A wart is a small lump appearing on the skin of the hands or feet. Individual warts or clusters of warts may appear in different shapes and sizes. The location of some warts may be more specific to certain parts of the body. An example of this is verruca’s, which are ring-shaped warts that occur primarily on the soles of the feet.
Even though warts are not cancerous, some types of cancer can resemble them. It is almost guaranteed that every person will encounter a wart throughout their lifetime. A child or teenager is more likely to acquire warts than an adult. Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which causes various types of skin infections. When the virus infects the skin, it becomes rough and becomes brownish. Other people may come into contact with the virus. If you touch a person suffering from warts, you will get them too. Commonly, warts appear on the hands. However, they can also crop up on the face, feet, genital region, knees, and thighs. Here, let’s look at what exactly causes it, how to deal with it, wart removal, and some precautions you can take.
Where do warts come from?
Inflammatory lesions of the skin caused by the contagious human papillomavirus (HPV) are called warts. The HPV virus tends to cause warts on the fingers, near the fingernails, or on the hands, and there are approximately 60 kinds of it. In some cases, HPV types can also cause warts in the genital region.
Common Types of Warts
- Common Warts: Affected areas are the backs of your hands and the area around your nails. A greyish-yellow or brown colour usually appears on their rough surface.
- Flat Warts: A child’s face is an area prone to having these small, smooth growths, which are usually found in groups of as many as 100 at the same time.
- Plantar and Periungual Warts: Typically, they appear in the soles of your feet (foot warts) or on your palms (hand warts) and are marked by small black dots.
- Filiform Warts: Most often seen on the eyelids, face, or neck, these small, long, narrow growths have no apparent cause.
- Genital Warts: Adult warts are transmitted through sexual contact and grow on the genital area. There are no rough edges like on common warts, as they are soft.
Do I have the option of wart removal at home?
It is not unusual for warts to go away on their own, but they are uncomfortable and ugly, so you might want to treat them at home. The drugstore has many treatments you can use to treat warts. It is necessart to remember these things:
- A person with warts on other parts of the body can get them and spread them to others. The utensil you use to rub the wart with your fingernail file or a pumice stone can cause damage to other parts of the body, so you must avoid using those on any other part of your body except for the wart.
- When you have diabetes, you shouldn’t get warts removed from your feet. Check with your physician. If you have diabetes, your feet may be numb, so you can easily slip and hurt yourself.
- Using home treatments for wart removal on your face or other sensitive areas of your body (such as your mouth, genitals, or nostrils) may not be successful.
When should you visit a dermatologist?
Check with your dermatologist if:
- Symptoms include pain or changes in appearance and colour of the growths
- Warts persist, spread, or recur despite your attempts to remove them
- Growths interfere with activity and cause discomfort
- The growths may be warts, but you aren’t sure
- Several warts appear on your skin as an adult, indicating a malfunction in your immune system
Effective wart removal treatments include:
Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid, an active ingredient, is found in all over-the-counter wart treatments, be it gel, ointment, patch, or pad. The process of gradually dissolving this wart tissue takes several weeks when applied regularly.
Cryotherapy (Freezing): Over-the-counter sprays or liquid nitrogen can be used to freeze warts. The wart is frozen with cryotherapy, which causes a blister to form around it and the dead tissue to fall off in 1-2 weeks.
Laser surgery: The laser beam (laser) burns and destroys wart tissue during this procedure.
Cantharidin: The skin becomes inflamed when this liquid is applied to the skin, causing blisters around the wart that then pop off as the wart is lifted. Cover the area with a bandage after the liquid is applied to the skin.
Minor surgery: In cases where other therapies do not work, surgery may be used to remove the wart. Cryosurgery or electric needle is then used to destroy the wart’s base.
Medications: Bleomycin and imiquimod are two medications this wart can be treated with (which kill the virus by injecting it into the wart) and stimulate your immune system to fight it.
Duct tape: It is possible, as unusual as it sounds, to remove warts from hands and fingers with duct tape, layer by layer, over several weeks. You can use this method to eliminate warts by applying duct tape to them for 3-6 days. Using a nail file or pumice stone, gently file down the wart, exposing it to air for 12 hours. The wart should disappear completely by repeating this procedure with duct tape.
- Keeping warts away from direct contact is best.
- Don’t pick at your warts. Viruses can spread when you do so.
- Your health-care professional may recommend better tools for your warts than you would for your healthy skin or nails.
- Be careful not to bite your nails. A wart occurs more often when the skin around the fingernails is chewed, so break your nails often to increase your risk.
- Whenever possible, keep warted areas free from brushing, cutting, or shaving. You should use an electric razor if you must shave warts on a particular part of your body.
People who suffer from warts could successfully treat them at home. Warts typically disappear, so preventing further infection and maintaining good hygiene are important aspects of self-treatment. It is necessary to take care of the skin because it is such an integral part of our bodies. Consult your dermatologist for wart removal if nothing you do at home helps.