Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is contagious, so it is easy to contract this virus. Many will get a wart when they have skin-to-skin contact with someone with a wart. You can also contract a wart by touching something that touched a person’s wart, such as a towel or the floor of a locker room.

The type of wart that you get depends on the type of HPV that infects you and where it is located.

Types of Warts

Common warts – usually form on the fingers, around the nails where the virus can easily get into the body, such as near a bitten fingernail or hangnail. They can also form on the back of our hands. They look like a rough bump, and you may see black dots within the wart that look like seeds. These are blood vessels and due to these black dots, these warts are sometimes known as seed warts.

Plantar warts – are when common warts form on the soles of the feet. Left untreated, these warts can grow quickly. Most are flatter than other common warts, caused by walking, which pushes warts into the skin. This can make plantar warts painful, it can feel like you have stones in your shoes.

Flat warts – can be found anywhere on the skin, but are most common on the face. Flat warts are common for men in the beard area and on the legs of women as shaving seems to cause these warts to spread. They are smaller and smoother than common warts, and when one has flat warts, they usually have many warts.

Genital warts – usually appear in or around the genital region and they are contracted through sexual contact. In some cases, a mother can spread genital warts to her baby during childbirth when the baby passes through the birth canal. A pregnant woman with genital warts should tell her provider so that steps can be taken to prevent the spread of the virus to her baby. Genital warts are flesh-colored, may feel rough or smooth, and can be large or small. Some will get a single wart and others will get clusters of warts. Certain strains of genital warts can cause cancer in males and females. It is important to treat genital warts before they can turn into cancer. Women who have been exposed to genital warts should see a gynecologist to get screening tests for cervical cancer. This screening test allows doctors to find early signs of disease, which can be treated before cancer has a chance to develop.

The treatment option that your dermatologist will choose will depend on your wart type, the size of the wart/extent of wart growth, and your own personal preferences.

Treatment for Warts

There are a number of different treatment options for warts. Most wart removal therapies are safe for adults and children alike. Potential therapies may include creams or medication, cryotherapy, laser surgery, or electrosurgery.

Make an Appointment to Have Your Warts Looked at Today

If you or your child is suffering from a wart or warts, there are safe and effective treatment options that you can pursue. To learn more, use the buttons below to find a clinician or location near you that treats warts.

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