Verruca is a benign tumor that develops due to the Human papilloma virus (HPV). Although it is often seen on the hands, feet, face and the genital area, it can occur anywhere on the body. It develops after direct contact with a verruca itself or through contacting something that has been in contact with the verruca. Skin trauma increases the ability to spread. It is transmitted easier in children, those with a suppressed immune system, and those who have a habit of nail-biting. Verruca vulgaris is the most common type and is usually seen on the hands and the edges of the nail bed. The lesion is called verruca plantaris when seen on the soles and tends to spread in moist environments. Verruca plana is often located on the face or the back of the hand and may spread with skin irritation due to scratching or friction and can result in significant cosmetic problems. Verruca filiformis consists of stemmed verruca lesions. Anogenital verruca, observed in the genital area, is often sexually transmitted. Certain types of HPV can cause cervical cancer in women. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer type in females. HPV plays an important role in its development.
The diagnosis of verruca is easy. It is usually detected with inspection. A skin biopsy can be obtained in suspicious situations. The verruca is excised and the HPV type is determined, especially in genital verruca. If a high-risk HPV type that may lead to cervical cancer is found, follow-up with regular smears is recommended. Changes in the cervix can be detected and treated early and cancer development prevented in this way. Patients with genital verruca must be evaluated for other sexually transmitted infections.
The age of the patient, the location and the thickness of the verruca and the type of verruca are important in the treatment. The main treatment methods are keratolytic agents that dissolve the skin upper surface, acid solutions that kill the verruca virus, cryotherapy (cold treatment), cauterization, and surgical excision. Drugs regulating the immune system are recommended in resistant cases.