Warts are a type of skin growth that develops due to the human papilloma virus, or HPV. This virus can enter the body through a tiny injury and infect the top layer of skin. After infection, the rapid growth of cells occurs, forming a wart. Warts are commonly seen on children and teens. A wart may form on any part of the body.
There are several different types of warts:
- Common warts are shaped like a dome. The cells of a common wart create a rough texture and brownish-gray color. This type of wart most frequently develops on the hands.
- Flat warts do not rise from the surface. They are typically small brown, yellow, or pink spots that may be seen on the bottoms of feet, legs, arms, or the face.
- Plantar warts develop on the bottoms of feet, looking much like a callous. A plantar wart, however, will not go away and may cause discomfort.
- Periungual warts grow around or beneath toenails and fingernails. If a periungual wart develops beneath the nail, the shape of the nail may be altered.
- Filiform warts tend to form around the nose and mouth, or in the beard area. These skin colored growths will spread out from the center.
- Genital warts are seen in the groin, genital, or anal area. A genital wart may have a rough surface, like a very small cauliflower.
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Warts are not a significant health problem. Most often, a wart will resolve on its own, though this can take a few years. Because warts can be contagious, symptomatic, and unattractive, a person may wish to have a wart removed. At Washington Dermatology Consultants, warts may be identified visually.
There are several potential treatments for the removal of warts. The type of treatment chosen by your dermatologist will depend on a number of factors, including the location and size of the wart. Removal is also planned after considering the patient’s age. Some common removal methods include:
- Topical medication
- Injections of medication
- Cryotherapy, in which a wart is frozen with liquid nitrogen
- Curettage, which utilizes a special instrument to scrape out a wart
- Excision, which utilizes a scalpel to remove the wart
The process typically takes only a few minutes and, usually, the removed wart does not grow back. Treatment for genital warts is effective at removing growths, but does not destroy the virus that causes warts, which means that further warts may appear anywhere on the body.
You do not have to live with embarrassing, uncomfortable warts. Contact the Stafford or Arlington office of Washington Dermatology Consultants for effective wart treatment.