What Are Warts?
Who can get warts?
Anyone can get warts, but they are more common in children and young adults. They are spread through direct contact with an infected person or by touching something an infected person has used, such as a towel or a surface with the virus.
Warts are quite common in the United States, with an estimated 6 million new cases each year. They are usually not a serious health concern but can be removed for cosmetic reasons or if they cause discomfort.
Facts About Warts
These are some of the facts about skin warts:
- Warts are caused by specific strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 100 types of HPV, with different strains causing different kinds of warts. Common warts, the most common type, are caused by HPV types 2 and 7. Plantar warts are found on the feet soles.
- Warts are more common in people with weakened immune systems, such as HIV/AIDS or cancer.
- Warts can be contagious and can spread from one person to another.
- Warts can also spread to other body parts through autoinoculation.
- Warts can be difficult to prevent, but practicing good hygiene and avoiding direct contact with warts can help reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
- Warts can be treated with over-the-counter creams and ointments. Still, some warts may require more aggressive treatment, such as cryotherapy (freezing the wart), laser therapy, or surgery.
What Are the Symptoms of Warts?
Warts are small growths on the skin that can vary in size, shape, and color. The most common symptoms of warts include:
- A small raised bump on the skin that is usually flesh-colored but can also be pink, white, or brown.
- A rough surface that may resemble a callus.
- Black dots that are on the surface of the wart are clotted blood vessels.
- Pain or discomfort when the wart is pressed or bumped.
Different types of warts can also have distinct symptoms:
- Common warts, the most common type, typically appear on the fingers, hands, and feet. They have a rough, raised surface and can be grey, tan, or brown.
- Plantar warts on the feet’ soles are usually flat and hard, with a rough surface. They can be painful when pressure is applied to them, such as when walking.
- Filiform warts, which are thin and long, usually appear on the face, around the eyes, and on the neck.
- Periungual warts appear around the nails and on the fingers or toes. They can cause difficulty in nail growth and have a rough surface.
What Causes Warts?
Warts are primarily caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a highly contagious virus that can infect the top layer of the skin. There are over 100 varieties of HPV, but only a few strains are responsible for causing warts.
HPV can enter the body through tiny cuts or breaks in the skin, which can happen when the skin is wet, such as after a shower or bath. When the virus enters the skin, it causes the cells to grow rapidly and form a wart.
The virus can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact, such as shaking hands with someone who has a wart, or by touching something that an infected person has used, such as a towel or a surface with the virus on it.
Certain factors can increase the risk of developing warts, such as:
- Having a weakened immune system.
- Having cuts or scrapes on the skin.
- Having a history of warts.
- Being exposed to the virus in communal settings such as public showers or locker rooms.
- Participating in activities or sports that involve barefoot walking, such as gymnastics or wrestling.
It’s important to note that not everyone exposed to the HPV virus will develop warts. Some people have a stronger immune system that can fight off the virus well before it causes a wart to form.
Diagnosis of Warts
A biopsy involves the process of removal of a small piece of the wart and thereafter sending it to a laboratory for examination under a microscope. A biopsy is usually only needed when the growth is not typical of a wart or when the healthcare professional wants to rule out other skin conditions.
In some cases, a healthcare professional might also use a dermatoscopy. This hand-held device magnifies the skin lesion and allows for a detailed examination.
It’s important to note that warts may not always be visible and may not cause discomfort or pain, so it’s best to consult a healthcare professional and get a proper diagnosis and treatment if you suspect you have a wart.
It’s also essential to remember that warts can also be mistaken for other skin conditions, such as moles or skin tags. Hence, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional.
Best Treatment for Warts
Here are some ways to get rid of warts:
- Cryotherapy: This procedure involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen. It’s effective for most types of wart removal treatment, but it may also need to be repeated several times.
- Electrocautery: This procedure involves burning the wart off with an electric current as skin warts treatment.
- Laser therapy: This procedure uses a laser beam to destroy the wart.
- Curettage: This procedure involves scraping the wart off with a sharp instrument.
- Warts can be treated with topical medications such as salicylic acid and imiquimod can be applied directly to the wart. They work by causing the skin cells to peel off, which helps to remove the wart.
Wart Removal Surgery:
- Surgical excision: This procedure involves cutting out the wart with a scalpel. It’s usually used for larger or more stubborn warts.
- Surgical shave: This procedure involves shaving the wart off with a blade.
It’s important to note that wart remedy may not always respond to treatment; in some cases, they may return even after being removed. In such cases, a healthcare professional might recommend a different or a combination of treatments, such as plantar wart removal surgery. It is also important to inform the healthcare professional of any pain or discomfort during the treatment, as well as get recommendations for home remedies for warts.
Ask Your Question
- Warts can be kept clean and dry to prevent them from becoming infected.
- Please avoid direct contact with warts and touching or scratching them.
- Avoid biting your nails and cut your nails short if you have warts on your fingers.
- Wear shoes or slippers when walking in communal areas such as locker rooms or showers to prevent infection.
Ongo Care Team
Our doctors are passionate about helping patients and strive to provide individualized and compassionate care. They understand the importance of patient-centered care and work closely with you to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment for your condition.
In addition, our team is committed to providing a seamless and convenient telemedicine experience. Our virtual consultations are designed to be very user-friendly, informative, and helpful.
Why Ongo Care?
At Ongo Care, we understand the importance of proper and prompt healthcare, especially when it comes to skin conditions like warts. Our platform offers a wide range of services related to skin health, including virtual consultations with experienced and knowledgeable doctors. With Ongo Care, you can easily schedule an appointment and connect with a doctor in real-time from the comfort of your own home. Our doctors will take the time to listen to your concerns, diagnose the issue, and provide you with personalized treatment options. By choosing Ongo Care, you can be confident that you are receiving the best care possible without the need to visit a doctor’s office in person. Trust us to support you on your journey to better health.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are various types of warts?
- Common wart
- Plantar warts
- Filiform warts
- Periungual warts
- Mosaic warts
- Flat warts
- Genital warts
What are the complications of warts?
- Pain or discomfort
- Genital warts
How can we keep warts from spreading to other parts of our bodies?
- Keep your warts clean and dry.
- Avoid biting your nails.
- Keep your feet dry.
- Avoid sharing personal items.
- Avoid walking barefoot in communal areas.
- Wear shoes or slippers.
How can I check my issue with the online doctor?
- Virtual consultations
- Online symptom checkers
- Online medical platforms