Warts are growths which take root on the surface of the skin. Although they are not cancerous they are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 100 types of HPV which are responsible for the different types of warts.
Many types of wart infections fade away by themselves. Although warts’ characteristics are different depending on the type some of the symptoms are the same such as;
- The average size is between one to ten millimeters
- They appear on the skin as small raised bumps
- They may have a smooth or rough surface depending on the type
- They may itch in some cases
- They can appear singly or in clusters
- The most commonly affected areas are the hands, knees, feet and face
Types of Warts
- Common warts (verruca vulgaris). They look like small raised bumps and are usually found on the knees, hands, elbows and around your nails. They spread easily through touch and they can sometimes have black dots that look almost like seeds. These are referred to as seed warts.
- Filiform warts. These type of warts are shocking in appearance and look like thin long threads. They are fast growing warts and can be problematic because they usually grow on the face around the mouth, eyes and nose.
- Flat warts. These appear as smooth, flat, slightly raised, yellow-brown lesions. They mostly occur mostly on the face, neck, chest, hands, wrists, knees and forearms. They are usually in groups of several hundreds and they are most common in children and young adults.
- Foot warts. Also known as plantar warts they mostly occur on the soles of the feet and they are quite thick. They pop up in several clusters and appear as small callous. They are more common in people who do a lot of barefoot activities.
- Genital warts. These are benign warts found in the cervix, the vagina and around the anus. If spread through skin contact they can appear on the in the throat and mouth areas. They are caused by the HPV.
- Periungual warts. They occur in clusters around the finger nails and are irregular, rough and elevated. Sometimes they extend under the nails and this can be painful.
- Digitate warts. They have pear-shaped bases and they appear horny and finger like. They mostly occur near the hairline or on the scalp.
Treatment Options For Warts.
Following are some of the best treatment options for warts.
Cryotherapy which is also freezing involves the application of liquid nitrogen to the wart. This causes a blister to form around and under the wart thus allowing dead tissue to slough off in a week or so. This type of treatment is quite painful and it is not recommended in treating children. Cryotherapy side effects include blistering, pain and skin discoloration around the treated area.
The pulsed-dye laser treatment is used to burn or cauterizes tiny blood vessels which in turn causes the infected tissue to die and the wart eventually falls off. It is a painful process which causes scarring.
The bothersome tissue can easily be cut away through minor surgery. This may leave a scar around the treated area.
This is a prescription medication and it works through removing layers of wart bit by bit. It is more effective when it is combined with freezing.