Warts | Human Papillomavirus

Warts are noncancerous growths on the skin caused by a viral infection, the human papillomavirus (HPV). The hands are one of the most common places to have them, but they can occur on all different areas of the skin and body. There are numerous different types of warts.

Types of Warts

Common warts most commonly occur on the hands. They may have black dots on them and feel like rough bumps.

Plantar warts are on the sole of the foot and are either flat or grow inward due to the constant pressure from walking. They can sometimes be painful.

Filiform warts are rare, but they usually grow on the face around the mouth, eyes and nose. They usually grow quickly.

Flat warts commonly occur in a few different areas. They commonly occur on the face in children, on the beard area in men, and with women they usually occur on the legs. There are usually a lot of them in one place.

Genital warts are the most common sexually transmitted disease. They are also referred to as human papillomavirus or HPV. They occur on the genitalia and occasionally on the perianal skin. They are small skin-colored or brownish papules. Rarely they can appear as a giant cauliflower-like lesion.

Causes of Warts

Various strains of human papillomavirus cause warts. They are more likely to happen to people who have a weakened immune system. Different strains can be spread through different ways. They usually will not be large enough to be detectable for the first few months, so it is often hard to pinpoint exactly when HPV was acquired.

Treatment for Warts

While warts are possible to treat in various ways, they will also often go away on their own. We most often recommend treatment if you have a lot of them, if they are painful or if they have had sufficient time to go away on their own but have not. The amount of time appropriate to wait is something that can be different with each person. There are a number of possible treatments. Which is most appropriate for your situation will depend on what type of wart you have, where it is and many other circumstances.

There is no cure for human papillomavirus, so even if one or numerous warts are successfully removed they may come back in the same place or different places.