ecomii - a better way
March 20, 2018  |  Login
by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.

These bumpy small mounds of overgrown skin usually appear on fingers, hands, knees, elbows, or toes. Warts are usually brown or fleshy colored and have rough, dry surfaces.

Although anyone at any age can develop warts, they seem to strike more often during childhood and adolescence. They tend to recur and spread.

Warts are caused by a host of viruses and can be spread to other parts of the body or other people through direct contact. Experts have identified at least seventy different types of the human papilloma virus (HPV) that are known to infect the skin and leave warts.

Warts are usually identified by their location. A few of the more dominant ones are:

  • Common warts: This type tends to surface on the skin of the hands and the fingers. These warts usually don't hurt and are caused by HPV types 2 and 4.
  • Plantar warts: This type usually appears on the soles of the feet and tends to grow down into the skin, instead of creating mounds. Caused by HPV type 1, plantar warts are painful and attack blood vessels that are embedded deeply in the skin.
  • Plane warts: These are small, flat, and flesh-colored warts that grow in clusters.
  • Venereal warts: This type (known medically as condyloma acuminata or ­ genital warts) affects the genital and anus areas. These moist, fleshy mounds of skin feature surfaces that resemble cauliflower. At least four different types of HPV cause this type of wart, which is spread through sexual contact.

Children's and many adult cases of warts often disappear over time without treatment.

The conventional treatment for warts is a topically applied acid (salicylic acid) to slowly peel away the skin. Also, cryosurgery involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen, which destroys the wart cells. The last resort is to surgically remove a wart. This may be done for stubborn plantar warts that cause foot pain while one is walking or standing.

Natural therapy generally focuses on enhancing immune function to eradicate or suppress the virus that causes wart development.

Note: Venereal warts need to be treated by a doctor.

Next: What are the Testing Techniques for Warts

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