Warts are growths on the skin or mucous membranes formed by the uncontrolled growth of the epidermis and papillary dermis surface layer. These are benign tumors of viral nature. They are formed by infection with various strains of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Warts tend to grow and recur, and are highly contagious (infectious). According to the World Health Organization, 80% of the world’s population is infected with human papillomavirus.
Many of us are carriers of the papilloma virus, even though they don’t even know it. In nature, there are more than 100 strains of HPV virus, which form various types of warts after infection. Infection occurs in two ways-contact or family. In the case of violating personal hygiene standards, you can get infected through the things of the infected person and common items. People who like to go to bathhouses, saunas, and swimming pools face the greatest risks. The virus reproduces actively in a warm and humid environment and can persist on the surface of various objects for a long time.
Once on the skin, the virus can easily enter the human body through minimal damage (minor scratches, abrasions, abrasions), and under favorable conditions begin to actively multiply on the surface of the epidermis. But pathogens can only attack actively when the immune system is weakened. If a person is healthy, the immune system will quickly inhibit the reproduction of the virus and put it into a latent state. As a result, the infection can "doze off" in the body for a long time, and only wake up under favorable conditions. The causes that lead to a decline in immune defense include:
- Chronic disease or recent infection;
- Bad habits, unhealthy diet and lifestyle;
- Severe stress situation;
- Endocrine diseases (diabetes, hormonal disorders);
- Immunodeficiency state;
- Violation of personal hygiene standards.
Plantar warts can be infected by wearing someone else's shoes, and genital warts can be acquired through sexual contact with random partners. Self-infection often occurs, that is, simple warts are formed on the face or body, accidental cuts during shaving, or skin damage during hair removal. Small wounds are the entrance of infection, and viruses can easily enter the human body through it and start destructive work.
Types of warts: photos
What do warts look like? The appearance of tumors depends to a large extent on the modification of the virus and its type. The photo gives a visual representation of the types of warts and papilloma, and a description is provided at the end of the article.
This is the most common type of wart. They appear on different parts of the body and look like round nodules, similar to peas. They can have different sizes and tones (from pink to brown), and can be placed individually or in groups. Such tumors on open areas of the face or body (such as fingers) are considered a cosmetic defect, so many people try to get rid of these neoplasms in any way.
Simple warts are painless and do not cause much discomfort (except for aesthetics). However, if this tumor is permanently traumatized, there is a risk of malignant transformation. Therefore, doctors recommend removing any suspicious growths on the body.
This type of tumor gets its name because its smooth, flat growths are more commonly formed in adolescents and young adults. This is due to the reorganization of the body during adolescence. Hormonal disorders can lead to decreased immunity and virus activation.
Flesh-colored tumors, which almost merge with the skin, appear in groups, and are more common in open areas of the body.
This type of tumor is a soft, elongated growth on the pedicle, similar to a papilloma. In most cases, these growths form in the armpits, neck, hairline, eyelids, or face. The soft tissues of filiform warts are easily injured. They are easily damaged during shaving or hygiene procedures.
Acrochords are prone to recurrence-several new structures often appear in the removed growth site.
This tumor is characterized by a dense structure and has deep roots that extend deep into the dermis. They form on the bottom of the hand or on the palm of the hand where mechanical pressure is often applied. This is the most unpleasant and painful type of wart. Particular discomfort is caused by plantar growths or thorns, which cause severe pain when walking, limit mobility and are difficult to treat.
The photo of the wart allows you to consider the appearance of the tumor. Plantar warts are different from other growths. They are cone-shaped and have a depression in the center. Steam it with hot water, peel off the upper layer of keratin, black spots will appear on the surface. These are thrombus capillaries that penetrate the growth structure.
Genitals (condyloma acuminatum)
Genital warts form in the genital area. The main reason for their appearance is unprotected sexual contact and frequent changes of partners. In this case, the papilloma virus enters the human body through micro-damage to the mucous membrane during sexual intercourse. Genital warts look like soft papillary structures on the pedicle.
They appear in groups and can quickly spread to the perineum and anorectal areas. Such growths are easily injured, bleed, cause pain during sexual intercourse, defecation, or urination, or cause psychological problems.
The appearance of senile warts has nothing to do with the activity of the virus. This growth (keratoma) is formed by the uncontrolled division of epidermal cells. Excessive growth of the epithelial surface layer can trigger hormonal imbalances related to body aging and long-term exposure to ultraviolet light. Colored keratinized patches of various sizes and shapes appear in plural on the body, arms, neck, and back of hands.
The photos of senile warts (age-related keratomas) clearly show their characteristics and how they differ from other viral hyperplasias. This structure will grow over time, and if it is damaged, it will bleed and become inflamed, which increases the risk of malignant transformation.
If any suspicious lesions appear on the skin or mucous membranes, you should seek the advice of a dermatologist. After the examination, the specialist will make a correct diagnosis, determine the type of tumor and recommend treatment options.
In most cases, dermatologists recommend removing unsightly growths with the help of drugs or hardware procedures.
The treatment of warts should be comprehensive. In order to obtain a positive result and prevent the recurrence of viral infections, it is not only necessary to remove the growth, but also to prevent the propagation of pathogens. A dermatologist will help you choose an effective treatment plan, taking into account HPV strains, tumor types, and individual characteristics of the patient (age, presence of chronic diseases, and contraindications).
To remove warts at home, the following drug groups are recommended:
- Antiviral substances;
- Cuticle separation;
- Frozen preparations.
Any use of drugs must be approved by a doctor. Inappropriate and arbitrary treatment will not prevent the virus from multiplying or prevent the wart from recurring.
The cuticle separation agent based on salicylic acid or trichloroacetic acid can soften the rough cuticle on the surface of the wart very well. After the dead skin is removed, the bottom of the deposit opens, and the active substances with cauterization and necrosis are more likely to penetrate into the pathological tissues.
Drugs with mummification include solutions containing corrosive acids and bases. To treat genital warts on the mucous membranes, use milder drugs-solutions, gels. Such drugs should be used with caution and avoid contact with healthy skin with corrosive ingredients.
The effect of cryo-drugs is similar to cryodamage, that is, they freeze the tissue of the wart, and as a result it dies and disappears after a few days. These products are provided in aerosol cans with a convenient applicator for applying coolant.
Drugs that block the spread of the virus and enhance local immunity will help consolidate the results achieved. These include oral preparations in the form of ointments, gels, creams, or topical therapeutics.
In hardware technology, proven methods are used to combat warts-cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen) or electrocoagulation (current moxibustion).
Among modern, safe options, many people prefer laser surgery or radio wave methods. The thermal radiation of laser or radio waves evaporates wart tissue at a strictly specified depth without touching healthy tissue. This avoids complications and shortens the recovery period to a minimum.
Among folk remedies, celandine juice or preparations based on it are most commonly used to remove warts. In addition, it is recommended to treat the growths with vinegar solution, garlic tincture, and green apple juice. Acidic and alkaline environments can kill viruses and help eliminate tumors. Before using any alternative prescriptions, be sure to consult your doctor.