A Cure for Warts

Fr. Joel Life on Planet Earth

I have to first admit that there is no quick and easy cure for warts. A dermatologist explained: “We have a number of different treatments for warts, and that tells you that none of them are particularly effective. Because if one were particularly effective we would just use that one all the time.”

Warts are a virus that infects the surface of the skin. It turns skin cells into something nasty. The body’s immune system can fight viruses, but warts are good at tricking the body into ignoring them. Several years ago I contracted a single on the bottom of my left foot. These are known as “plantar warts.” Since the skin is extra thick there, warts can grow extra deep. I didn’t know what to do, so I mostly ignored it and hoped it would go away. Periodically I would buy some treatment off a drug store shelf. The warts always came back. I went back to ignoring them. Eventually the wart spread to more sites on my foot and then to the fingers of one hand. I finally broke down and visited a family doctor and then a dermatologist. I expected that he would numb me up and cut the warts out and they would be gone. Cured.

The dermatologist told me that cutting the warts isn’t 100% guaranteed and it leaves scar tissue. When he was a young boy, a doctor cut out his warts and left him literally scarred for life. He preferred to try slower methods that didn’t leave scar tissue. And try we did. Every month I came in for various different things: canthera, lasers, a topical cream. For months I saw no results. “How are your warts?”, the nurse always asked. “They’re doing great!” Every time the treatment looked effective but, just like before, the warts would bounce right back.

Than after more than a year of treatments they started to look more shallow. A few warts disappeared here or there. Then one day a whole bunch of them never came back. It took me several more months to eradicate the last remaining warts. I am now proudly wart-free. Cured.

What I learned was not to let the warts put down roots. Every day you ignore them, they make it harder to remove them. So don’t delay; start today. And you can start at home. Before going to bed at night put a little apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball and tape it to the wart (or you can use a bandaid and wet the pad). In the morning remove the bandaid. Treat it every night.

Some warts respond immediately and die within a couple weeks. You can accelerate the process by keeping duct tape on the wart during the day. I didn’t find duct tape to be effective at killing warts. But when the warts are knocked down duct tape hampers them growing back. Other warts resist very well. If you have a deep wart, you will also want to contact a doctor or dermatologist for help. But don’t wait for the appointment to start treating the warts.

Warts are curable. But there is no quick and easy cure. They require vigilance, persistence, and tenacity. You have to be more stubborn than the wart. Stubbornness is the secret cure for warts.