There are over 100 types of human papillomavirus in the world today. These strands of viruses cause warts. Warts often grow on your fingers and toes, but can be found in other locations on your body. While they are contagious by nature, sometimes they only affect one family member.
Warts can dissolve on their own, but that takes time and some warts become a cosmetic concern. Often other warts will appear alongside of existing ones so there is a persistent presence of warts.
There are different types of warts that have slight variations in how they look. Common warts are mostly found on fingers and toes. They are grayer than skin around it and have a rough appearance. Warts that are found around your mouth, nose, chin and neck are called filiform warts. They are small and look like a skin tag or small flap of skin.
Flat warts can also be found on the face as well as the arms and thighs. They often blend in at first glance, but upon further looking appear to be flat topped and vary in skin color from brown to yellow to pink. Periungual warts are found under and around nail beds. They are painful and can limit nail growth.
Lastly, genital warts form in the genital or anus area. Itching, burning and pain in these areas can be an indicator of genital warts. While these warts are treatable, they are not curable and the virus stays with a person for their entire lifetime. These warts are usually transmitted via sexual contact.
Good hygiene can prevent the spread of warts. Warts should be covered with a bandage, wear shower shoes while at the gym shower or other communal showers, leave the wart alone and do not pick at it.
Home based treatment of warts include: salicylic acid and OTC aerosol products that freeze the wart. Salicylic acid can be found in a variety of different applications such as drops and pads. This helps to dissolve the skin of the wart. Freezing the warts can be done at home or at the dermatologist; however, a dermatologist will utilize liquid nitrogen which is more effective than those OTC products. Laser therapy or surgery to remove the wart are treatment options as well.
While warts are common, they can be bothersome, contagious and even painful. The Dermatology Center of Indiana has trained doctors to help you identify and treat warts. Reach out to our staff today to schedule a consultation. You can also check out our website for more information.
Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.