Warts

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Definition
Warts are small, usually painless local growths on the skin caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts differ in size, shape and appearance and can appear almost anywhere on the body, but are harmless.
Warts are considered to be contagious.

The virus causes keratin, a hard protein in the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) to grow too fast. Warts are different from moles. While moles are dark and can be quite large, warts tend to be small, skin-colored rough lumps. Warts most commonly appear on a person’s hands and feet.

The appearance of a wart can vary depending on its presence on body part, as well as how thick the skin is. A wart that is located on the sole of the foot is known as a verruca wart.
Age/sex prevalance of warts

Individuals of any age group are affected by warts.Males and females both are equally affected.

Races affected by Warts

Individuals of any race can suffer from skin growths of warts.

Causes of Warts

• The virus (HPV) usually enters the skin through direct contact with an infected person. The site of entry is usually an area of recent injury.

• The virus replicates in the epidermis, giving rise to warts.

• They are common in children.

Warts Signs and Symptoms

• They can be found anywhere in this area but tend to produce symptoms in areas of pressure and friction.
• The virus that causes warts, the human papillomavirus, infects only the superficial layer of skin, producing a thickened callus-like growth that, if located in an areas subjected to pressure, can become quite tender.

• Plantar warts are seen in all age groups, but they are most common among children 12-16 years of age and rare in the elderly.
• Risk factors for the development of plantar warts include
o Use of public showers
o Skin trauma
o Weakened immune system because of certain medications used or illness

Investigations of Warts

Diagnosis is made by its appearance and location. However, sometimes skin scrapping and biopsy may be done to confirm it is not another type of growth, including skin cancer.

Treatment of Warts

• Salicylic acid solution application by the physician available in the form of gels and plasters, not to be used in diabetic patients .

• Laser treatment may also be done to remove difficult warts.

• Usage of electrical tape .Other conventional methods involve freezing of wart (cryotheraphy) or burning of wart ( electrocautery ) which leaves scar.

Prognosis of Warts

Up to 30% of warts disappear by themselves within 6 months. Others usually disappear without any treatment within 3 years. Warts may recur, even when they seem to be fully treated.

Complications of Warts

• Spread of wart
• Return of wart
• Formation of keloid
• Scar formation

Homeopathic treatment for Warts

Antimonium crudum
• The warts are situated especially on hand; they are hard, horny, soft or smooth, and appearing in groups.
• White coated tongue.
Tendency of warts in fatty people
• Mainly in individuals who have suppression of eruption or ulcers.

Calcarea carbonica
• Warts are present on face, neck and upper extremities, male genitalia, canthi, fingers.
They are black and fleshy, hard and horny, sometimes inflamed and painful; the warts tend to suppurate.

• The skin is icy cold to touch with cold and profuse perspiration.
Development of warts in patient having history of suppression of eruption and perspiration.
In patients who are fat, flabby, fair, perspiring.

Graphites
• Rough hard skin
• Oozing a sticky fluid
• Patient is sensitive to cold
• Warts on sole of feet

Nitricum acidum
• Ulcers bleed easily .
• Warts appearing on anus, canthi, eyelids and female genitals .
• Splinter like pain
• Zigzag and irregular edges.
• Foetid discharge
• Moist and cauliflower like growth.
• Warts after abuse of mercury

Thuja occidentalis
• Warts like excrescences appearing on back of hands .
• Condylomata which are large and pedunculated can also bleed. warts on any body parts
• Bad effects of vaccination
• Warts on face , eyes , nose , back
• Warts having tendency to split

Dulcamara
• Warts smooth and large on the face and back of hands
• Symptoms worse in damp cold weather
• Warts become worse on washing with cold water
• It is one of great skin remedy

Causticum
• Pedunculated warts which bleed easily , Worse in cold dry weather
• Large and jagged warts
• Warts on the nose and under fingernails .
• Warts tend to suppurate
• In persons having dark hair and rigid fibre

Diet / management of Warts

• Garlic which has anti-fungal and anti viral properties can be covered on wart
• Herbs such as Echinacea and Vitamin A are also effective in warts management
• Drinking green tea is also helpful

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