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PERSONS COMMONLY AFFECTED

  • Children and young adults
  • Those with a weak immune system

FEATURES

  • Rough bumps or growths that may look like a cauliflower; some look like flat-topped bumps that cluster around certain areas such as the face and neck
  • May be colored flesh, pink, white or tan and often contain tiny black dots
  • Usually found on the hands and feet but other body parts may be affected
  • Genital warts are usually passed through sexual intercourse
  • May cause pain if located around the nails or at the soles of the feet

REASONS FOR DEVELOPMENT

  • Infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Transmission
    • skin-to-skin contact
    • sharing of slippers, towels, walking barefoot

OTHER FACTORS

  • Conditions that can lead to a poor immune system: HIV, intake of steroids and anti-cancer drugs
  • Constantly wet skin that can cause the HPV virus to easily enter the skin: common in swimmers, meat handlers, those who do wet work at home

TREATMENT

  • Your dermatologist may prescribe topical medications to destroy the warts. This may require several applications. Often, your dermatologist will recommend treatment using physical destruction of the lesions such as cryotherapy ( freezing using liquid nitrogen) , cautery, or even lasers

PREVENTION

  • Keep your skin dry
  • Wear slippers all the time
  • Avoid touching/ picking or scratching your warts since this may spread the virus to other areas of the body
  • In hairy areas, better to cut the hair with scissors than shave to avoid spreading the warts
  • Practice safe sex: abstinence, monogamy, condom use

WHY DO I NEED TO SEE A BOARD-CERTIFIED DERMATOLOGIST?

  • Warts can be bothersome especially if they are located on the fingers and the surrounding nail area. They can be unappealing or disfiguring . A board-certified dermatologist can provide the appropriate and safe treatment based on the severity and the location of the wart, minimizing unnecessary destruction of uninvolved skin.
  • Some life-threatening skin disease may look like warts such as squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer). On the other hand, untreated warts in patients with weak immune system may transform into cancer. A board-certified dermatologist can differentiate these disorders and save your life.

 

PDS
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