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The Cause and Elimination of Warts

Remember when you were a kid and the older kids told you that if a frog peed on you, it would cause warts? Well, the older kids were wrong. You didn't get warts from frog urine, but you might have gotten them from the older kids who were taunting you. That's because the virus that causes warts is easily passed from person to person. There are 60 subtypes of the human papilloma virus that live on the skin that can cause warts.

When it comes to getting rid of these unsightly warts, you might take the advice of Mark Twain's character, Tom Sawyer. Tom always had an answer for everything, and removing warts was no exception. According to Tom, there are two sure-fire methods of wart removal - one can rub the wart with a potato, or one can "swing a dead cat over your head and then bury it." Actually, Tom was right. Either method is just as effective as doing nothing, because most warts disappear all by themselves over time.

If you don't want to wait for the wart to simply go away, there are some things that you can do to hurry the process along.

1. Use acid: Not battery acid, of course, but a combination of salicylic acid and lactic acid that your doctor can prescribe. You put the acid solution onto the sticky side of a plaster bandage and put the bandage over the wart, or you just drip the solution onto the wart.

2. Freeze them: Your doctor can use liquid nitrogen to freeze a wart. Freezing is successful about 80% of the time.

3. Burn them: Your doctor also has the option of burning the wart and then vaporizing it. This is called cauterization. A local anesthetic is used, so there isn't any pain involved.

If you decide to wait for the problem to resolve itself, you could be in for a long wait. If the wart is painful, or if it is in an embarrassing location, have it removed.


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