Skin And Hair
( Originally Published 1936 )
WARTS-THEIR NATURE AND TREATMENT
A wart is neither a cyst nor an infection, but a tumor. A tumor is an over-growth of a set of body cells. Any cells in the body may take on this property of growth, so we may have tumors any place. In general, tumors are of two typesóbenign and malignant. The benign types are not dangerous except as their growth may become so large as to cause disability, or as they may invade blood vessels and cause hemorrhage. The malignant tumors, on the contrary, include cancer, and may spread from the original site to all parts of the body.
A wart is a benign tumor of the epithelial layers of the skin. Some warts are apparently caused or initiated by infection. For most of them, however, no reasonable cause can be prescribed. This includes the handling of toads.
Removal of warts may be advisable for several reasons. In the first place, on account of disfigurement. In middle aged and elderly people growths of any kind on the skin should be removed on account of the danger of their turning into cancer.
The removal of a simple wart on the hand is often a considerable undertaking. The best and surest way is to expose it for a short time to the x-ray. One exposure is enough, and in a week or two the owner will be surprised to find the wart has disappeared.
Another method that frequently works is to get a small one-ounce bottle of formalin and moisten the cork with the liquid very slightly and just touch the tip of the wart with this slightly moist cork. If this is done five or six times a day a great many of these warts will eventually disappear.
Surgical removal of the wart is somewhat more of an undertaking than might appear. It is not safe for anyone to try to cut off a wart with a razor blade, for instance. The amount of bleeding which sometimes results from this is considerable. Let a surgeon do it.