What are warts?
Warts are benign growth of skin caused by infection of human papilloma virus (HPV).
- Usually asymptomatic but may present with itching and bleeding.
- May be painful if present on pressure bearing site.
- Often skin-colored and feel rough, but they can be dark (brown or gray-black), flat, and smooth.
- These are contagious can spread by contact with the wart or something that touched the wart like shaving kit, towel etc.
- Children and teenagers are more prone.
What is HPV?
Caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. There are more than 100 types of HPV viruses. These can grow on all parts of body. They can grow on skin, on the inside of mouth, on genitals and on rectal area. Common types of HPV tend to cause warts on the skin (such as the hands and fingers), while other HPV types tend to cause on the genitals and rectal area.
How people get infected?
Warts are common, and are caused by a viral infection and are contagious when in contact with the skin of an infected person. It is also possible to get infected from using towels or other objects used by an infected person.
Children are more prone as they share classroom and many other things from infected children.
Some people are more naturally resistant to the HPV viruses and don’t seem to get them as easily as other people.
Risk factors for warts
- Damaged skin/mucous membranes
- Weak immune system
- Additional risk factors for genital warts
- Unprotected sex
- Number of lifetime sexual partners
- Uncircumcised males
Types of warts
A range of types of wart have been identified, varying in shape and site affected, as well as the type of human papillomavirus involved. These include:
- Common (Verruca vulgaris)
- Flat (Verruca plana)
- Filiform or digitate
Common wart (Verruca vulgaris)
- These are demarcated, round or irregular, firm, raised wart with roughened surface.
- May be of yellow, brown or grey-black in colour.
- Most common on hands, finger, elbow, face and knees the areas exposed to repeated trauma from where virus can easily enters into the skin but can grow anywhere on the body.
- Usually asymptomatic but may cause pain if located at weight bearing surface (Sole)
Flat wart (Verruca plana)
- These are small, smooth flattened skin-colored
- May occur in large numbers
- most common on the face, neck, hands, wrists and knees.
- Commonly seen in children and young adults.
Filiform or digitate wart
- A thread- or finger-like growth.
- These are present usually in isolation not in clusters.
- Most common on the face, especially near the eyelids and lips.
- These are asymptomatic but may present with itching and bleeding.
- They bother the patient cosmetically.
- HPV infections are very common in sexually active males and females. Species of HPV are responsible for genital warts, cancer of cervix, bladder and anal.
- Genital warts are commonly present on penis, vaginal and vulva area. Anal warts are very common in homosexual men.
- These are pink and white in colour usually present in clusters.
- These may spread from sexual intercourse with infected person.
- These types are usually symptomatic but anal warts may present with itching.
- Diagnosis is based on clinical observation by differentiating from syphilis and carcinoma.
- Biopsy can be suggested in cases of suspected carcinoma.
These are group of tightly clustered plantar-type warts, commonly on the hands or soles of the feet.
Cauliflower-like cluster of warts that occurs around the nails. Periungual warts are more common among patients who bite their nails or who have occupations where their hands are chronically wet such as dishwashers and bartenders. These patient are more prone to have paronychia, infection of skin around nail.
- These are types of warts present on plam and soles.
- Virus enters into the skin from the cuts and abrasion on the outer most layer of the skin. These grow inwardly instead appearing as an out growth.
- Often diagnosed mistakenly as corn, but the difference is in the distribution of skin striae. Skin striae go around the wart, if the lesion is not a plantar wart, the striations continue across the top layer of the skin.
- May be painful when pressure is applied such as walking, running etc.
Diagnosis of warts
Majority of warts are diagnosed of the basis of clinical presentation. Sometimes biopsy is needed for differential diagnosis from carcinoma or other possible diagnosis.
Treatment for warts
Treatment in conventional medicine includes
- Topical irritants (eg, salicylic acid, cantharidin, podophyllum resin)
- Destructive methods (eg, cryosurgery, electrocautery, curettage, excision, laser)
Combination of medicines are used aong with destructive method (eg, cryosurgery, electrocautery, curettage, excision, laser) because virus may remain in tissue after physical removal result in recurrence.
Prevention of warts
- Maintain hygiene and take care of damaged skin so that it can be prevented from infection.
- Do not share towels, shaving kits, shoes from the person having warts.
- Use contraceptives during intercourse.
- Do not pick and cut your warts
Homeopathic Remedies for Warts
Aim of homeopathy treatment of warts include-
-To remove growth without any painful destructive methods
-To check the recurrence by treating the cause of warts
Homeopathy treats the person as a whole. It means that homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as a person, as well as his pathological condition. The homeopathic medicines are selected after a full individualizing examination and case-analysis, which includes the medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution etc. A miasmatic tendency (predisposition/susceptibility) is also often taken into account for the treatment of chronic conditions. The homeopathic remedies given below indicate the therapeutic affinity but this is not a complete and definite guide to the treatment of this condition. The symptoms listed against each homeopathic remedy may not be directly related to this disease because in homeopathy general symptoms and constitutional indications are also taken into account for selecting a remedy. To study any of the following remedies in more detail, please visit our Materia Medica section. None of these homeopathic remedies should be taken without professional advice.
- Antimonium crudum
- Calcarea carbonica
- Thuja occidentalis
- Nitric acid
- Calcarea flouricum
- Arsenic album
- Natrum muriaticum
- Ferrum pic
- Conium mac
- This homeopathic remedy has warts that are Hard and smooth that often appear in groups.
- Sole, very painful in touch, cannot walk bare feet.
- Skin is very sensitive to cold bathing.
- Dry skin
- Skin complaints often associated with gastric derangements
- Irritability and a thickly coated white tongue also suggest the need for this remedy.
- Warts on the neck and hands.
- Homeopathic remedy that have Round, hard, solitary growth.
- Often useful for growth that have a horny wall surrounding a central depression.
- Indicated in fleshy people with clammy hands and feet.
- Profuse sweating in plam and soles.
- Patient has desire for eggs, sweets and indigestible thing like chalk, charcoal etc.
- Tendency to hard stool or constipation.
- Homeopathic remedy for old, large growth on the face (especially the nose), under the fingernails.
- Warts on fingertips that bleed easily suggest the need for this homeopathic remedy.
- Tend to be hard, inflamed, and painful and sit on whitish-yellow, dirty looking skin.
- People who benefit from this remedy tend fear that something awful will happen.
- Patients who feel intensely sympathy about the hardship of others.
- Flat growth located on backs of hands and face and soft brownish to black seborrheic found on the back.
- Large and smooth.
- Indicated in people with rheumatic complaints that are worse in cold, damp weather or humidity.
- Small pointed growth appearing in large groups.
- Also useful in some cases of flat or plane warts with irregular borders that grow on the face, neck, wrists, hands and knees.
- Hands full of warts.
- Men may have prostatic enlargement.
- Patients of this medicine usually feels deafness before menses.
- Thuja is a wonderful medicine for warts, skin complaints associated with urinary and sexual infection.
- Warts especially on left side of the body and on covered parts only.
- This medicine nicely acts on all kind of skin growth and tumors.
- Growth in anal and genital region.
- Unhealthy skin, offensive sweating leaves yellow stain.
- Patient is very sensitive to cold weather.
- An important remedy for warts on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet.
- Skin is dry, with oily sweat. Greasy look of face and dryness of skin of whole body.
- Skin eruption specially in skin folds.
- Patient who are sensitive to sun heat.
- Indicated in those who are closed, reserved and sensitive.
- This homeopathic remedy is indicated in treating large, fissured or gold-yellow warts that itch and sting or bleed upon washing.
- This remedy is also indicated for people who are anxious about health and worry about cancer.
- Often useful for growth that have a horny wall surrounding a central depression or the more common plantar wart.
- Warts specially of black and dark colored, with intense itching and burning.
- Medicine suited to the women who had history of abortions or having clotted dark menstrual discharge
- This is a homeopathic remedy for plantar warts, especially on the palms of the hand.