Warts

Warts are a skin growth caused by a virus that can affect any area of the body at any age. While warts are quite common among children and adults, some warts can cause embarrassment and discomfort for individuals suffering from the virus.

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Warts are known as growths on the skin that are often caused by certain types of viruses. The most common types of warts are flat warts, plantar warts, periungual warts, and filiform warts, all of which are caused by strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts may develop anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on the hands and feet.

Risk Factors for Developing Warts

Warts are very common and may develop on individuals of any age; however, certain people are at higher risk of developing warts, including:

  • Children and adolescents
  • Individuals with a weakened immune system, such as those who are infected with HIV/AIDs or individuals who have recently undergone an organ transplant

Wart viruses commonly pass from person to person, so individuals who have been in contact with an infected individual are more likely to develop warts.

Signs and Symptoms of Warts

Warts may develop different characteristics based on the area of the body that is affected. Symptoms and signs of warts may include:

  • Fleshy, grainy bumps
  • Small flesh-colored, white, pink, or tan bumps
  • Localized areas of the skin that appear rough or ridged to the touch

Warts generally do not cause pain, although you may experience pain if pressure is applied to the wart. 

Diagnosing and Treating Warts

While most warts will clear up without treatment, you should contact Adena Dermatology if you experience pain associated with a wart, if your skin becomes infected, if the number of warts is increasing, or your warts are causing you emotional distress or impeding your function. Your dermatologist will begin by examining the wart and may scrape off the top layer of the wart to check for clotted blood vessels.

Most warts will clear up without treatment within two years, but your doctor may provide treatment if your wart is causing discomfort or is at risk of spreading to another area. Home treatments such as applying salicylic acid or duct tape are often effective methods of wart removal. If your warts do not respond to home remedies, your doctor may use liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart off, or may conduct a minor surgical procedure in which the wart is cut or burned off using electricity.

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