The elbow is a sensitive location for a wart. The skin on the elbow stretches as we flex and extend it throughout the day. This can irritate a wart located there. Resting an elbow on a tabletop can further aggravate a wart located there.
Warts are more common on the hands and feet, but elbows are not immune. Let’s take a look at why we get elbow warts and how to treat them.
What causes an elbow wart?
All warts are caused by an infection of the skin by the HPV virus. There are many different strains of HPV virus, each forming a different type of wart. HPV is the same virus that causes herpes. But don’t freak out, though. Warts are very common. Most people get a few of them at some point in their life.
Our skin, or epidermis, provides protection from all kinds of would-be viral and bacterial infections. The HPV virus needs a break in the skin to get inside and grow a wart. This cut doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t even have to be visible to the human eye. It can be microscopic.
As we go about our day, we touch door handles with our hands, walk barefoot on the bathroom floor, and rest our elbows on the counter. All of these actions can be abrasive to our skin. And sometimes the rubbing is enough to break the skin.
Wart viruses spread by touch. So if you rub your elbow on a surface contaminated with HPV, the virus can infect it via a microscopic skin abrasion. That’s why warts are most common on parts of the body that frequently come in contact with our environment. Hands, fingers, toes, feet are most common. And then elbows, knees, knuckles, etc.
So how do you get rid of a wart on the elbow? You have several options. The good news is it’s not too difficult, and usually you can do it yourself at home.
Do nothing and wait
Our immune system naturally fights the HPV virus if it gets through the skin. Most HPV infections do not result in a wart. The virus is usually killed by white blood cells before it has a chance to grow.
When a wart does grow, however, the immune system is continually fighting it and trying to kill it. Thus, most warts go away on their own in a few months or years. You can help your immune system fight the wart by eating healthy, exercising, getting good sleep, and avoiding excess stress. By living a healthy lifestyle.
Use OTC wart remover
Warts on the elbow can be painful and irritating though, so you may decide to go ahead and remove it. Fortunately, over 70% of warts can be successfully removed using over-the-counter wart removal treatments. There are several effective types of OTC wart remover:
- Liquid wart remover: The traditional wart removal method (think Compound W). Uses diluted salicylic acid to burn the wart off in layers from the top. After each application, use an emery board to file off the dead skin cells. Reapply as necessary until the entire wart is gone. Liquid wart remover can be difficult to use on warts on the elbow because they can difficult to reach. The liquid also tends to roll or drip off the elbow because it is hard to keep the elbow in an upright position. For these reason, I recommend the next method for treating elbow warts.
- Wart remover pads: These are adhesives (think band-aids) with a wart remover coating. These are perfect for warts on the elbow. No dripping or mess. Just slap it over your elbow wart and let it work. After it kills a layer of skin, you should file away dead skin cells and repeat, as necessary.
- Wart freeze: Some wart products “freeze” off a wart. You may need a partner to use this method. Again, an elbow can be difficult to reach, and you want to apply it very accurately..
- Wart removal pen: If you want to go the electronic route, these pens burn/kill skin on contact. They work well and can also be used on moles, freckles, and skin tags.
- Thuja oil: Thuja occidentalis is an all-natural, yet still very good method for removing warts. Thuja oil is extracted from evergreen leaves. Please read my detailed article on using thuja for wart removal.
No matter what method you choose, make sure to cover any open skin during treatment. Otherwise, it’s easy to for a wart to get infected with bacteria.
Dermatologist to the rescue
Most likely it won’t come to this. But, if at-home methods don’t work, a doctor has more powerful wart removal tools at his disposal. A dermatologist is the type of doctor that specializes in warts and general skin issues. If a wart on the elbow just won’t go away after many treatments, it’s time to make an appointment.
A wart on the elbow can be a nuisance. It can be painful and irritating. Thankfully, wart removal is a straightforward process and usually successful. Even in prominent, hard to reach locations like the elbow.
Please let me know in the comments how you treated your elbow wart. What advice can you give to my readers. Thanks.
OTC Medicine for Wart Removal
|Wart Remover Pads/Adhesives||Liquid Wart Remover||Wart Freeze Off||Wart Removal Pen|