Warts are small skin growths, usually painless, that can appear on different parts of the body and are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The term should be used only to refer to cutaneous-mucosal infections caused by the human papillomavirus.
There are different types of warts, including vulgar warts, filiform warts, flat warts, plantar warts and anogenital warts.
Normally, common warts are usually harmless and disappear on their own over time. That is why a wart should only be of concern when they cause pain, interfere with the individual’s normal function or for important esthetic reasons.
The truth is that most warts are asymptomatic, that is, they do not itch or cause pain of any kind. That is why you should consult a doctor when you notice that the wart has grown, changed color or when they begin to bother or interfere with normal day-to-day life. The only warts that usually cause pain are plantar warts.
Warts are spread by direct contact, requiring an entry point which is usually small breaks in the skin or mucous membranes, although not all people who come into contact with the virus develop warts.
It is estimated that warts affect between 7 and 19% of the general population. Many warts appear in the pediatric age group and tend to be more common in girls than in boys.
It is false that warts are transmitted through blood, as the virus that causes warts is not found in the blood.
Direct contact with the warts themselves can cause new ones to appear. Therefore, it is important not to pick them off, as this can spread the virus.
In addition, it is important not to bite your nails or remove the cuticle, as warts appear more frequently on cracked skin. Also avoid brushing, rubbing, cutting, shaving or waxing the area with warts.
Between 60% and 70% of warts disappear spontaneously within 3 months. In children, two-thirds of the warts they present disappear on their own within two years.
However, if they do not disappear, there are different treatments to eliminate them, although none of them is 100% effective. These treatments can be keratolytic agents, cytotoxic agents, immunomodulators, cryotherapy, laser and surgical resection, among others.