Warts: Types, Causes, Symptoms and more

May 20, 2021

The various warts types are caused due to the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are almost 60 kinds of HPV, and some of them cause skin warts because the virus stimulates rapid cell growth on the outer skin layer. Usually, warts will appear on the fingers, beneath the nails, or on your hands. Some HPV variants can also cause warts on the genital area. In this article we look at the different kinds of warts caused by HPV and how they can be treated.

Types of Warts

They are broadly classified into five different types. These include:

Common warts

Found mainly on your fingers and toes, these warts may appear in other parts of your body as well. With a rough, grainy appearance and a rounded top, these warts are usually gray in color.

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts grow into the skin that covers the soles of your feet, rather than growing out of it. A small hole in the bottom of your foot which is surrounded by hardened skin indicates the growth of a plantar wart. They are an indication of HPV which is why you should get tested if you have this wart.

Flat warts

Found on the face, thighs, or arms, these are tiny growths that are flat on the top. They are pink, brown, or slightly yellow in color.

Filiform Warts

These grow on and around the mouth, nose, neck, or the area below your chin. They are small tags with the same color as your skin, and their surface has fingers-like projections. 

Periungual warts

Found under and around your toenails and fingernails, these can be painful and affect healthy nail growth. Range of Risk

While anyone can develop warts, it is more likely to affect:

  • Children and teenagers
  • Individuals with weakened immune systems
  • Individuals who have had warts before
  • Individuals who walk barefoot which enables wart-causing viruses to enter their body

Causes Of Dangerous Plantar Warts

The HPV enters the body via the outer layer of one’s skin, usually through cuts, slits, or cracks present in the soles of your feet. HPV is common and there exist over 100 strains of this virus, out of which only a few strains cause warts.

While each person’s immune system responds differently to HPV, it is not necessary for everyone who comes in contact with it to develop warts.

The HPV strains that cause plantar warts are not highly contagious, so the virus is not easily transmitted by direct contact.

Warm, moist environments provide a safe haven for this virus. Walking barefoot in areas such as swimming pools or locker rooms is usually the cause.

Treatment for skin warts:

Warts Treatment

Warts Treatment

In many cases, skin warts can be quite harmless and usually disappear without any medical treatment. But, if you are experiencing genital warts then you may want to see a doctor. There have been times when warts reoccur after treatment, so your doctor may ask you to take on more than one treatment to prevent a relapse. Some of the popular treatments include:

Cryotherapy: This is when the dermatologist uses over-the-counter freezing products, that have liquid nitrogen, to freeze the wart away. Cryotherapy temperatures can go below 100 degrees Celsius. While this treatment works on warts, patients may experience blisters around the treated site, and the dead tissue begins to fade away after one or two weeks.

Cantharidin: This is a substance that is blister beetle extract and is applied to the skin around the wart that breaks into blisters. Once the solution is applied, it is then covered with a bandage and it lifts the wart off the skin.

Salicylic acid: salicylic acid is a potent ingredient that is present in over-the-counter wart treatments like ointments, pads, and gels. When the medicine is applied, consistently, the acid will gradually start dissolving the wart. It’s not a quick process and may take several weeks.

Surgery: skin warts surgery is a minor process and it is expected when other treatments are not getting rid of warts. Surgery will cut away the wart, and the base of it will be destroyed by using an electric needle or freezing it off in cryosurgery.

Laser therapy: This is where an intense beam of light is used on the skin to burn the wart tissues, at the root.

Over-the-counter medication: As mentioned before, most over-the-counter medicines (topical ones) will include salicylic acid and will come in the form of a gel, ointment, or lotion form. When applied regularly, the OTC solution will cause the wart to peel off. However, these medicines are not prescribed for genital warts treatment. You can try applying imiquimod, a cream that induces one’s immune system to destroy the wart.

Preventing Various Warts Types:

If you are already experiencing warts, then it’s best to not pick at them; this will prevent them from spreading. You can consider covering them with bandages and keep your hands dry because warts cause are harder to control in moist environments.

If you want to prevent genital warts then you have to:

  • Practice sexual abstinence
  • Use condoms during sexual intercourse
  • Have intercourse with only one partner, and not several people
  • Avoid sex with anyone who is showing signs of genital warts
  • Get the HPV vaccine

ClearSkin’s dermatologists are here to help you achieve an accurate diagnosis of your condition and look forward to helping you with it so that you have the healthy and clearskin that you deserve.

Book an appointment with a Clearskin expert today!



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