Wart removal

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are a large group of nearly 200 viruses some of which cause different types of warts as well as other skin growths in humans to develop. HPV infects the superficial layers of the skin, by penetrating it through small injuries. As a result, the upper layers of the skin are stimulated to divide at an accelerated rate and this leads to the formation of warts. Some warts may disappear on their own in months or years.


Warts may appear on any part of the body and, depending on their location, they are categorised into several types. For example, common warts most often develop on the hands and especially on the fingers and the palms. Flat warts are more typical for the face. Plantar warts are typical for the feet, etc.


Warts are disseminated easily upon direct contact with the human papillomavirus. You can spread the infection yourself after touching a wart and, for example, scratching another spot. You can get infected by other people if you share towels, razors or other personal items. After the initial contact with HPV, several months may pass before you notice the wart.


In principle, not every contact with HPV leads to the development of a wart. Some people have a more expressed tendency to get infected compared to others. Even people from the same family have different susceptibility to the virus.


Warts may vary in size and colour. They may be elevated with rough and uneven surface as well as flat and smooth. Small blood cells grow in their core to supply them with blood. In most cases, warts are painless. The ones located at places subject to pressure and friction, such as warts on the feet, make an exception.


Although they are not a serious threat to the health, due to their tendency to disseminate as well as the risk for transmitting the infection to other people, it is recommended to treat warts.


In the vast majority of cases, the patient is diagnosed already at the time of the examination. No special or additional tests are necessary.


There are several ways to treat warts:


  • Preparations to use at home: sprays, plasters, lacquers, creams which most often contain salicylic acid in various concentrations. They require prolonged application and often prove to be not sufficiently effective;
  • Dermatologist-prescribed local preparations to use at home or in the physician's office. They require extra attention and experience because if they come across healthy skin, they can cause burns of various degrees, inflammation or injury.
  • Therapy with liquid nitrogen or cryotherapy. The wart is eliminated by freezing it with nitrogen liquefied under very low temperature. The thermal trauma leads to the formation of a blister which dries out with the time and in several days the wart peels away and resolves.
  • Electrocoagulation is a method which is mainly used for treating flat warts. The method is easy, quick and does not leave scars.
  • Immunotherapy is a more contemporary method which refers to the local use of an immunomodulator which should activate the immune system so that it may overcome the viral agent.


The use of one method or a combination of methods is determined based on warts' type, number and location as well as on the age and general condition of the body.


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