Periungual Warts

What Are Periungual Warts? 

Warts are skin abnormalities that are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Periungual Warts are hyperkeratotic papules that develop around the fingernails and toes. They are common in children and adults who are nailbiters. They start off as small as pinheads, small, shiny and not very noticeable. However, over the time span of weeks and months, they grow up to become nasty bumps that form clusters. As the bacteria and infection spread, these warts might turn black, blue or grey over time. Warts often tend to get inflamed or tender. 

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Symptoms Of  Periungual Warts 

The symptoms of Periungual Warts are really hard to miss as they occur on your fingers, which you use for day to day activities. Since these warts tend to get rough and calloused with time, they tend to cause discomfort or pain. It is good to look out for these signs in order to prevent them with the help of prior treatment. 

Skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation:

It is quite common for your skin to change color when suffering from a skin abnormality like warts. Warts might appear pale in the beginning but often tend to get darker with time. Your skin will go back to its normal skin color only when treated properly. 

Dry rough bumps:

A common symptom of these warts is when the keratin protein causes the skin to become hard and dry. Due to this, your nail cuticles often tend to become brittle and damaged. 

Clotting of blood vessels:

Clotted blood vessels, in this case, can be identified by the black and blue warts present around the fingernails and toes. When blood vessels tend to rupture, they cause the plasma to seep into the connecting tissues surrounding the area. This might cause mild discomfort and pain in most situations. 

Stress:

Most skin abnormalities are bound to incite stress in you. The stress caused by Periungual Warts is more of a mental nature than a physical one. Since these warts tend to harden up, they become painful and difficult to handle. They start restricting day to day activities like holding a cup or doing laundry. Being in this situation can be quite frustrating and annoying, therefore promoting the feelings of anxiety and stress. Moreover, these warts aren’t easy on the eye and can be the cause of social anxiety in an individual. 

Overgrowth of nails:

Also called as Onychauxis, it refers to the thickening or overgrowth of nails. A common sign is that your fingernails or toenails harden and become pale. It is advisable to treat them as soon as possible as they might fall off in extreme situations. Consequently, with the correct treatment, it can be avoided. 

Causes Of Periungual Warts 

Contrary to popular beliefs, warts are caused by a couple of things other than the HPV virus. 

HPV virus:

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a common infection found in poor immune systems. Periungual Warts are often caused due to the HPV strains 1, 2 and 4. The virus triggers the production of keratin, an overdose of this protein causes overgrowth and the generation of warts.   

Stress:

Stress is a common condition that affects most people. However, the impact it has on our body plays a massive role in affecting our mental and physical health. It is often known to increase blood pressure, cause constipation and prevent toxins from flushing out from the body. As a result, the skin tends to release the toxins from the surface of the skin, which helps HPV from entering the system. 

Weak immunity levels:

The body’s immune system is its first line of defense against harmful external chemicals and pollutants. They fight against bad bacteria to prevent us from being susceptible to dangerous diseases. However, despite being such an excellent barrier, some diseases like HIV, hypothyroidism can weaken your immune system. Similarly, bad lifestyle choices like alcohol abuse, poor hygiene, and unhealthy nutritional options lower your immunity levels. Such conditions can aid in the virus lasting in the body for a longer time. Consequently, the condition of our nail beds can deteriorate if not treated on time. 

Poor nutrition:

The state of your immune system can determine both your mental and physical health. The importance of a healthy immune system can’t be stressed enough. The main job of the immune system is to keep the body healthy and safe from harmful bacteria, infections, and diseases. If you indulge in more salty, sugary, fried and processed food, its gonna show on your body. Similarly, excessive consumption of alcohol, caffeinated drinks or sugary juices has a similar effect on your body. Ingesting such food items lead in exhausting our body’s immunity levels, leaving us prone to life-threatening diseases. To avoid this, ensure you consume a well-balanced diet that caters to every level in the food pyramid. Make sure to load up on essential nutrients, fibers, fruits, and vegetables in order to avoid contracting infections like HPV. 

Nail biting:

Biting your nails is a bad habit. It not only affects your nails but also your digestive system. This is because, when you bit your nails, you cause the cuticle surrounding your skin to weaken and become permeable to harmful bacteria. Plus, nail-biting also increases the chance of contracting the HPV virus. The virus thrives on damp moist environments. 

How Can You Treat Periungual Warts? 

Natural treatments, 

  • Stop the habit of nail biting 
  • Apple cider vinegar 
  • Tea tree oil 
  • Garlic paste 

Conventional methods, 

  • Neem and other topical creams 
  • Salicylic acid 
  • Cryotherapy 
  • Laser therapy 
  • Surgical removal 
  • Antigen injections 

How To Prevent Periungual Warts? 

Maintaining good hygiene practices will help you win half the battle when it comes to treating Periungual Warts. Here are some steps you can take to prevent these skin abnormalities, 

  • Avoid biting or picking on your nails 
  • Wear gloves if you are work often in damp or moist environments. 
  • Wash and clean your hands and legs on a regular basis.
  • Don’t share personal items like nail cutters, towels, creams etc. 
  • Avoid touching infected areas as it may be contagious and spread the infection further. 
  • Sterilize and disinfect your beauty tools on a regular basis to prevent any buildup of sorts. 

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