I’m sure everyone has experienced warts sometime in their life, but did you know you can eradicate them with natural therapies, particularly zinc – a little old mineral !?
What are warts?
Warts are rapid growth of the outer layer of the skin leading to raised bumps caused by the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV. Even though warts are harmless they can be frustrating and painful. The most common places for warts are the sole of our feet but they can also occur on hands and knees, mostly affecting children and young adults. The virus can enter through cuts or abrasions in your body and it can spread from skin-to-skin contact or contact with an infected surface.
What are the types of warts?
There are many types of warts including:
– common warts
– plane or flat warts
– plantar warts
– coalesced mosaic warts
– filiform warts (around the mouth, nose neck and chin)
– periungual warts(under and around the toenails and fingernails)
– anogenital warts (small lumps on the genitals), oral wats
– respiratory papillomas (small wart-like growths in the respiratory tract)
Currently, there is no cure for HPV infection so the aim is to get rid of signs and symptoms of warts. Some types of warts like plantar warts can go away without any treatment but it can take one or two years. Because warts can spread easily, you’re probably wanting a solution to get rid of your warts!
No one treatment works for everyone and different types of warts may need different treatments depending on where the warts are located. Some of the medical treatments for warts are:
- Salicylic Acid– is a common therapy used by many as it is available over-the-counter. It slowly destroys the skin that is infected by the virus by applying the medication regularly. However, it can take weeks to months to see improvement and side effects like dermatitis can occur. There are potential systemic toxicity in children if the medication is not used at a lower concentration or used in limited areas.
- Surgical removal– Warts can be cut off however they can leave scarring and be painful. Cutting it off is no guarantee the they won’t reoccur, the rates can be high as 30%.
- Cryotherapy– liquid nitrogen is used by freezing the wart and destroying it. The blisters caused by cryotherapy form around the wart and when that peels off, the wart peels off as well. Treatments needed to be repeated every 2 weeks and it can take a long time.
These medical treatments do not guarantee results, procedures can take time, and they can come with side effects.
Most importantly they do not consider the immune system, this is where natural therapies really shine! Imagine if you can test certain nutrients, that not only support your immune system but are critical to it, to do the job in eradicating the warts! Well this is exactly what studies show can occur with zinc. It’s a win win situation as you are giving your body what it needs to get the job done and since zinc has many jobs you are also supporting other pathways in your body.
Why zinc is an important mineral in eradicating warts
Even though a healthy diet and lifestyle play a crucial role in maintaining the immune system, zinc is an important mineral for it and it has been used as an immunomodulator to treat many skin conditions.
Zinc plays a crucial role in the immune system and when we are deficient in it the immune function gets disturbed. This study shows that zinc sulphate at a dose of 10 mg kg a day is effective in treating viral warts with few side effects and also proved to be safe. The study looked at 43 patients with viral warts that were all resistant to all forms of treatment and 23 of them were treated with oral zinc sulphate and the other 20 patients were given glucose as a placebo oral treatment. Both groups were followed up to check in 2-6 months. Out of 23 patients on zinc, 20 of them responded with complete clearance of warts after 2 months of treatment and 14 of them showed complete clearance of warts in 1 month. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11952542/)
Other nutrients that are also important for strong immune system
The immune system does a good job when it has the raw materials it requires!
This study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7063548/) showed that people who have warts had low levels of vitamin B12, vitamin D, folate, and iron which are all important for the immune system.
- Vitamin B12: is involved in enhancing the T cell proliferation and immunoglobulin synthesis, so when the levels are low the protective immune responses to viruses and bacteria becomes inadequate.
- Vitamin D: plays a role in skin cell proliferation, differentiation and cytokine (cell signalling molecules that help the communication between cells) production, reduce inflammation, and induce programmed cell death.
- Folate: deficiency in folate can lower the resistance to infections and supplementing it can improve the immune response. A study showed that low levels of folate can implicate cervical infections with high-risk HPV types.
Finally there is more than just these nutrients that play a role in the immune system, getting enough sleep, quality of sleep, adequate protein, ensuring gut microbiome is behaving itself, ensuring bowels are moving well, good blood glucose/insulin/cortisol control, managing stress adequately to name a few. Treat your body as the whole unit. that it is and you will reap the rewards.
We hope you have enjoyed this let us know 🙂
Al-Gurairi, F. T., Al-Waiz, M., & Sharquie, K. E. (2002). Oral zinc sulphate in the treatment of recalcitrant viral warts: Randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. The British Journal of Dermatology, 146(3), 423–431. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2133.2002.04617.x
Lipke, M. M. (2006). An Armamentarium of Wart Treatments. Clinical Medicine and Research, 4(4), 273–293. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1764803/
Tamer, F., Yuksel, M. E., & Karabag, Y. (2020). Pre-treatment vitamin B12, folate, ferritin, and vitamin D serum levels in patients with warts: A retrospective study. Croatian Medical Journal, 61(1), 28–32. https://doi.org/10.3325/cmj.2020.61.28
Raza, N., Khan, D.A., (2010). Zinc Deficiency in Patients with Persistent Viral Warts. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, 20 (2): 83-86. https://www.jcpsp.pk/archive/2010/Feb2010/04.pdf
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