By Dr. J.S. Chhabra, Dermatology
Warts are normal outgrowths caused by HPV or human papilloma virus which is responsible for stimulating cells to grow rapidly on the skin’s outermost layer. They most often appear on the hands, fingers or near the fingernails, as coarse or grainy skin.
The main cause of warts is through direct contact with HPV. This could either happen through direct contact with the person infected or through contact with an object used by that person. Warts can rapidly spread to other parts of the body.
Depending upon the location, warts can be classified as follows:
1. Plantar Warts: These generally appear on the soles of the feet
2. Genital Warts: These grow around the genitals, in the pubic area and in and around the anus or vagina
3. Flat Warts: These are most common in children and teens rather than in adults
Complications associated with common warts may include:
1. A change in appearance or color in warts can indicate other problems and are usually painful
2. Warts are often bothersome and irritable
3. Some types of warts may persist for long periods and spread rapidly to other areas of the body
Warts are usually harmless and at the same time, treatable. The treatment should aim at destroying the virus completely and to stimulate the immune system. Some of the methods incorporated in the treatment of warts may include cryotherapy or freezing, strong peeling agents, laser treatment or through the use of certain acids.