What are warts?
When the system is infected with Human Papillomavirus (HPV) viruses, then these viruses cause excessive skin cell growth. When there is cellular growth on the skin on a particular location, it shows up as a protruded bump which is rough and thick. This hard and thick protrusion is called a wart or in medical terms, Verucca.
Warts can grow on any part of the body, but are most common on the hands and feet and they are usually non-cancerous in nature. There are some HPV viruses which cause genital warts too, and they can be cancerous at times. One of the biggest problems with warts is that they are contagious, means they spread by skin to skin contact. This is because the HPV viruses can be passed through contact and if someone has any cut or wounds on their skin, they will be more susceptible to warts.
Types of warts
- Common warts: these types of warts are the most common ones and are mostly found on hands and feet. They are also called as verruca vulgaris and appear on the skin near wounds and fingernails. They are hard and rough with small black dots which are nothing but vessels with blood clots.
- Flat warts: these are smaller but tend to appear in large numbers as in large groups of almost 100 warts. They are flat without much protrusion, therefore, called flat warts and commonly appear on the legs, beard areas, and hands, etc.
- Plantar warts: these types of warts appear on the soles of one's feet, as they grew because of walking and standing which puts weight on the soles. They are usually flat and are very thick and also appear in groups called mosaic warts.
- Filiform warts: these warts appear on the face mostly, that is mostly near the eyes, mouth, and nose. These warts show finger-like projections or brush-like outgrowths on them in yellow or pink colors. These are mostly painless in nature, but can be a reason for one's self-consciousness.
Treatments for warts
There are various types of warts and they can be treated by wart removal treatments and procedures. Many times, these warts tend to clear out by themselves, but sometimes they may take a lot of time, therefore, it is suggested to seek medical help and get them removed.
Some of the common treatments are:
- Cryotherapy: in this procedure, the doctors spray liquid nitrogen to the wart which kills all the living cells in it. After some time, the dead cells form a blister and then the blister gets dried out and it falls off within a week.
- Cantharidin: in this treatment, the doctor puts some wart removing substance on the wart-like extract from blister beetle and then covers the area with a bandage. Soon a blister will form and will form scab on the wart which then will be removed by the doctor.
- Salicylic acid: according to this treatment, one will have to apply salicylic acid or its ointment on the wart, but by making sure that it is not applied to the healthy skin as it can be damaging. Usually, this treatment takes a lot of time, up to about 2 to 3 months.
- Surgery: when most of the treatments do not work, then usually doctors suggest surgically removing it either by a medical razor or by laser treatment. One should not go for surgery immediately as it may scar later and should wait till other options fail.