Wart Removal is a must when it becomes a cosmetic concern or irritation to some people. We may see the need to remove them when they start to interfere with our daily activities like playing games, etc. Before we do that, let's learn a bit more about warts.
Warts are largely benign skin growths caused by viral infection. The viruses, human papillomavirus (HPV) attacks the top layer of skin and result in warts.
There are mainly 4 types of warts - common warts, foot or plantar warts, flat warts and genital warts.
Common Warts usually appear on our hands, in broken skin areas near our fingers and nails.
They are also called seed warts because of their "spores" or "seed-like" appearance of the warts.
Plantar Warts as the name suggests grow on high pressure areas such as the plantar or foot sole area. Clustered plantar warts are also known as mosaic warts because of their appearance. Unlike common warts which protrude above the skin, they tend to be flat due to the walking pressure. They can also cause much pain to sufferers and plantar wart removal is necessary.
Flat warts usually occur in children and are as tiny as pinheads. They can show up on the face, arms, hands or knees. These warts can grow to large numbers in the range of 10s to 100 and often cluster together. They have many other names such as juvenile warts, filiform warts, etc. Children often complain of itch and pain caused by flat warts.
Genital warts also called Condyloma develop in different shapes and sizes. They can be flat flesh-colored bumps or tiny, mushroom-looking bumps. They normally grow on or around the penis, or near the anus for men. In women, genital warts may grow on the perineal and vulva area, on the cervix and in the vagina. The difference between genital warts and the rest is the risk of developing into cancer, whereas the others are benign.
There are many views about the causes of warts, but it is widely accepted that weak immunity to virus infection is one possibility. Others include exposure of skin to the viruses, ie through broken skin which explains why children being nail-biters are easy victims.
Warts are contagious and can be transmitted by physical or sexual contact or even through personal care items such as handkerchief, towels and other objects. Most people are unaware of their infection due to the long incubation period which can take months before symptoms are clear.
Existing wart removal methods include cyrotherapy ie destroying the warts by freezing, electrosurgery/excision, special chemicals, over-the-counter medications containing salicylic and latic acid, laser surgery, cauterization/burning off of the warts, boosting the immune system of sufferers, etc. Some of these have associated side-effects.
In My Next Post, I Will Describe The Benefits And Risks of Each Method Of Wart Removal