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    What are Warts?

    Warts are benign lesions that occur in the mucosa and skin caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV) virus. The most common subtypes of HPV causing warts are 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, and 35.

    Though warts are benign generally, they might become malignant and develop into verrucous carcinoma. Verrucous carcinoma is a slow growing tumour and it is classified as well-differentiated squamous cell malignancy that is often mistaken for a common wart.

    The primary manifestations of HPV infection include common warts, genital warts, flat warts, deep palmoplantar warts (Myrmecia), focal epithelial hyperplasia, Epidermodysplasia verruciformis, and Plantar cysts.

    Warts are common worldwide and affect approximately 10% of the population. The peak age of infection is 12-16 years and the gender preponderance is equal.


    Warts may be transmitted by direct or indirect contact when there is a disruption of the normal epithelial barrier. Particularly, with skin contact HPV can be transferred to any part of the body. The virus replicates in the upper level of epithelium.

    Common warts are caused mostly by HPV subtype 2 and 4. Flat warts are caused by types 3,10 and 28. Type 1 HPV causes deep palmoplantar warts.

    Sign and symptoms

    Most of the warts are asymptomatic. They might cause cosmetic disfigurement and localised pain. Plantar warts can be painful because of compression and extensive friction that can lead to bleeding. They can easily be mistaken for callous which arenעt painful and deep seated.

    Common warts may appear as a popular growth with an irregular shape and surface. They are seen most commonly on the lower and upper extremities. Butcher's warts are seen in individuals who handle raw meat products. These warts tend to have a cauliflower-like appearance and tend to be large.


    Warts are diagnosed on the basis of clinical and physical examination. Immunohistochemical detection of HPV structural proteins confirms the presence of a HPV. A biopsy is obtained in case of doubtful diagnosis.

    General Management

    The treatment of warts depends on symptoms, patient preferences and the cost.

    Warning: Above information provided is an overview of the disease, we strongly recommend a doctor's consultation to prevent further advancement of disease and/or development of complications.

    Disclaimer: The information provided herein on request, is not to be taken as a replacement for medical advice or diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND PRESCRIPTION.

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