Our Immune System Against Warts

The Immune System and Its Functions

Our immune system is composed of organs, special cells and tissues and what it does is protect our body from foreign organisms causing diseases. These foreign agents are what we call antigens. Examples of these foreign organisms are parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungi. As soon as it enters the body, the immune system will be able to detect it and send reinforcements to quell the invasion.

When antigens are able to enter the body, specific cells that are part of the immune system called T lymphocytes will identify the foreign invader and pass on the information to B lymphocytes for them to be able to order an action force to attack and destroy the antigens. The reinforcement sent by the B lymphocytes are what we call antibodies. When antibodies are successful with their mission, they remain activated just in case the antigen returns. The whole process of activating the immune system is what we call the Immune Response,

Strengthening the Immune System

Having strong immune system doesn’t mean that you won’t get sick at all. Having minor diseases occasionally like colds and fever are some form of exercise for your immune system. Strengthening your immune system is a habit you need to adapt. Here are some of the things you must do to have a strong immune system:

Walking

Try not to be a couch potato, like sitting all day and watching TV. This kind of habit only makes your immune system very weak and vulnerable from diseases. Every time you wake up in the morning, take half an hour to walk outside. This helps a lot in enhancing the fighting function of the immune system. Exercise also helps in increasing the chemicals in your body that makes you feel good. These chemicals also helps you sleep well.

Balanced Diet

The habit of eating a balanced diet doesn’t really make your immune system strong. The reason for this is to maintain the quality of your immune system. Eating unhealthily makes your immune system weaker.

Proper Amount of Sleep

Sleeping is the most important habit we can ever practice. When we sleep, the immune system produces cytokines which helps when you are under stress, when there is inflammation or infection. There are certain cytokines that are needed for these problems. Depriving yourself of sleep decreases the number of cytokines produced.

Stress Management

Not being able to manage stress properly increases the risks of acquiring diseases.

Immunotherapy Treatment for Warts

Any treatment or method that triggers your immune system to activate immune response is what we call immunotherapy or also known as biological response modifier. There are methods that are complicated, and some are not. Immunotherapy is used to treat major illnesses like cancer.

There are two main ways to administer immunotherapy treatment for warts; through application of topical cream or intralesional (injecting the lesions directly). For more information on warts, check out https://warts.org where we cover every kind of wart and treatment.

Topical Immunotherapy

  • Imiquimod
  • Diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP)
  • Diphencyprone (DCP)
  • Dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB)
  • Squaric Acid Dibutyl Ester (SADBE)

Intralesional Immunotherapy

  • Bleomycin Treatment
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) immunization
  • Candida albicans antigen
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Warts Caused by HPV

Wart word cloud

What are Warts?

These are tiny lesions caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It infects the layer on the surface of your mucous membrane or your skin. These warts are benign lesions and cannot cause you major damages on your skin. However, they are very contagious and can be transmitted from one person to another by direct physical contact. The infection can also be acquired from the wet and moist environment.

Types of Warts

Common Warts

A type of wart that grows on most parts of the body, particularly hands, arms, feet, and legs. They are rough to the touch and is round.

Plantar Warts

These are warts that grow under the feet. This is a bit peculiar than other warts because this type of wart grows inward due to the pressure placed because of walking and standing. If left untreated, it can become painful.

Flat Warts

These warts normally appear on the arms, thighs, and face. This type of wart is small and could grow unnoticed because it’s flesh in color. It is called flat warts because of its flat top.

Filiform Warts

They normally grow on the neck, mouth, nose, and eyelids. They appear different from other warts because they are thin, narrow and is almost always the same color as your skin.

Periungual Warts

These are lesions that grow around or under your nails (both fingers and toes). They may not cause discomfort during its initial growth but can be painful later once it starts growing on the nail bed.

Treatments for Warts

Here are various treatments you can choose from and these treatments are done with the help of doctors:

Cryotherapy

This process uses, in most cases, liquid nitrogen to freeze warts and remove them

Cantharidin Treatment

Cantharidin is a chemical produced by blister beetles as their form of defense mechanism. It is highly toxic in its undiluted form but is known to have worked in treating warts.

Laser Wart Removal

It removes and destroys wart using a laser beam which can potentially create scars after the procedure.

Surgical Excision

In this process, warts are removed through excision with the use of a scalpel. Local anesthetics may be used to make the pain bearable.

Immunotherapy

This form of treatment will trigger the immune system of the patient to destroy the HPV and warts from the inside.

Electrosurgery with Curettage

Two procedures that work together to effectively remove visible warts. Electrosurgery burns warts with the use of electricity and curettage is a method that scrapes off the wart using a spoon-like tool with a sharp edge.

Wart Prevention Tips

There is no definite way of avoiding warts, but these tips will help you decrease the chances of acquiring HPV and growing warts:

  • Never touch the warts of others.
  • Refrain from biting your fingernails and the skin around it.
  • Apply moisturizing cream when skin is dry.
  • Do not share personal items like towels, socks, pumice stone and razors.
  • Scratches and cuts must be cleaned with water and soap.
  • Always wear footwear, especially when in warm and moist areas.
  • Always wash your hands.