Warts are benign neoplasms that occur on the skin and mucous membranes. Appear at different ages on any part of the body – arms, legs, face, stomach and even genitals. Warts come in several forms, each of which has specific features. In some cases, the defects disappear on their own, but it is better to consult a dermatologist.
Warts per se do not pose a health hazard, but still it’s worthwhile to find out the nature and cause of the outgrowth in order to avoid any complications. After all, some formations are able to degenerate into a malignant form. The medical name for warts is papilloma, it is directly related to the etiology of the disease. Consider the causes of warts and how to cure them.
What causes warts
The cause of neoplasms is the human papillomavirus (abbreviated HPV). Many types of disease are known, and all of them cause the appearance of warts on the skin. Papillomavirus is a common disease. The presence of infection was detected in 67% of the world's population. Infected people may not even suspect that they are carriers of the causative agent of the virus, as the disease often proceeds in a latent form.
Doctors are often asked where the wart comes from. There are only three ways to spread the virus:
- sexual – in the process of sexual contact of any kind (vaginal, oral or anal);
- household – when interacting with the patient’s things, personal hygiene items;
- vertical – from mother to child during childbirth.
The rate of manifestation of the external signs of the virus depends on the functioning of the immune system. With good protective functions, the body independently suppresses the infection, preventing the onset of symptoms for months or even years. But as soon as a failure occurs in the immune system, the HPV wakes up, which provokes the accelerated growth of epithelial cells. So warts appear.
The factors that affect the decrease in immunity include:
- lack of vitamins and minerals in the body;
- smoking, alcohol and drug use;
- nervous strain, stress;
- prolonged use of drugs;
- transfer of various diseases;
- overheating or hypothermia of the body;
- hormonal disorders and stuff.
Most susceptible to human papillomavirus:
- Preschool children. Warts jump due to household contact with peers or animals. Most likely, they will crawl out on the palms, or in places of damage to the skin;
- Adolescents with rearrangement of the hormonal background or overstrain at school;
- People who are sexually active with frequent changes in sexual partners. In this case, the formation can crawl out of the genitals.
Types of Warts
Warts come in many forms, depending on the strain of papillomavirus that caused them. Neoplasms are single and multiple. The latter can create clusters, merging with each other. Each type of papilloma differs in certain signs:
- Ordinary. Dense growths are small in size, on average, from 1 millimeter to 1 centimeter in gray-brown color with a rough surface. Occur on the arms, legs, face and neck;
- Flat. Neoplasms slightly rising above the skin, reaching 3-5 millimeters in diameter. Often smooth to the touch, yellowish or pinkish. Mostly found in adolescents on the face, as well as on the arms and neck;
- Threaded (hanging). Elongated papillomas, similar to thin threads of elongated shape. Pop out in the area of the lips and eyes, as well as in places of friction and high humidity – under the armpits and in the inguinal folds;
- Plantar. A dense formation of gray, resembling corn. Has a keratinized surface. Location – feet. Close shoes and sweating contribute to their development;
- Genital warts. They have an elongated shape, mounted on a thin leg. Located on the genitals. In addition to localization on the external and internal genital organs, neoplasms can occur in the region of the anus, as well as in the oral cavity and on the mucous membrane of the larynx (if infection occurred during oral intimacy);
- Senile. A pathological age-related change in the form of rough spots of an oval brown shape. The area of distribution is the whole body. The emergence of such warts affects the elderly.
During their development, warts can change shape and color, grow, group in clusters, bleed from mechanical damage and become painful. If pathological neoplasms begin to cause inconvenience, then this means that the body began to signal the degeneration of a cosmetic defect into a more severe form, for example, oncology.
If warts are found, do not try to get rid of them yourself. It is necessary to consult a dermatologist to undergo a full examination and identify the cause of their appearance. Based on the results of the diagnosis, the doctor will choose the optimal course of treatment and the method of eliminating papillomas.
Not all neoplasms on the skin are warts. Therefore, before taking any action to eliminate the pathology, you must definitely visit a doctor who will make the correct diagnosis based on the results of the studies.
There are several types of medical tests that help determine the nature and structure of education, as well as assess its danger to the body:
- visual inspection;
- Dermatoscopy – examination of an infected area of the skin with additional lighting and image enlargement using a special device – a dermatoscope;
- colposcopy (for genital warts) – examination of the walls of the vagina and cervix;
- polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – analysis for the identification of a strain of papillomavirus;
- Dagen test – a modern research method that determines the type of HPV, its concentration and degree of oncogenicity;
- PAP test – smear analysis;
- biopsy – the study of tissue material for the presence of cancer cells.
Wart treatment should always be comprehensive. It is important not only to remove the growth, but also to prevent the secondary appearance of symptoms. Therefore, the course of therapy includes:
- getting rid of papillomas;
- taking antiviral drugs;
- increase immunity.
First, warts are removed. You can try to remove the tumor using special ointments and gels, for example, based on salicylic or acetic acid. The most famous topical preparations include:
- Oxolinic and salicylic ointments;
For the treatment of genital warts, Imiquimod and Podofilox are used. If conservative methods have not led to the desired result, it means that it is time to resort to cosmetic procedures.
There are several options for removing skin growths. The method is selected based on the type of wart and its location. The main types of non-drug methods of removing growths include:
- Cryodestruction. The damaged area is frozen with liquid nitrogen, then the defect disappears with the resulting crust. The method is painless and inexpensive, does not leave scars, scars. The disadvantage is the difficulty in determining the depth of exposure;
- Electrocoagulation The procedure is painful, performed under local anesthesia, and as a result, a scar may appear. Minus – a long healing period;
- Radio wave method. An innovative method that involves the use of a radio knife;
- Laser removal. The papilloma is affected by a laser beam. The operation is quick, painless and effective;
- Surgical excision. Applied in a pinch, for example, with a large tumor size. They do it under anesthesia. The disadvantage is that scars subsequently remain.
Removal of warts at home
To get rid of single growths of small size, there are various folk remedies. The most popular are:
- Compresses Attached to the neoplasm, fixed with a bandage for the whole night. Procedures are done for two weeks. Compresses are made from aloe leaves, fresh potatoes, banana peels;
- Wipe the focus of infection solutions (vinegar with lemon, apple cider vinegar, ammonia, iodine) or plant juice (celandine, onions and garlic, wormwood and dandelion, sour apples). The course of treatment with these methods is about a week;
- Duct tape method. A piece of opaque adhesive tape sticks tightly to the wart, completely covering its surface. This is done every night for 10-15 days. Blackening of the growth signals the onset of necrosis. It can also leave a dark liquid – stagnant blood. This is a normal occurrence.
You can use traditional medicine only after the approval of a doctor, so as not to cause even greater harm to health. Without a medical education, it is easy to confuse a wart with any other dermatological disease. That is why it is risky to treat papillomas at home or to rely on the supernatural powers of esotericism.
Even after the wart is completely removed, there is always a chance that the growths will come out again, so it is important to monitor the immune system, avoiding relapses. It is impossible to completely remove the human papillomavirus from the body, in the best case it will proceed in a latent form without pronounced external signs.
To prevent unwanted formations on the skin, the following preventive measures are recommended:
- Do not ignore the rules of personal hygiene, do not use other people's things;
- wear loose shoes, keep your feet dry;
- avoid casual sexual intercourse;
- maintain immunity;
- live a healthy life;
- take vitamins, eat right;
- avoid stress, overstrain;
- treat concomitant diseases on time.
If you carefully pay attention to health, as well as regularly undergo medical examinations, you can avoid not only the appearance of warts, but also other diseases.