WARTS

warts

Warts are a common skin condition caused by the human papilloma virus. There are many effective treatments, and yes, duct tape is one of them.

Warts are actually benign tumors of the epidermis caused by a virus. The virus responsible is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a double-stranded DNA virus. The virus resides in the bottom layer of the epidermis and replicates into almost normal-looking skin. Different sub-types of HPV cause different types of warts. Some human papillomavirus subtypes also cause cervical cancer and other more obscure types of wart-related cancers.

The Wart Root Myth

Contrary to popular belief, warts do not have "roots". They only grow in the top layer of skin, the epidermis. When they grow down, they displace the second layer of skin, the dermis. They do not grow into the dermis. The underside of a wart is actually smooth.

The Appearance of Warts

Warts normally grow out of the skin in cylindrical columns. These columns do not fuse when the wart grows on thin skin such as the face. On thicker skin, the columns fuse and are packed tightly together giving the surface the typical mosaic pattern. Black dots can sometimes be seen in a wart. These are actually blood vessels that have grown rapidly and irregularly into the wart and have thombosed or clotted off.

Alternative Names: Plane juvenile warts; Periungual warts; Subungual warts; Plantar warts; Verruca; Verrucae planae juveniles; Filiform warts; Verruca vulgaris Treatment:

Over-the-counter medications can remove warts. These are applied to the wart every day for several weeks. DO NOT use these medications on your face or genitals. It helps to file the wart down when damp (for example, after a bath or shower) before applying these medications.

Special cushions are available at drugstores for plantar warts. These pads help relieve any pressure and pain from the warts.

Stronger (prescription) medications may be required for removal of persistent warts. Surgical removal or removal by freezing ( cryotherapy ), burning (electrocautery), or laser treatment may be needed.

Immunotherapy, done by injecting a substance that causes an allergic reaction, may also be considered by your doctor.

DO NOT attempt to remove a wart yourself by burning, cutting, tearing, picking, or any other method.

Interestingly, placing duct tape over a wart may help it disappear. A small study had people wear duct tape for six straight days, remove it, wet and scrape the wart down using a file, and then reapply the tape the next morning. This was done until the wart disappeared, but no longer than two months. The people wearing the duct tape had as much luck getting rid of their warts as those who had their warts frozen off by a doctor. This method might be worth a try if you have a painless, yet unsightly wart.

Expectations (prognosis): Warts are generally harmless growths that often go away on their own within two years. They can be contagious, but transmission from person to person is uncommon. Warts may be unsightly or cause discomfort, especially on the feet. Complications:

  • Spread of warts
  • Return of warts that disappeared
  • Minor scar formation if the wart is removed
  • Formation of keloids after removal

Call for an appointment with our Dermatologist

  • When there are signs of infection (red streaking, pus, discharge, or fever) or bleeding. Warts can bleed a little, but if bleeding is significant or not easily stopped by light pressure, see a doctor.
  • If warts do not respond to self care and you want it removed. • If you have pain associated with the wart.
  • When you have anal or genital warts.
  • When you have diabetes or a weakened immune system (for example, HIV) and have developed warts.
  • If there is any change in the color or appearance of the wart.

Who Gets Warts?

Warts can occur in people of all ages, but occur most commonly in children and young adults. They spread by direct contact, simply by touching the wart. Warts normally resolve spontaneously but the time it takes for this resolution is variable. Most warts resolve within weeks or months, but some may take years. It appears that a person's susceptibility to warts and the time it takes for them to go away is related to the individual's immune system. People who have immune-related diseases such as AIDS and lymphoma, or who are taking chemotherapy tend to have more warts that last longer.

Wart Treatments

Warts Closeup

Most warts can be treated with simple over-the-counter remedies. For those that are resistant to these measures, other types of treatments are effective.

Salicylic acid is a very common and effective over-the-counter treatment, but requires consistent application every day. They best way to use salicylic acid is to first pare the wart with a blade, pumice stone, emory board, or small scrub brush. Soaking the wart in warm water will aid in the absorption of the medicine. Salicylic acid is applied to the wart and allowed to dry. Normal surrounding skin may be protected with petroleum jelly. Occluding the treated wart with a band-aid or piece of tape also improves the absorption of the medicine. This procedure should be repeated daily ideally around shower or bath time. Salicylic acid can be found in several forms including a thick oil, or incorporated into an adhesive plaster form.

Cryotherapy is another effective treatment of warts. A provider applies liquid nitrogen as a spray or on a cotton swab to the wart. This freezes and kills the effected cells. The connective tissue is not destroyed; therefore, the lesion usually heals without significant scarring. The human papillomavirus is not killed by cryotherapy and is released into the surrounding tissue allowing the immune system to kill it. A blister typically forms on the site treated, crusts over, and falls off. Since blisters are painful to walk on, cryotherapy is not a first choice for warts on the bottom of the foot.

Other medicines may be applied to warts or injected into them include lactic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), formalin, glutaraldehyde, cantharidin, podophyllin, Retin-A, and bleomycin. These treatments should be supervised by a health care provider.

Duct Tape for Warts

Parents, and pediatricians, often get frustrated with common wart treatments, especially since they can be painful, take time, and don't always work. Although most warts do typically go away on their own and may not require treatment, some do become painful, bothersome, rapidly spread, or don't go away, even after several years, and do need to be treated.

Wart Treatments

The most common treatments that your pediatrician will likely try include freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen, which is called cryotherapy, or applying cantharidin to the warts. Both treatments should cause some blistering of the wart, causing it to come off, although multiple treatments are often necessary. The cantharidin treatments have the benefit of usually being painless, although it can trigger a large, painful blister later that day.

Many parents try to treat their children's warts at home, which has become much easier now that home wart freezing kits are now available, such as Compound W Freeze Off, Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away Wart Remover, or Wartner Wart Removal System. In addition to home cryotherapy, another home remedy that many parents use involves applying salicylic acid to the warts, using OTC products such as Compound W Liquid Wart Remover or Dr. Scholl's Clear Away One Step Salicylic Acid Wart Remover.

Duct Tape for Warts

An increasingly popular home wart remedy involves applying duct tape to warts.

Using this duct tape treatment, you:

1. cover the wart with duct tape for six days (if the duct tape comes off early, simply reapply it to the wart) 2. next, remove the duct tape, soak the wart, and use an emery board or pumice stone to remove skin on top of the wart if possible 3. reapply the duct tape after twenty-four hours and repeat the steps 1 and 2

Using the duct tape method for one or two months, some experts report that over 80% of people will find that their warts are gone,2 with many seeing signs of improvement in just 2 weeks.

Although a newer study reported results that were not as impressive for duct tape,3 there may have been problems with this study,4 and many people still recommend giving duct a try.

Duct Tape Method Treatment Tip

Many kids don't want to walk around with a gray piece of duct tape on their skin, especially if their wart is on their finger or some other part of their body that is easily visible.

Using duct tape in their favorite color, such as red, pink, or blue, can make the duct tape method for treating warts a lot easier for your kids to handle, especially since they may need to keep the duct tape on for a month or two.

Gardasil

Gardasil Basics:

Gardasil is a vaccine made by Merck & Co., Inc. and which has been approved by the FDA to prevent cervical cancer in females between the ages of 9 and 26 years of age. It is also approved to protect boys and men, ages 9 through 26 years, against genital warts (condyloma acuminata) due to certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV).

What Gardasil Is Used For:

Gardasil is a vaccine against the HPV or Human Papillomavirus. The Gardasil vaccine protects recipients against 4 types of HPV, including the two types that cause most cervical cancers and the two types that cause the most genital warts.

HPV Facts:

HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that causes genital warts, abnormal Pap tests, and cervical cancer.

• About 20 million people are infection with HPV in the United States and almost 3,700 women die of cervical cancer in the US each year. • Since many people have no symptoms and not even know that they are infected with HPV, they can pass on their HPV infection to their sexual partners without knowing. • About 1 in 500 men in the US get newly diagnosed with genital warts each year. • There is no cure for HPV infections.

Gardasil Facts:

Gardasil won't prevent all forms of genital warts or cervical cancers, but it is highly effective at preventing genital warts and cervical cancers that are caused by the types of HPV that the vaccine targets.

• Gardasil is given as a three dose series completed over 6 months.

Who Should Get Gardasil:

Since Gardasil prevents HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, it is important that it be given before people become sexually active. In fact, the ACIP recommends that Gardasil be routinely given to girls when they are 11 or 12 years of age. Gardasil can be started as early as age 9 though, and can also be given to women 13 to 26 years old.

Gardasil Side Effects:

According to the CDC, so far in testing, 'there appear to be no serious side effects. The most common side effect is brief soreness at the injection site.'

Gardasil Controversy:

Some experts think that Gardasil may lead to controversy because some parents will have problems thinking about giving a vaccine against a STD to pre-teens. Other parents might not want a vaccine against a STD at all, believing that their children could not be at risk. And still others think that Gardasil might encourage promiscuity, since it could foster the belief that it protects against STDs.

What You Need To Know:

• Gardasil is not a 'STD vaccine' in the sense that it prevents all STDs. It simply provides protection against certain types of HPV, but not other STDs, such as HIV or herpes. • Cervarix is another HPV vaccine has been developed by GlaxoSmithKline and is approved by the FDA.

Pictures of Warts

The following pictures show various types of warts:

Flat Wart on the Hands   Wart as Cutaneous Horn on the Toe
 

FAQ

What causes warts?

Warts are a type of infection caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. There are more than 100 types of HPV viruses. Warts can grow on all parts of your body. They can grow on your skin, on the inside of your mouth, on your genitals and on your rectal area. Common types of HPV tend to cause warts on the skin (such as the hands and fingers), while other HPV types tend to cause warts on the genitals and rectal area. Some people are more naturally resistant to the HPV viruses and don't seem to get warts as easily as other people.

Can warts be passed from one person to another person?

Yes, warts on the skin may be passed to another person when that person touches the warts. It is also possible to get warts from using towels or other objects that were used by a person who has warts.

Warts on the genitals are very contagious and can be passed to another person during oral, vaginal or anal sex. It is important not to have unprotected sex if you or your partner has warts on the genital area. In women, warts can grow on the cervix (inside the vagina), and a woman may not even know she has them. She may pass the infection to her sexual partner without knowing it.

Will warts go away on their own?

Often warts disappear on their own, although it may take many months or even years for the warts to go away. But some warts won't go away on their own. Doctors are not sure why some warts disappear and others do not.

Do warts on the skin need to be treated?

Generally, yes. Common warts are often bothersome. They can bleed and cause pain when they're bumped. They can also be embarrassing, for example, if they grow on your face. Treatment may decrease the chance that the warts will be spread to other areas of your body or to other people.

How are warts on the skin removed?

First of all, it's important to know that warts on the skin (such as on the fingers, feet and knees) and warts on the genitals are removed in different ways. Don't try any home remedies or over-the-counter drugs to remove warts on the genital area. You could hurt your genital area by putting certain chemicals on it. You also shouldn't treat warts on your face without talking to your doctor first. The following are some ways to remove common warts from the skin:

Applying salicylic acid.

You can treat warts on places such as the hands, feet or knees by putting salicylic acid (one brand name: Compound W) on the warts. To get good results, you must apply the acid every day for many weeks. After you take a bath or shower, pat your skin dry lightly with a towel. Then put salicylic acid on your warts. The acid sinks in deeper and works better when it is applied to damp skin. Before you take a shower or a bath the next day, use an emery board or pumice stone to file away the dead surface of the warts.

Applying cantharidin.

Your doctor may use cantharidin on your warts. With this treatment, the doctor "paints" the chemical onto the wart. Most people don't feel any pain when the chemical is applied to the wart. You'll experience some pain and blistering of the wart in about 3 to 8 hours. After treatment with cantharidin, a bandage is put over the wart. The bandage can be removed after 24 hours. When mixtures of cantharidin and other chemicals are used, the bandage is removed after 2 hours. When you see your doctor again, he or she will remove the dead skin of the wart. If the wart isn't gone after one treatment, your doctor may suggest another treatment.

Applying liquid nitrogen.

Your doctor may use liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart. This treatment is called cryotherapy. Applying liquid nitrogen to the wart causes a little discomfort. To completely remove a wart, liquid nitrogen treatments may be needed every 1 to 3 weeks for a total of 2 to 4 times. If no improvement is noted, your doctor may recommend another type of treatment. • Other treatments for warts on the skin.

Your doctor can also remove warts on the skin by burning the wart, cutting out the wart or removing the wart with a laser. These treatments are effective, but they may leave a scar. They are normally reserved for warts that have not cleared up with other treatments.

Talk to your doctor about which treatment is right for you.

How are warts in the genital area treated?

Genital warts must be treated by your doctor. Warts in the genital area can be removed, but there's no cure for the viral infection that causes the warts. This means that the warts may come back even after they have been removed.

Do common warts ever come back?

Most of the time, treatment of warts on the skin is successful and the warts are gone for good. Your body's immune system can usually get rid of any tiny bits of wart that may be left after a wart has been treated. Genital warts are more likely to come back because there's no cure for the virus that causes them and because warts are more difficult to control in a moist environment. If warts come back, see your doctor to talk about other ways to treat them.

Warts: Removal by Freezing

How can my wart be removed?

Warts can be removed in a number of ways. One way is called cryosurgery (freezing the wart). This 2-step process removes the wart without hurting the skin around it.

The first step is getting your wart ready to be removed. You can help with this step. The second step is freezing the wart, which will be done by your doctor in his or her office. You may need to have several freezing treatments before the wart is completely removed.

What do I need to do to prepare the wart for cryotherapy?

You must do some things on your own at home to get the wart ready for removal. Doing these things before you come to your doctor's office can reduce the number of freezing treatments you need. You should do the following:

1. Every night for 2 weeks, clean the wart with soap and water and put 17% salicylic acid gel (one brand name: Compound W) on it.

2. After putting on the gel, cover the wart with a piece of 40% salicylic acid pad (one brand name: Mediplast). Cut the pad so that it is a little bit bigger than the wart. The pad has a sticky backing that will help it stay on the wart.

3. Leave the pad on the wart for 24 hours. If the area becomes very sore or red, stop using the gel and pad and call your doctor's office.

4. After you take the pad off, clean the area with soap and water, put more gel on the wart and put on another pad. If you are very active during the day and the pad moves off the wart, you can leave the area uncovered during the day and only wear the pad at night.

What happens next?

After 2 weeks of this treatment, your wart will have turned white and will look fluffy. Your doctor will then be able to remove the white skin layer covering the wart and use cryosurgery to freeze the base (root) of the wart. If your skin reacts strongly to cold, tell your doctor before cryosurgery.

Cryosurgery can be uncomfortable, but it usually isn't too painful. The freezing is somewhat numbing. When your doctor places the instrument on your skin to freeze the wart, it will feel like an ice cube is stuck to your skin. Afterward, you may feel a burning sensation as your skin thaws out.

Healing after cryosurgery usually doesn't take long. You will probably be able to enjoy all your usual activities while you heal, including bathing or showering. Cryosurgery leaves little or no scar. After the area has healed, the treated skin may be a bit lighter in color than the skin around it.

Genital Warts

What are genital warts?

Genital warts may be small, flat, flesh-colored bumps or tiny, cauliflower-like bumps. In men, genital warts can grow on the penis, near the anus, or between the penis and the scrotum. In women, genital warts may grow on the vulva and perineal area, in the vagina and on the cervix (the opening to the uterus or womb). Genital warts vary in size and may even be so small that you can't see them.

Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many kinds of HPV. Not all of them cause genital warts. HPV is associated with cancer of the vulva, anus and penis. However, it's important to note that HPV infection doesn't always lead to cancer.

How do you get HPV?

HPV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The most common way to get HPV is by having oral, vaginal or anal sex with someone who is infected with HPV. The only sure way to prevent genital warts is to not have sex. If you are sexually active, having sex only with a partner who doesn't haveisn’t infected with HPV and who only has sex with you will lower your risk of getting genital warts.

Just because you can't see warts on your partner doesn't mean he or she doesn't have HPV. The infection can have a long incubation period. This means that months can pass between the time a person is infected with the virus and the time a person notices genital warts. Sometimes, the warts can take years to develop. In women, the warts may be where you can't see them--inside the body, on the surface of the cervix.

Using condoms may prevent you from catching HPV from someone who has it. However, condoms can't always cover all of the affected skin.

How are genital warts diagnosed?

If you notice warts in your genital area, see your doctor. Your doctor may be able to diagnose the warts just by examining you. For women, a Pap test can help detect changes on the cervix that are caused by genital warts can cause.

Can genital warts be treated?

Yes. Genital warts must be treated by your doctor. Do not try to treat the warts yourself.

The warts can be removed, but the viral infection itself can't be cured. The virus goes on living inside your skin. This is why the warts often return after they have been removed. You may need to have them removed more than once.

How are genital warts removed?

One way to remove the warts is to freeze them. This is called cryotherapy. The warts can also be taken off with a laser.

A treatment called the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) can be used to remove the warts. With this method of removal, a sharp instrument shaped like a loop is passed underneath the wart and the wart is cut out of the skin.

Special chemicals can be used to remove the warts. These chemicals dissolve warts in the genital area. They may have to be applied to the area a number of times over a period of several weeks before the treatment is complete.

Chemicals you can buy at the store to remove warts from your hands should not be used for genital warts. They can make your genital skin very sore.

What if I don't get genital warts treated?

Genital warts can grow if you do not get them treated. If you are sexually active, you also risk infecting your partner.

Certain kinds of HPV can cause abnormal cells to grow on the cervix. Sometimes, these cells can become cancerous if left untreated. Other kinds of HPV can cause cancer of the vulva, vagina, anus or penis.

Plantar Wart / Verruca

A wart that develops on the bottom of the feet or toes. Plantar is a word that means bottom when referring to the foot. A plantar wart is caused by a virus. The wart virus can infect the skin if there is a crack or opening in the skin. See more photos of foot warts in the foot wart photo gallery. Also Known As: verruca plantaris, foot wart Common Misspellings: planter verucca, veruca, varuca

Joomla
Joomla

Wordpress
Wordpress