Warts, medically known as verrucas, are hard, rough skin growths that are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are very common and may grow on any part of the body. They usually appear on uneven elevations on the skin and come in various shapes and sizes. Warts are most usually seen on fingers, elbows, knees, face, scalp and soles of feet. Kids are more likely to get warts than adults. Kids who bite their fingernails tend to get warts more often than kids who don't since they can expose less protected skin and generate open areas for virus to enter and cause the wart to form. There are many different types of warts/verrucas such as: common wart, filiform wart, flat wart, plantar wart, periungual wart, mosaic wart and genital wart.
Common wart (verruca vulgaris)
Common warts are the most common of the different types of warts. Warts of this type normally appear on your fingers and hands but can grow anywhere on body. These types of warts are small, have a rough surface and are raised. Common warts are caused by a virus and are passed on with touch. You can get warts from direct skin to skin contact and also indirectly by touching something that has been in contact with a wart such as a gym towel, exercise equipment, etc.
Flat Warts (verruca plana)
Flat warts are flat topped and smoother than other types of warts. Flat warts are those that occur in massive numbers on any part of the body - on hands, wrists, knees, neck and face. They are slightly raised and sometimes hard to notice and their colour varies from yellowish to pinkish to flesh coloured. Flat warts usually appear around skin that has been cut or scratched.
Plantar warts (verruca plantaris)
Plantar warts are raised lumps often with multiple tiny black specks in the center. These are warts that you would get on the bottom of your feet and they can be really painful because these warts can grow into your skin rather than out. The human papillomavirus strains that cause plantar warts are contagious. Virus is not easily passed on by direct contact but you can get it by indirect contact. Plantar warts virus thrives in warm and moist environment.
Genital warts (verruca acuminata)
Genital warts are the most worrisome of the different types of warts. They appear in the genital area and can range in size from very small to rather large. Genital warts are amongst the most ordinary sexually transmitted diseases STD affecting people today. The virus is easily passed from one person to another through sexual contact or by close genital contact. Genital warts can be flat, smooth small bumps or quite big lumps and they can appear in groups or on their own. Normally genital warts should be painless but may occasionally cause some inflammation or itch.
Filiform warts also know as facial warts are most commonly found on face. They grow most often around your mouth, nose and eyelids. Filiform wart’s color matches the color of your skin and sometimes is difficult to spot. One of the most common symptoms of the filiform warts is itching and bleeding. Filiform warts are highly contagious and they can spread easily from one body part to another, especially if there is an open cut on skin.
Mosaic warts are just like plantar warts but just tightly clustered together and normally appear on soles of the feet. When a plantar wart is left without proper treatment, it can develop and form into mosaic wart. Mosaic warts look like small black puncture marks. Once they develop, mosaic warts look like a brown cauliflower, with dark spots.
Periungual warts appear as thickened, cauliflower-like skin around fingernails or toenails. These warts are not painful but can become painful when they grow in. Normally young children and people who bite their nails are commonly affected. Periungual warts left untreated can damage your cuticle, nails and cause discomfort. The virus can spread to someone who touches it and also to other parts of your body.
- Wash your hands regularly
- Wear footwear in public places
- Wear plastic socks when doing barefoot indoor sports
- Use moisturising creams to prevent dry skin, especially on feet, hands knees and elbows
- Wash your hands after using shared exercise equipment
- Clean cuts and scratches with soup and water
- Keep your feet dry
- Use condom for intercourse
- Don’t bite your nails
- Don’t touch your own or other people’s warts
- Don’t pick at warts
- Don’t share towels, razors, socks or sex toys with friends
- Don't use the same manicure and pedicure tools on your warts as you use on your heathy skin and nails
- Don't shave, brush or clip areas that have warts