Cauliflower Wart

Warts are benign, coarse, small growths or lesions on skin. Cauliflower wart is a type of wart that develops due to human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. It is the most common kind of wart. The wart looks like a cauliflower and hence the name.

Cauliflower wart is caused by infections with HPV type 1, 4, 29, 2, & 27. It typically forms on the neck, fingers, feet, face, toes, head, and genitals, but may also develop at any other areas of the skin. People of all ages can suffer from formation of cauliflower warts.

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Cauliflower warts vanish without medical treatment in some months or years. Patients may surgically remove them via laser therapy, cryosurgery, etc. home remedies can help treat mild cases.

Cauliflower wart is very contagious and transmits easily via exposure to infected people and contaminated objects. The virus can transmit and cause formation of cauliflower wart due to sharing of combs, towels, etc. or touching a skin area with the wart. Not sharing personal items and other self-care measures can help prevent the condition.

Types

The most widespread types of cauliflower warts are mentioned below:

  • Genital cauliflower wart: It is associated with high-susceptibility HPV infection and can lead to cervical cancer
  • Common cauliflower wart (verruca vulgaris): It is the most prevalent type of cauliflower wart. It primarily affects the fingers and palms, but can develop anywhere. The wart disappears on its own in a couple of years, but has to be treated due to its contagious nature.
  • Perilungual wart: It is very painful and develops under nails. Medications and home remedies can clear it.
  • Subungual cauliflower wart: It forms on the hands and can cause size and shape change of fingernails, thereby resulting in ugly looking fingers. It has to be medically treated.
  • Digitate/filiform cauliflower wart: These warts are long and appear somewhat different from other types of cauliflower warts. They form on the skin around lips and the eyelids, but can also form elsewhere on the face.
  • Other types: Plantar warts, flat warts, and/or mosaic warts are other forms which may or may not have similar appearance.

Causes

  • Cauliflower warts occur due to infection by varied strains of HPV virus. Warts may not necessarily develop on everyone with HPV infection.
  • Cauliflower wart is extremely contagious and can spread from patients to others through exposure to infected body areas or objects. A patient may also spread infection from one body area to another on his/her body.
  • All age groups can develop cauliflower warts, but children, younger adults, and persons with impaired immune systems are at increased risk.

Treatment of cauliflower wart (removal)

Cauliflower wart is non-cancerous. It usually clears out suddenly in some months or years, especially if the affected person has a strong and healthy immune system.

Some warts may be painful and cause excessive itchiness. Warts on skin areas that are prone to friction may elicit bleeding. Additionally, cauliflower warts are unsightly. Hence, patients may choose to surgically remove them for cosmetic purposes.

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Common medical treatment options for cauliflower wart are listed below:

  • Application of specialized chemicals on the cauliflower wart so as to cause it to blister and make it easy to remove
  • Use of topical creams, gels, etc., like podofilix, trichloracetic acid, or podophyllum 5%, etc., to remove the warts
  • Use of over the counter salicylic acid lotion, gel, drops, medicated pads, or ointments. The affected skin area needs to be washed; then salicylic acid should be applied and covered with bandage. It is best to follow the label instructions of use. Use once every 1 or 2 days and the wart will get fully eliminated in around 12 weeks.
  • Use medicated silver nitrate pen for about three to six weeks for effective removal of the wart
  • Cryotherapy is another option to remove cauliflower wart. In this type of surgery, the wart is frozen with liquid nitrogen and in some days they dry, shrink, and fall off.
  • Electrocautery and laser therapy involving burning the warts. These treatments are costly.

Home remedies for removal of cauliflower wart are mentioned below

  • Apply garlic paste on wart and cover with bandage. Repeat for 7 to 10 days to get rid of warts
  • Apply milky whitish juice of ripe, fresh figs on affected area to remove cauliflower wart
  • Use duct tape on wart every day till the wart drops off
  • Soak slices of lemon in apple cider vinegar for 14 days. Then use the juice on the warts to eliminate them
  • Soak marigold stem sap and its leaves in hot water. Grind them to paste and apply on affected skin area
  • Cauliflower warts can also be removed by application of juice of Indian squill herb, cashew nut oil, vitamin E oil, tea tree oil, castor oil, milky white dandelion juice, papaya juice, fresh onion juice, chickweed paste, potato pulp, aloe vera juice, calendula tea, or pineapple juice.

Cauliflower wart – Pictures

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