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Warts are noncancerous (benign) rough bumps that form on the skin. They develop when the human papillomavirus, or HPV, enters a cut or break in the skin and causes an infection.

Risk factor

Children are more prone to warts because they get a lot of cuts. Still, anyone can get warts. People with autoimmune diseases or weakened immune systems, including the elderly, are more susceptible to the virus that causes warts.

Types

A range of types of warts has been identified, varying in shape and site affected, as well as the type of human papillomavirus involved. These include:

• Common wart (verruca Vulgaris), a raised wart with roughened surface, most common on hands, but can grow anywhere on the body. Sometimes known as a Palmer wart or Junior wart.

• Flat wart (verruca plana), a small, smooth flattened wart, flesh-colored, which can occur in large numbers; most common on the face, neck, hands, wrists, and knees.

• Filiform or digitate wart, a thread- or finger-like wart, most common on the face, especially near the eyelids and lips.

• Genital wart (venereal wart, condyloma acuminatumverruca acuminata), a wart that occurs on the genitalia.

• Periungual wart, a cauliflower-like cluster of warts that occurs around the nails.

• Plantar wart (verrucaverruca plantaris), a hard, sometimes painful lump, often with multiple black specks in the center; usually only found on pressure points on the soles of the feet.

• Mosaic wart, a group of tightly clustered plantar-type warts, commonly on the hands or soles of the feet.

Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are about 130 known types of human papillomaviruses. HPV infects the squamous epithelium, usually of the skin or genitals, but each HPV type is typically only able to infect a few specific areas of the body. Many HPV types can produce a benign growth, often called a “wart” or “papilloma”, in the area they infect. Many of the more common HPV and wart types are listed below.

• Common warts – HPV types 2 and 4 (most common); also types 1, 3, 26, 29, and 57 and others.

• Cancers and genital dysplasia – “high-risk” HPV types are associated with cancers, notably cervical cancer, and can also cause some vulvar, vaginal, penile, anal, and oropharyngeal cancers. “Low-risk” types are associated with warts or other conditions.

• High-risk: 16, 18 (cause the most cervical cancer); also 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 52, 58, 59, and others.

• Plantar warts (verruca) – HPV type 1 (most common); also types 2, 3, 4, 27, 28, and 58 and others.

• Anogenital warts (condylomata acuminata or venereal warts) – HPV types 6 and 11 (most common); also types 42, 44 and others.

• Low-risk: 6, 11 (most common); also 13, 44, 40, 43, 42, 54, 61, 72, 81, 89, and others.

• Verruca plana (flat warts) – HPV types 3, 10, and 28.

• Butcher’s warts – HPV type 7.

• Heck’s disease (focal epithelial hyperplasia) – HPV types 13 and 32.


Causes

When the human papillomavirus (HPV) enters a cut in the skin, it causes a skin infection that forms warts. Warts are very contagious. The virus can spread from person to person or from different parts of the body through:

• Direct contact with a wart.

• Touching something contaminated with the virus, such as towels, doorknobs, and shower floors.

• Sexual intercourse (genital warts).

• Nail-biting and cuticle picking.

• Shaving.

Symptoms of warts

Warts vary in appearance. They may look:

• Dome-shaped.

• Flat.

• Rough.

• Skin-colored, brown, grey or black.

Complications

Most warts go away without any significant problems. Sometimes warts cause issues, such as:

• Cancer: HPV and genital warts are linked to several different cancers, including anal cancer, cervical cancer and throat (oropharyngeal) cancer. You can lower your risk of genital warts by getting the HPV vaccine and using condoms.

• Disfigurement: People with weakened immune systems may develop unappealing clusters of warts on the hands, face and body.

• Infection: Infections can occur if you pick or cut a wart. Breaks in the skin allow bacteria to enter.

• Pain: Most warts don’t hurt. But plantar warts can grow inward into the foot and be painful to walk on. You may feel as if there’s a pebble under the skin.

Prevention

There’s really no way to prevent warts. However, you can lower your risk of picking up the virus or stop warts from spreading by taking these steps:

• Avoid shaving over a wart.

• Break the habit of biting your nails or picking at cuticles.

• Don’t share towels, washcloths, clothing, nail clippers, razors, or other personal items.

• Don’t touch another person’s wart.

• Get the HPV vaccine and use condoms to prevent genital warts.

• Keep your feet dry to prevent the spread of plantar warts.

• Try not to scratch, cut or pick at a wart.

• Wear flip-flops or shoes when using a public locker room, pool area, or shower.

Homoeopathy

Head; warts, scalp: bar-c calc-f caust kreos nat-s SEP(4) thuj.

Eyes; warts, condylomata: ant-c arg-n ARS(3) arund CALC(3) CAUST(3) CINNB(3) DULC(3) euphr hafn(2) LYC(3) mag-c mag-s MERC(4) NIT-AC(3) phos psor SIL(3) STAPH(3) sulph THUJ(4).

Ears; warts: bufo calc carc thuj.

Nose; warts, internal: med NIT-AC(3).

Face; warts: adam alco AM-M(3) anac ANATH(3) ARS(3) aur brucel CALC(4) calc-p calc-s carb-an CAST-EQ(3) CAUST(4) CINNB(3) CON(3) cund cupre-l DIPH(3) DULC(4) ferr ferr-pic kali-bi kali-br KALI-C(3) kali-ma kali-n kali-p kali-s lamp-c laur lyc(2) mag-c mag-s med nat-m nat-s NIT-AC(3) ph-ac PSOR(3) pyrit SEP(3) sil sulph THUJ(4).

Face; warts; cheeks: ars calc caust DIPH(3) sep sil thuj.

Face; warts; chin: calc calc-p cund kali-c LYC(3) med psor sep THUJ(4).

Face; warts; eyebrows: anac ANATH(3) brucel CAUST(4) nit-ac THUJ(3).

Face; warts; forehead: CAST-EQ(3) pyrit THUJ(3).

Face; warts; lips: CALC(3) CAUST(3) CON(3) cupre-l dulc ferr kali-p kali-s lamp-c nat-m NIT-AC(4) sulph thuj.

Face; warts; mouth, around: calc calc-p cund kali-c lyc med ph-ac PSOR(3) sep thuj.

Face; warts; nose: alco CAUST(4) kali-ma laur NIT-AC(3) THUJ(4).

Mouth; warts, condylomata: arg-n aur aur-m(2) aur-m-n bell calc-p chel CROC(3) cund cupre-l kali-s LACH(3) lamp-c lyc mang MERC-C(3) morg mur-ac OLND(3) PH-AC(3) phos posit SABAD(3) staph STRAM(3) syc-co thiosin THUJ(3).

Mouth; warts, condylomata; tongue: aur AUR-M(3) aur-m-n cund kali-s lyc mang morg mur-ac phos sabad staph syc-co THUJ(3).

Throat; warts, condylomata: ARG-N(3) MERC-C(3) NIT-AC(3) SEP(3) THUJ(3).

Neck; warts, condylomata: ant-c calc lyc nat-m nat-s nit-ac psil-c SEP(3) sil syph thuj.

Abdomen; warts: nit-ac plat sep thuj.

Rectum; warts, condylomata: am-m ANT-C(3) ARG(3) ARG-N(3) AUR(3) AUR-M(3) aur-s benz-ac carc cast CAUST(3) CINNB(4) cub EUPHR(4) GRAPH(3) jac jac-c kali-br KREOS(3) LYC(3) med merc merc-c MERC-D(3) MILL(3) NAT-S(3) NIT-AC(4) petr phos plut-n sabad sabin sep SIL(3) STAPH(4) sulph syc-co syph THUJ(4).

Male; warts, condylomata: alumn ANT-T(3) APIS(3) ARG-N(3) ars AUR(4) AUR-M(4) AUR-M-N(3) aur-s bell CALC(3) carc CAUST(3) cham CINNB(4) cub cupr EUCAL(4) EUPHR(4) FL-AC(3) HEP(4) IOD(4) jac-c(2) KALI-CHL(3) KALI-I(3) KALI-M(3) kreos LAC-C(3) LYC(4) m-aust MED(3) MERC(3) merc-acet merc-aur merc-br MERC-C(3) merc-cy MERC-D(3) merc-i-f merc-i-r merc-k-i merc-meth merc-n merc-p merc-pr-a merc-pr-f merc-pr-r merc-s-cy merc-tn MILL(3) nat-m NAT-S(4) NIT-AC(4) NUX-V(3) PH-AC(4) PHOS(4) plat PSOR(4) rad-br sabad SABIN(4) SANIC(3) SARS(3) sec SEP(3) sil STAPH(4) SULPH(3) syc-co THUJ(4).

Male; warts, condylomata; syphilitic: AUR(3) caust CINNB(3) euphr kali-i LYC(3) MERC(3) merc-acet merc-aur merc-br merc-c merc-cy merc-d merc-i-f merc-i-r merc-k-i merc-meth merc-n merc-p merc-pr-a merc-pr-f merc-pr-r merc-s-cy merc-tn nat-s NIT-AC(4) ph-ac plat SABIN(3) sep staph THUJ(3).

Male; warts, condylomata; cancerous: aur-m aur-m-n cinnb merc-pr-r.

Male; warts, condylomata; cauliflower, like a, penis: LAC-C(3) NIT-AC(4) THUJ(4).

Female; warts, condylomata: ant-t arg-n aur aur-m CALC(3) CALEN(3) canth chr-ac cinnb cub cypra-e euphr graph hoch jac-c(2) kali-ar KREOS(3) lach LYC(3) MED(3) MERC(3) MERC-D(3) NAT-S(4) neon NIT-AC(4) ph-ac PHOS(3) ros-b SABIN(3) SARS(3) sec sep STAPH(3) sulph syc-co syph TARENT(3) THUJ(4).

Larynx & trachea; condylomata, warts, larynx: ARG-N(3) calc hep MERC-C(3) NIT-AC(3) THUJ(3).

Chest; warts, condylomata: agar aur bac calc CAST-EQ(3) germ morg-g nit-ac(2) sep sil tax thuj vani-p.

Chest; warts, condylomata; mammae: CAST-EQ(3) germ morg-g sep sil thuj.

Chest; warts, condylomata; mammae; nipples: morg-g sep sil thuj.

Back; warts: bar-c calc caust lyc nat-c nit-ac pitu-a puls sep sil syph thuj.

Back; warts; cervical region: calc caust lyc nit-ac pitu-a puls sep syph thuj.

Extremities; warts: alch-v alum ambr aml-n ANAC(3) ANIL(3) ant-ar ANT-C(3) aq-des ARS(3) aur-m-n BA-TN(3) bac BAR-C(4) bar-i bar-m BERB(3) blatta BOR(3) bov BUFO(3) CALC(4) calc-br calc-cal calc-f calc-p CALC-SIL(3) cann-i carb-an carc(2) CAUST(4) con coriand cypra-e DIPH(3) DULC(4) dys-co electr excr-can falco-p FERR(3) ferr-m FERR-MA(3) FERR-PIC(4) FL-AC(3) gado-m gall germ graph haliae-lc hell herin hoch(2) hydr-ac kali-bi kali-c kali-chl kali-m kiss LAC-C(4) LACH(3) loxo-r LYC(3) lycpr mag-s med(2) merc morg morg-g mur-ac NAT-C(3) NAT-M(3) NAT-S(3) neon NIT-AC(4) olea onc-t ory-c ox-ac ozon pall PETR(3) PH-AC(3) phos(2) phyl-a phyt pic-ac pitu-a plac plut-n pop-c posit PSOR(3) ran-b RHUS-T(4) rosm RUTA(3) sabin sal-ac sals-t sang sars scorp SEL(3) SEP(3) sil sinusin SPIG(4) SULPH(4) syc-co tax THUJ(4) tub uran.

Skin; warts, condylomata: ACET-AC(3) agar alco allox ALUM(3) alumn AM-C(3) AMBR(3) ANAC(3) ANAC-OC(3) anag anath ANT-C(4) ANT-T(3) APIS(3) ARG-N(3) arge ARS(4) ars-br ARS-I(4) AUR(3) aur-ar AUR-M(3) AUR-M-N(3) AUR-S(3) ba-tn bac BAR-C(4) bar-m BAR-S(4) BELL(4) bell-p BENZ-AC(3) berb berb-a beryl blatta bor BOV(4) bry bufo CALC(4) calc-cal calc-o-t calc-p CALC-S(4) CALC-SIL(3) calen camph(2) cann-i caps CARB-AN(3) CARB-V(3) CARBN-S(3) CARC(3) cast cast-eq CAUST(4) cham chel CHIN(4) chr-ac chr-o cich CINNB(4) clad-r CLEM(3) cocc(2) colch CON(3) coriand croc CUND(4) CUPR(3) cupre-l DIPH(3) DULC(4) dys-co eryth eucal EUPH(3) euph-cy(2) EUPHR(4) excr-can(2) FERR(3) ferr-ar ferr-ma ferr-p ferr-pic FL-AC(3) germ glyc-g GRAPH(4) haliae-lc HELL(3) HEP(4) hyos IOD(3) jac kali-ar kali-bi kali-br KALI-C(3) KALI-CHL(3) KALI-I(4) KALI-M(4) kali-ma kali-n kali-s kali-sil kiss KREOS(3) LAC-C(3) LACH(4) lava-h LYC(4) m-aust MAG-C(3) mag-m MAG-S(3) MANC(3) mang MED(4) MENY(3) MERC(4) MERC-C(4) MERC-D(4) MERC-I-F(3) merc-i-r merc-n mez MILL(3) NAT-C(4) NAT-L(4) NAT-M(4) nat-p NAT-S(4) NIT-AC(4) nit-s-d NUX-V(3) ory-c OX-AC(3) pall PETR(4) PH-AC(4) phase PHOS(4) phyl-a phyt pic-ac PITU-A(3) plat-m platan-a plb plut-n pras prom-m PSOR(4) puls rad-br RAN-B(3) rheum rhod(2) RHUS-T(4) rosm RUTA(4) SABAD(4) SABIN(4) sal-ac sam-co-m sang SANIC(3) SARS(3) scorp SEC(4) sel semp seneg SEP(4) sid-al SIL(4) sinusin spig spong STAPH(4) stram sul-ac sul-i SULPH(4) syc-co syph tarent tax TEUCR(3) THUJ(4) tritic-v tub VERAT(3) verr X-RAY(3).

Generalities; warts; internal: arg-n aur aur-m(2) aur-m-n bell calc-p caust chel CROC(3) cund cupre-l kali-s LACH(3) lamp-c lyc mang med MERC-C(3) morg mur-ac NIT-AC(3) OLND(3) PH-AC(3) phos posit SABAD(3) staph STRAM(3) syc-co thiosin THUJ(3).

Generalities; warts; agg., suppressed: mang med MENY(3) merc NIT-AC(3) STAPH(3) THUJ(3).

Boger’s general analysis 7; warts, fungoid growths, condylomata, proud flesh etc.: ant-c(2) ars(2) bar-c(2) calc(2) carb-an(2) CAUST(3) DULC(3) ferr-pic(2) lach(2) lyc(2) MERC(3) NAT-S(3) NIT-AC(4) ph-ac(2) phos(2) sabin(2) sil(2) staph(2) sulph(2) THUJ(4).

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