Thwart Those Warts

Warts are common skin problem caused by a DNA virus known as papilloma virus. This viral infection can grow on feet, thumb and on the face. They can also grow in the mucous membranes of the genitals because the virus also belongs to the same family of human papillomavirus (HPV).

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Debunking myths about warts

Skin experts demystify the myths that have long been associated with warts

Myth #1: People may get warts from toads, frogs or lizards.

The truth: Blame it to DNA virus known as papilloma virus not to innocent amphibians and reptiles.

Myth #2: Skin warts cause genital warts.

The truth: No, as genital warts are caused by different types of HPV.

Myth #3: Warts are not contagious.

The truth: Not true. Warts are contagious for they are viral infections that are transmitted through cuts, scrapes, or scratches on the skin.

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To ward off the virus that causes warts, keep in mind the following:

  1. Avoid direct contact with a wart on another person’s skin. If you accidentally touch a wart, wash your hands carefully.
  2. Do not share razors, towels, socks, shoes with another person.
  3. Do not walk barefooted on warm, moist surfaces where the wart virus may be alive.
  4. If there is a need to use public showers, locker rooms or pool areas, wear shower shoes or slippers.
  5. Keep your feet dry. If you have sweaty feet, wear socks that absorb moisture.
  6. Avoid irritating the soles of your feet because injured or broken soles will make warts grow more easily.

If warts are already present in your body, prevent and treat them by doing the following:

Avoid touching warts. To prevent spreading warts to other parts of the body, avoid touching it and cover it with bandage.

Wash the nail file that you are using to file your wart. This is to prevent spreading the virus to other parts of the body.

Let your dermatologist examine your warts first. Identifying what kind of wart you have will determine the kind of treatment that is best to cure your warts. Also, inform your doctor about your medical history so as to avoid complication before doing the surgical procedure.

Strengthen the immune system. According to skin expert, a healthy immune system is vital to ward off warts. When an adult have excessive warts in one area, this is a strong signal that the immune system is not working properly. Therefore, consult your doctor and seek professional help because people with poor immune system have some disease associated with immune deficiencies, thus, having these viral infections.

Manage it through surgery. For recurring, persistent or cosmetically troublesome warts, skin expert suggests patients to undergo the following wart procedures: surgical removal of warts, laser surgery that eradicates the virus, cryosurgery or the selective freezing of tissues by using liquid nitrogen and electrosurgery that uses an amount of current to burn off the lesion.

Apply medication with physician’s supervision. Skin expert advises patients to treat their condition with doctor’s supervision. Unsupervised treatment of keratolytics, salicylic acid and other common OTC remedies for warts may cause irritation or burn the skin that can aggravate the condition. Do not attempt to remove a wart by yourself. Do not burn, cut, tear, pick or try other methods to remove a wart.  If warts do not go away, you will be given stronger prescription medicines or you will be recommended to have a skin medicine called imiquimod, a medication classified under immune response modifiers which treats warts by increasing the activity of the body’s immune system.

To manage pain caused by plantar warts, wear special foot cushions.  This special foot wear are available at drugstores even without doctor’s prescription.  Use socks and wear shoes with plenty of room. Avoid wearing high heeled shoes.  If there is a necessity to remove thick skin or calluses that form warts on foot or around the nails, let your health care expert trim them away.

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