Warts are caused by the DNA-containing human papillomavirus (HPV). There are at least 63 genetically different types of HPVs.
The virus enters the skin after direct contact with recently shed viruses kept alive in warm, moist environments such as a locker room, or by direct contact with an infected person. The entry site is often an area of recent injury. The incubation time—from when the virus is contracted until a wart appears—can be 1-8 months.
In addition to recommending the home care treatments, such as taping and salicylic acid, the doctor may typically choose to treat the wart more aggressively.
Liquid nitrogen: Liquid nitrogen or cryotherapy is used to deep freeze the wart tissue. With liquid nitrogen applied to the wart, the water in the cells expands, thus exploding the infected tissue. The exploded cells can no longer hide the human papillomavirus from the body's immune system. The immune system then works to destroy the virus particles.
Laser therapy: Lasers are simply very intense light sources. This light has an enormous amount of energy that heats the tissue enough that it vaporizes.
Surgical removal: Surgery may be necessary when other treatment methods fail. This would involve numbing the region around the wart and cutting out the wart.
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