Clinical Dermatology
Warts
Warts are the most common dermatological condition after acne. Almost all people have had a wart sometime in their lives, often in their childhood. Warts can occur anywhere, on the forehead and cheeks, on the hands, legs or on the genital area.

Warts are benign, viral skin blemishes, caused by a virus, specifically, HPV. The virus of the warts is multiform, as it is estimated that there are currently about 70 different subtypes of the virus. This virus causes rapid cell proliferation, resulting in benign bulges that are more annoying than dangerous, but which are highly contagious.

The virus is transmitted through direct skin contact or when touching wet surfaces. After initial contact, HPV can be left inactive or latent on the skin and there may be no immediate symptoms. This means that many people may be carriers of the HPV virus without ever knowing it. It may even take six months for a wart to form.
 
Warts are divided into two main types:
  • Verrucae vulgaries or common warts: These are hard, bulging nodules that over time develop a cover resembling a callous and tends to attack the hands, the back of the palm, the fingers and the surface around or below from nails. Common warts are round or irregular in shape and their darker colour makes them stand out from the surrounding skin.
  • Verrucae plantaris or leg warts: Leg warts appear only on the foot, they are very sensitive and are recognized by the way they interfere with the normal skin tissue. Their surface is abnormal, bulged, spongy, thick and scaly. Feet warts may be brown or gray, they are ugly and often very painful if not treated. Typically, they are larger than common warts and more flat, due to the pressure exerted on the foot pad when walking.
Although we are all exposed to HPV, some seem to be more sensitive, while others are by nature more resistant. Warts appear more often when the body's immune system is weakened. Children and adolescents are more likely to be affected, because they have not developed antibodies against the virus and are more likely to come into contact with people who have warts. Most warts appear in the summer due to increased contact during activities such as swimming and camping.

How Are Warts Treated?
In any case, it is recommended that you visit a dermatologist, since the various treatments recommended for home use can, in addition to being ineffective, may destroy the skin tissue. The most common therapies applied at Dermatology & Cosmetics Lab are:
  • Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen spreads to the affected area to freeze and kill abnormal cells. Cooling causes a slow cracking of the skin, resulting in a blistering around the wart. Dead tissue falls within a week or so. Cooling can cause a slight discomfort, but it is one of the most effective treatments available. It does not scar and there is no risk of spreading the virus of the ants. For larger warts, you may need more sessions.
  • Surgery: The surgical abortion of the ants has a high rate of success, but the operation causes some annoyances and the complete healing of the area lasts for several weeks and can leave a scar.
  • Electrocautery: It is a method that destroys the tissue using electricity. For destruction of the tissue a small probe is used, which is penetrated by electric current. Burning of ants is often an effective method, but leaves scars.
  • Cantharidine treatment: The doctor places the cantharidine on the wart. The pain is local and instant, while a pustule around the wart is formed about 8 hours after the application of the cantharidine. On the next visit, the doctor removes the dead skin of the wart.
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