What are Warts (Condyloma)?
These lectures are not meant to replace your physician and are simply provided as a free educational service to all our visitors. If you feel that you have a skin problem, please see your doctor.
Warts are the most common skin growths seen by dermatologists, and almost everyone will have one or more of these pesty lesions at some time or other. These thickened areas of EPIDERMIS are noncancerous growths which are induced by a viral infection. Because they are viral in origin, they are contagious! But you can only get a wart from someone who has warts if you have no immunity against the wart virus. For example, chicken pox is a viral skin disease. If you have developed effective immunity to the virus of chicken pox as a result of having had the disease, you should not catch that disease if exposed to someone who has chicken pox. The same holds true for warts which also is a viral skin disease.
Unfortunately, because of the location of the wart virus high up in the skin, and the fact that it doesn't make you "sick", the development of immunity to the wart virus is quite slow in developing in many individuals. One thing is sure, in a variable period of time - somewhere between eighteen months and sixty months after infection with the wart virus - almost all individuals develop immunity against the wart virus. Then, as if by some miracle, all the warts spontaneously disappear - and do not leave a trace or a scar!
BECAUSE IN ALMOST ALL CASES, WARTS DISAPPEAR SPONTANEOUSLY WITHOUT TREATMENT - LEAVING NO SCARS OR COMPLICATIONS OF TREATMENT - YOU NEED TO CAREFULLY CONSIDER ANY TREATMENT OF WARTS THAT MIGHT RESULT IN SCARS OR COMPLICATIONS!
WITH WARTS, IT IS USUALLY RECOMMENDED THET YOU DO THE LEAST POSSIBLE AMOUNT OF CUTTING, BURNING, FREEZING OR OTHER LOCALLY DESTRUCTIVE MEASURES.
Most techniques designed to get rid of warts - unless a large area of normal skin is destroyed along with the wart - just like treating cancer - can leave a single virus particle behind. When that happens the wart is not cured. In fact, the success rate in treating warts in these ways is often less than fifty per cent in even the best of hands! Certainly, these techniques may result in not only the return of the wart - but a scar as well!