What are Warts?
Warts are small growths that are mostly found on the hands and feet that are sometimes flat and smooth, or dome-shaped. Warts are caused by various forms of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and can occur in individuals of all ages and can spread from person-to-person and from one body part to another. They are benign (noncancerous) and are generally painless, but may take time to disappear with or without treatment.
Location of Warts
- Common warts – appear anywhere on the body and are skin-colored, dome-shaped, lesions that usually grow where the skin has been broken. They are most often found on fingers, toes and knees, and can range in size.
- Filiform warts – are long, narrow, skin-colored stalks that appear most often around the eyelids, face, neck or lips. They may cause itching or bleeding, and can appear individually or in multiples.
- Flat (plane) warts – appear mainly on the face and forehead and are skin-colored or white with a slightly raised surface. They usually appear in multiples are are most common among children and teenagers.
- Plantar warts – appear on the soles of the feet and can cause pain when placing weight on the foot. They are cauliflower-shaped and may have a small, black speck in them. These can spread rapidly are may combine into a larger wart, called a mosaic wart.
- Subungual & Periungual warts – appear as rough growths at or around the fingernails and toenails. They are irregular bumps with uneven borders that start extremely small and undetectable. These can impeded healthy nail growth and because of their location, treatment is difficult without medical attention.
Most warts can be treated with cryotherapy, electrosurgery, laser surgery, freezing products or salicylic acid; however, if self-treatments do not work after 4 – 8 weeks, contact a dermatologist. If a wart is causing pain, changes color in appearance, or is prominent on genitalia, contact your dermatologist.