Warts, also known as molluscs, are among the most common skin diseases caused by viruses worldwide. The number of warts on the body is variable, ranging from individual nodules to several hundred growths.
What are dellar warts?
According to DigoPaul, dell warts are benign, pinhead to pea-sized nodules that predominantly appear in childhood. They have a smooth, often shiny surface and are characterized by a depression in the middle, the eponymous “dent”.
Dell warts are usually arranged in groups and can be found primarily on the upper body as well as on the arms, hands and fingers. Adults are mainly affected by warts if they have neurodermatitis, are taking cortisone therapy, or have an immune deficiency.
With them, the nodules usually appear in the genital area or on the lower abdomen. Warts are harmless, but are occasionally itchy, particularly in people with dry skin.
Dell warts are caused by an infection with the molluscum contagiosum virus, which comes from the smallpox virus family. All other types of viral warts are produced by human papillomavirus. Thus the dellar warts form a special group among the warts.
The viruses penetrate the body through tiny injuries to the skin and multiply in the cells of the epidermis, the top layer of the skin. As a result, these enlarge and create a growth, the wart.
Dell warts are transmitted either through direct skin contact and sexual intercourse or through smear infection. This involves infection through indirect contact, i.e. touching objects that have been infected with pathogens, such as towels or toys.
Colloquially, dellar warts are also known as swimming pool warts, although experts consider transmission through the water to be ruled out. The incubation period, i.e. the time between infection and the appearance of the first warts, is around two to seven weeks.
Pressing on the wart results in the escape of a granular, whitish secretion containing a large number of newly formed virus particles. If you scratch the warts, the risk of self-infection is therefore very high, as the viruses are very quickly transferred to other areas of the skin with your fingers.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
Dell warts usually do not cause serious complaints. However, the bumps on the skin are itchy and in some cases can cause bleeding and pain. A mollusk can be recognized by its characteristic shape. It is usually a few millimeters in size and has a small dent in the middle.
The nodule is whitish or yellowish and looks waxy. In many cases it has a smooth surface. Dell warts empty when pressure is applied, and a pulpy, mostly odorless mass emerges. The skin changes can occur anywhere on the body. In children, mollusks appear mainly on the face, neck, and arms and hands.
In some cases, the feet or private parts are also affected. In adults, the small warts often appear on the genital area, but they can also appear on the face and neck and throat area. If they are scratched open, severe pain and occasional bleeding occur.
As a rule, dellar warts tend to form individually. Patients who suffer from a weakened immune system often have multiple warts that appear in groups and spread across different parts of the body. The skin nodules usually disappear even without treatment after a few months to years.
Diagnosis & course
Due to their characteristic appearance, the diagnosis of pelvic warts usually poses no problems for the doctor. In cases of doubt, a skin sample can be taken under local anesthesia and examined for the final diagnostic clarification.
In the majority of those affected, the warts spontaneously regress within six to nine months. If the warts persist longer, dermatologists recommend their removal due to the high risk of infection.
With mollusks, most patients suffer from warts and papules. If these break open, a secretion can emerge from them. The diagnosis can be made relatively quickly by the doctor, as the mollusks have a very specific appearance and are therefore easy to diagnose.
This means that the treatment can also be carried out at an early stage. In most cases, those affected do not experience any particular complaints or complications. Although the warts do not necessarily have to be removed, it is advisable to remove them because of the risk of infection.
In most cases, however, the symptoms regress after a few months. The treatment itself can also be carried out directly by the patient. Only in severe cases can the doctor remove them with the help of cold or heat methods. They can also become dehydrated.
There are no further symptoms after the treatment. However, it cannot be guaranteed that the molluscs will not recur in the patient. They often pose a cosmetic problem and lead to a reduced self-esteem in the patient. This is especially the case when there is a very large number of dellar warts.
When should you go to the doctor?
Dell warts are initially a harmless viral disease. Treatment is also possible with home remedies, so not every wart needs to be examined by a doctor. However, it should also be noted that it is a contagious disease. In most cases, it takes several years for this to heal by itself. For this reason, when deciding to consult a doctor, the possible risk of infection should also be considered. Furthermore, it must be noted that dellar warts occur mainly in children.
In principle, a visit to the doctor is advisable if there are many pelvic warts. A doctor must also be consulted if the child concerned has siblings or is otherwise in regular contact with other children. Of course, a doctor should also be consulted if the child feels impaired by the pelvic warts. If it is itchy or painful, a doctor can provide relief. Medical treatment is also necessary if the warts are inflamed.
There is no need to consult a doctor if there are only isolated warts that do not cause any discomfort and contact with other children is limited. Since this is rarely the case, it is usually advisable to see a doctor.
Treatment & Therapy
The warts can be scraped off with a curette, the so-called sharp spoon. The doctor can also squeeze them out with specially curved tweezers. The subsequent disinfection of the relevant skin area is important to prevent any viruses that are still present from spreading. In children, a pretreatment with a local anesthetic ointment is recommended for painless removal of the dellar warts.
In cryotherapy, dellar warts are frozen by an applicator that has been very strongly cooled with liquid nitrogen or another refrigerant, thereby destroying the diseased tissue. The laser process works not with cold, but with heat: Here, the diseased tissue is vaporized at temperatures of up to 300 degrees.
There is also the possibility of treating the dellar warts yourself with drying and peeling solutions, usually vitamin A acid is the decisive component here. A plaster containing salicylic acid can also be stuck on to soften the warts.
However, both after successful treatment and after spontaneous healing, dellar warts can reappear.
Outlook & forecast
The warts have a good chance of healing. In people with a healthy immune system, the warts often heal within several months without treatment. After an average of six to nine months, symptoms are often free.
In some cases, regression of the dellar warts will take several years without the need for medical care. This is mostly related to the strength of the body’s defense system. Medical treatment shortens the healing process immensely. The warts are usually iced up and fall off after a few days or weeks. If there are no further complications or wounds, then recovery is achieved.
People with dry skin or skin disorders should undergo treatment. This is especially true for people with neurodermatitis. You are at an increased risk of the warts spreading further on the body and leading to complications. Spontaneous healing usually does not occur in these patients. Despite the generally very good prognosis, the warts can develop again at any time. This applies to patients who do not take advantage of any treatment as well as to people who receive treatment. In the event of a recurrence, the forecast prospects do not change.
To prevent pelvic warts, it is advisable not to share hygiene items such as towels or washcloths with other family members. Strengthening the immune system is also recommended, be it through a balanced diet or through regular physical activity.
People who are affected by eczema tend to be more susceptible to warts. You should make sure that you regularly use an oily cream to stabilize the natural skin barrier. If you already have warts, you should avoid using lotion to prevent them from being transmitted.
Consistent, professional follow-up care is essential after the wart treatment. Patients should contact the dermatologist for this, who can prescribe cooling ointments and other preparations and thereby effectively contribute to the complication-free healing of the wounds. Regular medical examinations are not necessary for isolated molluscs.
As long as the wound heals without complications after the wart has been removed, annual routine examinations are sufficient. If there is inflammation and other complications, the doctor should be consulted. Then closer monitoring of the patient may be necessary. In which cases close monitoring is necessary, the doctor can decide on the basis of a detailed examination of the wart.
Bleeding or inflammation indicate that there are still pathogens in the blood that need to be treated with antibiotics. Such antibiotic treatment can last for several weeks to months, depending on the course of recovery. In principle, good observation of the affected skin area is necessary with dellar warts.
Specific follow-up care is necessary if the warts appear as part of a serious skin disease or if they occur repeatedly. If necessary, another specialist should then be involved so that a different treatment approach with individually tailored follow-up care can be tried.
You can do that yourself
Dell warts do not necessarily have to be treated by a doctor. Most of the time, you can treat the skin changes yourself with a few home remedies and measures.
First, the warts can be covered with a plaster. After a week, the fabric should be softened and can then be removed with a pumice stone or sandpaper. For best results, this procedure should be repeated weekly for a period of two to three months.
Apple cider vinegar or garlic, which are also applied directly to the wart, are said to have a faster effect. Oily plants and herbs as well as podophyllum and other plant extracts can also quickly dissolve warts. In addition, methods such as icing or corrosion of the wart are possible. Curettage, in which the wart is scraped off with the help of a special instrument, is less painful.
To prevent the wart from becoming infected, the affected area should be washed regularly. Special care products from the pharmacy are available for this, but simple tap water also flushes out the harmful pathogens. If these measures do not achieve the desired effect, you must see a doctor with a wart.