What are Warts?

Warts are unsightly lumps that appear on the skin. They can appear on the face or body and are especially common on the hands and feet.

They often appear on the skin without notice and can take years to go away of their own accord.

Here are some of the things that you should know about the common skin warts.

What causes warts?

Warts are an infection on the skin caused by a virus that is knows as HPV or human papillomavirus. The HPV virus usually infiltrates small cracks in the skin and affects the growth of skin cells in the affected area. The skin cells grow faster than usual, therefore developing a wart. Areas of the body which are frequently shaved are more susceptible to contracting warts than other areas.

Who gets warts?

Warts are contagious and if you have noticed the growth of one in your skin, chances are you came in contact with a person or with a virus that causes warts. You can get warts by coming in direct contact with a person who has warts or even if you use the towel of a person who has warts. Warts do not appear immediately. They take time, maybe a couple of months to develop and grow.

Are warts harmful?

Warts are benign, so they are not dangerous. However, warts can resemble the manifestations of certain types of cancer. Because of that, you should get them checked regardless to give yourself the peace of mind that you need. Most importantly, if your warts are bleeding, changing in appearance, spreading fast and are painful, you should definitely see a doctor and get it checked. Warts may not be particularly dangerous but they are highly contagious. You should avoid contact with anyone who has warts or using personal items of a person who has warts such as clothes, towels and shoes. Warts take time to heal. There is no fixed time but it can reach up to two years for some people.

Types of Warts

Common warts are most frequently found on the hands, the fingers and the most common victim of this type of warts are children.

Flat or Plane Warts are small sized warts, often with a smooth texture that grow in clusters. They are most commonly seen on the face, the neck and around the eyes of the person affected.

Plantar warts are the warts that grow and appear on the feet’s soles.

Genital warts are the warts that grow on the genital areas – male or female.

Periungal warts appear on the area that surrounds the fingernails. People who have the bad habit of biting their nails frequently are more likely to contract periungal warts.

Filiform warts are not to be confused with flat or plane warts. Filiform warts appear in the same areas as flat or plane warts but are not rounded in shape. They are elongated and smooth, often seen on the neck, face and around the eyes of the person affected.