Identifying the Types of Warts

Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and may be found on the feet, hands, arms, legs, face and even under the fingernails or toenails. Treatment often depends on the location of the wart and how many warts are present, although most warts go away on their own within several months or years.

Warts may appear differently depending on the type of wart that is present. The following are types of warts and what they typically look like:

Common Warts

They are rough in texture, brown in color and are usually dome shaped. They usually appear on the hands, although they may appear on other areas of the body as well.

Flat Warts

They have flat tops and may be pink, brown or yellow in color. They are commonly spread by shaving and are commonly found on the face. They may also appear on the arms and legs.

Filiform warts are a type of flat warts and appear with flesh-colored projections sticking out from the wart. They may appear around the mouth or on other areas around the face.

Genital Warts

These may be very small and may be difficult to detect in some cases. They appear around the genital and anal areas.

Periungual Warts

They appear under the fingernails or toe nails. They may affect the growth of fingernails or toenails and are appear as rough bumps.

Plantar Warts

These are found on the feet. They may be very painful when pressure is applied to them, making walking a painful experience for some patients. Thick skin develops over the wart as the wart is pushed beneath the skin's surface. Dark spots may be visible below the surface.

Individuals who have warts should speak with a healthcare professional for help identifying their warts. Treatment may depend on the location of the wart, type of wart and the number of warts present. Genital warts may be caused by an HPV that may also cause cervical cancer. Women who have genital warts should speak with a healthcare professional to screen for cervical cancer.

Warts typically go away on their own, so treatment is not necessary. However, they are considered embarrassing by many people, which leads them to seek wart removal treatments.

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