Warts are very common non-cancerous growths of the skin caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). A viral wart on the sole of the foot is also called a verruca, and warty lesions are often described as verrucous.
Common warts arise most often on the backs of fingers or toes, around the nails—where they can distort nail growth—and on the knees.
Plantar warts (verrucas) include tender inwardly growing and painful ‘myrmecia’ on the sole of the foot, and clusters of less painful mosaic warts. Oral warts can affect the lips and even inside the cheeks, where they may be called squamous cell papillomas.
Viral warts are very widespread in people with the rare inherited disorder epidermodysplasia verruciformis.
Oncogenic strains of HPV, the cause of some anogenital warts and warts arising in the oropharynx, are responsible for intraepithelial and invasive neoplastic lesions including cervical, anal, penile and vulval cancer. Tests are rarely needed to diagnosis viral warts, as they are so common and have a characteristic appearance. Many people don't bother to treat viral warts because treatment can be more uncomfortable and troublesome than the warts—they are hardly ever a serious problem. To get rid of them, we have to stimulate the body's own immune system to attack the wart virus.
Topical treatment includes wart paints containing salicylic acid or similar compounds, which work by removing the dead surface skin cells.
If the wart paint makes the skin sore, stop treatment until the discomfort has settled, then recommence as above.

An aerosol spray with a mixture of dimethyl ether and propane (DMEP) can be purchased over the counter to freeze common and plantar warts.
Sufferers, medical professionals and holistic healers alike are especially interested in the removal of plantar warts.
Medical professionals are strong proponents of removal to decrease the spread of the virus that causes warts. Plantar wart removal is explored in the field of alternative medicine because natural remedies have proven strongly effective and, again, the removal decreases the spread of the virus. Over-The-Counter Medication: There are several over-the-counter wart removers that can be easily compared at your local drug store. Chemical Application by Your Physician: Similar to the process used in over-the-counter medicines, your doctor can apply an acid to your wart. Electrosurgery: After applying a local anesthetic your doctor will use a cauder to burn through the wart killing it and the bacteria in it.
Laser Removal: Laser removal sounds quite attractive (and can be effective) but is more expensive and more painful than most people are prepared for and is, therefore, saved for warts unaffected by other treatments.
5-Fluorouracil: 5-fluorouracil is an anti-cancer substance that has had some success with the removal of warts. Immunotherapy: Doctors are just beginning to employ the use of immunotherapy in the war against warts. Surgical Excision: While almost always effective, surgical excision is saved as a last resort as it can leave a painful scar and warts often recur in the scar tissue. This means if a wart is scratched or picked, the viral particles may be spread to another area of skin.

Dermatoscopic examination is sometimes helpful to distinguish viral warts from other verrucous lesions such as seborrhoeic keratosis and skin cancer. Treatment with wart paint usually makes the wart smaller and less uncomfortable; 70% of warts resolve within twelve weeks of daily applications. Anecdotally, these have been reported to result in clearance of non-genital warts in some people. In children, even without treatment, 50% of warts disappear within 6 months, and 90% are gone in 2 years. While all warts can be bothersome, plantar warts are particularly concerning for several reasons. While most of the nearly 200 types of human papillomavirus (or HPV) do not cause any symptoms in infected people, certain strains do cause reactions including warts. While it is not used on most warts, doctors have used it to treat plantar warts specifically. The wound heals in two weeks or longer; even then 20% of warts can be expected to recur within a few months.

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