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| ICD9 = | Image = Dornwarzen.jpg | Width = 150px | Caption = Warts on the big toe | DiseasesDB = 28410 | eMedicineSubj = emerg | eMedicineTopic = 641 | MedlinePlus = 000885 | MeshName = Warts | MeshNumber = D014860 | A wart is generally a small, rough tumor, typically on hands and feet, that can resemble a cauliflower or a solid blister. Warts are common, and are caused by a viral infection, specifically by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are contagious when in contact with the skin of another. It is also possible to get warts from using towels or other objects. They typically disappear after a few months but can last for years and can reoccur. A few papilloma viruses are known to cause cervical cancer.
Types of wart A range of different types of wart have been identified, which differ in shape and site affected, as well as the type of human papillomavirus involved.Mosbys Medical, Nursing, & Allied Health Dictionary'' (5th edn), Anderson KN, Anderson LE, Glanze WD, eds, Mosby These include:
PrescriptionTreatments that may be prescribed by a medical professional include:
Over-the-counterThere are several over-the-counter options. The most common ones involve salicylic acid. These products are readily available at drugstores and supermarkets. There are typically two types of products: adhesive pads treated with salicylic acid or a bottle of concentrated salicylic acid solution. Removing a wart with salicylic acid requires a strict regimen of cleaning the area, applying the acid, and removing the dead skin with a pumice stone or emery board. It may take up to 12 weeks to remove a wart.Another over-the-counter product that can aid in wart removal is silver nitrate in the form of a caustic pencil, which is also available at drug stores. This method generally takes three to six daily treatments to be effective. The instructions must be followed to minimize staining of skin and clothing.Over-the-counter cryosurgery kits are also available, however they can often cost three times as much as the previously named products.Like prescription treatments, over-the-counter treatments usually require multiple applications and are only necessary if the warts are problematic. Additionally, these treatments are capable of destroying healthy skin as well as warts, so caution must be exercised by those attempting them without medical supervision.
Household remediesDuct tape occlusion therapy involves placing a piece of duct tape (or medical tape) over the affected area for a week at a time. The procedure is otherwise identical to that of using salicylic acid adhesive pads. One study by Focht et al. found that the duct tape method was 85% effective, compared to a 60% success rate in the study's cryotherapy group.Focht DR III, Spicer C, Fairchok MP (2002) The efficacy of duct tape vs cryotherapy in the treatment of verruca vulgaris (the common wart). Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 156(10): 971-4 (reviewed in Miller KE (2003) Duct tape more effective than cryotherapy for warts. American Family Physician 67(3) & DeMichele J (2003) A new medical breakthrough: wart to do when verruca vulgaris attacks. Journal of Young Investigators 7(5)) Another study by Wenner and coworkers, however, found no statistically significant effect in a double-blind, randomized and controlled clinical trial in 90 adults when duct tape was compared to mole skin.Wenner et al. Duct tape for the treatment of common warts in adults: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Arch Dermatol. 2007 Mar;143(3):309-13. There was no statistically significant difference for resolution of the target wart between patients treated with moleskin versus patients treated with duct tape. Eight of 39 patients 21% in the treatment group vs 9 of 41 patients in the control group 22% had complete resolution of the target wart. Fewer of the patients achieving resolution of their wart in the moleskin group had recurrence of their wart. Of the patients who had complete resolution, 6 (75%) in the treatment group and 3 (33%) in the control group had recurrence of the target wart by the sixth month. "Whether or not the standard type of duct tape is effective is up in the air," said co-author Dr. Rachel Wenner of the University of Minnesota, who started the new study as a medical student. "Theoretically, the rubber adhesive could somehow stimulate the immune system or irritate the skin in a different manner."Study Casts Doubt on Duct Tape Wart Cure. March 21, 2007.Other household remedies include the application of common household items. These include various fruits and vegetables such as a bruised garlic, banana skin, unskinned potatoes, potato or cauliflower or tomato juice, or other food products like vinegar,Apple Cider Vinegar for Warts salt, or vegemite. Other common household products used include hot water and washing liquid, aerosol sprays or compressed airBuild Your Own Wart Remover, and tempera paint. Oils and saps from milkweed, dandelion, and poison ivy, tea tree, Thuja occidentalis, and fig trees have also been used. Accounts vary in regards to how long these remedies must be applied with each session and how long they take to work.As there have been no controlled studies for most household remedies, it is impossible to know if warts that disappear after such treatments do so because the treatment was effective, or because warts often disappear due to the individual's own immune system regardless of treatment. The evidence that hypnosis may effectively treat warts Alternative & Complementary Therapies: Hypnotherapy & Warts suggests that the condition may be amenable to the placebo effect, that is, that belief in a remedy rather than any property of the remedy itself is what's effective.Some household remedies are potentially dangerous. These include attempts to cut or burn away the warts. Incense is sometimes used in Asian countries to burn warts. These methods are very painful, and can lead to infection and/or permanent scarring.
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