Viral Wart or Verruca is a very common infectious disease of the skin. It is caused a virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It is contagious and is most commonly in seen on the face, hands and feet or children or young adults. However, you can get warts anywhere on the body and warts can occur in any age.

There are many different types of warts.

Common Warts

This is the most common type of warts that are usually found on hands and feet. They are usually raised. However, plantar warts (on the sole of feet) can be deep but flat because of the pressure exerted on the skin on walking and standing. Common warts can be treated with different methods such as topical medications, canthrone or canthrone plus, cryotherapy, electrosurgery or surgical removal. Salicylic acid is found in over-the-counter preparation or prescription and are frequently tried before the person seek help from medical doctors. Freeze off type of cold preparation in general are effective and not recommended. One of the most commonly used treatment is cryotherapy (cold liquid nitrogen treatment). Multiple treatment sessions are required every few weeks. Please click here to see our treatment page for more details.

Flat Warts

Flat warts are most commonly found on the face and back of the hands. As indicated by the name, the warts have a flat surface and are relatively thin comparing to common warts. They are very difficult to treat and they are likely to recur. They are best treated with topical medications such as low strength salicylic acid, retinoid acid, efudex, imiquimod and veregen. Destructive methods are best avoided.

Filiform Warts

These warts have finger like projections. They are often seen on the face. Treatment is generally with minor surgery called curettage and cautery, or cryotherapy.

Mosaic Warts

These are multiple small warts aggregated into a large area. Again, this is a form of resistant warts. They are often found on the soles. They maybe treated with more aggressive approach with combination therapies.

Peri-ungual Warts

Peri-ungual Warts are warts presented around nails. These are notoriously difficult to treat as they will grow under the nail. Treatment is often with cryotherapy combining with topical agent such as salicylic acid. There is a risk of scarring of nail bed and change of the nail shape with or without cryotherapy treatment.

Genital Warts

These warts occur anywhere in genital or pubic areas. This is usually transmitted by sexual contact, therefore screening for other sexually transmitted disease is recommended. Genital warts can be treated by podophyllin cream, podophyllin solution, veregen cream, vyloma cream (imiquinoid), cryotherapy or electrodessication. Surgical can be used in the case of large and resistant lesion. Shaving should be avoided if warts are present in the pubic areas to prevent spread. Recurrence is common and sexual contact should be avoided when warts are present.


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