There are thousands, if not millions, of carcinogenic pollutants thriving in our proximal atmosphere and the skin, being a very sensitive tissue, often responds to the environment in a variety of ways. Sometimes the skin may develop a rash, an unhealthy shade of red and much more. Effective diagnosis and knowledge about these unbidden developments on the skin are of paramount importance. What if it is indicative of cancer? What if the growth on the skin is benign? Keeping this in mind, certain abnormal growths on the dermal layer is discussed below.
Warts are essentially ‘bumps’ on the upper dermal layer. The skin appears bloated around these warts and is distinctly observable by any pair of unassuming eyes. Warts are caused by variants of the HPV virus and are mostly harmless unless found in the vicinity of the genital region, which can otherwise can cancer. There are 5 types of warts- common warts, plantar warts, flat warts, filiform warts, periungual warts. Common warts are mostly observed on the fingers and toes and have a darker grayer coloration than the normal skin pigmentation. Plantar warts are not directly visible as they grow into the thick skin of the soles of the feet. Plantar warts can make locomotion uncomfortable. Flat warts, as the name suggests, are flat in appearance, unlike most warts which have a distinct bulging appearance. Flat warts appear on the face, arms or thighs. They are mostly brownish, pink or yellowish in appearance. Filiform warts can be found on the throat, nose, lips or chin. Shaped like a small flap of the skin, these warts have the same color as the skin. Periungual warts grow under the toenails or fingernails. These warts are very painful.
Composed of the same pigment-producing cells in our dermal layer – melanocytes, moles are essentially lesions on the skin. Depending on the exposure to sunlight, UV rays or hormonal flux, the moles might have a darker complexion than skin. Typically moles are localized and do not spread out and some variants might even uneven growth of hair. Usually, moles are indicative of genetic makeup of every individual.
Skin tags can be simply described as the loose flap of skin and are comprised of a type of protein fiber called as collagen. Typically they develop on friction prone areas of the anatomy such as armpits, thighs etc.
The removal process basically eliminates the metabolism of the cell. This prevents it from multiplying. Now it slowly isolates and alienates the cyst, mole, wart from the healthy skin. By doing so it denies the cell basic nutrition and with its metabolism already attacked, it withers and gets reduced to a hulk. It is promptly alienated and then discarded.
There are certain candidates who are very likely to benefit from surgery. Keeping in mind that surgery is always an invasive and uncomfortable procedure, it is often wise to determine if the client in question has no other alternative other than surgery or if he/she has ailments that will prove detrimental to recovery after the procedure.
If warts are on the face of the patient or another sensitive part of the anatomy then it would be better to have the wart scrutinized. If pus formation, swelling, redness or bleeding occurs then it would be best to have the wart checked out immediately or risk getting it septic. If the size or color of the wart changes then it might be possible that the wart is cancerous. Go to a doctor immediately. Finally, since warts are very much prone to infection and quite contagious by themselves, excessive caution must be taken especially if the patient has an immune-deficiency disease like AIDS. It would be practical to have the wart extracted from the body. Similar conditions for cysts, moles and skin tags.
Since surgery will be a possible way of removal, it would be best to give the entire medical history of the patient and also affirm if genetic diseases linger in the family. Needless to say, any ailments that prevent clotting of blood or any other factor that compromises the body’s ability to heal should be promptly reported to the healthcare professional.
Patients are expected to make an informed consent about the treatment. Informed consent implies that patients are fully aware in their non-medical capacity of how the removal process is, how long can it take, what are possible side-effects and in addition to these enquiries they are expected to be aware and enquire, if needed, about the quality of nutrition expected during recovery and the quantity that will be supplied by the medical institute, if any. Furthermore they are also expected to affirm that they will be admitted under the care of a very specific doctor and will willingly partake in the treatment offered and decided on mutual agreement.
One of the best in-house treatments involves soaking the wart in water for 15 minutes and then applying patches containing salicylic acid. The most common method employed for removal of warts, moles and skin tags is called cryotherapy. Cryotherapy involves localized exposure to extremely cold temperatures mostly by using nitrogen gas. It targets foreign cellular metabolism, reduces inflammation, causes vasoconstriction and results in crystallization of cytosol which is the intercellular fluid. Ultimately the wart or skin tag in question gets isolated from the skin and gets reduced to a husky scalp and falls off. If cryotherapy doesn’t work then the wart is subject to the scrutiny of a scalpel. Shots of anesthesia are administered that might be painful. Surgery will lead to visible scars. Sometimes laser surgery is also an option as opposed to getting operated with a traditional scalpel. The extreme temperatures also burn away residual mass. Sometimes when the mole is suspected to be cancerous and might have metastasized, then it is subject to dermoscopy.
After the surgery is done, the patient will be subjected to care under hospital premises until deemed unnecessary. The patients will be supplied with a predetermined amount of pain-relief medicines to cope with the after-effects of surgery. Recovery time is usually brief since the surgery or another mode of treatment will be superficial in nature. Patients are advised to keep the operated part of their anatomy dry and covered for a brief period of time. Patients are also expected to avail of the services of the medical institute if a rapid degradation in their condition is observed such as uncontrollable pain, bleeding etc.
As described above, the mostly upper dermal layer is affected. Hence the arms, legs, the skin under toenails and fingernails, the inner layer of soles of the feet, face, chin or throat may be affected.
Localized redness, scarring, blister formation, the temporary flare of pain and scabbing is common. Patients are advised against itching or disturbing the pre-operated region of their anatomy.