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Common Warts - Symptoms and Treatment

Common warts are local growths in the skin that are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. This virus causes a rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of your skin. Common warts - usually grow on the fingers, around the nails and on the backs of the hands. They are more common where skin has been broken, for example where fingernails are bitten or hangnails picked. These are often called "seed" warts because the blood vessels to the wart produce black dots that look like seeds. Particularly common among children, young adults, and women, warts are a problem for 7-10% of the population. There are close to 60 types of HPV that cause warts, each preferring a specific skin location. For instance, some types of HPV cause warts to grow on the skin, others cause them to grow inside the mouth, while still others cause them to grow on the genital and rectal areas. However, most can be active anywhere on the body. The virus enters through the skin and produces new warts after an incubation period of one to eight months. Warts are usually skin-colored and feel rough to the touch, but they also can be dark, flat, and smooth. Some people are continually susceptible to warts, while others are more resistant to HPV and seldom get them. The virus takes hold more readily when the skin has been damaged in some way, which may explain why children who bite their nails tend to have warts located on their fingers. People who take a medication to suppress their immune system or are on long-term steroid use are also prone to a wart virus infection.

A wart is generally a small, rough tumor , typically on hands and feet, that can resemble a cauliflower or a solid blister. Warts come in many sizes, colors, and shapes. They can appear anywhere on the body. Warts, or verrucae (singular: verruca), are benign growths on the skin or mucous membranes that cause cosmetic problems as well as pain and discomfort. They are seen on people of all ages but most commonly appear in children and teenagers. The incubation period of a wart is 2 to 9 months following infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) , during which time an excessive proliferation of skin growth slowly develops. Fortunately, more than 50 percent of them disappear on their own within two years. A mole or a nevus is synonymous with birthmarks . It is a discoloration of a circumscribed area of the skin due to extra pigment deposition. A mole is darker in colour and is solid. In comparison, a wart is a softer structure which is translucent and marked with veins.

Causes of Common Warts

Common Causes of Common Warts :

  • Virus Infection (generally contracted in swimming pools).
  • Defects in the proper development of the skin surface in certain areas.

Symptoms of Common Warts

Some common Symptoms of Common Warts :

  • Knees.
  • Elbows.
  • Abnormally dark or light skin surrounding the lesion.
  • Numerous small, smooth, flat (pinhead sized) lesions on forehead, cheeks, arms, or legs.
  • Small, hard, flat or raised skin lesion or lump.
  • Rough growths around or under fingernails or toenails.

Treatment of Common Warts

  • Common warts are best treated by electro-cautery.








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