Periungual Warts Treatment

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Periungual warts are one of the lesser known types of wart. Like many other warts the condition get its name from where the growths appear. Periungual warts will grow around nails and are often quite difficult to detect at first.

What is a periungual wart?

As mentioned above, a periungual wart is a growth that occurs alongside your nails. These warts are small growths the start off fairly smooth before assuming the characteristically rough texture of other warts. The extent of growth that periungual warts can achieve is what makes them distinct from other types of wart. These warts can rapidly become extremely large, to the point where they can in fact displace an entire nail! Periungual warts can also cause a nail to become permanently reformed, and in some cases can pose a more serious problem when the wart makes its way into the nail plate which would eventually lead to a fungal infection. Fungal infections need to be treated when they occur.

What causes periungual warts?

Warts are caused by the action of a common but nonetheless unwanted virus called the human papilloma virus, otherwise known as HPV. HPV isn’t much more than a bit of DNA in a protein bundle, and yet despite this the virus is responsible for irksome blemishes the world over. Like other viruses, HPV makes its way into cells, in this case skin cells), where it begins to make use of that cell’s natural resources and machinery to duplicate itself. One of the virus’ effects on your cells is to fuel their growth, which leads to the onset of small structures we call warts. HPV likes to make its way into your cells through little cuts and scrapes, and as there are over 130 different forms of HPV there is no lack of the virus in the world around us.

How do I know I have a periungual wart?

Like many other kinds of wart, periungual warts are defined by where they appear, namely the skin around your toe and finger nails. Periungual warts have a characteristic rough appearance, with irregular borders and what is often described as a cauliflower like look. These warts can form rather large lesions, which can become quite painful as the wart continues to grow and affect the natural growth of your nail.

How do I get periungual warts?

The HPV virus is notoriously and unpleasantly contagious. It can spread quite easily from person to person, causing the growth and development of warts. The virus can also survive on surfaces that are warm and moist, the ideal environment for the survival of many disease bearing organisms. You can pick up the virus from contact with these surfaces. Indirect contact with people with warts is a common mode of infection, like sharing towels for instance. HPV lives to infect people through scratches and scrapes, as the open wound provides a perfect opportunity for the virus to get into your body and bypass your natural defence mechanisms, of which your skin is a large and important part.

Can periungual warts be treated?

The good news is that periungual warts are very treatable, and their position on fingers and toes makes them good candidates for a popular and effective treatment: the application of a cream or gel with salicylic acid. These are available in lower doses over the counter, but if they don’t seem to be doing much more potent creams can be obtained via subscription. Your doctor can also arrange a number of other treatments for you if necessary, for example laser and cryotherapy.

If you notice a periungual wart is advisable to seek or begin treatment as soon as you can to avoid the growth having an effect on your nail plate. Some warts can be under the nail plate, which poses a more difficult challenge in terms of treatment. If you do have a wart beneath your nail plate then you should definitely consult your doctor, who will be able to advise you as to the best way to proceed. Laser therapy has, so far, seemed to be the best option for warts beneath the nail plate. Another reason to quickly pursue treatments in these cases is because of the risk of the wart making its way into the nail plate itself, which would cause a fungal infection.

How can I prevent periungual warts?

The best way to prevent any kind of wart is to avoid contact with a wart bearing person, and to observe good hygiene in places like changing rooms and public bathrooms, where many people come into contact with different surfaces that are all wet and warm enough to sustain the virus. Avoid sharing nail trimmers and manicure equipment with anyone with periungual warts. Fingernail biting is associated with the development of periungual warts. Regular hand washing is always a good idea and is a great preventative measure for warts amongst many other illnesses borne by surfaces and people all around us.

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