Clinical Update: Warts

Warts occur when the human papilloma virus infects the skin. Warts are typically flesh-colored, rough growths that occur where a cut or scrape in the skin has occurred. They are contagious from person-to-person and person-to-object-to-person. Common warts, also known as vurruca vulgaris, usually occur on the fingers, around the nails, and on the back of the hands. Plantar warts grow on the soles of the feet. Flat warts can grow anywhere and are typically smoother than other types.

Warts are diagnosed by physical examination. Occasionally a biopsy may needed to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other disorders. Many warts heal without treatment, however treatment may be necessary if the warts are bothersome or painful, don’t go away, or if a person has a large number of warts. Treatment options include Cantharidin, cryotherapy, electrosurgery and curettage, excision, laser, chemical peels, bleomycin, or immunotherapy.

*Access to CE articles is through Lippincott To return to the Skin Care Network from NursingCenter, click the Skin Care Network link under the Clinical Resources navigation button.

This Just In

From Our Journals

October 2010

Anal Condyloma Acuminatum
Gastroenterology Nursing
September/October 2009

Clinical Case Report: Use of OTC Essential Oils to Clear Plantar Warts
The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Health Care
March 2006


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