Although they are usually associated with people of a certain age, warts can appear at any stage of life.. They are unsightly and can be a sign that something is not quite right in our body.
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What are warts?
Warts are protuberances ranging from 1 to 10 mm in size approx. and appear on the epidermis, i.e. on the skin. They are usually pink to light brown in color and have a circular shape. They are generally not painful, although depending on their location they can be particularly uncomfortable.
Warts occur as a result of an infection caused by the pathogen Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).. This pathogen has more than a hundred subtypes that can lead to the appearance of warts. Warts are usually located on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.
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Types of warts
There is a classification of the types of warts according to their location and histology. We see it below.
These are the most common types of warts. They are located on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, on their surface, on the fingers and toes and on the soles of the feet.They are located on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, on their surface, on the fingers or between the fingers. They are circular in shape, rough and appear in clusters or groups.
2. Flat warts
These types of warts are usually located on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Their color ranges from pink to white to yellow.. They are small in size and may appear in groups.
3. Plantar warts
As their name indicates, they are found on the soles of the feet. Because of their location, they can cause pain due to the pressure exerted when walking or depending on the type of footwear worn.
4. Genital warts
Genital warts are located in the genital areapenis, vulva, groin and perianal region. They are generally softer than common warts (vulgar warts) and are more irregular around the edges. They can have a typical cauliflower shape when several of them appear together. They are also called condylomas.
5. Water warts
Water warts are usually located in the armpits, arms, thighs, torso and elbows.. These are rather pink or whitish warts and may contain a white liquid.
They appear as a consequence of Molluscum Contagious Molluscum Virus (MCV) infection and occur more frequently in children between 1 and 5 years of age, as they have a less developed immune system and therefore have more difficulty in coping with the infection.
6. Filiform warts
Filiform warts are usually located on the neck and eyelids.. They have a rather elongated shape and a soft texture. Their attachment point to the skin is very small, so they usually come off without doing anything, just with the contact of clothes or hands.
7. Subungual and periungual warts
These last types of warts are located in the area where the nail is attached to the naileither underneath or around the nail.
Are warts contagious?
Warts are more or less contagious, depending on the type of wart.depending on the type of wart. The most contagious are those that contain liquid – since the infection microorganisms are found there – or are found in the urogenital mucosa, since they facilitate transmission through fluids.
To prevent this, first of all, it is necessary to have very careful hygiene habits. That is, do not share personal hygiene products, such as towels, underwear or bath flip-flops, as well as nail files or pumice stones. In case of contact with a wart, wash and dry the area of contact thoroughly..
Also, avoid walking barefoot in public areas at risk, i.e. wet areas where the virus can easily proliferate, such as swimming pools, saunas, gyms or showers.
Treatment of warts
Treating the wart involves eliminating the lesion, but they can reappear because the virus persists, as there is no specific treatment.There is no specific treatment to eliminate it.
Although there is a high percentage of warts that disappear without specific treatment, there are several effective ways to eliminate warts, encompassing all types of warts:
1. pharmacological treatments
Salicylic acid: this substance has exfoliating and keratolytic properties. It involves filing the surface of the wart (using a cardboard file or pumice stone) to increase the penetration of the liquid, leave for a few minutes, and when the wart softens, file again to remove the product well. This treatment is slow and requires perseverance, until finally the wart has disappeared.
Cantharidin is also used: this substance has the property of producing blisters without causing scarring. Therefore, its use is explained by the fact that when it is applied to the wart, a blister is generated, which is covered for 12-24 hours. When the bandage is removed, the dead skin is removed from the wart.. If there is any remaining wart, a different treatment is usually tried.
2. Physical treatments
Cryosurgery consists of applying liquid nitrogen to the wart to freeze it and finally remove it. It is a painless process but can be slightly uncomfortable.
Electrocoagulation consists of applying electric current to the wart – under local anesthesia – in order to coagulate the blood in the wart. It is an effective but quite aggressive method and can lead to scarring.
What to do if I detect a wart?
First of all, it should be noted that, many times, the discomfort of the wart is nothing more than the place where it appears.. So initially what you should consider is whether it is an uncomfortable place (face, neck …) or painful (soles of the feet, places of chafing …).
The specific diagnosis and manner of treatment should be considered by the specialist, i.e. the dermatologist. He or she will determine the severity of the wart and the appropriate treatment based on the type of wart and its location.