Who Can Develop Warts?
While men, women, and children can develop warts, certain groups are at higher risk than others.
As with many other skin conditions, people that are immunocompromised are more likely to develop warts. People with injuries to their skin or nails can also develop warts as the human papillomavirus usually enters through these sites.
The human papillomavirus is also commonly spread through direct contact, such as when someone shakes the hand of a person who already has warts on their hand.
Common Types of Warts
The human papillomavirus has over 150 different manifestations, but certain types of warts are much more common than others.
Common warts have a rough and grainy appearance. They are most commonly round in shape and usually develop on fingers and toes.
Plantar warts are an uncomfortable type of wart that grow on the soles of the feet. Unlike common warts, plantar warts look like a small hole on the bottom of your foot that’s surrounded by hardened skin.
Flat warts are a common type of wart that do not protrude very much off the skin in the way common warts do. Flat warts most commonly appear on the face, arms, and thighs.
Filiform warts are a type of wart that are unusually shaped. Most commonly, filiform warts are small and shaped like a skin tag, but some may be made up of multiple, long strands of tissue. These warts are often found around the eyes, mouth, and nose.
Genital warts, also known as condyloma accuminata, are an extremely common type of sexually transmitted wart caused by human papillomavirus. They can appear on any area of the genital region including the vagina, cervix, and penis. These warts are associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer and squamous cell carcinoma.
What Causes Warts?
Warts are caused by human papillomavirus. Since around 80% of the population contracts HPV, warts are an exceptionally common dermatological condition.
Once the human papillomavirus enters the skin, usually through a crack in the top layer of the skin, it will infect the area and cause rapid growth of skin cells. These growths will then develop into the different manifestations of warts.
Treatment Options for Warts
Since many people find warts unappealing and uncomfortable, treatment options for warts usually focus on removing or destroying the wart.
There are a number of treatment options available to treat warts, including cryosurgery (freezing), electrosurgery (burning), and immunotherapy.
Other options include chemotherapeutics (e.g. bleomycin, and Aldara) and medications that prevent wart virus from replicating (e.g. podophyllin).
Leave your skincare to the experts. Warts are a common condition that is usually harmless. This doesn’t mean that you have to live with unsightly growths if they are affecting your confidence or causing you any discomfort. If you would like to experience premier dermatological care to achieve beautiful and healthy skin, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Ip today.