ANYONE FROM YOUNG CHILDREN TO OLD AGE CAN BE AFFECTED. WARTS CAN APPEAR ON FINGERS, FEET, GENITALIA OR OTHER AREAS WHERE THEY CAN GROW AND BECOME A NUISANCE. WHAT ARE WARTS AND WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT THEM?
Photo: © Lyudmila - stock.adobe.com
Warts are benign growths on the skin. Because they are caused by the wart virus, they are also contagious. Fortunately, one often develops an immune response which means that the possibility of reinfection after cure is lowered.
One type of wart that is not caused by a virus is seborrheic keratosis, otherwise known as “old-age warts”. Older people can often develop these on their torsos. They are harmless and can easily be removed with the erbium laser in my surgery.
In children it is common to see and treat verrucae on the hand or feet. These types of warts are caused by the human papilloma virus and are often contracted in swimming pools. They usually heal or their own, though if the verruca is causing pain, it can be topically treated or surgically removed.
Another common type of wart in children are water warts (Molluscum contagiosum). These warts are highly contagious with infection usually taking place in kindergarten or at the swimming pool. If the wart is mild, topical treatment will be effective. If the wart is severe, it can be surgically removed after applying anesthetic cream.
Definitely! First of all, a healthy skin barrier is important. People with dry skin should take extra care to ensure that the skin barrier is in good condition. This means that the wart virus cannot easily penetrate the skin. Flip-flops should always be worn in community facilities such as gyms or swimming pools.
Genital warts are not uncommon. This condition is characterized by small warts in the genital or anal area. It is important that both partners are treated. Depending on the findings, laser ablation or topical treatment would be recommended. Since the introduction of the HPV vaccination, genital warts cases have decreased significantly proving it to be an effective protective measure.