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What’s Up with Warts?

An adult holds the hand of a child with a macro wart

Warts are a skin growth caused by a virus on the surface of your skin. Besides being unsightly, they can also sometimes be painful. Warts can appear anywhere on your body, but they tend to develop mostly on your hands or feet. Most warts have a rough surface with small clotted capillaries that look like little black dots. In general, warts will diminish on their own, but in some cases it can take a while – even years. Because warts are contagious, it’s important to avoid direct contact with other people if you have one.

To follow are the most common kinds of warts:

  • Plantar warts. Often appearing on the sole of the foot, plantar warts are a light brown, fleshy color with several tiny black dots. These warts flatten when you stand due to the pressure of your foot. People with plantar warts often experience pain and need to go through extensive treatment to get rid of them.
  • Common warts. Warts with a firm, rough outer layer are called common warts. Often appearing near the fingernails and on the back of your hands, common warts are generally painless. They tend to be the size of a pencil eraser and are light gray, yellow, or brown in color.
  • Genital warts. While genital warts are not painful, they have a tendency to spread rapidly. They are usually brought on by the sexually transmitted virus HPV. Genital warts are pink in color and usually develop in clusters. They can appear in the vaginal, pubic and anal parts of the body.
  • Flat warts.  These type of warts appear in large numbers and take on a smooth, small appearance. They usually develop on the face, though they can occur on your feet, a condition that is more likely in women.

The type and size of a wart dictates which treatment is best. Over-the-counter medicine is available, which can help the wart diminish. Just be sure to avoid the face and genital area when using these medications. To make sure you’re getting the right treatment for the type of wart you have, visit your doctor.


Do you suffer from warts?
To learn more about living with and treating warts, or if you’re interested in any of the other dermatologic services we provide, contact Westerville Dermatology online or by calling 614.895.0400 today to schedule an appointment.

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