Well-defined growth on the skin, usually caused by a papillomavirus, which triggers overproduction of epidermal cells. This may lead to a single long-standing wart, profuse local spread (especially in moist areas), or warts in various parts of the body. The most common type is a round bump with a dry, rough surface. Warts are usually painless except in pressure areas, such as the sole of the foot (plantar wart). Genital warts are merely a nuisance unless they become large or numerous enough to interfere with urination, defecation, or childbirth, but some viral strains are associated with cervical cancer. Warts are considered contagious. They may be removed by applying acids, cryotherapy, electrocautery, or surgery; they sometimes disappear spontaneously.
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William E. Gladstone.
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