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WARTS - What Are Warts

Updated on May 20, 2015

About Warts

Is it true that touching frogs can cause warts on human's body? This strong belief concerning the appearance of warts due to amphibians, no doubt belongs to legends and tales that usually were told to us when we were kids, so we wouldn't touch any poisonous amphibian. Unfortunately, these stories managed to create a totally false perception of the warts; the wrong reason why they appear and how they can be treated. The wart is a harmless lump on the skin. It usually occurs on the hands or feet, but may also develop on other parts of the body. Ordinary warts look like a cauliflower. Approximately 50% of the warts disappear within two years without any treatment.

HPV Virus - Warts

However, it is highly contagious and in order to prevent the expansion, it should be treated immediately and any direct skin contacts must be avoided. Often warts reappear and this usually happens when you do not take any precautions. The virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) is usually the reason of wart appearing. This virus causes the rapid proliferation of the skin cells, resulting in the development of benign lumps that are more annoying than dangerous, though highly infectious. There are over 70 different subtypes of HPV that cause warts.

Do you suffer from warts?

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How HPV is spread?

Different types of virus usually cause warts on various parts of the body. The virus is transmitted via direct skin contact or by touching moist surfaces, such as floors in swimming pools and locker rooms or public places where infected persons might have been. After the initial contact, the HPV virus can remain inactive or dormant within the skin and may not show immediately visible symptoms. This means that many people may be carriers of HPV without ever knowing it. It may take even several months to develop a single wart. The warts usually appear when there is a large slit on the skin of infected with HPV person, or in areas where the skin is exposed to excessive moisture, such as sweaty feet. A slit in the skin can be caused by cuts from shaving, cracked skin and eczema.

Frogs = Warts? NOO
Frogs = Warts? NOO | Source

Most common types of warts

The two types of warts that dermatologists often face are the common wart and verruca feet. Common warts usually grow on fingers, on the back of the palm of the hands and feet. The warts of the feet, also called verruca usually appear on the soles.

  • VERRUCA VULGARIS
  • VERRUCA PLANTARIS

Who are most vulnerable to HPV?

Scientists estimate that about one in ten has warts at some point of life and one in four experiences at least appearance of one wart at some point of their lives. The warts are the most common dermatological problem after acne.
Although we are all exposed to the virus HPV, some people seem to be more sensitive to it, while others are intrinsically more resistant. The warts are more common when the immune system of the body is weakened. Children and adolescents are more likely to be affected, as they have yet developed antibodies against the virus. 53% of people suffering from warts are children and teens starting age of 5 and up to 19. Individuals treated with steroids or suffering from diseases that suppress the activity of the immune system such as infection with HIV, are also more likely to have warts. Most warts appear during the summer, due to increased contact in activities such as swimming and camping.

Common Types of Warts

VERRUCA VULGARIS
VERRUCA PLANTARIS
Common warts doesn't hurt; they are just benign lumps consisted of a hard-core skin. The common wart looks like a hard lump with irregular surface that reminds cauliflower. The warts may have irregular shape and can reach the size of a pea. The colors of warts are white, gray or brown. Common warts usually grow around the nails, on fingers and on the back of the hand and sometimes they might also occur on the knees and on the face, especially in places where the skin is torn.
In this case the warts of the feet appear only on the sole, it is very sensitive and recognized by the way it appears within the tissue of the skin. The surface is irregular, swollen, spongy and thick. The warts of the feet can be brown or gray in color with dark center; such lumps if treated are very painful. Usually, it is larger than the common warts and more planar, due to the pressure of walking on the sole. They often grow under the points, which are pressed more by the heels. If you look carefully, you will notice little black dots on the infected feet. They are not the roots of warts. Bleeding, due to the pressure of walking is responsible for the black spots.

Other types of warts

Mollusca contagiosa
Molluscum contagiosum is a smooth compact bulge, which is transparent or white. It caused by the virus pox. In children, these warts appear on the body, arms or legs. But sometimes they might also occur on face and on lower parts of the body. They do not appear on the palms or soles.

Verruca plana
These warts are smooth with flat surface and only a few millimeters in size. They tend to grow in large numbers, from 20 to 100 and can occur anywhere, though in children they usually occur on the face. In adults, symptoms are visible on the cheeks and chin.

Verruca filiformis
The filiformis warts are minutes away from the lips, eyelids, face and neck.
Caution: they should never be treat at home

Condyloma acuminatum
These warts appear around the anus and on genitals, they can be found primarily in adults as they are transmitted through the sexual contact.
Warning: you should never treat these warts at home.

Disseminated warts
This is a set of small warts that are able to form cluster.

How to treat warts?

Approximately 50% of symptoms disappear within two years without the treatment. The virus causes the warts and thus the body creates antibodies over time and warts disappear. This process may take several months or even years. However, warts are contagious and may spread to other parts of the body or spread to other people. For this reason, it is best to treat it immediately. One more reason is that foot warts can be painful and some may even bleed. The treatment may reduce the chance of spread. Today, experts suggest a more practical and effective approach. For the treatment of children, it is best in the begging to try a product that doesn't need medical prescription, as the procedures applied by the doctor may be scary. I have few products listed here so you can choose any of them.
There are few more ways to treat warts, which must be done by doctors.

  • Surgical removal of warts
  • Cryotherapy
  • Burning
  • Laser
  • And other

Comments

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    • SAM ELDER profile imageAUTHOR

      SAM ELDER 

      5 years ago from Home

      MsDora you always have kind words for my articles... Thank you

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Really good article. Clears up some false impressions and presents useful information. Disappearance after two years is good to know.

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