Wart (Verruka) group diseases are benign, skin infections that develop due to Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV). Classical warts are caused by HPV types 1,2,4,7,27 and 57. It is especially common in school-age children and teenagers. It is transmitted from person to person by direct wart contact from cracks and wounds on the skin. Infection in the family and at school is typical, and it is also transmitted from shared bathrooms and pools. The virus can spread through contact with contaminated surfaces and objects. It can develop in the feet with barefoot activities. It can be transmitted from animals to humans. Simple warts are more common on the hands of butchers, fishermen and slaughterhouse workers. It has an incubation period of up to 6 months. Although it is usually located on the back of the hand, around the fingers and nails, it can be located anywhere on the skin and mucous membranes.

What do warts look like? The clinical appearance varies according to the HPV type, the region of the wart and the immune status of the person. Simple warts are skin-colored, rough skin bumps, especially in areas exposed to trauma such as fingers, elbows, and knees. It can be seen on the nail edge and lips of those who bite their nails. It can be seen as small black dots that are not raised from the skin in areas exposed to pressure such as the soles of the feet. Flat warts are most commonly located on the face, neck, back of the hand, wrists and knees. In men, thin-stemmed warts can occur in the beard area. It spreads on the face as it is traumatized by shaving. Warts in the anogenital region may be flat, slightly raised from the skin, and sometimes in the form of cauliflower-like masses.

A frequently asked question; Do warts cause cancer?

Warts caused by some HPV, which are anogenital warts, can cause penile and anal cancers, especially cervix. For this reason, the spouses of men with anogenital warts should also be examined in detail. Both treatment should be done and vaccination should be done in terms of protection.

How are warts diagnosed?

The diagnosis can usually be made clearly by clinical appearance. In suspicious cases, the diagnosis is supported by taking skin biopsy. The causative virus type is determined by advanced molecular techniques with PCR and DNA probe.

With which diseases are warts common?

In childhood and young adulthood, warts can occur with contamination. In addition, common, treatment-resistant warts; Hodgkin’s disease is more common in patients with AIDS, kidney transplantation, immunocompromised, immunosuppressive therapy, and atopic eczema.

How are warts treated?

The treatment to be applied in warts is selected according to the age of the patient, the location of the wart, its prevalence, duration and the patient’s immune status. The first and early treatment prevents the wart from spreading and recurring. Topical treatments in the form of cream, pomade, gel and solution containing various chemical agents can be applied on warts. Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen gas is one of the first-choice treatments for non-healing simple warts and anogenital warts. Several sessions are applied with 1-3 week intervals. Radiofrequency electrocauterization is preferred more frequently in warts located on the trunk. Recently, immunomodulatory drugs have been used topically, especially in the treatment of anogenital warts and resistant plantar warts, and to prevent recurrence. Treatment of warts with laser can generally be preferred for flat warts in hand and foot placement. It is said that the use of zinc, which stimulates the immune system during treatments, increases the success of the treatment.

Warts are a curable disease that takes time. Like many diseases, preventing the transmission of the disease is a method that should be done first. People with warts can spread it to another area by scratching and trauma. It is an important precaution not to walk barefoot in spas and pools in public places. If anyone has warts in the family, attention should be paid to the use of slippers and towels. Since anogenital warts can be transmitted by sexual contact, absolute condom should be used and both partners should be examined. The use of gloves is extremely important in occupational groups that have contact with animals. Hairdressers and barbers should pay attention to sterility in the materials they use, and personal equipment should be provided if necessary.

Today I talked to you about warts, a common disease that has occupied us at some point in our lives. Please stay safe to be enlightened in another skin disease…