Common warts are non cancerous growth that affects the skin caused by infection of the skin with a virus called the human papilloma virus (HPV). Warts grow mostly around the hands and feet but can also be found at other part of the body i.e. there may also appear on the genital area, the face and the body. There are usually describes as small, round and fleshy growth with rough edges taking the color of the skin. Some individuals may develop warts that are hyperpigmented.
The nature of the wart depends greatly on the site of growth as some part of the skin are thicker that others due to the presence of keratin within the epidermis of the skin. ‘Verruca’ is the term used to describe common warts that are found on the sole of the foot.
HPV is the causative agent for warts and it stimulates keratin (hard protein in the top layer of the skin) within the epidermis of the skin to proliferate causing it to grow leading to the formation of warts.
Common wart is transmitted from an infected person to the susceptible individual via direct contact with the human papillomavirus (HPV) which gets into the broken skin to establish an infection. Several subtypes of HPV exist causing diseases like cervical cancer and genital warts. Predisposing factors to common warts includes:
The diagnosis begins with a detailed history by your physician who will then proceed to examine the lesion. Diagnosis of common wart can be made based on the appearance of the growth but most doctors will take a biopsy from the lesion for histological diagnosis to confirm diagnosis, to check in the growth has a potential of being malignant and to ascertain the depth of the growth. The diagnosis and treatment of common wart is done by a trained dermatologist who is a specialist trained in the diseases of the skin.
Treatment of common warts depends on the site of the warts, the extent of growth, symptoms and patients preference. Treatments available are:
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