Warts or papillomas, medically termed as verrucae, are common benign skin growths caused by human papilloma virus that belongs to the DNA virus group. Any age group can be affected by warts, but it commonly occurs in ages between 12 an 16 years. There are different types of warts caused by more than 50 types of papillomavirus.
Warts are manifested by a horny projection of the skin formed by proliferation of the cells. It is usually asymptomatic, except when it occurs in weight-bearing areas such as the soles of the feet. They can also affect the other parts of the body, such as the genital areas elbows, fingers, hands and toes.
Medical Treatment and First Aid Remedies
Warts may be treated at home, but in the most serious cases, it should be treated medically upon examination by your doctor. Minor cases of warts are treatable by first aid remedies that can help relieve the symptoms.
- Cryotherapy is the application of extremely cold liquid nitrogen on the warts.
- Electrodessication involves drying the warts with an electrical current
- Acids can burn the warts, which is a commonly used first aid management of minor warts using the salicylic acid therapy.
- Podofilox or imiquimod (Aldara) is a topical drug that stimulates the production of antiviral interferons
- Laser therapy
- Duct tape occlusion is the application of a duct tape in order to cover the wart and prevent it from thriving.
There are also warts that occur in the genital and perianal areas. They are known to be sexually transmitted. Medically, they are called as condyloma acuminata. There is an increasing prevalence of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection in the genital tract. Also, the fact that it is sexually transmitted predisposes both men and women to developing genitourinary cancers. Reports showed that 50% to 80% of the male partners of women with abnormal cervical cells have HPV infection.
Self-diagnosing of genital warts
Most people are ashamed of consulting a doctor about the possibility of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Fortunately, there is one way to diagnose genital warts at home.
- Apply an acetic acid solution (vinegar) in the skin area with a suspected genital wart.
- Examine the genitals afterward.
- The positive results would cause the epithelium to whiten.
Treatment of genital warts
Treatment of genital warts should include both partners to be more effective. It usually includes topical chemicals, cryosurgery with liquid nitrogen, and laser therapy for men. For women, treatment options are trichloroacetic acid, podophyllin, interferon, chemotherapeutic agents, electrocautery, and laser therapy. A regular Pap smear every six months should be done for affected women because of the high risk of developing cervical cancer.
Most often, genital infection results in pain and discomfort and a knowledge about home treatment as first aid management for the symptom can offer relief.
- Warm perianal irrigations are recommended to provide comfort. This can also help to clean infected areas.
- A sitz bath can also benefit the claimant.
- Sexual intercourse is discouraged until there is no more pain and discomfort.
- The use of condom is also emphasized to prevent reinfection.
WebMD. Warts and Plantar Warts Treatment Overview. Retrieved on July 12, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/warts-and-plantar-warts-treatment-overview