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Common Warts : causes, prevention, types and treatment.

Warts are growth on the skin that is caused by a virus. They are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. 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. Warts can affect any part of the body but they attack warm, moist places, like small cuts or scratches on the fingers, hands, and feet. Warts are usually painless unless they’re on the soles of the feet or another part of the body that gets bumped or touched all the time.

Warts are infectious. They can get transferred to other person if he or she tries to touch the wart or if the person uses towels or other objects that were used by a person who has warts. Genital warts can be transferred during oral, vaginal or anal sex. Usually, warts disappear on their own but this can take long time. Children, pre-teens and adolescents are the more likely candidates for having a wart show up on the body.

Common warts may be of several types :
– Dome-shaped warts: They may appear on the back of knees, toes, and fingers.
– Filiform warts: They appear on the face like single long stalks. They are the same color as your skin.
– Plantar warts: These warts appear on foot. They look like hard, thick patches of skin with dark specks.
– Periungual warts: They are found under nails or around them. They appear as rough bumps with an uneven surface and border.
– Flat warts: They usually appear on the legs or face. They are often in large quantity. They are small, have flat tops, and can be pink, light brown, or light yellow.

Prevention of Common Warts

– Wash hands and skin regularly.
– Use soap and water to clean the area where there is a cut or scratch because open wounds are more susceptible to warts and other infections.
– Soak the wart in warm water and removes dead skin on the surface of the wart.

Treatment for Common Warts

– Apply salicylic-acid preparations which are available as drops, gels, pads, and plasters on warts. Apply the acid every day for many weeks.
– Applying liquid nitrogen freezes the wart. To completely remove a wart, liquid nitrogen treatments may be needed every 1 to 3 weeks for a total of 2 to 4 times.
– Applying cantharidin as a paint on the wart. Pain and blistering will be experienced in about 3 to 8 hours.
– Warts on the skin can be removed by burning the wart, cutting out the wart or removing the wart with a laser. These treatments are effective, but they may leave a scar.
– Warts can be “suffocated” by covering them with duct tape or other nonbreathing tape, such as electrical tape.

Genital warts are more likely to come back because there’s no cure for the virus that causes them and because warts are more difficult to control in a moist environment.

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