Description: Warts are non-cancerous (benign) skin growths. The most common warts are warts that occur on the bottom of the feet (plantar warts), on the hands, and in the genital area (condyloma). When numerous warts come out in small clumps, they are called mosaic warts. When they occur under a fingernail or toenail, they are called periungual warts. They usually grow on the outer or horny layer of the skin otherwise known as the epidermis. Warts are not very serious, but they can be uncomfortable. .
Etiology: Warts are a type of viral infection. The virus responsible for warts is called human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus is very contagious or infectious. To catch warts, you have to touch the virus. The virus gets into your body through cuts or breaks in the outer layer of skin. The plantar wart is often contracted by walking barefoot on dirty surfaces where the virus is lurking. HPV thrives in warm, moist environments, making infection a common occurrence in communal bathing facilities. .
Symptoms: The appearance of the wart is a symptom itself. Warts may be rough or smooth. They may be elevated or flat. They vary in size and they may or may not hurt. The appearance of the warts depends on location and degree of irritation. The telltale sign though is if there is a black spot in the middle. Complete regression after many months is usual, but warts may persist for years and may recur at the same or different sites. Some warts can become malignant.
Treatments: Most warts can be removed and thus treated with over the counter remedies. However, there are more drastic treatments. Salicylic acid is a common treatment. After applying it on the warts, you can file away the dead surface of the warts until they are gone. An alternative could be to apply liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart. This is called cryotherapy. Other methods of removal include burning the wart with an electrical needle, cutting out the wart through surgery, and removing the wart with a laser.