By Dr. Richa Thakur, Dermatology
Warts are characterized as benign growths on the skin which form as a result of viral infections. The virus that causes these warts is known as the ‘Human Papillomavirus’ (HPV). Cuts or cracks in the skin make one prone to this disorder. The virus that causes warts is contagious; they tend to spread via skin to skin contact.
Types of Warts-
Warts are generally classified into five types:
- Plantar Warts: These types of warts tend to form on the soles of the feet, they appear as a small hole surrounded by thickened skin.
- Common Warts: These warts tend to develop on the toes and fingers. They have a rough and grainy texture and have a rounded top.
- Flat Warts: A flat wart tends to develop on the thighs, arms and the face. These warts are generally small and not easily visible.
- Periungual Warts: These types of warts tend to develop under the fingernails and the toenails. They cause a lot of pain and impair nail growth.
- Filiform Warts: Filiform warts tend to form on the areas near the nose and the mouth; they appear as skin tags or tiny skin flaps.
How Do You Treat Warts?
The following treatment methods are used to treat warts:
- Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy is a technique where the warts are frozen to get rid of them. This treatment does not cause much pain but is known to result in dark spots.
- Cantharidin: A wart can be treated by using cantharidin to paint warts. This causes a blister to form under the wart, resulting in the death of warts.
- Electrosurgery and Curettage: Electrosurgery is a type of treatment that involves burning off warts. Curettage is another technique wherein warts are scraped off with a knife or a small tool.
- Laser Treatments: Laser treatments use lasers to get rid of warts. This treatment is preferred for warts which do not respond well to other modes of treatment.
- Immunotherapy: This treatment uses the patient’s own immune system to fight warts. This treatment is used when warts remain despite other treatments. One type of immunotherapy involves applying a chemical, such as diphencyprone (DCP), to warts.