21 Feb Wart: causes, types, diagnosis and treatment
A wart is a localized, predominantly benign neoplasm caused by epidermal hyperplasia. Papillomatous growths and papules usually appear due to the activity of viral infections. They are mainly caused by the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the body. HPV infection transmits in a contact-household way. Pathogenic microorganisms penetrate through the skin or mucous membranes. Different skin injuries and weakened immunity increase the risk of infection.
According to statistics, more than 100 cardiotropic DNA viruses are present in the bodies of more than 80% of the adult population. However, HPV may not show any symptoms throughout life. Warts, many of which are called papillomas, appear on the skin and mucous membranes only in the presence of favorable factors. Some of them are weakening of the immune system, caused by various diseases, hormonal failure, unhealthy lifestyle, etc.
There are different types of warts, whose appearance is caused by one or another type of virus. Each type of skin formations can be located on the skin surface or mucous membranes. It is not always possible to eliminate the virus from the body. However, some types of infection result in self-healing. Today, if the patient has warts, the treatment usually consists of the use of antiviral drugs and the removal of tumors. There are different ways of wart removal, chosen individually for each patient.
Warts in adults
Men and women are equally vulnerable to human papillomavirus infection, and consequently, the appearance of warts on the skin and mucous membranes. The virus can get into the body as a result of a common handshake or sharing hygiene products, as well as during sexual contact. Entering the human body, the virus penetrates into the squamous skin epithelium and actively replicates there. The incubation period of HPV can last from 1-1.5 months to half a year or more.
It is almost impossible to protect your body from virus infection and warts on the legs, arms, face, and other parts of the body. The main recommendations for the prevention of warts are the exclusion of contacts with people suffering from warts, personal hygiene, and immunity support.
People of any age are vulnerable to warts. However, children and teens are especially susceptible to these formations. This can be due to different papillomaviruses. Children usually get infected in a contact-household way. They often closely communicate with other kids in large collectives and easily “catch” different viruses from each other. Besides, the child can get papillomavirus from the mother during fetal development or delivery.
Warts on children’s hands and other body parts appear quite often because the child’s body is more susceptible to various infections, and in most cases, reacts to them with a sharp depression of immunity. Most kids suffer from the common, flat, and plantar warts on the fingers, feet, and hands. Flat juvenile warts usually go away on their own as the children get older (by the age of 14-16). Plantar and common warts in children often appear due to injury. They are usually located on the knees and elbows. Foot warts can result from wearing uncomfortable shoes that cause irritation and skin damage.
Such epithelial formations as warts can be caused by different factors. As previously mentioned, Papillomatous virus is transmitted through close contact with an infected person or his/her personal items. In this, the infection can move from a virus carrier to a healthy person without external signs of disease. Some people can be the virus carriers but don’t have warts. However, they’re still a source of infection for the others. Autoinoculation, or in other words, autoinfection, is also not excluded. Thus, warts on the face and neck can appear after shaving and cosmetic peeling. The same applies to papillomas and warts on the ankles, chins, and in armpits. Different skin damages increase the risk of HPV infection. It often happens in the swimming pools, gyms and saunas. Wart formation is a result of an uncontrolled division of cells of the surface skin layers. As a rule, they don’t disappear on their own. Therefore, warts require removal (usually in complex with the use of antiviral drugs and general strengthening of the body).