If you’ve had a wart pop up on your skin before, then you know they are not the most welcome sight. Warts can cause embarrassment, discomfort, easily spread to other parts of the body and are unsightly for many. Because of this, most patients prefer to have their warts go away sooner rather than later. However, there are multiple types of warts and the kind of treatment you need can depend on wart type, size and age among other factors. Warts can also be easily confused with other skin conditions such as skin tags, corns, skin cancer and non-cancerous growths. To help you gain a better understanding about the different kinds of warts and how to identify them, the board-certified dermatologists and physician assistants at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta have outlined the types of warts we typically encounter and how to treat them.
What is a Wart?
In its simplest terms, a wart is a skin growth that forms as a result of direct contact with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus infects the top layer of the skin which causes the skin cells to grow rapidly. A wart starts to grow when the virus is able to penetrate the outermost layer of the skin through a cut, scrape or any other form of broken skin. Warts spread easily and it is possible to re-infect yourself by exposing the wart to other areas of your body.
Types of Warts
Common Warts – This type typically grows alone or in groups on the hands, but they can be found anywhere on the body. They are characterized by their rough, dome-shaped appearance and grey-brown color.
Plantar Warts – These warts tend to grow on the soles of the feet. They have a hard, thick quality to them and normally have dark spots speckled within them. Plantar warts can cause discomfort while walking or running and can be pushed further into the skin’s surface with continual pressure. As they are pushed inward, the skin develops a callus-like appearance and multiple plantar warts can cluster together to form a large, flattened group.
Flat Warts – These growths are typically found on the arms, legs and face and spread easily through shaving. They have a flat-topped appearance and can be pink, light brown or light yellow in color.
Filiform Warts – Commonly found on the face around the mouth, nose and beard area, these warts are the same color as the skin and are characterized by their thick, thread-like projections.
Genital Warts – All warts are spread by skin to skin contact and warts in this region are generally sexually transmitted. They appear as soft, fleshy growths that are grey/brown or the same color as the skin.
Periungual Warts – These warts impact the nails by growing under or around the toenails or fingernails. They typically display themselves as rough bumps with an uneven surface and border.
As you can tell, there are a lot of different types of warts that can display themselves in a multitude of ways. Knowing the unique qualities each kind possesses can help you determine what steps you should take next to combat your skin concerns. However, it is always highly recommended that you visit one of our licensed providers about any skin concerns you have. We can diagnose the exact skin condition you have and provide a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your individual situation.
If you’re interested in learning more about our wart treatment options, contact Dermatology Associates of Atlanta today to schedule an appointment. Additionally, give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more insights about proper skincare.