Patient's Complete Guide to Warts

Overview of Warts

Warts are a skin condition in which small non-cancerous growth starts appearing on your skin areas as a result of infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are not dangerous but they can result in discomfort and can spread through contact.

Warts Meaning in Urdu

 

یہ بیماری جِلد کی ایک انفیکشن ہے جو کہ ایچ-پی-وی نامی وائرس کی وجہ سے لاحق ہوتی ہے۔ یہ انفیکشن لاحق ہونے کی صورت میں جلد ابھر جاتی ہے۔ یہ ایک متعدی انفیکشن ہے اور آسانی کے ساتھ ایک شخص سے دوسرے میں منتقل ہو سکتا ہے۔ اس انفیکشن کا کوئی علاج دستیاب نہیں ہے بلکہ وقت گزرنے کے ساتھ یہ خود بخود ختم ہو جاتا ہے، بعض اوقات یہ انفیکشن جسم کے ایک حصے سے ختم ہوتی ہے تو دوسرے حصے پر نمودار ہو جاتی ہے۔

Warts are quite common and can generally affect people who have a  compromised immune system. Warts can appear on different areas of your body including your hands, feet, face, or area near your knees.

Signs and Symptoms of Warts

Some of the common symptoms of warts include:

  • Appearance of rough and hard bumps on your skin
  • Harder edges
  • Having variable shapes
  • Black dots in the center
  • Pressure in the chest cavity
  • Mostly painful, but sometimes can be painful

Types of Warts

Warts can vary widely in their appearance and the place where they appear. Here are some of the common warts types to know about:

  • Common Warts: Common warts have a rough and bumpy appearance. You can get common warts on your backhands, fingers, feet, and skin around the nails. The size of common warts ranges from 1mm to 1cm. You can see them alone or in groups.
  • Plantar Warts: These warts got their name from the Latin word plantar which means ‘sole’. So these warts appear on your soles as a result of pressure exerted on the sole. These generally grow into your skin and appear to be hard, flat, and tough. Plantar warts can be of further two types.
  • Mosaic Type Plantar Warts - Caused by HPV-type 2
  • Myrmecial Type Plantar Warts - Caused by HPV-type 1.
  • Flat Warts: These warts have a smoother appearance than other warts types and are relatively small in size. Flat warts grow in larger numbers from 20-200 and you can see them growing on your arms, face, and thighs.
  • Filiform Warts: You are more likely to see filiform warts on your mouth, nose, eyes, chin, etc. Filiform warts resemble your skin color and can have a thread-like appearance.
  • Genital Warts: Just as the name indicates, genital warts are the ones that appear on your genitals. These warts can result in serious problems such as cancers related to genital areas.

Causes of Warts

Warts usually occur after being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). There are almost 100 different kinds of the HPV virus. When this virus enters your body then results in the causation of warts. Warts are generally contagious and can spread from person to person. Here are some of the common modes of transmission of HPV.

  • Touching a wart directly
  • Touching a surface that is previously exposed to the virus
  • Skin abrasions or cuts that serve as an entry point for virus
  • Nail biting that exposed your skin areas for virus entry
  • Shaving your arms or legs
  • Having sexual intercourse with someone already affected with warts.

Risk Factors of Warts

Warts are common and can affect anyone. However, a few factors increase your likelihood of getting warts. These include:

  • Having a weaker immune system
  • Skin injury
  • Wet hands and feet
  • Swimming in public pools
  • Excessive  sweating on hands and feet
  • Contact with warts or surfaces exposed with warts
  • Scratching your warts
  • Engaging in sexual activity with someone having the warts

Complications of Warts

Generally, warts are not problematic and can go on their own. However, sometimes they can result in complications like:

  • Pain: Mostly warts are painless. However, you can find them painful if they grow on areas inward to your foot or your skinfolds.
  • Spread: Sometimes scratching your warts can result in their spread to other areas as well.
  • Cancer: Several types of warts are related to the increased risk of cancers such as cervical cancer, throat cancer, anal cancer, etc.

Prevention

You can’t prevent warts. However, you can lower the chances of suffering from warts by taking the following measures. These include:

  • Building a stronger immune system
  • Getting the HPV vaccine
  • Avoid scratching your skin
  • Quit nail-biting and cuticle picking
  • Stop sharing clothes, clippers, razors, and other items
  • Avoid touching your warts
  • Choosing the right footwear
  • Keeping your hands and feet dry

Diagnosis

Warts are easy to identify and a visual examination is enough for the diagnosis. However, in some cases, your physician can recommend a test for HPV confirmation.

Treatment of Warts | When to Consult a Doctor

Most of the time warts do not require any treatment and leave on their own. However, sometimes they can turn painful and spread widely which requires medical treatment. Here are some of the common treatment options for warts.

1- OTC Medications

Many over-the-counter medications can help to get rid of warts. These medicines are usually available as topic agents or as duct tape containing the agent. These medicines work by dissolving the wart tissue layer over time which makes them disappear.

Note: Consult your doctor before taking any medications.

2- Immune Booster

Boosting your immune system also comes as a favorable treatment option for warts. These immune boosters stimulate your immune system to fight off viral infections.

3- Cryotherapy

In cryotherapy, warts are frozen by using liquid nitrogen. After multiple sessions, you can finally get rid of warts.

4- Electrosurgery

In electrosurgery, warts tissue is burned using electricity. General anesthesia is required for the procedure. It may take a few days for complete recovery however, there are still chances of scarring.

5- Laser Treatment

 

Sometimes laser therapy is also used to destroy warts but can result in scarring. This is generally the last treatment option for warts.

Speciality for Warts

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