Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Gina in Austin, Texas. I am terrified of warts and having them spread to other parts of my body. Even saying the word “wart” makes me want to vomit. What can I do to prevent this?
The fear of warts falls under the same category as the fear of skin which is called dermatosiophobia. You may purposely wear clothes or shoes that will not touch your wart. You may do anything you can to cover it up so that no one sees it and it doesn’t spread, and you may even be too embarrassed to let anyone know about it, including your doctor.
First of all, it’s important to understand how warts work. Warts are caused by a human papillomavirus or HPV. Although that may sound like some terrifying disease, warts are actually fairly easy to treat. In fact, you can even buy over the counter acid treatments which use salicylic acid and they’re applied after showering.
If you find that this process which can last up to 12 weeks is not sufficient, then you may take a trip to your doctor and it will only take one or two visits to get rid of it entirely. Your doctor may perform a freezing procedure to get rid of the wart. There are also at home kits that can be bought over the counter for this procedure as well, although it does take longer than a doctor’s trip.
If the freezing process does not work, then the doctor may perform something else called a slide and burn. This is not as commonly used as the freezing process because of the great chance of scarring. Also a common misunderstanding of warts is that they have roots. This is just not true because HPV has double stranded DNA. What this means is that because there are three layers of skin and the wart sits on the top layer or the epidermis, it will never touch the dermis or the subcutaneous layers of the deeper skin.
As far as preventing the spread of warts, there are many precautions that you can take. Make sure you pay attention to any little scratch or mark in your skin; however, I’m not suggesting to panic over a paper cut, for example. If something is bleeding, make an effort to apply Neosporin to lessen the chance of you developing a wart.
Additionally, you are more likely to develop warts if you bite your nails or hangnails often. Washing your hands often is also essential in this prevention process.