Genital Warts usually spread in high incidence through sexual activity. It occurs in vagina, cervix, penis, thigh, groin, oral cavity, throat and anal canal, when get direct contact with warts. Its occurrence will take some time to appear i.e. even more than 6 months from the date of contact. They appear as a soft flesh like cauliflower, classically called as Condylomata, when it occurs in genitals. It varies in number (usually multiple) and size (from 1 mm to 1 inch). Condoms may reduce the risk of developing warts, but not absolutely, since moisture and discharges can actively cause spread. Many infected people have no symptoms and develop sometimes later.
Non-genital warts are named according to the place of occurrence and its nature.
1. Plantar Warts – appears on the soles and ball of the foot in single or groups. They give a feeling of pain like walking on pebbles. It can be differentiated from corns with its flatness and multiple occurrences with infective nature. Comparing other warts, plantar warts are most painful due to pressure of body weight on it. These Warts do not have root where as a corn has. Like wise corns are more sensitive to direct pressure, while plantar warts are more sensitive on sideward compression.
2. Common Warts (Verrucae Vulgaris) can appear on any part of the body, mostly in hands especially fingers. They appear as oval or round thick crusts or small cauliflower like growths. It occurs mostly in clusters. The spread of infection is often noted by scratching and getting contact with oozing watery discharges.
3. Flat Warts- occurs commonly in the body where our skin is soft i.e. face, neck, chest, & back. It is found mostly in children and teenagers. They appear as dark round or oval patches with flat tops as the name indicates.
- Contacts with warts- Transmission directly depends upon the susceptibility of patient & mainly moisture promotes the spread.
- Weakened body immune mechanism in Auto immune disorders or Immuno-deficiency diseases favours its occurrence and spread.
- Malnutrition in children also promotes the occurrence and spread of warts
- Chemotherapy treatment also favours the wart formation by weakening the immune system.
Most of the people with warts may not have any functional complaints. It is mostly a cosmetic ailment unless otherwise, it is complicated. The presentation of the symptom will not be the same in every case even in same type of HPV infection. Normally warts appear as small lumps or dry crusts which may be single or clusters. Sometimes, it will grow like cauliflowers which are painless with a feeling of dryness, irritation and itching. In case of injury or complication, there may be swelling and pain with pus or sticky discharge & foul odour. Dark or black spots (clots of blood vessels) can be also seen in the warts, which help in differentiating it from corns. Warts may resolve spontaneously and recur often.
Diagnosis can be easily made on clinical examination itself. The presence of blood vessels, clots and black dots favours the diagnosis of warts. In some incidence due to the appearance, biopsy may be necessary to rule out cancer. A thorough examination of the body including oral cavity, vagina & anus should be done in suspected case of sexual transmitted diseases. Routine blood tests will be helpful in tracing the auto immune disorders if any.
Prevention of warts: Always prevention is better than cure. The best way to prevent is to avoid direct contact with the Warts. Also
- Walking or standing for a long time with out slippers in moist area
- Using pond water, where many people using it are infected with warts
- Sexual contact with infected persons (genital warts), till it gets treated completely
- Sharing the towels, beds and dresses of people infected with warts
- Leather shoes & hard sole slippers in case of plantar warts
- Rub warts since it may become ulcerated
- Use acids, it may also damage surrounding normal tissues
- Prick or Pull or Peel
Treatment of warts – Warts may go off spontaneously and can reappear recurrently. Its relapses are noted even after several years. In general, skin specialists mostly concentrate on destruction of warts (i.e. effects of warts disease). Sometimes it makes the complaints more badly than the disease itself.
Various methods of destruction – Depending on the size, shape, location, number, type of warts and patient’s age factor, the mode of treatment varies.
- Freezing (cryotherapy) – with the help of liquid nitrogen, freezing of warts are done. This is somewhat painful. Advantage of this technique claims some “Less scar”.
- External applications- Acids and Paints (mostly salicylic acid) having tissue necrotic action are applied repeatedly over the warts and the dead skins are peeled off often to make skin soft and to reduce the pain. This is mostly applied in multiple warts.
- Burning with electro cautery or laser is also done for the elimination of warts.
- Internal therapy- usually no drugs is administered orally since nothing is found to be effective. Finally, latest new anti viral drugs and chemotherapy are also now used for tissue necrosis and removal of warts.
Surgery for warts is rarely applied since it comes usually in clusters. The surgical intervention is done when there is an extreme painful condition.
Warts sometimes disappear even without treatment, but usually recur if not treated properly. Homeopathy can surely unwind the knots of the skin (warts) and remove the disease as a whole without any scars. Also it can outweigh all its side effects. It is a natural way to help the body by supporting the body’s own process of healing. It involves the use of extremely diluted substances to heal the body through the release of vital energy. Usually the skin complaints will take much longer time to heal or cure since it is the outermost part of the body which has less blood supply compared to other organs and often get exposed to irritants or environmental changes or pollutants which makes hindrances with cure.