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Health Problems & Solutions

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Ouch! My back hurts:

Q: I am 69 years old and have a pain in my lower back which, when I stand, radiates down both my legs. I am a housewife and the pain makes it very difficult for me to do housework. The orthopaedic I consulted said I have spondylolisthesis but none of the tablets I was prescribed seem to work.
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A: Spondylolisthesis can be congenital but usually, especially if it occurs after the age of 50, is due to degeneration of the spinal vertebrae. One vertebra then tends to slip over the other and presses on the nerves (in your case the ones going to the legs) causing the pain.

This condition can usually be managed without surgery. A few days of bed rest should be followed by physiotherapy, concentrating on exercises that help with flexion of the spine and strengthening of the “core” muscles. You should also walk or take up a similar aerobic activity for 40 minutes every day. A lumbosacral brace should be worn at all times, except when lying down or exercising. If you are overweight, you will need to reduce.

Warts and all:

Q: I have had a wart on my finger for some time. Now another one has appeared near it. Both have a repulsive cauliflower like appearance.
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A: Warts are a viral infection spread by contact from person to person. They are more likely to occur in children and young adults. They are harmless and not cancerous. They usually disappear on their own without treatment in six months to two years.

Dermatologists also remove them with cryotherapy (freezing), laser and cauterisation. Sometimes they may advise repeated application of medication.

Tread right:

Q: I want to buy a treadmill but do not know how effective exercise on it will be. Also I do not know what type of treadmill to buy.


A: Manual treadmills do not use a motor and move only when the person moves. Electric treadmills use a conveyor belt and motor. There is no wind resistance in a treadmill so unless the incline of the platform is set at 1 per cent, the calorie consumption is 10-15 per cent less than running the same distance on the road. The gait on the treadmill is also more bouncy because of the platform. This leads to bad running form and difficulty when returning to running on the road. Using the treadmill also tends to get repetitive and monotonous so that more mental effort is needed to persist. In short treadmill is expensive, occupies space and is less efficient and interesting than running on the road.

Life after work :

Q: I looked forward to retiring for 30 years, but once I did retire, I feel more stressed and depressed. My wife, who is a housewife, seems to have more to do than me. Also she is stressed because I am around all the time and in her way.

A: The retirement age in India is 58-60 and that is really too early! Most people are healthy, active and still in their prime. If you just sit around the house watching television, eating and sleeping, you will soon deteriorate mentally and physically. To ward this off, try getting a part-time job, starting a small business, joining socially relevant political peoples movements or doing volunteer work. You will feel needed and everyone (including your wife) will be happy.

Salt control :

Q: I have high blood pressure and am on enalapril to control it. My doctor told me to “control salt intake” but was not very specific about how exactly that is done. What should I do?

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A: You need around 2.5gm (half a teaspoon) of salt a day if you are less than 50 years old and 1.5gm (quarter teaspoon) if older. This includes hidden salt intake from pickles, pappads, chips and other salty snacks. A rule of thumb is to take half a teaspoon of salt per day per person in the household and use it for cooking. People in the family who do not have high blood pressure can add extra salt if needed.

Down at heel :

Q: A severe pain shoots up my leg whenever I put my foot down in the morning. The doctor took an X-ray and said I have a calcaneal spur. He said I need surgery but I am not really willing to go for it. Is there any other remedy?
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A: A calcaneal spur is an extra growth of bone under the heel. It can cause agonising pain. Before you consider surgery, try a few simple measures.

Soak your feet in salted hot water morning and evening. Rock your feet gently in the water.

• Always wear soft footwear. Do not go bare foot even in the house.

• Go to a physiotherapy centre. Ultrasound treatment often helps.

Lose weight if you are obese.

Light therapy:

Q: What should you do if an insect enters your ear?


A: Immediately place your ear near a bright light and turn off all other lights. The insect will usually fly back out again.

Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Definition:
HPV, short for Human Papillomavirus, is a group of over 100 different kinds of viruses, some of which cause warts on the hands and feet and others which cause genital warts and cervical cancer. This health guide is about the sexually transmitted types of HPV. If you are sexually active, or thinking about becoming sexually active, your best protection is to learn the facts about how HPV is spread and how to prevent getting it.
Click to see the picture
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. There are many different types of HPV and more than 30 are sexually transmitted. Researchers keep track of the different types of HPV by identifying them with numbers, such as 6, 11, 16, and 18.

Some sexually transmitted HPV types may cause genital warts. Persistent infection with “high-risk” HPV types—different from the ones that cause skin warts—may progress to precancerous lesions and invasive cancer. HPV infection is a cause of nearly all cases of cervical cancer. However, most infections with these types do not cause disease.

Some types (such as 6 and 11) cause genital warts, others (such as 16 and 18) cause pre-cancerous changes on the cervix that can later lead to cancer of the cervix. In rare cases, the virus can cause other types of cancers to the vulva, vagina, and anus in girls and the anus and penis in guys.

HPV is passed on through genital contact, usually during vaginal and anal sex, as well as during oral sex. People with weakened immune systems, such as those on chemotherapy or people with HIV are more susceptible to HPV infection.

At least 1 in every 2 sexually active young women has had a genital HPV infection. Any sexually active person—no matter what color, race, gender, or sexual orientation—can get HPV. HPV is mainly spread by sexual contact. Very rarely, a mother who is infected with the HPV virus can infect her newborn baby during the delivery.

Symptoms:
It’s estimated that by the age of 27, most sexually active people have been exposed to some strain of HPV, usually without them knowing, and very rarely do doctors know which strain.

Most people with HPV don’t develop symptoms or further health problems, as in around 90 per cent of cases the body’s immune system has naturally cleared it within two years.

However, certain types of HPV (most commonly strains 6, 11, 16 and 18) can cause genital warts in men and women, while other HPV strains (especially 16, 18 and 39) can cause cellular changes that lead to cancer of the cervix and possibly other less common but serious cancers including:

•vulval cancer
•cancer of the vagina
•cancer of the penis
•anal cancer
•head and neck (tongue, tonsils and throat) cancers
It’s possible to have HPV present years after sexual contact with an infected person, and it’s also possible to be exposed to more than one strain of HPV.

There is currently no easy way to spot which people affected by HPV exposure will go on to develop cancer or other serious health problems.

Very rarely, a pregnant woman can pass HPV to her baby during birth and the child can develop recurrent respiratory papillomatosis – a chronic lung condition where growths block the airways.

Causes:
*The infected area of your body remains totally normal (called latent or inactive infection). You may never know about it, but you may give the infection to others. Your body then usually clears the infection.

*Bumps, called genital warts, can be seen in your genital area. They almost never lead to cancer.

*Changes in the cells of your cervix can result in an abnormal Pap test. Most of the time, if you are a teenager, your body will clear the HPV and the Pap test will become normal again over several years. However, sometimes the HPV infection persists in your cervix which can lead to cervical cancer. This is why your doctor will want to see you for follow-up visits if you have had an abnormal Pap test.

Risk Factors:
*You had sexual contact at an early age.

*Either you or your sexual partners have had many different sexual partners at any time.

*You or any of your sexual partners have had a history of sexually transmitted diseases.

*Any of your sexual partners did not wear a condom.

HPV and cancer risks:
We don’t fully understand the way in which HPV affects cells. Both high-risk and low-risk strains of HPV can cause the growth of abnormal cells, but only the high-risk types of HPV appear to lead to cancer.

Several types of cancer (up to five per cent worldwide), while linked to other risk factors, are now also associated with HPV exposure:

•cervical cancer (the most common HPV-associated cancer)
•vulval and vaginal cancer (40 to 70 per cent linked to HPV)
•penile cancer (possibly 40 per cent linked)
•anal cancer (around 85 per cent linked)
•cancers of the head and neck (although most are linked to tobacco and alcohol use, it’s now thought about 25 per cent of mouth and 35 per cent of throat cancers may be linked to HPV exposure (in particular HPV strain 16)

Diagnosis:
Sometimes it’s hard to know if you have HPV. Although genital warts are usually seen on, around, or inside your vagina or anus, they may be small and hard to see. And you may not have any symptoms such as pain or bleeding.

In March 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a test manufactured by Qiagen, which is a “hybrid-capture” test, as the primary screening tool for detecting HPV cervical infection as an adjunct to Pap testing. The test may be performed during a routine Pap smear. It can detect the DNA of the 18 HPV types that most commonly affect the cervix and distinguish between “low” and “high-risk” HPV types, but it cannot determine the specific HPV types.

According to the National Cancer Institute, “testing samples of cervical cells is an effective way to identify high-risk types of HPV that may be present. The FDA has approved an HPV test as a follow-up for women who have an ambiguous Pap test and, for women over the age of 30, for general cervical cancer screening. This HPV test can identify at least 13 of the high-risk types of HPV associated with the development of cervical cancer. The test can detect high-risk types of HPV even before there are any conclusive visible changes to the cervical cells.”

The recent outcomes in the identification of molecular pathways involved in cervical cancer provide helpful information about novel bio- or oncogenic markers that allow monitoring of these essential molecular events in cytological smears, histological or cytological specimens. These bio- or onco- markers are likely to improve the detection of lesions that have a high risk of progression in both primary screening and triage settings. E6 and E7 mRNA detection PreTect HPV-Proofer, (HPV OncoTect) or p16 cell-cycle protein levels are examples of these new molecular markers. According to published results these markers, which are highly sensitive and specific, allow to identify cells going through malignant transformation.

Other testing:
Although it is possible to test for HPV DNA in other kinds of infections, there are no FDA-approved tests for general screening in the United States or tests approved by the Canadian government, since the testing is inconclusive and considered medically unnecessary.

Genital warts are the only visible sign of low-risk genital HPV, and can be identified with a visual check. These visible growths, however, are the result of non-carcinogenic HPV types. 5% acetic acid (vinegar) is used to identify both warts and squamous intraepithelial neoplasia (SIL) lesions with limited success by causing abnormal tissue to appear white, but most doctors have found this technique helpful only in moist areas, such as the female genital tract. At this time, HPV test for males are only used in research.

Treatment:
There is currently no specific treatment for HPV infection. However, the viral infection, more often than not, clears by itself. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally within two years for 90% of cases. However, experts do not agree on whether the virus is completely eliminated or reduced to undetectable levels, and it is difficult to know when it is contagious.

Health management is based on prevention, by advising condom use and vaccination.

There is treatment for some of the diseases that HPV can cause, including:

•Genital warts, which can be cauterised or treated chemically.
•Abnormal cervical cells, which can be removed by various techniques.

Treatments for genital warts range from acid medicines, to creams, to laser therapy. The treatment will remove visible warts and unwanted symptoms such as itchiness. The type of treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the number, location and size of the warts and the cost and side effects of the different treatments. It’s important to talk with your health care provider about treatment choices and what type of follow-up you will need. Tell your health care provider if you think you are pregnant so that the right therapy is chosen.

Do NOT use over-the-counter “wart medicine” on genital warts. (These medicines are not meant for the very sensitive skin around your genital area).

Prevention:
Condoms offer some protection against genital infection,  but any exposed skin can transmit the virus. In short, condoms are not 100% effective in preventing HPV. Genital HPV infection is the most frequent sexually transmitted disease in the world.

Vaccines:
Two vaccines are available to prevent infection by some HPV types: Gardasil, marketed by Merck, and Cervarix, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline. Both protect against initial infection with HPV types 16 and 18, which cause most of the HPV associated cancer cases. Gardasil also protects against HPV types 6 and 11, which cause 90% of genital warts.

The vaccines provide little benefit to women who have already been infected with HPV types 16 and 18—which includes most sexually active females. For this reason the vaccine is recommended primarily for those women who have not yet been exposed to HPV during sex. The World Health Organization position paper on HPV vaccination clearly outlines appropriate, cost-effective strategies for using HPV vaccine in public sector programs.

Both vaccines are delivered in three shots over six months. In most countries they are approved only for female use, but are approved for male use in countries like USA and UK. The vaccine does not have any therapeutic effect on existing HPV infections or cervical lesions.

Women should continue to seek cervical screening, such as Pap smear testing, even after receiving the vaccine. Cervical cancer screening recommendations have not changed for females who receive HPV vaccine. Without continued screening, the number of cervical cancers preventable by vaccination alone is less than the number of cervical cancers prevented by regular screening alone.

Both men and women are carriers of HPV. Possible benefits and efficacy of vaccinating men are being studied. According to a study by Harvard University Medical School, to vaccinate boys may not be cost effective, especially if a widespread vaccination of girls continues.

No efficacy trials for children under 15 have been performed. Duration of vaccine efficacy is not yet answered by rigorous methodologic trials. Cervarix efficacy is proven for 7.4 years with published data through 6.4 years while Gardasil efficacy is proven for 5 years. Age of vaccination is less important than the duration of efficacy.

Condoms:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that male “condom use may reduce the risk for genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection” but provides a lesser degree of protection compared with other sexual transmitted diseases “because HPV also may be transmitted by exposure to areas (e.g., infected skin or mucosal surfaces) that are not covered or protected by the condom.”

Studies have suggested that regular condom use can effectively limit the ongoing persistence and spread of HPV to additional genital sites in individuals who are already infected. Thus, condom use reduces the risk that already infected individuals will progress to cervical cancer or develop genital warts.

Microbicides:
Ongoing research has suggested that several inexpensive chemicals might serve to block HPV transmission if applied to the genitals prior to sexual contact. These candidate agents, known as topical microbicides, are currently undergoing clinical efficacy testing. A recent study indicates that some sexual lubricant brands that use a gelling agent called carrageenan prevent papillomavirus infection in animal model systems. Clinical trial results announced at the 2010 International Papillomavirus Conference indicate that a carrageenan-based personal lubricant called Carraguard is effective for preventing HPV infection in women. The results suggest that use of carrageenan-based personal lubricant products, such as Divine No 9, Bioglide and Oceanus Carrageenan may likewise be effective for preventing HPV infection.

Oral infection:
A review of scientific studies in healthy subjects has found carcinogenic HPV in 3.5% of the studies subjects and HPV16 in 1.3%. Men have higher prevalence of oral HPV than women.

Oral HPV infection is associated with HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer. Odds of oral HPV infection increases with the number of recent oral sex partners or open-mouthed kissing partners. Nonsexual oral infection through salivary or cross transmission is also plausible

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/hpv.shtml
http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/hpv.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_papillomavirus

http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/recent/2009/060909_d.html

http://www.magazine.ayurvediccure.com/what-are-the-health-consequences-of-hpv/

http://w-cancer.com/anal-cancer/

http://e-cervicalcancer.com/human-papilloma-virus-cervical-cancer/

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Wart

Alternative Names :
Plane juvenile warts; Periungual warts; Subungual warts; Plantar warts; Verruca; Verrucae planae juveniles; Filiform warts; Verruca vulgaris

Definition:
Warts are small, usually painless growths on the skin caused by a virus. They are generally harmless. However, warts can be disfiguring and embarrassing, and occasionally they itch or hurt (particularly on the feet).

It is generally a small, rough tumor, typically on hands and feet, that can resemble a cauliflower or a solid blister. Warts are common, and are caused by a viral infection, specifically by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are contagious when in contact with the skin of another. It is also possible to get warts from using towels or other objects. They typically disappear after a few months but can last for years and can recur. A few papilloma viruses are known to cause cervical cancer.

Types of Wort:

A range of different types of wart has been identified, varying in shape and site affected, as well as the type of human papillomavirus involved.

These include:

(YOU MAY CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES)

*Common wart (Verruca vulgaris): a raised wart with roughened surface, most common on hands and knees.

Common wart> CLICK & SEE
*Flat wart (Verruca plana):
a small, smooth flattened wart, tan or flesh coloured, which can occur in large numbers; most common on the face, neck, hands, wrists and knees

.Flat wart>...CLICK & SEE

*Genital wart (venereal wart, Condyloma acuminatum, Verruca acuminata):They are usually found on the genitals, in the pubic area, and the area between the thighs, but can appear inside the vagina and anal canal.

Genital.wart>...CLICK & SEE

*Plantar warts (verruca, Verruca pedis): a hard sometimes painful lump, often with multiple black specks in the center; usually only found on pressure points on the soles of the feet.

Plantar wart>CLICK & SEE


*Subungual and periungual warts
appear under and around the fingernails or toenails .

Subungual wart >CLICK & SEE

*Filiform or digitate wart: a thread- or finger-like wart, most common on the face, especially near the eyelids and lips.

A filiform wart on the eyelid.>..CLICK & SEE

*Mosaic wart: a group of tightly clustered plantar-type warts, commonly on the hands or soles of the feet…..CLICK & SEE

Causes:
The typical wart is a raised round or oval growth on the skin with a rough surface. Compared with the surrounding normal skin, warts may appear light, dark, or black (rare). Most adults are familiar with the look of a typical wart and have little trouble recognizing them. Unusual warts with smooth surfaces or flat warts in children may be more difficult for parents to recognize.

Common warts tend to cause no discomfort unless they are in areas of repeated friction or pressure. Plantar warts, for example, can become extremely painful. Large numbers of plantar warts on the foot may cause difficulty running and even walking.

Warts around and under your nails are much more difficult to cure than warts elsewhere.

Some warts will disappear without treatment, although it can sometimes take a couple years. Treated or not, warts that go away often reappear. Genital warts are quite contagious, while common, flat, and plantar warts are much less likely to spread from person to person. All warts can spread from one part of your own body to another.

Because people generally consider warts unsightly and there is often a social stigma, treatment is often sought.
Symptoms :

*Small, hard, flat or raised skin lesion or lump

*Abnormally dark or light skin surrounding the lesion

*Numerous small, smooth, flat (pinhead sized) lesions on forehead, cheeks, arms, or legs

*Rough, round, or oval lesions on soles of feet — flat to slightly raised — painful to pressure

*Rough growths around or under fingernails or toenails

Diagnosis:
Exams and Tests
Warts can generally be diagnosed simply by their location and appearance. Your doctor may want to cut into a wart (called a biopsy) to confirm that it is not a corn, callus, or other similar-appearing growth.

Treatment:
Prescription
Treatments that may be prescribed by a medical professional include:

*Keratolysis, removal of dead surface skin cells usually using salicylic acid, blistering agents, immune system modifiers (“immunomodulators”), or formaldehyde.

*Cryosurgery, which involves freezing the wart (generally with liquid nitrogen), creating a blister between the wart and epidermal layer,after which the wart and surrounding dead skin falls off by itself.

*Surgical curettage of the wart.

*Laser treatment.

*Imiquimod, a topical cream that helps the body’s immune system fight the wart virus by encouraging interferon production.

*Candida injections at the site of the wart, which also stimulate the body’s immune system.

*Cantharidin, a chemical found naturally in many members of the beetle family Meloidae which causes dermal blistering…...CLICK & SEE
Two viral warts on a middle finger, being treated with a mixture of acids (like salicylic acid) to remove them. A white precipitation forms on the area where the product was applied.

The wart often regrows after the skin has healed.One review of 52 clinical trials of various cutaneous wart treatments concluded that topical treatments containing salicylic acid were the best supported, with an average cure rate of 75% observed with salicylic acid compared with 48% for placebo in six placebo-controlled trials including a total of 376 participants. The reviewers also concluded that there was little evidence of a significant benefit of Cryotherapy over placebo or no treatment.

Over-the-counter
There are several over-the-counter options. The most common ones involve salicylic acid. These products are readily available at drugstores and supermarkets. There are typically two types of products: adhesive pads treated with salicylic acid or a bottle of concentrated salicylic acid solution. Removing a wart with salicylic acid requires a strict regimen of cleaning the area, applying the acid, and removing the dead skin with a pumice stone or emery board. It may take up to 12 weeks to remove a wart.

Another over-the-counter product that can aid in wart removal is silver nitrate in the form of a caustic pencil, which is also available at drug stores. This method generally takes three to six daily treatments to be effective. The instructions must be followed to minimize staining of skin and clothing.

Over-the-counter cryosurgery kits are also available, however they can often cost three times as much as the previously named products.Like prescription treatments, over-the-counter treatments usually require multiple applications and are only necessary if the warts are problematic. Additionally, these treatments are capable of destroying healthy skin as well as warts, so caution must be exercised by those attempting them without medical supervision.

Household remedies
Duct tape occlusion therapy involves placing a piece of duct tape (or medical tape) over the affected area for a week at a time. The procedure is otherwise identical to that of using salicylic acid adhesive pads. One study by Focht et al. found that the duct tape method was 85% effective, compared to a 60% success rate in the study’s cryotherapy group. Another study by Wenner and coworkers, however, found no statistically significant effect in a double-blind, randomized and controlled clinical trial in 90 adults when duct tape was compared to moleskin.There was no statistically significant difference for resolution of the target wart between patients treated with moleskin versus patients treated with duct tape. Eight of 39 patients [21%] in the treatment group vs 9 of 41 patients in the control group [22%] had complete resolution of the target wart. Fewer of the patients achieving resolution of their wart in the moleskin group had recurrence of their wart. Of the patients who had complete resolution, 6 (75%) in the treatment group and 3 (33%) in the control group had recurrence of the target wart by the sixth month. “Whether or not the standard type of duct tape is effective is up in the air,” said co-author

Dr. Rachel Wenner of the University of Minnesota, who started the new study as a medical student. “Theoretically, the rubber adhesive could somehow stimulate the immune system or irritate the skin in a different manner.”Other household remedies include the application of common household items. These include various fruits and vegetables such
as a bruised garlic, banana skin, unskinned potatoes, potato or cauliflower or tomato juice, or other food products like green tea, vinegar, salt, or vegemite. Other common household products used include rubbing alcohol, hot water and washing liquid, aerosol sprays or compressed air, and tempera paint. Oils and saps from milkweed, dandelion, and poison ivy, tea tree, Thuja occidentalis, and fig trees have also been used. Accounts vary in regards to how long these remedies must be applied with each session and how long they take to work.

As there have been no controlled studies for most household remedies, it is impossible to know if warts that disappear after such treatments do so because the treatment was effective, or because warts often disappear due to the individual’s own immune system regardless of treatment. The evidence that hypnosis may effectively treat warts suggests that the condition may be amenable to the placebo effect, that is, that belief in a remedy rather than any property of the remedy itself is what’s effective.

Some household remedies are potentially dangerous. These include attempts to cut or burn away the warts. Incense is sometimes used in Asian countries to burn warts. These methods are very painful, and can lead to infection and/or permanent scarring.

Prognosis:
Warts are generally harmless growths that often go away on their own within two years. They can be contagious, but transmission from person to person is uncommon. Warts may be unsightly or cause discomfort, especially on the feet.

Possible Complications:
*Spread of warts
*Return of warts that disappeared
*Minor scar formation if the wart is removed
*Formation of keloids after removal

Call for an appointment with your doctor if:
*There are signs of infection (red streaking, pus, discharge, or fever) or bleeding. Warts can bleed a little, but if bleeding is significant or not easily stopped by light pressure, see a doctor.

*The wart does not respond to self-care and you want it removed.

*You have pain associated with the wart.

*You have anal or genital warts.

*You have diabetes or a weakened immune system (for example, HIV) and have developed warts.

*There is any change in the color or appearance of the wart.

Prevention:
Avoid direct skin contact with a wart on someone else.
After filing your wart, wash the file carefully since you can spread the virus to other parts of your body.
After touching any of your warts, wash your hands carefully.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wart
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000885.htm

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