Warts

Warts are simply areas of skin that grow faster than normal due to the presence of the wart virus. Warts are skin-colored and feel rough to the touch. The technical name is verruca vulgaris. They are most common on the hands, feet and face but they can grow almost anywhere in the body. They are infectious and some people, especially children, are more susceptible than others.

Flat warts are much smaller and are less rough than hand or foot warts. They tend to grow in great numbers, 20 to 100 at any one time. They can occur anywhere, but in children they are most common on the face. In adults they are most often found in the beard area in men and on the legs in women. Skin irritation from shaving probably accounts for this.

A plantar wart is simply a wart growing on the weight-bearing surface of the foot that grows inward rather than outwards because it is pressed on when a person walks.

As warts are caused by a virus infection, the body will build up resistance over a period of time and eventually the body will cause the warts to disappear. This may take months or sometimes years but is the natural way the body deals with warts. If they are allowed to disappear in this way it is less likely that a person will get any further ones as one will then be immune to that virus.

The first treatment to try on wart is removal with a salicylic acid liquid or pad. Be patient as it takes up to 12 weeks to get rid of warts. Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy is what dermatologists use most often to cure warts. Frequent applications of liquid nitrogen are needed to cure more stubborn warts.

Burning warts off with a CO2 laser or electric needle is often effective.

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