A wart is a benign tumor that usually sits on the skin. There is a proliferation of cells due to a virus of the papillomavirus family (HPV), of which many types exist. It is contagious. There are different types of warts: common warts, plantar warts, flat warts. Warts can be recurrent and cover a more or less significant dermal area. Warts fall within the expertise of a dermatologist who can offer several therapeutic solutions. Warts often affect children and young adults. When an HPV infection affects the mucosa such as those located at the genitals or anus, these are condylomas. And because of the contagious nature of HPV, genital warts
are considered to be a sexually transmitted infection. Note that certain types of HPV can cause cancer of the cervix in women.
Symptoms are specific to each type of wart.
- common warts usually appear on the hands and fingers, most commonly the back of these. Brown in color, its surface is irregular, hard, and rough. Due to the location on the hands, they can invade other parts of the body upon contact.
- a plantar wart in its typical form is very painful to walk on because it affects the foot. It soon becomes debilitating, pushing the patient to consult a dermatologist.
- a flat wart occurs mainly on the fingers, hands, forehead. It is a small lesion with a smooth surface that can persist for years.
- Genital warts affect mainly the external genitalia in the female vulva, the penis in men, but can also be located at the anus. We distinguish condylomata and genital warts, also called cockscomb.
- Other rarer forms exist.
The appearance and location are usually sufficient to diagnose the type of wart in question and no additional tests are necessary.
- Skin warts can be treated using different techniques like molecules "keratolytic" that can be applied directly to the skin. The warts can be removed by applying liquid nitrogen or another technique using a laser.
- As for condylomas, liquid nitrogen or laser are also possible. An alternative is a cream for topical application.
Populations that are most affected by common and plantar warts are children and adults under the age of 35, especially avid users of sports fields and swimming pools. Wearing plastic shoes is advisable to attend the pools. It is better to also avoid keeping your feet wet.