Understanding Warts: What You Need to Know
Warts are a common skin condition caused by a virus called the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). They are non-cancerous growths that can appear on any part of the body, but are most commonly found on the hands and feet.
Causes of Warts
Warts are caused by HPV, which is a highly contagious virus. The virus gains access to the epidermis (outermost layer of skin) through small scratches in your skin. Once there, the virus makes cells in your epidermis grow to form a mass of new cells. This new mass of cells is called a wart.
HPV can be spread through direct contact with someone who has warts or by touching surfaces that have come into contact with the virus. People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to warts.
Symptoms of Warts
Warts are usually painless, but they can be unsightly and cause embarrassment. Common types of warts treatable with WartStick include:
- Common warts: raised, rough bumps that usually appear on the hands, but can also occur on the face and other parts of the body.
- Plantar warts: hard, thick patches that appear on the soles of the feet and can cause discomfort while walking.
Other Types of Warts:
*These types of warts are not applicable for use with WartStick.
- Flat warts: small, flat bumps that usually appear on the face, legs, or arms.
- Genital warts: soft, fleshy growths that appear on or around the genital area.
Treatment Options for Warts
There are several treatment options available for warts. These include:
- Over-the-counter treatments: such as WartSTICK® containing salicylic acid or freezing kits, which work by removing the wart through freezing.
- Prescription medications: such as imiquimod, which works by boosting the immune system to fight the virus.
- In-office procedures: such as cryotherapy, which involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen, or laser surgery, which involves removing the wart with a laser.
It’s important to note that warts can often go away on their own without treatment, but treatment may be necessary if the wart is causing discomfort or is unsightly.
Prevention and Management of Warts
Preventing the spread of warts is key to managing and preventing them. Here are some tips to help prevent and manage warts:
- Wash your hands regularly, especially after touching warts or surfaces that may have come into contact with the virus.
- Avoid touching warts or scratching them, as this can spread the virus to other parts of your body.
- Cover warts with a bandage to prevent them from spreading.
- Keep your skin healthy and moisturized to prevent small scratches that can allow the virus to enter.
Understanding Warts: Key Takeaways
Understanding warts is important to effectively manage and prevent them. They are caused by a highly contagious virus called HPV and can appear on any part of the body. While warts can go away on their own, treatment may be necessary if the wart is causing discomfort or is unsightly. Preventing the spread of warts is key to managing and preventing them.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/std/warts/default.htm
- American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA): https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/warts
- Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-warts/symptoms-causes/syc-20371162
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID): https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/human-papillomavirus-hpv
- World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/human-papillomavirus-(hpv)-and-cervical-cancer