Updated: Jun 25
Warts are a common and frustrating skin condition many Australians deal with regularly. You may find warts returning despite treating them, causing discomfort and embarrassment.
But why why do warts keep reappearing?
Today, let’s explore the reasons behind the recurrence of warts and discuss some of the most effective treatment options to help you keep them at bay.
Understanding Warts: The Role of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Warts develop due to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which consists of over 150 connected viruses. This virus targets the keratinocytes, the main cells found in the skin's outer layer, leading to excessive growth of these cells, resulting in warts.
HPV is highly infectious and can be transmitted via direct touch between people or indirectly by touching objects like towels, shoes, or shared showers contaminated with the virus.
There are various kinds of warts, such as common, plantar, flat, and genital warts. A distinct HPV strain causes each type; they differ in appearance and where they appear on the body. For instance, plantar warts usually form on the bottom of the feet, whereas genital warts are located in the genital region.
So, Why Do Warts Keep Reappearing?
1. Incomplete Removal of the Wart
One of the main reasons why warts keep coming back is that the initial treatment did not altogether remove or eliminate the HPV infection. Warts can be difficult to treat, and some treatments may only remove the visible part of the wart, leaving the infected cells behind. The wart can grow over time if these cells are not destroyed.
Because HPV is highly contagious, it's also possible that you may be reinfected with the virus after the initial wart has been removed. This could happen if you come into contact with the virus again, either through direct skin-to-skin contact or contact with contaminated surfaces.
3. Weak Immune System
The immune system is essential in combating HPV infections and stopping warts from forming. However, a weakened immune system, which can result from stress, inadequate nutrition, or existing health issues, might struggle to fight the virus effectively. This could increase your chances of getting warts and may lead to their reappearance.
4. Persistent HPV Infection
In some cases, the HPV infection may persist in your body even after removing the wart. This is particularly true for genital warts, which are caused by certain high-risk strains of HPV. These strains have the potential to cause long-lasting infections, increasing the likelihood of warts recurring.
How Can You Prevent Warts from Coming Back?
1. Choose an Effective Treatment
The first step in preventing warts from returning is to choose an effective treatment targeting the HPV infection. Some of the most effective treatments include cryotherapy (freezing), laser therapy, and topical medications containing salicylic acid or imiquimod. Speak to your healthcare professional to determine the best treatment option for your specific type of wart.
2. Practice Good Hygiene
Practising good hygiene can help reduce the risk of reinfection. Wash your hands regularly, avoid sharing personal items such as towels and shoes, and wear footwear in communal showers and changing rooms.
3. Boost Your Immune System
A strong immune system can help your body fight off the HPV infection and prevent warts from developing. Focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress.
4. Monitor Your Skin
Regularly inspect your skin for any signs of new warts, especially in areas where you've previously had warts removed. If you notice a new wart developing, seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading.
Warts can be a stubborn and frustrating skin condition, but understanding the reasons behind their recurrence can help you take the necessary steps to prevent them from coming back.
By choosing an effective treatment, practicing good hygiene, strengthening your immune system, and monitoring your skin, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of warts returning and enjoy smoother, healthier skin.
Advanced Laser Clinic offers unique, state-of-the-art, non-invasive procedures safe for all skin types. Some of our services include laser wart removal, piano skin tightening, laser hair removal, and more. If you’re in need of proper wart removal, we can help you. Contact us today for more information, or book an appointment online now!