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Viral warts

Viral warts are by far the most common skin infections, seen in both adults and children. They are caused by the human papilloma virus. They can grow on any part of the body including the fingers and toes. Warts have a rough surface on which tiny, dark dots can often be seen. On pressure areas like the palms or soles, they appear flat. Warts on the soles can be painful when standing or walking. Warts on the genitalia are usually sexually acquired.

Wartsare harmless skin growth and can never turn cancerous. However, they can be a nuisance. Warts are contagious and can spread from 1 child to another or from 1 part of the body to another.

We don’t know why some people get warts and others don’t. There is no way to prevent warts.

Treatment

There is no perfect treatment for warts. Current treatment consists of destroying the outer layer of skin where the wart grows on. This can be done by surgery (including laser), electrocautery (destroying with a weak electric current), by freezing (with liquid nitrogen) or with chemicals like salicylic acid. The treatment to be used depends on the location and size of warts. Sometimes new warts will form while existing ones are being destroyed.

Despite treatment, some warts occasionally fail to disappear. Warts may return weeks or months after being removed. Do not be worried if the wart recurs; just consult your dermatologist for further treatment.

To know MORE TREATMENTS offered by Dr Lynn Chiam, please visit: www.childrenadultskin.com.sg

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