Warts are small painless growths on the skin which are undesirable. They typically appear on the hands or feet but may appear on other parts of the body too. Warts can be annoying and feel disgusting. None of us like warts on our skin as it affects the aesthetic appearance.
Causes of warts
Warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). They look dark, bright and are soft to touch. Most of the time warts are harmless but certain warts have an increased risk of cancer. Some warts vanish on their own, but some need a dermatological approach. There are many treatments available for getting rid of warts.
Types of warts
- Common warts grow near the knuckles, knees, elbows, and fingers.
- Plantar warts are also called verrucas, they commonly appear on the lower extremities
- Filiform warts are long and appear commonly on eyelids, armpits, and neck.
- Mosaic warts grow as clusters which are commonly seen on the palms.
Treatment for warts
The type of treatment required for a wart removal depends entirely on the location and the count of warts.
Salicylic acid is believed to show miraculous results in removing warts. Although it takes days to weeks for the wart to visually vanish, it is for sure the results would be amazing. Before applying salicylic acid on the wart it must be soaked in warm water. You would then need a tool such as scrub brush or pumice stone to remove the wart.
Duct tapes are good for wart removal but not for facial warts. The tape is placed on the wart for about a week and then removed. The wart should then be soaked for about five minutes in warm water, with the help of pumice stone you can scrub off the dead tissue. It should then be uncovered overnight and the following day a new duct tape must be placed on it.
Cryotherapy involves freezing and destroying the wart. Cold nitrogen is spray helps the wart to fall off in a week or so. This procedure is performed under a local anesthesia. If the wart is bigger, the procedure is repeated several times over a number of weeks.
Topical creams are generally preferred for the removal or peeling of flatter warts present on the face. Example: tretinoin, benzoyl peroxide, 5-fluorouracil, etc.
Surgery is ideal for whom the other forms of treatment have failed or if the warts are too big, smaller warts are usually scrapped off using a curette. But warts treated with surgery often relapse; there is also a high risk of scarring. However, your dermatologist makes the decision if you require a surgical method of wart removal.
Electrocautery uses electric current to burn off warts.
In photodynamic therapy, the wart cells absorb the chemical which is activated by laser light. The wart cells are finally destroyed by the laser rays.