Skin Conditions | April 12, 2017 | Author: Naturopath
Warts are viral skin lesions that are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). And although frogs and toads carry other nasties, they don’t carry this virus—proving this popular myth to be false.
Interestingly, there are over 100 known subtypes of HPV causing warts to occur anywhere on the body—most commonly on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. Many people with warts choose not to treat them because traditional treatments are often more unpleasant than the wart itself. There are many safe alternatives that offer a gentle approach with long-lasting results.
The symptoms can vary depending on the wart type but can include:
Some of the types of warts caused by HPV include:
Things that increase your risk include:
Placing duct tape over your warts has actually been shown to be more effective than freezing them.
In one study the majority of warts treated with duct tape were gone within 28 days! Researchers say that the duct tape therapy might work by stimulating the patient’s immune system. Additionally, it is a far less frightening option that is safe for children.
For treatment, cover the wart with silver duct tape for six days then remove the tape and soak the wart in water gently removing dead tissue. Leave the wart exposed for 12 hours and repeat the process until you're wart free!
Banana peel and garlic are natural foods that have been shown to be effective in treating plantar, flat and common warts. You can make your own banana peel or garlic patch to place on the wart before going to bed. Cut a piece of banana peel or apply a thin layer of olive oil and a slice of garlic and tape it in place. Repeat each night for up to three weeks. Banana peel is a natural source of salicylic acid while garlic has anti-viral properties.
One study found that four weeks of applying garlic oil resulted in complete removal of warts in 96% of the participants with no re-occurrence.
Being viral in nature, warts are a sign of a compromised immune system. Naturopathic treatment aims to boost the immune system and fight off the virus with specific herbals medicines. For best results they can be taken internally and applied topically and are safe for use in children in a reduced dose.
Echinacea can help to support the immune system and fight off viruses. A similar herb to this called cats claw can also be taken for people who have sensitivities to Echinacea. Other herbs with documented activity against viruses include thuja, olive leaf, elderberry and garlic.
Herbs that have a topical antiviral activity include thuja, calendula, liquorice, hops, St John’s wort and lemon balm. Tea tree essential oil or coconut oil can also be added to enhance its action.
Cod liver oil rich in omega-3, vitamins A and D helps to maintain healthy skin, support the immune system and reduce inflammation. This supplement is suitable for adults and children and can be taken daily to help from the inside out.
Vitamin C and Zinc are specific anti-viral nutrients both important for a healthy immune system. They are also antioxidants and needed for skin healing. A deficiency in zinc has also been proven to be a risk factor for persistent viral warts.
Probiotics containing Lactobacillus GG, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium spp. may be helpful. This ensures a healthy digestive and immune system in both children and adults.
Nutrient dense unprocessed wholefoods should be the focus to give the immune system a boost.
Fresh raw garlic is an excellent antiviral food for adults and can be used in cooking for children.
Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, soups and broths. Avoid processed foods and sugar in the diet as sugar suppresses the immune system. Use coconut oil in cooking as it can withstand high cooking temperatures without becoming damaged. Rich in lauric acid, it is a potent anti-viral substance.
Hechtman L (2014). Clinical Naturopathic Medicine. Churchill Livingstone, Australia
Kenawy S, et al. Evaluation of TNF-α serum level in patients with recalcitrant multiple common warts, treated by lipid garlic extract. Dermatol Ther. 2014 Sept-Oct;27(5):272-7
Raza N, Khan DA. Zinc deficiency in patients with persistent viral warts. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2010 Feb;20(2):83-6
Millar BC, Moore JE. Successful topical treatment of hand warts in a paediatric patient with tea tree oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia). Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2008 Nov;14(4):225-7