Our Services - Warts
What are Warts?
Warts are common viral infections caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV enters the body through tiny breaches on the skin. The entry stimulates skin proliferation and causes papules with rough scaly surfaces. Warts mainly affect one’s appearance but some mainly. Patients may feel itchy or even mild pain. Currently more than 100 strains of HPV are identified with different clinical presentations.
Common warts are generally bigger (5 to 10mm). They can grow on any part of the body. Despite the lack of symptom in general, bigger warts may cause pain on pressure. Common warts have rough scaly surfaces, and may be sprinkled with black pinpoints, i.e. small, clotted blood vessels. While children are more prone to develop common warts, it is not uncommon in adults.
Plantar warts occur on the soles of the feet. Plantar warts have penetrating sloping sides with a central depression. They grow inward beneath a thick layer of skin which can cause pain while standing or walking. Some plantar warts can grow into a few centimetres big, which can be bothersome to daily functioning.
Flat warts are relatively small (around 1mm), slightly elevated and light brown in colour. They usually scatter on the face, neck and upper trunk. Flat warts may easily spread around the healthy skin nearby, forming clusters of tens or even more than a hundred on the face, affecting appearance.
Prevention of warts begins with lifestyle changes. We should improve physical and emotional well-being, adopt a healthy diet, exercise regularly to keep the body immune system healthy. People with lower immunity including elderly and chronic patients on immunosuppressive drugs should pay attention to their personal hygiene. Avoid sharing personal amenities like slippers or towels and walking barefoot in humid public areas like pools and gyms. If any of your family members are affected by warts, clean bathtubs and floors at home regularly to minimise infection risks.
In most cases, warts will go away on their own within three to six months. Persistent, symptomatic warts can be removed with medical treatment in order to reduce infectivity and improve appearance. Treatment options include cryotherapy, cauterisation, and CO2 laser, or direct surgical removal. Since warts are caused by viral infection, they may recur after treatment.