoever. After a myriad of tests and years of practical, real-world clinical administration of the treatment by healthcare professionals, Swift has been found to be much safer and provide no hindering after-effects. In fact, Swift is even safer for healthcare professionals themselves due to the vastly reduced risk of HPV transmission thanks to the disposable applicator tips factored into the system’s design.
What if I Can’t Find a Local Healthcare Professional Who Offers Swift?
Your best bet is to use our Clinic Locator tool online, which will show you the closest dermatologist or other experienced medical practitioner who offers Swift. If you don’t see anyone close enough nearby, be sure to check back regularly – more than ever are discovering the benefits of choosing Swift and we consistently update with new additions. Otherwise, contact us today for further details on how Swift may be the ideal solution for treating your condition.