Warts are non-cancerous skin growths that appear when one of over 100 types of human papillomaviruses (HPV) infects the top layer of the skin. The virus typically enters the body where the skin is broken, causing the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, forming the wart. Warts often go away on their own with time, but may take years to disappear. If you have a wart that won’t go away, it may be time to seek treatment.
Warts are Contagious
Warts can spread easily from person to person by direct contact or by sharing personal items such as towels or razors. It is also possible to spread warts on your own body by touching the wart and then touching other body parts.
After a person has contact with HPV, it may take many months before a wart will be noticed as it starts by slowly growing beneath the skin. This doesn’t mean that you will get a wart every time you contact the HPV virus. Some people are more prone to getting warts than others.
Types of Warts
There are different kinds of warts that come in a wide range of shapes and sizes on the body. Warts are skin-colored and feel rough, but sometimes they are dark (brown or gray-black), flat and smooth. The clinical names of the various warts are:
- Common warts – grow on fingers and toes, but can grow on other parts of the body. Have a rough, gray, grainy appearance, and rounded top.
- Flat warts – have a flat top often growing on the face, thighs, or arms. They appear pink, brownish, or slightly yellow.
- Plantar warts – appear on the sole of the foot and grow into the skin instead of out. Can be hard to treat.
- Periungual warts – grow under and around toenails and fingernails. Can be painful and affect nail growth.
- Filiform warts – a skin colored tiny flap or tag of skin that grows around the mouth or nose and sometimes on the neck or under the chin.
- Genital warts – grow in clusters, but may be a single wart anywhere in the anal or genital area.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Your Sugar Land Physicians clinician will offer one of several ways to treat warts, depending on their number, sizes, locations, or other factors such as the age of the patient and health condition. Warts respond in different ways to a variety of treatment measures and may recur following treatment.