What are warts?
Warts are common small growths that appear when a virus infects the top layer of the skin. Warts are often skin-colored and feel rough/raised, but they can vary in appearance and location. Warts are contagious. Warts can spread by contact with the wart or something that touched the wart. Anyone can get warts, but most commonly, children and teens are affected.
What causes warts?
Viruses called human papillomavirus (HPV) cause warts. Warts can spread by skin-to-skin contact or through contaminated surfaces or objects. It is easier to catch a virus that causes warts when you have a cut or scrape on your skin. It often takes a few months for warts to grow large enough to see.
What are the different types or categories of warts?
There are different types of warts.
- Common Wart – They are rough, raised and horn-like growths. Usually develop on hands, but can develop anywhere on the body. This is the most common subtype.
- Subungual and Periungual – They appear near or under fingernails or toenails
- Plantar – They appear on the bottom of the foot.
- Flat warts – Small flat bumps on the face/beard area or back of hands. Can spread after shaving the beard area.
- Genital warts – refer to another link on our website.
How can warts be treated?
Warts can sometimes resolve spontaneously, however, mostly they require an in-office treatment. The presence of warts is a very common reason that patients come to us. It is highly recommended you see a Board-Certified Dermatologist, so they can correctly diagnose warts by examining your skin. While there are many over-the-counter methods (eg. wart removers containing salicylic acid) , most of them are not very effective. We can help you get rid of the warts. One of the most widely used and most effective in-office treatment options is cryotherapy, which involves freezing the wart off with liquid nitrogen. It is a safe procedure with only temporary discomfort. It may require more than one treatment to completely get rid of the warts (especially warts which are located on the bottom of the foot can be challenging).