Saturday, February 9, 2013

What Are Periungual Warts?

The Human Papilloma Virus has over 100 identified strains, some of which are warts. The HPV causes warts which are named for where they appear on the body and what they look like. People with healthy and strong immune systems aren't prone to warts, but those with a compromised or low immune system do. Most warts are contagious and can be painful. The Periungual wart is one of the warts that is caused by HPV. 
A Periungual wart is an abnormal growth that starts out the size of a pinhead. In the beginning they are
difficult to notice and are so smooth people don't often notice them. As the weeks progress, the wart grows to the size of a pea with rough irregular bumps that start to affect nail growth. In extreme cases the nail will become permanently deformed and fall off. If left untreated, it will move down the nail bed and cause an infection. 
Periungual warts typically form under the fingernails and toenails and are not easily spotted. Untreated warts become painful and the larger they become the more painful they will be. Eventually the nail will elevate and detach from the nail bed completely.
Periungual warts are contracted like any other HPV- through cuts, scrapes, and abrasions, and when people pick or tear at the skin around their nails. They are also contracted by contact with those who have the condition. 
Symptoms of periungual warts include a cauliflower appearance, which spread quickly and in clusters surrounding the nails, or under the nail bed. You will see the small rough bumps, which will become painful when left untreated. 
Treatment of periungual warts may include excision, which may require removal of the toenail. Salicylic acid, or chemical destruction, may be used topically to remove the warts. 
To prevent periungual warts, start with not picking or tearing at the skin around your toenails and the nail itself. This is the leading entrance way for HPV for this disease. If you know someone with periungual warts, you should keep away from skin to skin contact. If you already have periungual warts, do not pick or tear at the skin or nails, as it will make the condition worse. 
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