The most frequently occurring form is the common wart, which is a hard, compact growth 2-5 mm in size with a rough, pricked surface, typically appearing on the fingers, toes and the backs of the hands. HPV also causes numerous tiny moles on the face of young women and children.
Genital warts are 1-2 mm in size or cauliflower-like, and are also caused by HPV. Infection spreads from person to person through body contact, but can also be picked up from touching objects.
Who can be infected by HPV?
HPV infection is very common, anyone can be infected. It is most common in children, but also appears on adults. Patients with atopic dermatitis (skin sensitivity, hay fever, asthma) are more susceptible to HPV infection.
Viral warts on the soles of the feet have increased in number recently, the probable reason being the use of public showers at swimming pools, gyms; towels and sandals used by more than one individual can also lead to infection.
What does a wart look like?
Common warts develop most frequently on the fingers and extremities. If one appears, more will probably develop over time. Common warts can also grow on the soles of the feet, spreading to the deep layers of the skin, causing intense pain when walking.
Verruca develops on the face as tiny, gelatin-like skin-colored or light brown growths. Warts on the edge of the nail are difficult to treat without damaging the nail.
Condyloma acuminatum also occur very frequently. These are found on male and female genitalia, and around the rectal and urinary openings, are 2-3 mm in size or larger and are painless.
Treatment of the viral wart
The treatment option which causes the least amount of damage to the surrounding, healthy skin should be chosen. A common treatment is the freezing of the wart with liquid nitrogen, which is fast, effective and painless. A blister appears following the freezing, which heals within a few days. It may be necessary to repeat the treatment 2-3 times.
The wart may also be removed surgically under local anesthetic, with either a sharp-edged Volkmann spoon or with an electric instrument (electrocautery). Surgical removal using either method may be either too close to the surface – in which case the wart will reappear – or too deep, in which case a scar will form.
Keratolytic treatment dissolves the keratin in the wart. These preparations are available in pharmacies, most frequently contain salicylic acid and can be topically applied to warts of all sizes. We provide advice on the correct use of these products before treatment begins.
In addition to the treatments above, genital warts can also treated with an immunologically active ointment.
Which treatment should I choose?
We provide advice on treatment based on individual needs. We consider the type of wart, its size and location. A well-informed patient can easily choose the most appropriate form of treatment.