Warts are benign growths that occur on the top layer of the skin. They are usually rough and the same color as the rest of the skin, but they can be dark, smooth and flat.
Common warts can occur anywhere, but they are most common on the fingers and toes. They are rough and have a rounded top. They look grayer than the rest of the skin.
Plantar warts grow on the soles of the feet, and they grow into the skin as opposed to outward. A plantar wart, therefore, looks like a small hole surrounded by hard skin. They can make walking painful.
Flat warts are small and inconspicuous. They can be brown, pink or yellow, and they have a flat top. They typically develop on the thighs, arms or face.
Filiform warts are small and look like a tiny flap of skin. They resemble skin tags and are the same color as the rest of the skin.
Periungual warts are found under the fingernails and toes nails. They can harm nail growth and are often painful.
Genital warts look like common warts, as they look like flesh-colored bumps. They can grow in large clusters and may develop in more than one place. While they don’t cause pain, they can be itchy. As the name suggests, they usually grow on, in or around the genitals, but they can also develop on the lips, palate or tongue, or in the mouth.
What are the causes?
Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different types of this virus, and it is often contagious. Thus, warts can be spread from one person to another, and a patient can also spread warts to different parts of their own body. It is, therefore, a poor idea to pick at one’s warts.
While researchers don’t yet know why some people get warts while others do not, they do know that children are more susceptible. The reason is that children’s immune systems have not yet fully developed and are therefore less able to fight off the virus.
Will warts go away on their own?
While some warts do indeed go away without treatment, others do not. Also, it can take months or even years for a wart to go away – and it might produce more warts in the meantime.
When should someone see a doctor?
While warts are generally more of a nuisance than anything else, there are times when a patient needs to have their warts examined. A patient must see a doctor for treatment if any of the following are true:
• The wart is painful
• The wart bleeds or shows signs of infection like pus or scabbing
• The patient is a woman with genital warts. They can eventually cause cervical cancer, which can be deadly
• The warts are on a sensitive part of the body like the face
• The patient has diabetes or a condition that affects the immune system
• The wart’s color changes
If any of these are true for you, contact the Dermatology Office of Dr. Lance Yeoman to schedule an appointment and get the proper treatment.