The common wart is a skin growth that most often occurs on the hands. They are non cancerous and usually painless. The common wart is caused by one of the hundreds of strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) and should not be confused with other more serious forms of (HPV) such as genital warts. These are the facts on warts……
- Warts are most common in children and usually show up between the ages of 12-16.
- Most warts will last for between 6 months and 3 years if not treated.
- Mostly found on the hands but they can also be found on the foot or face and around or under toenails and fingernails.
- The “plantar wart,” found on the feet may cause pain and itching because of the constant friction from walking or running.
Warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) which is spread by contact. HPV triggers an abnormal and rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of your skin. They are most common in children, young adults and those with weaker immune systems.
The incubation period which is the time between contact with the virus and the wart forming is between 1 and 8 months.
- The majority of common warts are raised, rounded growths on the skin with a rough surface.
- The wart is usually a different shade than the rest of the skin, it can be lighter or darker.
- Warts on the feet are called plantar warts and if they appear under and around the finger or toenails they are called subungual and periungual warts. These can be more painful and harder to remove.
- Doctors can treat warts by freezing (cryotherapy) or burning (electrocautery) to remove them.
- Laser treatment can be used in more stubborn cases.
- There are several over the counter medications and ointments that can be used to treat the common wart.
- To stop the warts from spreading they should be covered with a bandage.
- Warts on the face or genital warts should always be treated by a doctor and as in the case with most ailments, a doctors diagnosis would be prudent.
- Never attempt to remove warts by cutting, scraping or burning them at home.
- When applying topical treatments, read all instructions and apply daily for the recommended periods.
- Wear socks and shoes to avoid contacting plantar warts.
- Keep your hygiene equipment clean to avoid spreading the virus. (Nail files etc.)
- Avoid hand contact with warts on others and wash your hands often, especially if you are in contact with others.
- Prevention can also include a healthy lifestyle of a balanced diet, exercise and plenty of sleep to keep the immune system strong.
The common wart is an annoying skin condition that can cause embarrassment and self esteem issues with kids and young adults because they normally appear on the hands and are hard to conceal. They will eventually go away on their own in most cases, but there are many treatments and remedies available that will get rid of them a lot quicker.
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