One of the common skin conditions, it is seen in adults and children alike.
I would like to address a few queries asked by my patients-
Q) What is a wart?
Ans- It is a benign skin growth caused by Human Papillomavirus which is of various subtypes.
Q) What are the various types of warts?
Ans- Common warts are rough, irregular looking growths which are found on any part of the body.
Plane warts are the ones which look flat-topped and are generally found on the face. Filiform ones are called as they have digitate or finger-like projections. Mosaic warts are a group of warts occurring together. Genital warts or condyloma are found in the private or genital area. Plantar warts are found on the feet. Last but not least, sublingual and periungual warts are found under or near the nail bed.
Q) Are all warts sexually transmitted?
Ans- Only genital warts caused by some subtypes are sexually transmitted in nature and can be cancerous in the future. Most of the other warts are harmless.
Q) Can warts be cured?
Ans- Warts are caused by a virus which is hidden from the immune system. All the treatments are aimed to stimulate immunity and initiate defense action against the virus. Here all measures can help in control but cannot guarantee a cure.
Q) What are the treatment modalities?
a) Salicylic lactic acid in a colloidal base.
b) Cryotherapy- Liquid nitrogen is sprayed or gently applied on the affected area and the area is frozen and thawed to complete one cycle. The area may look fluffy for some time and may even blister but the response is seen in 2 to 4 sessions.
c) Electrofulguration or curettage of the lesion - using radio frequency or electrocautery to remove the desiccated surface of the lesion. A topical anesthetic cream is applied before the treatment is initiated.
Q) What can I do to prevent the spread of the wart?
Ans- Avoid using same towels, slippers, and handkerchief of the patient. Also, avoid using wet floors in common places. Do not scrub the skin too vigorously.