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Warts are skin growths caused by viruses. Warts can grow on any part of the body and their appearance depends primarily on their location. There are several different kinds of warts including:

Common warts usually grow around the nails, on the fingers and on the back of the hands. They are more common where the skin has broken, for example where fingernails are bitten or hangnails picked.

Foot warts are usually on the soles of the feet and are called Plantar warts. Most plantar warts do not stick above the surface like common warts because the pressure of walking flattens them and pushes them back into the skin.

Flat Warts are smaller and smoother than other warts. They tend to grow in great numbers - 20 to 100 at a time. They occur anywhere, but in children they are most common on the face. In adults they are often found in the beard area in men and on the legs in women. Irritation from shaving probably accounts for this.

How do physicians treat warts?

There are a variety of treatments, depending on the age of the patient and the type of warts.

These include:
* Cryotherapy (Freezing)
* Electro-surgery(burning)
* Laser therapy
*Cantharidin or Cantharadin combined with Salicylic acid and Podophyllin.


The normal action of these medications is to form a blister underneath the wart. This occurs within 24 hours of application. The blister formation kills the wart by cutting off its blood supply. Occasionally, there may be some blood in the blister fluid, don't be alarmed at this. The blister may also be painful, be inflated and itch. Your physician will recommend appropriate medication.

Treatment progression  (what to expect)

As a general rule patients can expect the following:

4 HOURS: Mild discomfort may occur; control with bathing and medication 24 HOURS: Blistering usually formed within 24 hours

4 DAYS: Crusted blisters fall off leaving superficial erosions. Medication may be needed to control night time itching.

7 DAYS : Healed with temporary residual inflammation/redness. Any resistant lesions will be retreated. Temporary loss of normal pigmentation often occurs, but no scaring.

Cantharone and Cantharone Plus are for physician use only. They are not to be dispensed or prescribed for patient administration under any circumstances.