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Warts also called - Verrucae: these common, benign infections affect the skin and mucous membranes.  Some warts resolve spontaneously and others disappear readily with treatment. Warts may occur at any age, but are more common in young children and young adults.

Cause:  results from infection with the human papillomavirus.  It may be transmitted by direct contact or by autoinoculation.


Symptoms may vary depending on the types of wart and the location

Flat:  these warts are common on the face, neck, chest, knees, back of hands, wrists, and flexor surfaces of the forearms.

Plantar:  this type of wart  appears slightly elevated or flat.

Genital Warts:  also called Condyloma acuminatum, is a sexually transmitted infection that appears on the penis, scrotum, vulva, and anus.

Verruca vulgaris:  or Common wart,  this rough, elevated wart appears most frequently on extremities, particularly hands and fingers.

Filiform:  this stalk like horny projection commonly occurs around the face and neck.

Periungual:  this rough wart occurs around edges of fingernails and toenails.


Treatment varies according to location, size, number, pain level (present and projected), history of therapy, the patient's age, and compliance with treatment. Most patients eventually develop an immune response that causes warts to disappear spontaneously.

Application of 25% podophyllum in compound with tincture of benzoin may be ordered by your doctor to treat genital warts.  Note: wash off podophyllum after 4 hours .  Take measures to prevent the spread of infection.  Avoiding sexual intercourse or to use condoms for protection until warts are treated. (your partner may need treatment also)

Plantar warts may require more vigorous treatment, with 405 salicylic acid - and tape kept in place over several days. Because skin cancers are often diagnosed as merely warts, I do try to discourage patients from taking for granted that they have Just Warts.  To be sure, a physician's examination is nice; and it offers you a chance to learn how to avoid making your condition worse.

For example, I would recommend that you do not wear clothing or shoes that rub the lesions, especially if that causes bleeding.

Treatment may also include cryosurgery or acid therapy.  Alternatively, the patient may undergo electrodesiccation and curettage.  In this procedure, the doctor injects of 1% to 2% lidocaine under and around the wart, avoiding the wart itself.  He desiccates the wart and removes wart tissue with a curette and small, curved scissors.

Researchers are investigating the use of antiviral drugs against warts.

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