Warts are small, non- cancerous growths on your skin. They are extremely common and most people at some point in their lives develop them, especially during childhood and teenage years. Warts mainly occur on your hands or feet, but they can appear anywhere on the body. There are many different types of wart, including:-
- COMMON WARTS – These are the most well known type of wart, they have an uneven, hard surface, and usually appear on the hands or face.
- PLANE WARTS – These mainly occur on your face or hands and are smaller and flatter than common warts.
- VERRUCAS – These are also known as Plantar warts. They are also flatter than common warts, but this is because the weight of the body flattens the wart and pushes it into the plantar of the foot.
- FILIFORM WARTS – Finger –like warts that usually occur on the eyelids, armpits or neck.
- MOSAIC WARTS – They grow mainly on your hands and feet and appear in clusters.
Most warts are harmless and painless, although if they start to bleed, change in appearance or begin to spread then it is advisable to seek medical advice. Verrucas can get sore, especially if they are on sensitive areas of your foot.
Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma virus, there are many different types of this virus. Warts are very rarely caught by direct contact because for this to happen skin- to- skin contact is necessary, the risk of transmission is higher if your skin is damaged. Verrucas are quite often caught in swimming pool changing rooms, the wet and rough floors encourage the spread of the virus.
Reducing the Risks
To reduce the risk of passing on warts;-
- When swimming warts and verrucas should be covered with a waterproof plaster, or a special sock can be worn over verrucas.
- Don’t share towels.
- Flip flops can be worn in swimming pool changing rooms.
To help stop warts from spreading:-
- Don’t pick or scratch warts.
- Don’t put fingers in your mouth if they have warts on them.
- Avoid making the wart bleed.
Without treatment warts usually clear up on their own, especially in young people, as the immune system fights them off. There are treatments however that may speed up the process, these include:-
- Salicylic acid – Over the counter treatments containing Salicylic acid come in the form of lotions, gels, paints creams and plasters. These are applied to the wart every day for up to three months. The acid in these treatments burn off the top layer of the wart. The dead skin should then be rubbed off with a pumice stone or emery board. Warts on the face are never treated in this way. If you have poor circulation or diabetes medical advice should be sought before using these treatments.
- Duct tape – This involves covering the wart with duct tape for 6 days, then removing the tape and soaking the wart in warm water for a few minutes, drying the wart, then gently rubbing it with a pumice stone or emery board to remove any dead surface tissue. The wart is then left uncovered overnight, but fresh duct tape put on the next day. This process should be continued for about 2 months. More research needs to be done on this method, but there is enough data to suggest that the treatment may be of some help.
- Freezing sprays – These don’t get as cold as the treatments that professional use, and again more research needs to be done in relation to their effectiveness. Freezing sprays should never be used on your face.
- Laser treatment – A precise laser beam helps to destroy the wart.
- Electrocautery – An electric current burns off the wart.
- Freezing – The health professional uses liquid nitrogen and other types of freezing to freeze the wart.
- Warts and Verrucas
Podiatry and Therapies
We can give you a full Podiatry and Chiropody service without the need for a referral from your GP.
We have many years of experience and pride ourselves on our excellent patient care. We can treat you with our fantastic therapies to totally invigorate your mind and body. We are covered under BUPA, HSA and many other private health schemes.
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