Warts are benign neoplasms of little aesthetics that appear on the skin when infected with human papillomavirus. Entering the upper layers of the epidermis, the virus causes the proliferation of its cells, resulting in the appearance of warts of different shapes, sizes and colors.
The human papillomavirus infects about 80% of people on the planet, and not every patient is aware of its diagnosis, as HPV in most cases is asymptomatic.
Types of warts
There are different types of warts, depending on the location on the body, color, size, shape and type of pathogen.
Common or common warts
The most common, their appearance does not depend on the age or sex of the patient. They are located on the hands, between the fingers, on the back of the palms (less often on the palms themselves). Common warts are irregular or rounded and, due to their pink color, are generally not very noticeable on the skin. The size varies from 1 to 3 mm, with prolonged infection and no treatment, groups of neoplasms may appear in the affected area.
Neoplasms of this species appear more frequently in children and adolescents, therefore, their second name is juvenile warts. They are fleshy or light brown nodules, oval or round, with a smooth surface, slightly rising above the skin. Mainly located on the skin of the face, neck, arms and upper body.
This type of wart appears exclusively on the skin of the feet, which is why it got its name. It is a rough tumor with a layer of keratinized skin or a group of such growths. The skin around the plantar warts loses its natural color and becomes yellowish-gray. The surface of the wart becomes hard and begins to press on the healthy tissue around it, causing great discomfort.
A characteristic of this species is the presence of a close articulation with the surface of the skin, called "legs". Pending warts can be oblong, round or irregular, pink or red. These warts are located on the neck, face, armpits and under the breasts in women. Often, the appearance of several pending warts signals a marked decrease in the body's immune status.
Warts of this type are more likely to affect the skin of older people. They are also called seborrheic warts or keratomas. They develop due to age-related changes and a deterioration in the metabolism of the cells in the epidermis, usually capturing the upper part of the hair follicles. The keratomas have a round shape, well-defined limits, located on the scalp or face. The size ranges from a few millimeters to 4-5 cm.
Genital warts or condylomas are the most painful and unpleasant type of cancer. Its causative agent is human papillomavirus 6 and 11 types. Genital warts affect the skin adjacent to the mucous membranes: on the lips and eyelids; in the genital area, urethra, anus.
Genital warts have a structure of nodular growths that are often compared to cauliflower or cock's crest. Condylomata are connected to the skin surface by means of a thin "leg". Due to the location in areas of the body susceptible to mechanical irritation, there is a high degree of damage to the genital warts and adjacent tissues, infection and the development of an inflammatory process with the formation of exudative or purulent secretion.
Causes of warts
The increased activity of human papillomavirus in the body causes the appearance of warts. Infection occurs through contact and everyday life: by touching, shaking hands, common items and in public places if personal hygiene is not followed. Genital warts are transmitted sexually.
The virus enters its active form if factors such as:
- severe or chronic stress;
- transferred infectious diseases;
- decreased immunity;
- hormonal disorders, improper metabolism;
- excessive sweating;
- skin trauma and microtrauma;
- wear clothes and shoes made from unnatural materials.
If the disease is asymptomatic, it can only be diagnosed through the laboratory.
Warts in adults
The appearance of papillomas or warts is possible at any age. In this case, gender does not play a special role - men and women are susceptible to HPV. At the same time, the risk of developing warts in women is greater, as their immunity is often weakened due to hormone levels, pregnancy and child feeding. Due to the peculiarities of the anatomical structure, women are also more susceptible to the appearance of genital warts, in particular, genital warts, which increase the risk of developing cervical cancer.
In men, warts appear only in the event of a marked decrease in immunity, which is not so often the case with strong sex. At the same time, men are rarely carriers of HPV types 16 and 18, which cause the development of oncological diseases.
Warts in children
Warts are a common occurrence in children and adolescents, since their immunity is not fully formed, which makes them easily infected with papillomaviruses. An important role is played by the fact that children who attend daycare centers and schools, as a rule, are in conditions of greater stress, which negatively affects the body's defenses. In addition to the domestic contact infection method, the mother's intrauterine infection is also possible.
Most of the time, children develop common, juvenile or plantar warts, while juvenile warts disappear on their own at around 14-18 years of age.
When treating warts, it must be understood that it is impossible to completely eliminate the pathogen - the human papillomavirus from the body. Once in the body, it remains forever, but healthy immunity is able to keep it under control and minimize the manifestations of its vital activity.
The appearance of warts itself indicates a decrease in the body's immune status, so measures to strengthen the immune system should be included in HPV therapy. With a reduced defense reaction of the body, even with the successful removal of warts, there is a high likelihood of relapse. However, in people with strong immunity, warts can disappear on their own.
Therapy should be selected by a competent doctor after a thorough examination. Self-medication is unacceptable, as a layman cannot distinguish a wart from a malignant neoplasm. The question of removingwartsis also decided by a specialist - an injured neoplasm can degenerate from benign to malignant.
There are the following ways to get rid of warts.
- Free-destruction (freezing with liquid nitrogen). This method is especially effective for common warts. The neoplasm is exposed to liquid nitrogen for 10-30 seconds. This method is good for your low trauma; it takes 1 to 5 sessions to completely remove the wart.
- Laser coagulation (laser removal). The neoplasm is removed in parts under local anesthesia. At the wart site, a groove remains, which disappears after about a month.
- Electrocoagulation (removal by current). The wart is removed with a thin metal loop using a high frequency current. This method is characterized by the absence of bleeding and additional tissue disinfection. Neoplastic tissues remain intact and can be referred for histological examination. Traces of manipulation disappear in a week.
- Surgical excision. This method is used only in extreme cases, when the neoplasms are very large or are grouped in a single conglomerate. Under local anesthesia, the wart is removed with a scalpel as in conventional surgery. The removed material is sent for histological examination. The presence of scarring at the excision site depends on the skill of the surgeon who applied the sutures.
- A chemical attack method that uses various acids or alkalis. This method is the most painful, traumatic and dangerous, as the risk of secondary infection of the tissue at the site of exposure is extremely high. When deciding on its use, it is worth remembering that you can only act on the wart itself, without affecting the skin next to it.
Medicines for the treatment of warts
Local remedies are used to treat warts, but their effectiveness depends on the age of the cancer - the fresher the wart, the more likely it is to remove it and the patient's immunity.
Before using local remedies, you should consult a dermatologist and do tests to establish the nature of the neoplasms, as exposure to drugs can cause wart cells to degenerate into malignant ones.
Non-traditional methods of dealing with warts
Use of traditional medicine prescriptions:
- absinthe; linseed oil
Traditional medicine is a good addition to conventional therapy after consultation with your doctor.
The best prevention of warts is common adherence to personal hygiene rules: timely hand washing, use of personal manicure accessories, towels, cloths, shoes. You should not walk barefoot in the shared pool, showers, baths and saunas. In addition, when staying in hotels, it is worth taking antiseptics for the treatment of bathrooms. In parallel, it is necessary to strengthen the immune system and take care of the general state of health.