What are the symptoms and signs of the different types of warts?
Warts are small harmless lesions of the skin caused by a virus: the human papilloma virus. The appearance of warts can differ based on the type of wart and where it is located on the body. Warts are common in children. Most cases occur between ages 12-16 years. Up to 30% of warts disappears by themselves within 6 months. Most will disappear without any treatment within 3 years.
Types of Wart
1-Common warts (verrucae Vulgaris): These common warts typically develop on the hand, especially around the nail. They are grey to flesh coloured, raised from the skin surface, and covered with rough, hornlike projections.
2-Plantar warts (verrucae Plantaris): Plantar warts, by definition, occur on the plantar surface, or bottom, of the foot. They usually occur in high-pressure areas such as the heel and the metatarsal heads (just behind the toes). They usually grow into the skin, not outward like common warts.
This growing into the skin makes them more difficult to treat.
3- Flat warts (verrucae plana): Flat warts are most commonly seen on the face, the back of the hands, and lower legs. They usually appear as small individual bumps about 1/4 inch across.
Flat warts may spread rapidly on the face and lower legs from the activities involved in shaving.
Preventing warts and verrucas
It's difficult to prevent warts and verrucas completely, but the following measures can help stop them spreading:
- avoid touching other people's warts – wash your hands after touching your own wart
- avoid sharing towels, flannels, shoes and socks with other people
- keep your feet and hands clean and dry
- change your socks every day
- don't go barefoot in public places
- cover warts and verrucas with a waterproof plaster or a verruca sock when swimming
- take care when shaving because warts can spread if you cut yourself.
- Wear shower shoes in the gym locker room to lower your risk of picking up the virus that causes plantar warts from the moist environment
- avoid scratching or picking at warts or verrucas – this may spread the infection to other parts of your body
- Avoid touching warts on others or touching them on yourself (refrain from rubbing a warty finger across your face)
- Children need to avoid biting or chewing warts
Treatment available at Chester Laser Clinic
Liquid nitrogen or cryotherapy is used to deep freeze the wart tissue
With liquid nitrogen applied to the wart, the water in the cells expands, thus exploding the infected tissue
The exploded cells can no longer hide the human papillomavirus from the body's immune system
The immune system then works to destroy the virus particles
Laser therapy: Lasers are simply very intense light sources
This light has an enormous amount of energy that heats the tissue enough that it vaporises