Almost nobody is immune to these pesky growths. Warts. You can find them at any time starting from infancy to old age. And they’ve been around for centuries. The Middle Ages, even the Bible – people for thousands of years have been complaining about them. So why is it that in a modern age such as ours, we’re not able to eradicate the problem from the face of the earth? There’s a lot that goes into the answer for that question, but the great news is that our modern medicine has found easy ways to get rid of warts once you find them. One such type of wart is nicknamed “seed wart.”
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What Seed Warts Are All About
The name alone implies something growing. Which is right, in a way – warts grow up out of your skin. But the reason for the nickname has to do with its appearance. Seed warts are warts that have black dots throughout them that you can see from the surface.
The black dots that you see in a seed wart are actually blood vessels. Each wart has to have a blood supply to survive. Very tiny vessels will grow around the wart, under the wart, and sometimes up through the wart. When they’re up into the wart, that’s when you can see their ends. Although they look black, these “seeds” are actually an incredibly dark crimson.
The cause behind them
Seed warts are caused by the same thing that produce all warts in the human body. HPV, or human papilloma virus, is a DNA based virus that invades a human host. You’ll find it in places that are wet and warmer, like showers, saunas, and pool decks. The more people use these surfaces, the higher the chances are that you’ll find HPV there.
It has to get inside your body somehow, almost always through tiny breaks in your skin. Sometimes so small you have no idea it’s there! HPV sneaks inside, then settles into your skin’s upper layers where it waits until replicating over and over again into a wart. Blood vessels will grow up through the wart tissue, making the dark “seeds” you see from the surface.
The Many Types
Although warts are all caused by HPV, different strains of it will cause different types on different parts of the body:
Seed warts seem to be more common in some types of warts as opposed to others. Plantar warts have more “seeds” in them than warts on your arm, for example. There’s no real rhyme or reason to this, as blood vessels technically can grow in any type of wart.
On your feet
When a wart grows on the top or outside of your foot and toes, it’s usually a common wart. On the underside of your foot – called a plantar wart – it’s a different story. These warts are noticeable by their flat, calloused nature, and are found on the bottom of your feet or toes. Starting out as a regular wart, the great pressure from walking will flatten it out, keeping it flush with the skin’s surface and wider than normal. Because skin on the bottom of your feet is more tough, there will be thicker skin over the wart, making it a little bit harder to penetrate into.
Common warts you’ll find on your foot stick up out of the skin and are rounded.
If you notice any of these abnormal characteristics of a seed wart, it would be wise to consult a physician:
- Larger than an eraser head,
- Extremely painful,
Warts are non-cancerous, benign growths. But sometimes you might worry if what you’re dealing with is a simple wart, or something more serious, like skin cancer. More details about a cancerous wart can be found here.
When you get a wart on a finger, it can get in the way of daily activities. Things like typing, writing, and regular tactile touch become more irritating when there’s a wart in the way.
Warts on the finger can be seed warts, just like on the feet. If it’s in a place where it gets touched frequently, consider covering it with a bandaid.
Warts on the palm of the hand can also be seed warts. Typically, you’ll see hand warts on the back of the hand or the palm. Most often, you get hand warts from touching or grabbing things that have HPV on it. Palmer warts are similar to the common wart and are found on the palms of your hands.
Are Seed Warts Contagious?
All warts are contagious, although some moreso than others. As for seed warts, you won’t necessarily get them from one simple touch, but it’s possible. If your wart is knicked or touched and the viral particles are pressed onto another person, the HPV can get into that person’s skin as well. You can also spread warts from one area of your body to another if you’re not careful.
If a wart gets cut or scraped, it’s susceptible to infection just like any other part of the body. More information on infected warts can be looked at here.
Something great about wart treatment is that there’s things you can do right from your kitchen!
Some home warranties you might find include:
- Apple cider vinegar: This vinegar holds antiviral and antiseptic properties. Dip a cotton ball or swab in it, then saturate your seed wart. Let air dry, and repeat three times a day. Your wart should begin to turn black and die, results usually taking anywhere between one to four weeks. Please see detailed descriptions here.
- Tea tree oil: This essential oil is a powerful antiviral. It stimulates your body’s immune system to fight off the HPV virus, making the wart eventually die off. Be careful, as too much tea tree oil on healthy skin can be extremely irritating. Apply the oil to your wart using a cotton swab and repeat twice a day. For more information click here.
- Duct tape: Although the idea sounds weird, using duct tape on a seed wart can be effective at killing it. A wart needs oxygen to survive. When you put a piece of duct tape over it, the oxygen supply is cut off, slowly killing the wart. You’ll only need a small piece – press it securely over the wart, then leave on for three days straight, then replacing with another one. Your seed wart should begin to die and eventually fall off. Results are usually seen in one to two weeks. Read more here.
When it comes to regular methods of wart removal, there’s several home options you can go to. The most common over the counter removal substance is salicylic acid, derived from the willow tree and very corrosive to living tissue. It’s applied directly to the wart where it will eat away its layers until enough of it is ruined over time.
Other ways you might kill a seed wart include:
- At-home freezing kits: This will come with a canister that holds a freezing agent you can spray onto the wart, destroying it with the low temperature. Further details can be found here.
- Wart bandages or patches: These products use bandages that have salicylic acid infused directly into it, letting you hold the acid directly onto the wart at all times instead of just sporadic application. Some come in strip bandages, and some are small pads just larger than the wart. To find out more details, go here.
Seed warts aren’t as contagious as something like genital warts. With genital warts, you can catch them simply from simple skin-to-skin contact. And even though seed warts can be spread through touch in certain instances, they aren’t nearly as contagious.
If you really want to get serious, consider going for a medical procedure when removing your seed wart. Even though they’re the most invasive and complicated, they also get the best and quickest results.
- Surgical excision: A doctor will use a sharp tool to cut your seed wart directly out of the skin. There will be a small amount of blood involved, but this is the most immediate result of any type, as the wart is gone right away. (see this article)
- Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen is used in this process, destroying the wart tissue using extreme cold. A steady stream of the nitrogen will be directed straight at your wart until your doctor is satisfied enough damage has been done. (see this article)
- Electrocautery: A hand held tool is used in electrocautery with a fine tip that electricity is directed into. When touched onto the wart, the current heats the tissue up so much that it’s burned off. There may be a little smoke and a slight burning smell, which is normal. (see this article)
Most of the time, warts are flesh-colored, red, pink, or brown. Black warts, although not impossible to get, aren’t really normal. To learn more about black wart, click here.
When you’ve got a seed wart, take a minute to decide what you want to do about it. Which treatment fits you best? Do you want to handle it or leave it in a doctor’s hands? Whatever you choose to do, just remember that seed warts can be killed just any other, leaving you with the smooth, clear skin you deserve.
You can find further details of Types of warts here.