Skin

04 December 2008

Declaring war on warts

Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by an infection in the top layer of the skin. The culprit is a virus called human papillomavirus, according to the American experts.

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Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by an infection in the top layer of the skin.

The culprit is a virus called human papillomavirus, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Common warts can be treated at home by applying salicylic acid gel or plaster. There usually isn't much discomfort, but it can take many weeks of treatment to get rid of them.

Warts also can be treated by "painting" them with cantharidin in the dermatologist's office. Cantharidin causes a blister to form under the wart. The dermatologist then clips away the problem in a week or so.

Those tactics usually are reserved for small children. For adults and older kids, freezing or burning off the wart is preferred. Those treatments can be performed by your family doctor. Neither is very painful and rarely cause scarring, but repeat treatments at one to three week intervals often are necessary. – (HealthDayNews)

 

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Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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