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PostHeaderIcon Should You Be Concerned Over Warts?

Warts can appear on anybody’s skin at some point in their lifetime. There may be times that we are not aware of the existence of warts in our body because some are barely noticeable and are not annoying. That is because most warts don’t make us sick or cause a health problem. They simply disappear on their own.

A wart, also known as verruca, is a kind of skin infection caused by a virus. It is made up of hardened skin with usually a bumpy surface and comes in many sizes, colors, and shapes. Warts are common and are caused by a virus, specifically by the human papilloma virus or HPV. The virus tends to invade warm, moist places, like the fingers, hands, and feet. They are contagious when in contact with the skin of an infected person or by touching anything someone with a wart has used.

Unfortunately, warts are more common in children than in adults. Warts can vary depending on the infecting strains of the virus, which can grow on different parts of the body.

•  Common warts look like moles – grayish brown, raised and dome-shaped. They usually appear on the hands and feet. Common warts are most commonly caused by types 1, 2 and 3 strains of the HPV, which have a characteristic rough surface with black dots inside.

• Flat warts are smooth and have flat tops. They are small and about the size of a pinhead, usually found on the child’s face. It may also appear on arms, knees and hands. Flat warts are brought by type 1 strain of the HPV.

• The only painful wart is a plantar wart.  These grow on the pressure points of the sole of the foot, which are hard, lumpy with a few black specks on the center. It is commonly caused by type 1 and 2 strains of HPV. 

•  Finger-like warts on the face are called filiform warts. These are flesh-colored and are usually spotted on the eyes, nose and mouth.

• Genital warts are usually only expected to be seen in adults. HPV strain types  6, 11, 16, 18, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 39, 40, among others, causes genital warts which are specifically found in the anal, penile, vaginal and cervical areas in adults.  They are sexually transmitted warts and some may even cause cervical cancer in females (HPV types 16 and 18), if left untreated.

Warts found in children can be left without treatment unless they are painful or causes discomfort. Your child’s health care provider can identify the warts and suggest possible treatment solutions. Plantar warts, for instance, are very hard to differentiate from corn and calluses. Treatment options include prescription medicine, cryosurgery, laser treatment, and surgical removal.

It is generally not necessary to have warts removed. Without treatment, they can go away in several months or even years. Wart removal may only be needed in case it is too painful or causes too much discomfort.  Some warts may grow back several months after removal.

Although it may be close to inevitable for children to acquire warts because of the high communicability, it is still best to take preventive actions. It is always a good idea to encourage your kids to wash their hands and skin regularly and properly. Plantar warts can be transmitted in public showers, pool and locker rooms. To avoid this, have your children wear waterproof sandals or slippers. It is also wise toremind them not to share towels or anything that may have been used by somebody with warts. And if your child has warts, remind him not to rub, scratch or pick at a wart to avoid spreading it to other parts his body.

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