Warts are growths on the skin or mucous membranes that form as a result of uncontrolled growth of the surface layers of the epidermis and the papillary dermis. These are benign neoplasms of a viral nature. They are formed as a result of infection with various strains of HPV (human papillomavirus). Warts tend to grow and relapse, and are highly contagious (infectious). According to the WHO, 80% of the world's population is infected with human papillomavirus infection.
Reasons for the appearance
Many of us are carriers of the papilloma virus, although they do not even know about it. In nature, there are more than 100 strains of HPV, when infected, various types of warts are formed. Infection occurs in two ways - contact or household. You can catch an infection through the things of an infected person, common items, in case of violation of personal hygiene standards. Those who like to visit the bathhouse, sauna, swimming pool are at the greatest risk. The virus multiplies actively in a warm and humid environment and can persist for a long time on various surfaces.
Once on the skin, the virus easily enters the body through the smallest damage (minor scratches, abrasions, abrasions) and, under favorable conditions, begins to actively multiply in the surface layers of the epidermis. But the pathogen can only actively attack when the immune system is weakened. If a person is healthy, the immune system quickly suppresses the multiplication of the virus and puts it into a latent state. As a result, the infection is able to "doze" in the body for a long time and wake up only under favorable conditions. The provoking factors leading to a decrease in immune defense include:
- chronic illnesses or recent infections;
- bad habits, unhealthy diet and lifestyle;
- severe stressful situations;
- endocrine pathologies (diabetes mellitus, hormonal disruptions);
- immunodeficiency states;
- violation of personal hygiene standards.
Plantar warts can be infected by wearing someone else's shoes, genital warts can be acquired through sexual contact with a random partner. There are also frequent cases of self-infection, when simple warts form on the face or body with accidental cuts during shaving or skin damage during the epilation process. Small wounds are the entrance gate for infection through which the virus easily enters the body and begins its destructive work.
Types of warts: photo
What do warts look like? The appearance of neoplasms largely depends on the modification of the virus and their variety. A visual representation of the types of warts and papillomas is given by the photos with the description presented later in the article.
This is the most common type of warts. They appear on different parts of the body, look like rounded nodules, resembling peas. They can be of different sizes and shades (from pink to brown), be located singly or in groups. Such neoplasms on the face or open areas of the body (for example, on the fingers) are perceived as a cosmetic defect, so many seek to get rid of the growths in any way.
Simple warts are painless and do not cause much discomfort (except for aesthetic). But if such a neoplasm is permanently traumatized, there is a risk of malignant degeneration. Therefore, doctors advise removing any suspicious growths on the body.
This type of neoplasm got its name due to the fact that growths with a smooth, flat surface are more often formed in adolescents and young people. This is due to the restructuring of the body during puberty. Hormonal disruptions contribute to a decrease in immunity and an activation of the virus.
Flesh-colored neoplasms, almost merging with the skin, appear in groups and are more often formed on open areas of the body.
This type of neoplasm is a soft, elongated growths on the pedicle that resemble papillomas. Most often, these growths form in the armpits, on the neck, along the hairline, on the eyelids or on the face. The soft tissue of filamentous warts is easily injured. It is very easy to damage them when shaving or during hygiene procedures.
Acrochords are prone to recurrence - several new formations often appear at the site of the removed growth.
Such neoplasms are distinguished by a dense structure and have a deep root extending into the depths of the dermis. They form on the soles or palms of the hands in places that are subject to regular mechanical pressure. This is the most unpleasant and painful type of warts. Particular discomfort is caused by plantar growths or thorns, which cause severe pain when walking, limit mobility and are difficult to treat.
A photo of a wart allows you to consider the appearance of such a neoplasm. The plantar wart differs from other growths in a conical shape with a depression in the center. If you steam it in hot water and peel off the upper stratum corneum, black dots are visible on the surface. These are thrombosed capillaries that penetrate the structure of the growth.
Genital (genital warts)
Genital warts form in the genital area. The main reason for their appearance is unprotected sexual contacts, frequent change of partners. In this case, the papilloma virus enters the body through microdamage to the mucous membrane during intercourse. Genital warts look like soft papillary formations on the pedicle.
They appear in groups and can spread rapidly to involve the perineum and anorectal region. Such growths are easily injured, bleed, cause painful sensations during sexual intercourse, during bowel movements or urination, or cause psychological problems.
The appearance of senile warts is not associated with the activity of the virus. Such growths (keratomas) are formed as a result of uncontrolled division of epidermal cells. The overgrowth of the surface layers of the epithelium provoke hormonal disorders associated with aging of the body and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light. Pigmented keratinized plaques of various sizes and shapes appear in the plural on the body, arms, neck, and the back of the hand.
A photo of senile warts (age-related keratomas) clearly shows their features and differences from other growths of a viral nature. Such formations can grow over time, and if damaged, bleed and become inflamed, which increases the risk of malignant degeneration.
If any suspicious lesions appear on the skin or mucous membranes, you should seek the advice of a dermatologist. After the examination, the specialist will make the correct diagnosis, determine the type of neoplasm and suggest a treatment regimen.
Most often, dermatologists advise removing unaesthetic growths with medication or with the help of hardware procedures.
Features of therapy
Treatment for warts should be comprehensive. To achieve a positive result and prevent recurrence of a viral infection, it is necessary not only to remove the growth, but also to block the reproduction of the pathogen. A dermatologist will help you choose an effective treatment regimen, taking into account the HPV strain, the type of neoplasm, the individual characteristics of the patient (age, the presence of chronic diseases and contraindications).
To remove warts at home, the following groups of drugs are advised:
The use of any remedy must be agreed with the doctor. Inappropriate and haphazard treatment will not stop the virus from multiplying or prevent warts from reoccurring.
Keratolytic agents based on salicylic or trichloroacetic acid well soften the rough stratum corneum on the surface of the wart. After cleansing from dead scales, the base of the build-up opens, and the active substances of drugs with a cauterizing and necrotizing effect more easily penetrate into pathological tissues.
Medicines with a mummifying effect include solutions containing aggressive acids and alkalis. For the treatment of genital warts on the mucous membrane, drugs with a milder effect are used - solution, gel. Such medicines should be used with caution, avoiding the contact of aggressive components on healthy skin.
Freezing drugs act by analogy with the cryodestruction method, that is, they freeze the tissues of the wart, as a result of which it dies off and disappears after a few days. Such products are available in the form of aerosol cans with a convenient applicator for applying the coolant.
Medicines blocking the spread of the virus and strengthening local immunity will help to consolidate the achieved result. These include preparations for oral administration or agents for external treatment in the form of ointments, gels, creams.
Of the hardware techniques, proven methods are used to combat warts - cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen) or electrocoagulation (cauterization with electric current).
Of the modern, safe options, many prefer the laser procedure or the radio wave method. Thermal radiation of a laser or radio waves evaporates the tissue of the wart at a strictly specified depth, without touching healthy tissue. This avoids complications and reduces the rehabilitation period to a minimum.
From folk remedies, celandine juice or preparations based on it are most often used to remove warts. Additionally, it is recommended to treat the growths with a solution of vinegar, garlic tincture, juice of green apples. The acidic and alkaline environment kills the virus and helps get rid of neoplasms. Be sure to check with your doctor before using any alternative prescription.