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Wart Removal

Wart Removal

[bt_quote style="box" width="0"] Warts are benign (not cancerous) skin growths that appear when a virus infects the top layer of the skin. You are more likely to get one of these viruses if you cut or damage your skin in some way. Warts can grow on any part of your body.[/bt_quote]

[bt_accordion width="0" active_first="yes" icon="plus-square-1"] [bt_spoiler title="Definition" icon="list"] Warts are small harmless tumors of the skin caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus. The appearance of warts can differ based on the type of wart and where it is located on the body. Most warts are well defined, with skin thickening. Very few go on to develop hyperplasia or malignancy (found most often with genital warts). The focus of this article is nongenital warts; when people want information about "warts," most commonly they mean nongenital warts.
-- Warts are common in children. Most cases occur between ages 12-16 years.
-- Some warts disappear by themselves within six months. Most will disappear without any treatment within three years. [/bt_spoiler] [bt_spoiler title="Symptoms & Types" icon="list"]Warts symptoms include:

-- Most warts are raised with a rough surface. They may be round or oval.
-- The spot where the wart is may be lighter or darker than the other skin. Rarely, warts are black.
-- Some warts have smooth or flat surfaces.
-- Some warts may cause pain.

TYPES
The three most common types of nongenital (not appearing on the genitals) warts and one uncommon type are these:
-- Common warts (verrucae vulgaris): These common warts typically develop on the hand, especially around the nail. Common warts are gray to flesh colored, raised from the skin surface, and covered with rough, hornlike projections.
-- Plantar warts (verrucae plantaris):Plantar warts, by definition, occur on the plantar surface, or bottom, of the foot. They usually occur in high-pressure areas such as the heel and the metatarsal heads (just behind the toes). Plantar warts usually grow into the skin, not outward like common warts. This growing into the skin makes plantar warts more difficult to treat.
-- Flat warts (verrucae plana): Flat warts are most commonly seen on the face and the back of the hands. They usually appear as small individual bumps about ¼ inch across. Flat warts may spread rapidly on the face from activities such as shaving.

[/bt_spoiler] [bt_spoiler title="Causes " icon="list"] Warts are caused by the DNA-containing human papillomavirus (HPV). There are at least 100 genetically different types of HPVs.
-- The virus enters the skin after direct contact with recently shed viruses kept alive in warm, moist environments such as a locker room, or by direct contact with an infected person. The entry site is often an area of recent skin injury. The incubation time (from when the virus is contracted until a wart appears) can be one to eight months.
-- Contrary to popular mythology, touching a frog will not give a person warts. [/bt_spoiler]

[bt_spoiler title="Preparing For Your Appointment" icon="list"] When to call your Doctor:
-- You have signs of infection (red streaking, pus, discharge, or fever) or bleeding.
-- You have a lot of bleeding from the wart or bleeding that does not stop when you apply light pressure.
-- The wart does not respond to self-care and you want it removed.
-- The wart causes pain.
-- You have anal or genital warts.
-- You have diabetes or a weakened immune system (for example, from HIV) and have developed warts.
-- There is any change in the color or appearance of the wart. [/bt_spoiler]

[bt_spoiler title="Wart Dignosis" icon="list"] The diagnosis of a wart is made by its location and appearance. If uncertain as to the type of skin problem, the doctor may elect to perform any of several different tests.
Punch biopsy: This is a more invasive way of obtaining a sample of the questionable wart. The doctor will numb the area around the wart and take a deeper coring sample. This skin and questionable wart will be sent to a laboratory for further evaluation that is not possible in a doctor's office. See information about moles and mole removal. [/bt_spoiler] [bt_spoiler title="Self-Care at Home" icon="list"] Home care is effective in making the wart or warts go away. No matter what technique you use, warts will disappear 60%-70% of the time. Techniques may be done with or without medication. The ultimate goal of the medical therapies (not the surgical treatments) is to get your body to recognize the wart as something foreign and to destroy it, much like the body destroys a cold virus.
Salicylic acid therapy -- Salicylic acid is available by many different trade names at the drugstore. It comes both as a liquid to paint on the wart or as a plaster to be cut out and placed on the wart tissue.
-- The area with the wart should be soaked in warm water for five to 10 minutes. The wart should then be pared down with a razor. A simple plastic razor works fine for this, then throw it away. Do not shave far enough to make the wart bleed.
-- Apply the salicylic acid preparation to the wart tissue. Do not apply it to other skin because of salicylic acid's potential to injure normal tissue.
-- Follow directions on the package for how long to apply the acid.

Cryotherapy: Over-the-counter products to freeze the area of the wart using dimethyl ether and propane are available.
-- Follow package instructions exactly. Do not get the product on surrounding intact skin.
[/bt_spoiler] [bt_spoiler title=" Treatments " icon="list"] In addition to recommending the home care treatments, your doctor may choose to treat the wart more aggressively.
-- Liquid nitrogen: Liquid nitrogen or cryotherapy is used to deep freeze the wart tissue. With liquid nitrogen applied to the wart, the water in the cells expands, thus exploding the infected tissue. The exploded cells can no longer hide the human papillomavirus from the body's immune system. The immune system then works to destroy the virus particles.
-- Laser therapy: Lasers are simply very intense light sources. This light has an enormous amount of energy that heats the tissue enough that it vaporizes.
-- Other therapies mentioned in the literature include imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara), cantharidin, and several other medications and methods that are usually suggested or administered by a physician.
-- Surgical removal: Surgery may be necessary when other treatment methods fail. This would involve numbing the region around the wart and cutting out the wart.
-- Destruction by scraping and burning the lesion; the wart area is numbed with a local anesthetic and then the doctor heats the tissue with an electric needle. The dead tissue is then scraped away with a curette ( a type of surgical tool).
[/bt_spoiler] [/bt_accordion]

Warts are benign (not cancerous) skin growths that appear when a virus infects the top layer of the skin. You are more likely to get one of these viruses if you cut or damage your skin in some way. Warts can grow on any part of your body.

Definition
Warts are small harmless tumors of the skin caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus. The appearance of warts can differ based on the type of wart and where it is located on the body. Most warts are well defined, with skin thickening. Very few go on to develop hyperplasia or malignancy (found most often with genital warts). The focus of this article is nongenital warts; when people want information about "warts," most commonly they mean nongenital warts.
-- Warts are common in children. Most cases occur between ages 12-16 years.
-- Some warts disappear by themselves within six months. Most will disappear without any treatment within three years.
Symptoms & Types
Warts symptoms include:

-- Most warts are raised with a rough surface. They may be round or oval.
-- The spot where the wart is may be lighter or darker than the other skin. Rarely, warts are black.
-- Some warts have smooth or flat surfaces.
-- Some warts may cause pain.

TYPES
The three most common types of nongenital (not appearing on the genitals) warts and one uncommon type are these:
-- Common warts (verrucae vulgaris): These common warts typically develop on the hand, especially around the nail. Common warts are gray to flesh colored, raised from the skin surface, and covered with rough, hornlike projections.
-- Plantar warts (verrucae plantaris):Plantar warts, by definition, occur on the plantar surface, or bottom, of the foot. They usually occur in high-pressure areas such as the heel and the metatarsal heads (just behind the toes). Plantar warts usually grow into the skin, not outward like common warts. This growing into the skin makes plantar warts more difficult to treat.
-- Flat warts (verrucae plana): Flat warts are most commonly seen on the face and the back of the hands. They usually appear as small individual bumps about ¼ inch across. Flat warts may spread rapidly on the face from activities such as shaving.

Causes
Warts are caused by the DNA-containing human papillomavirus (HPV). There are at least 100 genetically different types of HPVs.
-- The virus enters the skin after direct contact with recently shed viruses kept alive in warm, moist environments such as a locker room, or by direct contact with an infected person. The entry site is often an area of recent skin injury. The incubation time (from when the virus is contracted until a wart appears) can be one to eight months.
-- Contrary to popular mythology, touching a frog will not give a person warts.

Preparing For Your Appointment
When to call your Doctor:
-- You have signs of infection (red streaking, pus, discharge, or fever) or bleeding.
-- You have a lot of bleeding from the wart or bleeding that does not stop when you apply light pressure.
-- The wart does not respond to self-care and you want it removed.
-- The wart causes pain.
-- You have anal or genital warts.
-- You have diabetes or a weakened immune system (for example, from HIV) and have developed warts.
-- There is any change in the color or appearance of the wart.

Wart Dignosis
The diagnosis of a wart is made by its location and appearance. If uncertain as to the type of skin problem, the doctor may elect to perform any of several different tests.
Punch biopsy: This is a more invasive way of obtaining a sample of the questionable wart. The doctor will numb the area around the wart and take a deeper coring sample. This skin and questionable wart will be sent to a laboratory for further evaluation that is not possible in a doctor's office. See information about moles and mole removal.
Self-Care at Home
Home care is effective in making the wart or warts go away. No matter what technique you use, warts will disappear 60%-70% of the time. Techniques may be done with or without medication. The ultimate goal of the medical therapies (not the surgical treatments) is to get your body to recognize the wart as something foreign and to destroy it, much like the body destroys a cold virus.
Salicylic acid therapy -- Salicylic acid is available by many different trade names at the drugstore. It comes both as a liquid to paint on the wart or as a plaster to be cut out and placed on the wart tissue.
-- The area with the wart should be soaked in warm water for five to 10 minutes. The wart should then be pared down with a razor. A simple plastic razor works fine for this, then throw it away. Do not shave far enough to make the wart bleed.
-- Apply the salicylic acid preparation to the wart tissue. Do not apply it to other skin because of salicylic acid's potential to injure normal tissue.
-- Follow directions on the package for how long to apply the acid.

Cryotherapy: Over-the-counter products to freeze the area of the wart using dimethyl ether and propane are available.
-- Follow package instructions exactly. Do not get the product on surrounding intact skin.
Treatments
In addition to recommending the home care treatments, your doctor may choose to treat the wart more aggressively.
-- Liquid nitrogen: Liquid nitrogen or cryotherapy is used to deep freeze the wart tissue. With liquid nitrogen applied to the wart, the water in the cells expands, thus exploding the infected tissue. The exploded cells can no longer hide the human papillomavirus from the body's immune system. The immune system then works to destroy the virus particles.
-- Laser therapy: Lasers are simply very intense light sources. This light has an enormous amount of energy that heats the tissue enough that it vaporizes.
-- Other therapies mentioned in the literature include imiquimod (Aldara, Zyclara), cantharidin, and several other medications and methods that are usually suggested or administered by a physician.
-- Surgical removal: Surgery may be necessary when other treatment methods fail. This would involve numbing the region around the wart and cutting out the wart.
-- Destruction by scraping and burning the lesion; the wart area is numbed with a local anesthetic and then the doctor heats the tissue with an electric needle. The dead tissue is then scraped away with a curette ( a type of surgical tool).