We’ll start with the facts and then dispel some of the more common myths surrounding our friend the ‘Wart’
7 Things You Need to Know about Warts
- 1. At least 10% of children are prone to developing warts. It is most common for teenagers to develop them. However, children at any age can develop warts.
- 2. Warts are extremely contagious and in most cases are spread from direct contact from one person to another. They can also be spread through touching a contaminated towel, clothing or something else that contains the bacteria.
- 3. If you want to avoid warts, it is important to maintain good hygiene practices and keep bites, rashes, and scrapes clean and covered at all times. It is also important to wear shoes when in public places. Children who go barefoot in public tend to get plantar warts more commonly than those who wear shoes.
- 4. If warts do not go away, you might want to seek the advice of a pediatrician or a dermatologist. Pediatricians have access to higher dosages of salicylic acid if it doesn’t work at home for you.
- 5. Genital warts should not be treated by the use of a home remedy. You should consult a physician to treat these types of warts.
- 6. Warts are benign tumors that develop when the skin cells known as keratinocytes become infected.
- 7. There are immune system drugs such as Aldara, which is given if other treatments for wart removal are not effective.
Here are 11 Common Myths About Warts that we Need to Dispel
- 1. Warts have roots
NO THEY DON’T. Warts never grow into the dermis, they only grow in the top layer of skin (the epidermis) and if they do grow deeper, they simply displace the second layer of skin with their smooth bottoms. .
- 2. Warts aren’t contagious
YES THEY ARE. Even a tiny skin abrasion can make an area of skin on your body susceptible to contagion, and you can also transmit the infection to others. Genital warts are particularly contagious.
- 3. You can cure warts
NO YOU CAN’T. The warts virus (HPV) resides in your DNA. You can however treat and remove them.
- 4. Toads can give you warts
NO THEY CAN’T. Toads have warts, but they can’t give you warts. HPV – the warts virus – is the HPV virus, as in the HUMAN pappiloma virus and has nothing to do with toads or their warts.
- 5. Genital Warts are always easy to spot.
NO THEY’RE NOT. Only 10% of all genital warts are visible. They can be hidden in skin folds, or internal. They are not usually painful, don’t bleed and you are uhlikely to feel them yourself.
- 6. Warts don’t cause cancer
YES GENITAL WARTS CAN. Two types of genital warts HPV (of more than 100 types of HPV) cause 70 % of all cases of cervical cancer. Sexually active women must get regular pap smears.
- 7. You can transmit warts from your hands to your genitals and vice versa
NO YOU CAN’T. The types of HPV causing genital warts are different strains to those causing warts on your body elsewhere. If your child has genital warts, he or she has been sexually abused and needs to receive medical attention and counselling immediately.
- 8. You can’t do anything to prevent wart growths
YES YOU CAN. Boost your immune system, stop smoking, cut back on alcohol, take exercise, drink water and eat healthy foods.
- 9. Warts will always keep on growing
NO THEY WON’T. In fact in many cases they will disappear naturally after around 6 months. In some cases they may grow and multiply, and in that case seek immediate treatment if you have not already done so.
- 10. Warts treatment is painful
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE. While surgery, electrocautery (burning), acid prescriptions, and freezing (cryosuregery) are painful and have varying levels of success (note the only way to get rid of internal genital warts for a woman is surgery), for external warts there are a range of natural products that offer pain free treatments.
- 11. Warts can’t grow back
YES THEY CAN. Check with your treatment provider if the warts are likely to grow back or not before embarking on a costly, tedious and disappointing method of treatment.
Speaking of Which..
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