Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by a virus. In humans, the virus that causes warts is called HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). It is transmitted by direct skin contact. Warts can affect any part of the body depending on the type of virus. The most common warts are:
- Palmo plantar verruca (hand and foot warts)
- Oral verruca (wart in the oral mucosa)
- Genital warts (some types can cause Cervix cancer in women)
- Verruca plan (called flat warts often occur on the face)
In most times the warts are of the skin color, however they may also be brown, black or gray in color.
Who can get infected with warts?
Anyone can be infected. Children with low immunity who bite their nails, or eat the edges of the fingers can be infected with HPV.
How do dermatologists diagnose warts?
Dermatologists can tell whether it is a wart by examination. In doubtful cases, biopsies can be taken for pathological diagnosis.
What is the treatment of Warts?
In children, warts heal themselves. However in adults, special treatment is required. The treatment method is decided upon based on the type of wart, the age of the patient, and the location of the warts.
Some of the treatment methods are:
- Cantharidin wart treatment – Cantharidin is a chemical derived from the green blister beetle. This form of treatment is done by many dermatologists in clinical settings. The chemical is directly applied to the wart and the area is bandaged. The area becomes blistered and the wart is lifted off the skin. When the wart dries up, it comes out with the blistered skin.
- Electrocautery wart treatment – Many types of warts can be treated by electrocauterization. A thin needle releases heat (produced by electricity) that burns the wart tissue. Charred skin comes out and the area might be scarred.
- In addition, methods such as Bleomycin and Immunotherapy may also be recommended if deemed necessary by the doctor.
- Laser treatment of warts has become a popular method of treatment of warts nowadays. More information can be found under the laser treatment of warts section.