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Warts are small growths that are caused on the skin due to a virus from the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. These non cancerous growths are caused when the virus triggers extra skin cell growth which makes the skin in that area hard and thick.
The virus does not affect everyone who comes in contact with it. People suffering with skin conditions like eczema or who have skin injury are particularly susceptible to the virus. Kids and teens are also at a higher risk of developing warts as their immune system is not equipped to fight the virus like that of adults.
Warts are also highly contagious. So a direct skin contact or using objects like razors or towels of a person suffering from the skin ailment may lead to contracting the disease yourself.
Types of Warts:
While there are different types of warts that exist, we have listed below the major types of warts:
Common Warts: Common warts are small in size and are hard and bumpy. These flesh colored bumps with rounded tops usually grow on your toes and fingers.
Flat warts: Flat warts usually appear on the face, thighs and arms. As the name suggests, they are flat and are brownish, pinkish or slightly yellowish. And even though they are small in size, they appear in large numbers.
Plantar Warts: Often mistaken with calluses, Plantar Warts grow on the soles of your feet. These warts can make it difficult to walk as there is a lingering feeling of a pebble being stuck in the shoe. They are flat and thick with a black dot on their surface. There might be either a single wart or a cluster of them.
Filiform warts: Filiform warts are of skin color and they appear around the nose, eyes and mouth region.
Periungual warts: Periungual warts occur in the nails and can be very painful. They also affect nail growth.
Genital Warts: These warts are sexually transmitted from an infected person. These are small skin colored bumps which appear in the genital area.
Treatments available for warts
Most warts go away on their own. They take from a few weeks to a few years to disappear completely. You can either use topical applications or can visit a doctor if your wart is changing colors, is painful or is in sensitive areas like genitals and face. Here are the treatment options available for warts:
Gels, ointments and creams with salicylic acid have proved to be relieving for warts It is important to note that to ensure that salicylic acid does not destroy the skin around the wart, you must only apply the cream or gel on the wart and protect the healthy skin with petroleum jelly.
This method uses liquid nitrogen which is sprayed or applied on the affected area. This procedure destroys the cells present in the wart by freezing them. One may develop a blister which scabs and falls off within a week or two. One can see the results in 2 to 4 sessions.
Electrofulguration or curettage of the lesion
A topical anesthetic cream is applied on the affected area and then radio frequency or electrocautery is used to remove the desiccated surface of the lesion.
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