Warts: Causes and Types

Warts, also known as Verruca vulgaris, are small skin growths that are benign and non-cancerous in nature. Warts, also known as Verruca vulgaris, are small skin growths that are benign and non-cancerous in nature.

What causes warts?

Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a very common virus that can be easily spread from person to person through skin-to-skin contact. There are over 100 different types of HPV, and different types can cause different types of warts.

Warts can also be spread by touching a surface that has been contaminated with the virus and then touching your skin. In some cases, warts can spread from one part of your body to another, especially if you scratch or pick at the wart.

Some people are more susceptible to warts than others due to factors such as a weakened immune system, skin damage, or frequent exposure to moisture (such as in the case of plantar warts).

It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone who is infected with HPV will develop warts, and some people may carry the virus without any symptoms. However, if you have warts, it’s important to take steps to avoid spreading the virus to others.

Where do they appear?

Warts commonly appear on hands and feet. However, some strains of HPV cause warts around genitals especially in women which can be a sign for malignant growth and cervical cancer.

How do warts spread?

Warts are highly contagious in nature and spread through direct skin-to-skin contact from one person to another. Warts also spread if you pick on your wart and touch another part of your body wart can also spread to that part of the body. They can also spread through towels, clothes and razor blades of an infected person. It takes around 6 months for a wart to appear after exposure to the virus.

What are the type of warts?

There are 5 types of warts that appear on different parts of the body and also differ in the appearance.

  1. Common warts:- These warts appear on fingers, toes or hands. Harmless and not painful in nature. Looks like small, hard, grain like growth on the skin, rough in texture.

  2. Flat warts:- These warts also known as juvenile warts as they are mostly found in young adults and children. They are flat-topped as if the wart has been scrapped off, smooth in appearance and flesh colored to brown in color. Appear on the face, arms, back and legs they grow in large numbers like in a cluster of 10 to 100.

    Flat Warts

  3. Plantar warts:- These present on the soles of feet these warts are not outward but inward growth of cells. It is present on the sole mainly over the pressure bearing areas of the feet and feel as if you are walking on pebbles mostly present in clusters.

  4. Periungual warts:- These are cauliflower like wart around the toenail or fingernails mostly present in children and young adults. Mostly present in clusters.

    Periungual warts

  5. Filiform warts:-These are small, smooth, flat-topped warts that often appear on the face, legs, and arms.

    Filiform warts

The appearance of warts can vary depending on their location and type. Some warts are small and smooth, while others are larger and have a rough, bumpy surface. Some warts may have a central black dot, which is actually a clogged blood vessel.

It’s important to seek medical attention if you have any growths on your skin that are suspicious or if you are unsure if they are warts. Your healthcare provider can perform a visual exam and, if needed, take a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.


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