A Guide to Warts

Warts are caused by human pappilloma virus (HPV). They are a harmless, non-cancerous skin growth that sometimes go away on their own in a matter of a month or two and can usually be treated quickly and easily without any further complications. Some kinds of warts, if left untreated, can lead to more severe ailments while the appearance of others can indicate a greater than normal predisposition to certain sorts of cancer and should be checked out thoroughly by a physician.

HPV enters the body through a break or tear in the skin and causes the upper layer of skin to grow rapidly, forming a wart. Warts can breakout anywhere on the body that the HPV virus can enter and for some unknown reason they are more common in children and young adults.

There are six main kinds of warts that can differ in location and in appearance. Knowing the differences can help you chart a course of treatment, in case you find one of these kinds of warts on your body.

Common warts appear most often on the hands but they may appear almost anywhere on the body. They are demanding, gray-brown dome-shaped growths.

Plantar warts occur on the soles of their feet. They look like hard, thick patches of skin with a few dark specks. These warts cause pain when you walk as if you are stepping on a sharp pebble in your shoe.

Flat warts are usually found in your face, arms and legs. They are smaller than a typical pen eraser, have flat tops and can be pink, light brown or yellowish in color.

Filiform warts are usually found around the nose or mouth area. They are flesh-colored and appear as a small, fingerlike growth.

Periungual warts are located in the area of the toenails and fingernails and look like round, irregular lumps that can affect nail growth.

Genital warts are found on the genitals or the anus of men and women or on the cervix of women. They are flesh-colored to grayish and frequently resemble small cauliflower masses when they develop together.