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COMMON VIRAL INFECTIONS – Warts - TYPES, Clinical Manifestations, Treatment and Prevention

COMMON VIRAL INFECTIONS – Warts - TYPES, Clinical Manifestations, Treatment and Prevention

COMMON VIRAL INFECTIONS – Warts - TYPES, Clinical Manifestations, Treatment and Prevention

WARTS

Warts are small, usually painless growths on the skin. Most of the time warts are harmless. They are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). Some warts are spread through sex. Warts found on mucous membrane, skin of human and genital skin of humans. All warts can spread from one part of your body to another. Warts may be spread from person to person but this is uncommon.

TYPES


  1. Common wart (verruca vulgaris) commonly appears on fingers. They grow above the skin surface and they are dome shaped with ragged borders
  2. Planter warts occur on bottom surface of foot. They grow inwards as pressure of shoes or walking prevents its outward growth. These warts extend deeper beneath the skin
  3. Flat wart (verruca plana) – they are flat lesion present on forehead or dorsum of the hand
  4. Condylomata acuminate or venereal warts – occur in moist areas – glans of penis, anal region of vulva and cervix. They are pink or purple in color and have cauliflower appearance.


 

CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS

Most warts are raised with a rough surface. They may be round or oval.


  • The spot where wart is may be lighter or darker than the other skin. Rarely, warts are black
  • Some warts have smooth or flat surfaces
  • Some warts may cause pain


 

TREATMENT


  1. Chemicals: typical chemicals used include salicyclic acid, trichloroacetic acid, 5-fluorouracil, cantharidin, tretinoin and podophyllin resin. Flat warts are often treated with peeling agents such as tretinoin or salicyclic acid. Imiquimod   can be used for the treatment of genital warts and is sometimes used to treat other warts. Chemicals usually require multiple applications over several weeks to months. Acid therapy and colloidal solution also used. Applied every 12-24 hours and warts disappear within 2-3 days.
  2. Freezing (cryotherapy): freezing is safe. Warts may be frozen with various commercial freezing probes or with liquid nitrogen sprayed on or applied with a cotton swab. Cryotherapy is often used for plantar warts, filiform warts, and warts under the fingernails.
  3. Burning and cutting: these methods are effective but are more painful and usually leave a scar. A laser or electrical current is used to burn warts off. A pulsed dye laser is also effective but, like freezing, usually requires multiple treatments.


 

PREVENTION

Avoiding cross-contamination can reduce the risk that you or your child will get or spread warts. Examples include:


  • Don’t bite fingernails. Warts occur more often in skin that has been broken. Nibbling the skin around fingernails opens the door for the virus.
  • Groom with care. In order to avoid spreading the virus, don’t brush, clip, comb or shave areas that have warts. If you touch a wart, wash hands carefully afterwards
  • Keep tools separate. Virus that causes warts can contaminate nail files or pumice stones may be using to reduce size of warts. So don’t use these tools on areas of body that don’t have warts.
  • Don’t pick at warts. Picking may spread the virus. Consider covering warts with an adhesive bandage to discourage picking
  • Keep hands dry. Warts are more difficult to control in a moist environment​