Warts are common skin growths caused by a virus that causes the skin to grow rapidly. Warts can grow anywhere, and are most common among children and young adults. They typically disappear on their own over time. However, it could take years for some to develop. There are five different types of warts:
- Common Warts - Common warts grow mostly on the hands, but aren’t uncommon in other areas either. They are generally grayish brown.
- Plantar Warts - Plantar warts grow on the soles of feet. They are thick and hard, and may be painful to walk on.
- Flat Warts - Flat warts generally grow on the arms, legs, or face. They have flat tops (thus their name) and are generally pink, brown, or yellow in color.
- Filiform Warts - These warts usually grown around the mouth and nose area. They are the same color as skin, and can appear to have threads or fine hairs growing from them.
- Periungual Warts - Periungual warts grow around, and under the nail beds. They are little rough bumps that can affect the nail growth.
Warts are skin growths caused by the type of virus known as “human papilloma virus” (HPV). There are over 100 types of known HPV. The virus usually enters the skin in an opening of broken skin, and causes the skin to grow more rapidly than normal, forming the wart. Warts are easily spread from person to person. You can become infected simply by touching the wart of another person, or by sharing personal items such as towels, or razors with someone who is already infected.
While most warts are harmless and generally go away on their own, it may be recommended that you get treatment for your wart, especially if it causes pain or discomfort. It’s important to have a professional diagnosis for warts, as most wart treatments should be carried out by a professional. Your podiatrist will be able to recommend treatment options for you, such as over the counter medicine, cryotherapy (freezing), or chemical cauterization.