Warts and Treatments
What are Warts?
Warts are a very common skin condition caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which has many different strains.
Generally, warts are not a significant concern. Many will go away on their own, and if they are a bit more stubborn, can be treated with medication or removed. However, warts are contagious through skin-to-skin contact and can cause some discomfort, such as itchiness or pain on contact.
What Causes Warts?
The Human Papillomavirus is a virus that attacks skin cells when they are exposed through a cut, causing rapid growth that becomes a wart.
Warts can be spread through both direct and indirect contact – skin-to-skin, or through contact with a towel or clothing that has touched a wart. Individuals with a wart can also spread that wart elsewhere on their body. Personal hygiene is extremely important to prevent the spread of warts.
Types of Warts and Symptoms
There are several types of warts, which manifest, behave, and are treated differently depending on the type of wart and the severity.
As the name indicates, common warts are the most prevalent, and typically appear on the fingers and toes. They can be rough to the touch and feature tiny, black dots where blood vessels have clotted around the wart.
This type of wart appears most often on the face, backs of the hands, arms, and legs, and is smooth and flat-topped in appearance. Flat warts are most commonly found on children and young adults.
This type of wart grows on the bottoms and soles of the feet, and is often painful.
These warts look different from most warts as they have long, narrow projections that grow out from the skin. They are often yellow, brown, pink, or skin-toned and grow most often on the face, neck, lips, or eyelids.
These warts are typically found in the grooves of nail beds or underneath the nail, which is called a subungual wart. Subungual warts can be more difficult to treat because of their location under the nail.
At Optima Dermatology, we’re experienced with all types of warts and wart treatments. Most often, treatments can be done at home using a medicated cream. Sometimes, more serious or stubborn warts require alternate treatments, such as liquid nitrogen or surgical removal.