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What are Warts?

Warts are typically small, rough and hard growths that share a similar color with the skin. They usually present with no symptoms, except the ones that grow on the foot, which might be painful. Although warts are more prevalent in the hands and the feet, they also develop in other parts of the body. They are not cancerous. Warts develop as a result of an infection by the human papillomavirus. Some of the factors that increase the risk of the infection include a weakened immune system, eczema, public showers and so on. Studies have shown that this virus enters the body through the skin, especially when the mucosa of the skin is exposed, due to injuries. There are many types of warts. Some of them include common warts, plantar warts, filiform warts, genital warts, and so on. Most cases of warts tend to self-resolve, although this may take a long time, from months to years. There are different ways to remove warts, which would be discussed subsequently in the article. Warts are more prevalent among young people. Dermatologists are still unsure why some people are prone to developing warts, more than others, apart from the immune system.

What Are The Types Of Warts?

There are various types of warts. They vary in shape, and where they affect. Below are some of them;

  1. Common wart: Another name for this wart is, Verruca Vulgaris. This wart is rough and raised above the surface of the skin. It mostly grows on the hands, but can also grow on other parts of the body,
  2. Flat wart: This is a small, smooth wart. As compared to the Common wart, this is not rough surfaced. In addition, it mostly affects the face, neck, and wrists.
  3. Digitate wart: This mostly affects the face, lips, and the eyelids.
  4. Genital warts: These are warts that can be found on the genitalia.
  5. Plantar wart: These are painful warts, that appears with multiple black specks in the center. They exist on the soles of the feet, especially in the pressure points.

How Do People Get Warts?

As earlier mentioned, warts develop when the virus comes in contact with the skin, and leads to an infection. Warts are more likely to develop in broken skins, and in body parts such as hangnails, or bruises got from shaving. Basically, any bruise on the skin, that gets infected with the virus will likely lead to the development of warts.

Are Warts Contagious?

Warts are contagious. This disease can be gotten by touching the wart on someone else’s body or having contact with the virally infected surface. This includes towels, handkerchiefs, earphones and so on.

Is It Possible To Spread Warts From One Part Of The Body To Another?

It’s possible to spread warts from one part of the body to another. This is why it’s important to thoroughly and frequently wash the hands, especially after touching warts. It’s important to know that warts can easily be transferred especially when shaving over the area affected by warts and then using the same razor on other areas of the body.

Are There Ways To Prevent The Growth Of Warts?

Although skin warts can’t be prevented, there are some measures we can take to minimize the risk of developing warts. One of the most important things you can do is to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. In addition, endeavor to keep your skin healthy, moisturized, and free of bruises. This is more important for men who shave often. Those that don’t have a personal razor or shaving machine should endeavor to get one. Also, if you’re fond of biting your fingernails or cuticles, you should do your best to stop. Biting nails creates an opening for the virus to enter your skin. Be careful to use clean, fresh towels at the gym or in other public locations, and always wear rubber-soled flip-flops or sandals in public locker rooms and showers. All these are ways of preventing yourself from getting infected by the virus and developing warts.

Will Warts Go Away Without Treatment?

Yes, some types of warts do go away without any treatment, However, this might take months to years, before they fully disappear. Dermatologists advise that it’s better to treat warts before they spread to other parts of the body. The best way to go about this is to treat them as soon as you notice their growth on your skin. You might have to see a dermatologist for this.

When Is It Appropriate to See A Physician About Warts?

There are some common warts, that over-the-counter medication can successfully eliminate. However, there are some that won’t go away, even after making use of medications gotten from pharmacies. Dermatologists have different kinds of wart treatment and removal techniques that are effective.

How To Eliminate Warts?

Although, some types of warts do go away without any treatment. This might take a long time. Below are some ways to eliminate warts;

    1. Acid: Salicylic acid is a common treatment for wart. Although the name might sound scary, it’s perfectly safe to apply on the skin. Salicylic acid can be applied to the wart like a polish. Also, parents can buy a patch that looks like a bandage that has the acid in it. Before this is applied, ensure to soak the wart in water. Softening up the wart improves the efficacy of the acid. The acid removes the skin, eventually removing warts as well.
    2. Freezing: One of the ways to remove warts, is to freeze the wart with a cold spray treatment. This can be easily gotten from the store. The spray creates a blister around the wart. This will fall off with warts. Be careful not to freeze warts with ice cubes.
    3. Taping: Although this might sound awkward, it really works. Dermatologists have not been able to come up with a reason why this works. People would remove warts with duct tape. The way to do this is to place the tape on warts and change it after a few days. Every removal peels away some layer of warts.

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References

Kumar, R. and Zawar, V. (2007). Threading warts: a beauty parlour dermatosis. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 6(4), pp.279-282.

The Painless Removal of Warts. (1911). The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, 165(9), pp.351-352.