Common Warts

  What is a wart? A papilloma is another name for a wart as they are caused by HPV the human papilloma virus. When the virus gets into the upper layer of the skin it causes rapid growth of the skin cells in a haphazard way causing a hard lumpy bump- the common wart. We come in contact with the HPV virus every day on surfaces or skin contact with others. They are usually only a problem where the skin barrier has been damaged ie the hand, shaving areas or anywhere the skin has a little cut. Other strains of the virus cause genital warts and have been linked with cervical cancer, Gardasil is a vaccine against types 6,11,16 and 18. Common warts are usually caused by 2 and 4. *Medicetics do not treat the foot or the genital area

There are multiple ways to treat warts:

Salicylic acid
This can be bought over the counter in a pharmacist and is useful for very small warts or for stopping recurrence when a wart has been treated. For larger warts that have been there for a long time, it is unlikely to work.

Cryotherapy/ freezing
At Medicetics we use liquid nitrogen to freeze warts. This has the advantage of not breaking the skin barrier but penetrating deeply into the skin to kill the virus. After some stinging, the wart crusts up and falls off within a week. With persistent warts, this can sometimes require multiple treatments. It is the safest way to remove warts that have formed around nail beds, surgery in this area can affect nail growth.

Laser removal
Lasers can be used to remove moles, however, repeat treatments 2-3 treatments are often required.

For large persistent warts, surgical removal with radiosurgery gives the best results, however, having physically removed the wart it means that there is a healing period.

Warts are found on everyday surfaces and we carry them on our skin most of the time. Usually they cannot penetrate the outer skin area unless there is a little cut or scratch. Taking extra care with nail care and using a mosituriser on your hands keeps the skin barrier healthy and the warts out.

If you have pick your skin and already have warts there is a high risk of self-infecting other areas. This is why it is often easier to keep the skin covered during the healing process to avoid further skin damage.

25% of warts disappear on their own within 1-6 months, 65% disappear within 2 years and the other 10% can linger on for longer.

6 things about warts

1. Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus and there are over 100 different types of the virus although 2 and 4 are the most likely to cause your common wart.

2. Verrucas found on your feet are just another type of wart caused by the same virus the HPV type 1 is the most common here.

3 .Treating the mother wart and all the small ones that have sprung up around it is important, or else the non treated warts will keep sending out virus’ that will grow the wart back again as the skin is damaged.

4. Zinc sulphate tablets can help reduce the reoccurrence of warts.

5. You don’t’ catch warts from warty toads, the lumps on their skin are caused by glands not by a virus.

6. If you look at a wart under a magnifying glass you can see little black dots, these are blood vessels the wart has recruited to help bring it nutrition to survive and grow.

Warts can be persistent and recur.

Ways to avoid recurrence:

– Treat all warts at the same time
– Avoid abrasions or scraping the skin
– Keep the wart covered when it is healing, duct tape has been shown to reduce the reoccurrence!!
– Take zinc sulphate, studies have shown it reduces recurrence and aids wound healing
– Use salicylic acid on large warts to avoid recurrence.

These prices are a guide

£ 140
£ 220
Radiosurgery / laser
£ 260

* As a general rule all lesions will be examined by a Doctor with a special device called a dermatoscopy. The majority of lesions are sent for histology however it is important this would need to be clarified by your Doctor at consultation